You can tell more about a person in half an hour, than weeks of emailing. “It's always better to meet an online date sooner than later - it's too easy to message endlessly, and you need to find out whether you have chemistry off-screen before you down a flirty emoticon rabbit hole that could last for weeks or months,” she explains.“Try not to message for more than two weeks, and if you're nervous, you could always speak on the phone first.

Now, I’m not for a moment hinting at any sinister goings-on.

The fact is – you’re unlikely to meet a con artist or lunatic.

It feels a bit more intimate.” Of course, if you’re nervous, there are other things you can do to speed up the getting-to-know-you process.

One friend tells me that, if she has a positive feeling about someone, she gives them the details of her Facebook account and switches to messaging them away from the dating site.

Baldly, without meeting someone, there’s only so much information you can glean about them – knowing someone’s taste in films, music, food does not a personality make. There’s a danger of idealising them and imagining your future together before you’ve exchanged a single smile.

What’s more, you have no way of telling which bits of information are true.

What’s more, a study by dating site e Harmony, estimated that seven in ten couples will have done so by 2040 – with 55 to 64-year-olds experiencing the biggest boom (an expected 30 per cent rise between 20).

Of course, exchanging a barrage of emails – even phone calls or Skyping– can seem more secure.

Their first date was within that all-important window, of course (although he didn’t realise it at the time).

Ramirez explained that it’s the point when “impressions and idealisations are at that peak, the most positive level that they'll be prior to meeting face to face.” Of course, there are many reasons to delay meeting a potential match.

’ For Britain’s 16 million singles, looking for love online is the norm.