Anna Wilkinson has been married for seven years, has two young children, and – although exhausted – is delighted with her lot.
“I was 33, had just broken up with my boyfriend and was beginning to think I’d never have a family life.
One in five relationships in the UK starts online, according to recent surveys, and almost half of all British singles have searched for love on the internet.
Just today, nine million Britons will log on looking for love.
Matchmakers were viewed as hook-nosed crones from Fiddler on the Roof or pushy Mrs Bennet at the Pemberley ball.
“We’d love to get hold of more of it, but they’re not keen to share though we’re in discussion with a few of them,” says Robin Dunbar, professor of evolutionary psychology at Oxford University and author of The Science of Love and Betrayal.
“They have a huge database and they also can follow couples’ stories through, which hasn’t been possible so far.” For most of history, using a third party to help you find love was the norm.
I filled forms about my interests, my opinions and my personal goals – which was having a family – something I’d been too frightened to mention to my exes in the early days for fear of scaring them off.
“But the men I was introduced to were told what I wanted and shared those dreams. From the off we were on the same page and then it was only a matter of finding someone I also found physically attractive and that was Mark, the third man I met.” Wilkinson is far from alone.
From Romeo and Juliet, to dashing Mr Rochester choosing plain Jane Eyre, we celebrated stories of Cupid’s dart striking randomly.