And there’s no sense in ruling someone out for reasons that may become insignificant once you’ve met in real life.

The price and process mean only the dedicated remain – but equally, can lead to people dropping out mid-process.

Controversy swirled in 2010 around its lack of same-sex matching resulting in a site launched later for gay and bisexual daters called Compatible Partners, but e Harmony now offers matching for both mixed and same sex couples from the main homepage.

A one step Facebook log-in process leads on to a few simple questions (the most obvious – height, kids, whether you drink or smoke), a description and a photo – then you are in. To use the site fully – sending unlimited messages to other members – payment is required.

You can browse a selection of pictures and ages before logging in, anything more specific requires you to become a member. As with many free or low-cost sites, ads can be frequent and feel spammy.

Pros: Free to join and to have limited contact with members.

You can connect with Facebook so getting started is much quicker than with other sites.Yet many friends of mine who had previously ruled out anyone with children on a dating site are now happily dating (or married to) single parents they met in real life.With judgemental tick-boxes they would have filtered out the very person they are in love with now.Some find this a barrier to join, fans say it weeds out the casual chancer from those truly looking for love – and means you don’t have to wait to broach tricky topics.Pricier – it’s £44.95 for a month, but that drops to £12.95 per month if you sign up for a year.Cons: The lengthy survey you must complete before you sign up.