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The 1,500 sites comprise an industry worth over

The 1,500 sites comprise an industry worth over $1.5 billion.A quarter of all Canadians have tried Internet dating, and 16 per cent have had sex with someone they met online.K.-based online dating executive Dan Winchester, who predicts, “The future will see better relationships, but more divorce.” Internet dating sites, supporters say, create a larger and more fluid “dating marketplace,” which in turn yields better and more compatible matches.

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The 1,500 sites comprise an industry worth over $1.5 billion.

A quarter of all Canadians have tried Internet dating, and 16 per cent have had sex with someone they met online.

K.-based online dating executive Dan Winchester, who predicts, “The future will see better relationships, but more divorce.” Internet dating sites, supporters say, create a larger and more fluid “dating marketplace,” which in turn yields better and more compatible matches.

On the flip side, this bustling new marketplace, with its steady pace of transactions, might threaten traditional marriage.

By 2009, that number had grown to around 20 per cent for heterosexual couples, and 60 per cent for same-sex matches.

An estimated 30 to 40 million North Americans now use online dating sites.

Slater doesn’t think that online dating will necessarily destroy monogamy, but he does think that monogamy will change and become more transient.

“The bar for what people consider to be a good relationship will go up,” he predicts.

.5 billion.A quarter of all Canadians have tried Internet dating, and 16 per cent have had sex with someone they met online.K.-based online dating executive Dan Winchester, who predicts, “The future will see better relationships, but more divorce.” Internet dating sites, supporters say, create a larger and more fluid “dating marketplace,” which in turn yields better and more compatible matches.

“We won’t refer to online dating; it will just be dating.” And we aren’t far away.

Today, online dating sites peddle a radical vision: a new future for love as we know it; a more efficient, more targeted way to meet a compatible mate. Forget about hanging out in bars, or volunteering at community functions, or awkwardly asking friends if their friends are single.

Many of the biggest online sites are marketing themselves not just as places to get a date, but as a place to find a lifelong mate.

But as dating-through-device becomes a primary medium for romance, it seems likely that our end goal—traditionally commitment, and often marriage—will also change.

Online dating has already altered our romantic psyche—most significantly by assuring us that new options are always waiting.

The question, casting forward, is how that will change the very institution that many daters seek—marriage.

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