“It seemed a good way to make friends and, maybe, meet the right person.”For City singletons not sated with computer screens, internet sites offer another route to find a partner.

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“You could quite easily spend £3,000 on a holiday; but a relationship will hopefully last much longer,” she says.

Equally important is the reassurance of knowing that the men she meets have been vetted by someone whose judgment she trusts.

Many of the people who use personal introductions, he says, are work-obsessed over-achievers.

This creates the problem of introducing people who can’t find time in their schedules to meet.

Their advantage is that they can accommodate niche services, such as dating sites for graduates, to cater for different segments of the market.

David (not his real name), a hospital consultant, met his fiancée, a corporate lawyer at a City firm, through Blues Match, an online dating and networking forum for Oxford and Cambridge university graduates.

Personal search services, like the headhunters they model themselves on, do not promise to put everything right for their clients or even find their perfect match.

They claim only to speed up the search, reduce the serendipity of dating and take away some of its awkwardness by sifting the potentially compatible from the rest.

But this is a time in their life when they feel under pressure to make things happen quickly.“For many women, finding a partner is always the next thing they’re going to do,” says Paula Hall, a counsellor with Relate.