Lovers have always used matchmakers and market-places.
Pandarus, a Trojan with a knack for pairing off warriors and damsels, turns up in Chaucer and Shakespeare.
Many use popular forums like (a website whose members exchange 400m messages a year) or Tinder (an app that produces 26m matches a day).
But there are also more discerning services on offer.
I realised that I could try to bring unhappiness to a halt; I had that power in myself.
That’s how I came to sign up to online dating, five months after the separation. Leave the door open and stop obsessively watching it.
Participation by those 18 to 24 has almost tripled since 2013, and boomer enrollment has doubled.
For a time, the world looks as if it has ended, but the important thing to recognise is that this is a phase and that you will survive it. The mechanics of separating made it worse: the division of books and chairs and the pottery bought on holiday in France is actual hell.
In comparison with that, the final document’s arrival in the post was strangely anticlimactic.
Jane Austen’s heroines inspect lines of dancing men in public assembly rooms.
Modern wooing, however, is increasingly done on the internet: 15% of Americans have used a dating website or app, according to a 2015 survey by the Pew Research Centre, up from 1% in 2005.