The under-25 influx: How online dating is being taken over by young singles

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Expect to see some very fresh faces on the biggest dating sites in 2013...

baby on the computer

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In the not so distant past, online dating was perceived as an activity reserved exclusively for divorcees, pensioners and for anyone who associated a nightclub with hell on earth.

After a few years of re-branding, improving and tidying-up, online dating has become an essential tool for meeting new people around long days at the office and socialising with friends. As if to cement this change, more and more young people are giving up on noisy bars and crowded clubs in favour of an online profile.

Online dating network Cupid Plc has disocvered that nearly one quarter of all its users are now under-25 - that's a 14% rise since 2010. Now the average age of their user is 35.

Sean Wood, Communications Director at Cupid Plc told us, "The younger internet savvy generation is so comfortable with social media and online social networking it seems natural that they are increasingly getting involved in online dating too.

Our younger users say they find it really good fun going on dates all the time and meeting lots of new people, for friendships and relationships. It's a lot more convenient to go on a date knowing what you have in common beforehand, particularly as both young and old are living such busy lives it can be difficult to find the time to get to know new people."

But if the average age of users is declining, how are women (and men) in their late thirties, early forties, fifties and sixties faring in the new world of online dating? Relationship experts argue that it's crucial to carefully target an online dating site (and your profile) to suit the type of man you're hoping to attract.

While dating sites like DoingSomething.co.uk organise massive parties and events for their members, the clever matching done by eHarmony might be better for people trying to find a meaningful relationship.

What is clear is that dating hasn't got any easier over the past few years. Perhaps the rise in under-25s with an online profile just shows that we are all more willing to pursue our options and take control of our relationship happiness.

Our advice? Give yourself every opportunity to find love...

What are your thoughts on online dating?

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