“I was worried that people would think I couldn’t get a boyfriend normally. Things were different, too – I didn’t have a laptop and certainly didn’t have internet on my phone, so I was logging on in my lunch break at work.” Then, Jane, a 28-year-old travel saleswoman from Twickenham, west London, came across Andreas Palikiras, an olive-skinned marketing manager from Corfu.
Fourteen years later, the pair are married, with twin four-year-old daughters, and, rather aptly, their own Greek wedding business.
“It’s amazing to have been a pioneer of something that is now so normal,” she says.
Though early users were taking a gamble by signing up to the site, the real leap of faith in Match.com’s history took place on December 27, 1992.
“Not only are they risky, but they are ineffective.” So he created a 170-point questionnaire, covering users’ horoscopes, their preferred mode of transport, taste in music, cleanliness, condition of their hair and how often they participated in dangerous sports.
He called it the “Electronic Matchmaker” and uploaded to his private internet database (called a “usenet”) just after Christmas 1992.
In one corner is a cluster of Hallmark-red sofas; romantic slogans adorn a board above the photocopier.
There are hearts everywhere – from the pendant on an employee’s necklace to the novelty fruit bowl.At the British HQ of the world’s biggest dating agency, every day is Valentine’s Day.The lift doors ping open to reveal a wall plastered in photographs of happy couples – cliché upon cliché of wedding shots, beach scenes, even a pair strolling through a sunflower field.is not only the most popular dating website on the planet; it’s the granddaddy of them all.This year, it celebrates its 20th anniversary – marking two decades since a little start-up suggested that Cupid’s arrow might strike through a screen. Its users are spread across 40 countries and exchange 415 million emails a year.“Mention Match.com, and see how many say they met their partner on there, or encouraged a relative to go on it, or know someone who has.” When launched in April 1995, there were only 25 million internet users worldwide, compared to 2.92 billion in 2015.