Internet plays cupid for the older generation

If you’re not someone’s Valentine today, then forget hanging around seedy bars in a bid to find that special other half, because it’s all about internet dating, especially if you are middle aged.  

That’s according to a new study carried out by the Oxford Internet Institute (OII), which found that those in the 40 to 69 age range were the most likely to use online dating sites. In fact just over a third of this group said they had found that special someone on the net.  

However, it’s not just the 40s and over who use this medium as a way to find love,  with
almost one in three internet users admitting to having visited online dating websites at some point in their lives – we’d rather be using our mouse than standing around waiting for Mr Right.

And it seems many of the 12,000 couples questioned agree with the amount of people dating sites to find love growing from six percent in 1997 to 30 percent in 2009.

However, it’s not just dating sites that have pointed their love arrows with social networking at chat rooms also helping people find love.

In 2000 less than 10 percent used such ways to find love, but by 2005 Cupid was well and truly in the know about the likes of Facebook with  21 percent meeting their partners through this medium.

That said, it might be worth getting out of your slippers and leaving your mouse alone with many of those asked claiming they had met their partner through traditional offline channels. Around 67 percent said they had met through friends of friends, while 69 percent said they had met at clubs or bars.

Study co-author Dr Bernie Hogan, Research Fellow at the OII, said: “Finding your partner online was once regarded as a bit of a novelty, but this survey suggests it has become a common if not dominant way of meeting new partners, particularly if you are between 40 and 70 years old.

“Our questionnaire also reveals that people who know others who date online are more likely to try it and approve of it. Our study gives us some insight into the significance and impact of the internet and how it is affecting intimate relationships both online and offline.”