With an estimated five million Britons logging on to find love, friendship or fun, the stigma attached to using dating websites is finally disappearing.

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An intelligent, attractive and sociable woman in her early thirties, she initially thought dating websites were for losers.

“But, as I got older, the number of eligible single men I was meeting through friends decreased.

A woman calling herself Tigger writes: “I found the perfect man for me at the other end of the country. We have travelled around the world and have many more adventures to come.

A year down the line, we live together and have shared an absolutely amazing time –mountain-biking, climbing, sailing, paragliding and skiing. This has changed my life.” I was intrigued to meet Tigger and Funoutdoors and to discover what made them turn to Telegraph Dating to find a partner. Funoutdoors is actually Andy Elwood, an ultra-fit 40-year-old divorcee who works as a search and rescue winchman in the Shetland Isles.

If I did, they were unlikely to share my outdoor sports obsession.

I chose the Telegraph site because I hoped to meet someone like-minded and because I wanted to increase my chances of meeting someone I clicked with, romantically or otherwise.” When Andy saw Tigger’s profile online, he decided he just had to make contact with her.

It's lunchtime and lawyer Jane Kelly is busy tapping away at her laptop in a crowded City sandwich bar.

But she's not catching up with work, she's firing off an email to her date for the evening, a man she's never met but whose emails make her smile, as they arrange where and when to meet for a drink.

''A few years ago, people would say something along the lines of, 'you are brave' or, 'surely you don't need to do that? "Now the question is more likely to be, 'which site are you using?

' Everybody's doing it – even some of my mother's friends." According to the dating site Parship ( seven million Britons, half of all single people, will log on to find love this year.

And they won't simply be looking to ward off temporary boredom or loneliness – one in five online daters will marry someone they meet online.