Internet marriages, those that take place after two strangers have met and 'gone out' in cyberspace, are on the increase says a survey.
The Census of Sad People, carried out between 2002 and 2006, found that the likelihood of finding a husband or wife on the Net had increased dramatically. In 2002, a total of 120 couples met and married in this way, but by 2006, this figure had risen to 480,000, an increase of 400,000%, and equal to 87% of all marriages on the planet during that period.
Many people hadn't met before their wedding day, which was often online, and many more didn't bother getting together even after they tied the knot.
Barry Spatula, of the Qwerty Union of Internet Marriages (QUIM) claimed that chatroom link-ups worked.
"These sad couples are looking for love", he said, "If they're too fat and ugly to go out into the street, into the town or into a nightclub to find a partner, we're here to help, and faceless flirting on the Net can be the answer."
But Marriage Guidance counsellor, Miriam Spinster, said "People are all too eager to get hitched these days."
She spoke of several cases where the Internet had failed lovelorn losers.
"There was the case recently of Cedric Spittle and Edith Minger. Cedric, 87, told Edith, 91, that he was Jean Claude van Slamme, a 21-year-old trainee supermarket manager who was outgoing, enjoyed foreign travel and martial arts. Edith took this to mean "marital arts", and quickly got in touch. She described herself as Paris Hilltop, a 22-year-old model slag who liked dirty, kinky sex, possibly with more than one man at a time."
She went on, speaking about how disappointed the pair were when they eventually met up for a cup of cocoa and a bun.
"They both felt terribly cheated", she said, "but, fortunately, they buried the hatchet and went for a game of bingo."
Sheila Repulsive of Queer, Ugly Incredible Monsters (QUIM) said "Many people feel let down by Internet dating. They often have bad expeiences and are left thinking they will never meet their perfect match."
Which they won't.