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Unlucky or too sceptical? Study finds French rarely find love online

media A keyboard goes up in flames in this uncredited photo File

Just who goes on the hundreds of dating websites in France? According to the French Institute for Demographic Studies or INED, lots of people of varied ages and socio-economic profiles. Nevertheless a study just released by the same public research institute suggests relatively few people in France have actually formed couples with someone they had met on such sites.

Heading into another Valentine's Day, INED published a study on Wednesday saying when it comes to online dating, the reality is different from the dream. The study found that in 2013, 16 to 18 percent of French residents between the ages of 18 and 65 were registered on such French dating sites as AdopteUnMec, Easyflirt and e-Darling. INED says this figure compares to just nine percent (of people 18 and over) in the United States, for example.

On the other hand, the INED study found that users in France are reticient to disclose their use of the sites to others, and that only a small number of users go on to form a romantic relationship with someone they found online. The study suggests less than nine percent of couples who met between 2005 and 2013 did so via an online dating site. That number falls to two percent when taking into account married couples only.

The study said, overall, the people who use dating sites come from a variety of professions, with managers and academics accounting for the largest share in 2013, at 16.3 percent combined. According to the study, men are more likely to use dating sites when they are young, while the reverse is true in the case of people over 60. The site also found that France's gay and lesbian community is much more likely to find longer-term love online than the country's heterosexuals.

In its conclusion, the study suggested that the sites attract French people's interest and curiosity but play a modest role beyond that.    

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