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Interestingly enough though, in contrast to the above folklore, in South Africa, the Western Cape included, more men use online dating sites than women.

But what about members of the younger generation, people who seem to have greater opportunity (and more time) to come across lovers organically? Helen Paul, a 26-year-old who took the plunge mainly for a giggle and to combat growing “boredom with life in general”, admits that, despite the assumption that under 30s have no problem meeting new potential partners, online dating did, in fact, help her to meet people she would never have otherwise crossed paths with.

Not to mention, in his 2012 critical analysis of online dating as compared to offline dating – it’s the most recent study conducted worldwide – he and his co-researchers found that many of the matching algorithms used by online dating sites actually depend on aspects that aren’t crucial to compatibility.

Needless to say, now, 15 to 20 years since its advent, here in South Africa, it seems that online dating is alive, well and a great platform on which to meet people, but even so, you still can’t count on its mathematical framework to find you the person of your dreams.

Strike two: her fleeting liaison with what she describes as, “a person who turned out to be a ‘man-child’.” As she puts it, “He did NOT turn out to be the person I expected, which is the big thing about online dating.

Words on a screen don’t show personality as much as meeting face-to-face; I think that’s the big shock with online dating.” Which brings us back to our original question: Is online dating actually superior to offline dating?

It’s easy enough to reduce dating to a simple numbers game, but what happens when you actually use math to find your ‘perfect partner’?

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Now, the perception has normalised.” Along with the facts that online literacy has increased and Internet access is more ubiquitous, the acceptance that online dating isn’t for ‘the desperate’ is a major reason why, even during a recession, the ranks of virtual matchmaking sites swelled.

In particular, more people of colour and more people from an older generation (55 to 60 ) are perusing the platforms for a potential long-term partner, companion or friend, not necessarily with sexual intentions.

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