Globe, Lifestyle, United Kingdom, Youth

Love in the United Kingdom…caught in the Web…

9 million Britons are searching the 1,500 available online dating sites with hope of finding love in a long term and steady relationship. This industry is one which generates more than 170 million pounds a year in the United Kingdom. 

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amor Reino Unido 11O. Briasco

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Currently across the world there are 277 million people living alone, that is to say they are not involved with a romantic partner and wait in the hope of one day finding that someone special.

According to the market research group Euromonitor International, the global figure for people living alone has grown by 80% compared to the estimated 153 million recorded in 1996.

The 2011 census reported that 29% of the 26.3 million homes across the United Kingdom are inhabited by only one person.

amor Reino Unido 12This information is significant given that for the first time ever the percentage of married couples (at 47%) has fallen below the percentage of those who remain single. And these ‘singles’ are growing at a rate of 166,000 per annum, and are expected to be the most common type of household by the year 2031.

In the United Kingdom there are more than 15 million people hoping to find true love. Of this figure 75% have not been in a relationship in the past 18 months, 35% of whom say they would like to share their life or at least part of it with another person.

However, due to lack of time ,they find modern technology far more useful, and romanticism is becoming a thing of the past.

amor Reino Unido 20Yet another of the factors which calls for forgetting such conventional dating methods, is the frustration that comes from going on one date that leads to nothing more. In fact, the United Kingdom is the country that has the highest rate of unsuccessful encounters and as a result is the one most likely to use online dating services.

One in five couples

This is why more than 9 million Britons are signing up to the various dating websites looking for either love or sex.

This figure has been rising since 2000, when100,000 people used this online service.

amor Reino Unido 15According to a survey carried out by YouGov in 2010 one in every five couples first meet online.

With these figures, it doesn’t take much to imagine that every month 6.3 million Britons agree to go on blind dates arranged through these websites. In fact, more than 24 million have planned their first date through their keyboards.

However not all such dates end in marriage proposals or even long term relationships.

Many statistics show that the average relationship of those couples that meet via online dating sites lasts around 18 and half months. This is compared to 42 months for those who stick to more traditional dating methods.

New technology is used for better and for worse by these internet daters, given that as many as half of them have already put an end to a relationship the quick and easy way, via email.

amor Reino Unido 9For those with sexual infections

The spectrum of online dating websites has increased considerably in the last decade. So much so that it is now possible to find sites exclusively tailored for zombie lovers and also for those only looking for sex or erotic encounters.

In fact, some 2.75 million people are just looking to have no-strings-attached sexual relations without any commitment. 54.8% of these are men.

However, the greatest growth has been in sites directed at people with sexually transmitted infections (STI). Internet dating allows them to avoid any uncomfortable questions and may also offer them some support.

Amor de Michael HanekeOthers, such as Positive Singles which reached up to 100,000 new members last year and Date Positive with over 6,000 profiles allow their users to look for people with almost any form of STI.

The growth in popularity of these pages coincides with the increase in positive diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections. According to the most recent statistics from the Health Protection Agency in the United Kingdom, such new cases increased by 2% from 2010 to 2011, while more than 100,000 people are positively diagnosed with herpes or HPV every year.

A business with an annual turnover of £170 million

amor Reino Unido 13User profiles is very varied because different platforms are focused on distinct types of people within the population. It is an industry that has consolidated itself in the last four years and now makes a significant contribution to the country’s economy.

The United Kingdom has not only the highest percentage of singles, it also boasts the greatest variety in online dating websites. From Cougar Dating for older women to Uniform Dating which specialises in bringing couples together with the same religious beliefs. Over 15,000 profiles with one common objective: not to be alone.

amor Reino Unido 16Thanks to the favouring of online of dating cites over more traditional dating mediums (pubs, clubs, discos) the industry saw its turnover increase to almost 170 million in 2011, some 7% more than in 2010.

Its growth in the United Kingdom has been so extensive that the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has even begun including the tariffs of such websites when calculating the countries’ inflation rates in its basic supply of goods and services.

It’s an industry that won’t be hitting the brakes for the next few years thanks to the introduction and popularity of the Smart phone. With its renewed image and better accessibility to dating websites, it is only helping with the dating industry revival.

amor Reino Unido 17Creating specific Apps for Smart phones led the use of handheld devices to search online for a partner to rocket up by 225%. Young people between 18 and 30 years of age are among those who use the new applications most.

A business that brings happiness to those who find their true love while providing job opportunities to thousands of companies. These employees work to find that certain profile match that will go well together and hold that long desired chemistry. At the rate things are going with such blind dating sites, Cupid’s days are well and truly numbered.

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(Translated by Koreen Walsh – Email: koreenwalsh@gmail.com)

 

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