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Yet many friends of mine who had previously ruled out anyone with children on a dating site are now happily dating (or married to) single parents they met in real life.

With judgemental tick-boxes they would have filtered out the very person they are in love with now.

A one step Facebook log-in process leads on to a few simple questions (the most obvious – height, kids, whether you drink or smoke), a description and a photo – then you are in. To use the site fully – sending unlimited messages to other members – payment is required.

You can browse a selection of pictures and ages before logging in, anything more specific requires you to become a member. As with many free or low-cost sites, ads can be frequent and feel spammy.

There’s currently a 7-day free trial to communicate with matches for free until 1 January.

It’s a softly, softly approach – excellent for those new to internet dating or nervous about entering the melee, or using a fast-food dating app like Tinder.

Psychologists and dating experts guide you through each step of the process – including messaging, which is somewhat structured and scripted – and there’s an anonomisation function for calling.

It seems unavoidable that if we have filters and tick-boxes for features and likes or dislikes, we could be cutting off literally thousands of potential suitors because of something we might have thought minor or irrelevant if we met in the flesh.

And, by the way, the tick-box that chooses whether you’re shown people with children or not can have an even more dramatic result, with 90% of the people I asked (a straw poll of 10 in the office) saying they’d chosen not to be shown people with children.

Cons: The lengthy survey you must complete before you sign up.

It is 100s of questions long and asks many probing questions about religion and moral views.

You can’t browse pictures or profiles – you wait to be matched by the mystery algorithm after answering the 400 questions – then you are guided through a contact process.

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