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Clicking for love

Internet brings couples a little romance this Valentine's Day

The internet may be criticised for forging a depersonalised, isolated society, but research shows it's also playing a significant role in bringing people together this Valentine's Day.

A Royal Bank of Scotland survey says 34 percent of people searched the internet to find that perfect restaurant for a dinner a deux this year, while 32 percent planned to buy a Valentine gift or flowers online.

These figures rise for the younger, more tech-savvy generations, with 46 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds looking online for the perfect place for that special meal and 42 percent searching for a love token to give their partner.

Max Warner, general manager of the Baltic restaurant in Southwark, South London, supports these findings. He says the restaurant's website brings in a significant amount of business, with over 50 amorous couples attempting to use its online booking service for this evening. Sadly they were left broken hearted, as the restaurant has been fully booked for over two weeks.

The web doesn't just let couples make declarations of love, it also helps to create them. The survey found that internet dating sites are proving popular, with 18 percent of divorcees and 10 percent of singletons looking for love online.

But while these respondents may have been happy to look, they weren't that keen on following up their browsing with a face-to-face meeting. Only eight percent of men and three percent of women would actually consider meeting someone they'd met online.

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