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Growth has been doubling every year for the two big rivals in this area, - which has just arrived in Ireland as a partner site on Microsoft's portal site - and Yahoo Personals. In fact, online dating has been such good business that even in a small place like Ireland, the discerning single can find a proliferation of local to global sites: from the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaker site ( to ( from Ireland.com's new service ( to Maybe Friends ( and Irish Soulmates (US online research company Hitwise currently counts 844 different web dating services in the United States, up 11 per cent on 2003 - some global players with millions of users and multi-lingual sites, others more localised services or niche players targeting a diversity of dating tastes. There are sites catering to gays and lesbians, those seeking casual flings, and Catholics (

"Match.com's continued investment in new features, services and technologies underscores the promise we make to our customers that we will be their advocates and lend expertise and support as they transition through dating and relationship stages." To access Advisors, users log on to browse Match.com's exclusive list of trained advisors.

Users can review each advisor's background and credentials, consumer rating, area of expertise, photograph and availability status.

Likwise, editor Ms Deirdre Veldon reports good membership numbers for the site's dating service: "The site has enjoyed huge success since it launched in February, with a membership of over 54,000 already, equally split between males and females.

And we're not just talking about traffic volumes - from a financial point of view, our revenues have increased by over 80 per cent in the last six months." Ireland, while small, is attractive to a global site like because of its "unique demographic", says Ms Samantha Bedford, Match.com's UK and Ireland manager.

is the only leading online dating service to provide access to a dating, relationship and marriage advisor network from its site.