Staggering to reflect on, but half of the UK’s single population are now logging-on to dating sites. That’s the latest finding from web dating specialists Parship who reckon almost eight million Brits tried online dating last year, an increase of around 50% on 2005. The gender balance is pretty even (52 per cent of men vs 48 per cent of women use online dating). Parship’s UK and Ireland director Tony Blin Stoyle sees higher rates among older people: "UK singles, particularly those aged 30 to 40, recognise that as they get older and their social networks become smaller, they need to maximise their opportunities in order to meet a partner. if you rely on traditional routes and wait for a chance encounter with someone special, you could end up waiting a very long time."