The history of dating- and secrets to find The One |

Online dating is now a billion dollar industry, but how did the online dating world actually come about? Let’s have a look at the evolution of dating.

Online dating has transformed from a last-ditch effort for the desperate to a serious contender in the search for love. I think we can all name a couple who met on a website or app.

In this blog we look through the evolution of dating through to the digital era…


Personal advertisements began to appear in newspapers in the 17th century, melding matchmaking with media for the first time. These ads were often for single men who were of the appropriate years for bachelorhood.


Matrimonial agencies and ads remained big business in Britain into the 18th century. Newspaper’s were also one of the only ways for gay men and women to meet discreetly and safely when homosexuality was illegal.


Personal ads got their first taste of mainstream success in the 1800s, when Europe’s aristocrats used them to engage in scandalous romantic entanglements. The rest of the public caught on by the mid-1800s. By the end of the century, con artists realised they had perfect victims in vulnerable singles searching for love. The dating scam was born.


In the fall of 1965,  2 Harvard students used an IBM 1401 computer to create the very first computer-based matchmaking service in the United States.

Inspired by the paltry dating scene of post-war academia, the men built a 75 question survey for love-hungry applicants to fill out. Singles would mail in their questionnaires and receive a list of computer-generated matches in return.

By 1966, Operation Match claimed to have 90,000 people using their services!

Dating sites were officially invented in 1995 by Andrew Conru. He enabled people to find and introduce themselves to prospective links over the internet. The site allowed you to become a member by creating a profile and uploading personal information such as age, gender, location, and sex.


We have now got to the point of having niche dating sites, such as farmers only sites. It caters to rural dwellers, particularly farmers. The majority of people using this app tend to marry within their professions as from its name, such as oagricultural owners, livestock owners, and ranchers.

In 2013, Tinder revolutionised the online dating industry with a simple system, swipe right if interested, left if not. Instead of having a matchmaker rifle through thousands of profiles to find someone unique, users could decide whether they liked someone based off a few photos. 

In comparison to the services which had come before, Tinder made dating simple, but it also, as studies have found, made it less about lasting connections and relationships and more about casual hook-ups and cheesy openers. 

What does the future have in store for tech-savvy singles? Revenue in the Online Dating segment is projected to reach US$3,241m in 2021.

Experts predict it could be video, or virtual reality, or artificial intelligence, or DNA matching. Whatever it is, two things are certain: it’s bound to be big business, and there’s no tool humans won’t try if it means finding the connection we crave deeply!

Try out Unified Dating’s dating events today!