1. It really works!
Relationships that start online tend to fare just as well – or even better – than those of couples who met offline, says a study published in the American Sociological Review. Indeed, romances that begin online are 25 per cent less likely to end in divorce or separation, according to researchers at the University of Chicago.
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2. You could meet The One
Just want to keep things casual? That's fine. But if you're looking for a serious relationship, online dating has a pretty impressive success rate. One in five online daters has either married someone they met online or knows somebody who has, according to a Which? survey. What's more, all the signs suggest that number has grown considerably since the research was carried out in 2009.
3. It's easier to meet people
This one's obvious, really. Nearly two-thirds of the 1,500 online daters interviewed by Which? agreed it was easier to meet someone compatible online than in any other way.
4. Your friends are off the hook
Continuing on the same theme, it tends to become more difficult to find romance in 'real life' as we age. When we're younger, we tend to meet lots of new people through our friends and colleagues. But over time, family commitments, health issues, bereavement and retirement can all conspire to shrink our social circles. Give internet dating a go and you'll no longer be relying on friends to introduce you to 'someone you might like'. You can go online and find plenty of people you might like – right now!
5. You can be selective
So why do relationships that start online tend to be happier? US researchers believe it may be because it allows people to select wisely before they make that initial contact. You know what matters to you, and can choose a prospective date accordingly.
There's no getting to the third date before discovering you hold widely different political views, for example. Of course, it takes a while to get to know someone properly – and that's one of the great joys of building a relationship – but taking a good look through dating profiles allows you to boost your chances of finding someone with whom you'll 'click' straight away.
6. You can fit it around your schedule
You'll be able to browse through a wealth of potential dates, and reply to messages, whenever you have a spare five minutes. And – whisper it – you can wear a face-pack and your pyjamas, and nobody will ever know.
7. It's very cost-effective
Rather than spending lots of money on nights out in the hope of meeting someone special, you have plenty of possibilities at your fingertips. The cost? You can join Saga Dating from just £10.50 per month.
8. Lots of your peers are doing it
Think you're too old for this kind of thing? Nonsense! In fact, the over-60s are the fastest-growing demographic in online dating, according to a study at Bowling Green State University in the US. And, say the researchers, the older generation tend to be far more honest in the way they represent themselves and focus on compatibility, rather than boasting and bragging.
9. You can make a great first impression every time
You'll have time to plan exactly what you want to say before you send that first message. And when you do meet in person, you'll feel more prepared and relaxed, having got to know one another a little online first. It's worth noting that first impressions really do matter: people find it hard to get over the first thing they know about someone, according to two US studies.
10. You'll make new friends
Online dating is a simple and effective way to widen your social circle. Even if you don't find The One straight away, you'll meet plenty of interesting people, learn new things and have more inspiring conversations. So what are you waiting for?
Find love, romance and fun with Saga Dating, a site you can trust - we're members of the Online Dating Association. Set up your free profile today and browse over 100,000 potential matches.