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16-Jan-2015 03:18

In the four years since I met my partner online, the attitude towards online dating has flipped 180 degrees.

Back in 2011 the dating website was still considered the last bastion of the sorry singleton, the modern equivalent of the 1980s personal ad, populated by wide-eyed Miss Havishams clutching tattered wedding scrapbooks, and 40-year-old virgins.

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Since the advent of Tinder, the dating app of the Millennial, with all its immediacy, accessibility, and sheer ubiquity, however, online dating is no longer a dirty concept. In a world where we spend as much time online as IRL (in real life) it's hardly surprising dating has become something we're as likely to conduct via a screen as socialising, networking, flirting, or working.After eight years of hedonistic, rollicking singledom, I signed up to two dating websites - one free, one with subscription - and met my partner Glenn after just two months.Despite the fact I made all the mistakes early on - from failing to add filters to block unwanted penis shots to falling for photos in which tans, shades and baseball caps hid their actual appearance - it was fun.Even the dud dates resulted in funny anecdotes my friends relished.

Dating websites provide fertile hunting ground, but if you think someone has potential, don't dally, sound them out over a couple of emails or text messages and then meet as soon as possible, just for coffee. Something I learned fairly quickly is that it's not always a good idea to date people with exactly the same interests.Colin Farrell deemed it narcissistic and he has a point.