From shameful to bohemian and cool It only took a few decades after the invention of the modern newspaper in 1690 for the new medium to become a way for people to meet in Britain.
Matrimonial agencies were big business there by the early 18th century, printing ads on behalf of men who paid the agency to recruit them a good wife.
"Advertising for a husband or wife has always attracted criticism and the people who did it were always thought of as failures in some way.
However advertising like this has a long and unbroken history, and was used by many people with some success," Cocks said.
I'll be joined by NYU professor Eric Klinenberg (ericklinenberg), the author of *Going Solo*, who's working with me on the book.
Almost everyone these days can name a couple they know that met on the Internet, though it wasn't so long ago that skimming the online personals for love was considered strange, even a bit desperate.
"You probably wouldn't talk about it if you were very respectable," he said.