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• 5.6 million singles haven’t been on a date in more than six months.

• Only one in seven first dates will lead to a second date.

• Dating Detox™ ( a new treatment from PARSHIP to help singles boost their chances of finding love.

New research by – Europe's largest online dating service for people seeking a serious relationship – suggests that things can be tough for the UK’s 13 million singles: 5.6 million of them haven’t been on a date in the last six months or had a relationship in more than a year. And for those who have, only one in seven first dates will lead to a follow-up.

So what’s causing this epidemic of dating misery?

Well, according to PARSHIP’s dating expert, psychiatrist Dr Victoria Lukats, singles are suffering from a build-up of dating toxins. “Forget the usual excuses … hectic lifestyle, lack of time and a dearth of suitable people … It’s not lifestyle that’s holding people back from forming a relationship – it’s what’s going on in their head,” said Dr Lukats.

Through extensive research of more than 5,000 singles, Dr Lukats has identified the top five dating toxins:

• Shyness: “I just don’t have the courage to ask women out on a date, if I was turned down I’d be so embarrassed … Maybe I just won’t bother.”

• Fussiness: “It’s Mike or no-one. Joe just doesn’t tick all of my boxes, and I’d never date a man who wears brown shoes.”

• Low self-esteem: “Why would anyone want to date me? All my relationships end in disaster anyway.”

• Lack of opportunity: “I’m so busy with my life … When am I ever going to find the time to go on a date?”

• Desperation. “Why am I still single when all my friends are married with kids? I just want to get married and settle down.”

Drawing on her background as a psychiatrist and her experience in cognitive behavioural therapy, Dr Victoria Lukats has created a unique treatment, Dating Detox™ (, to help singles boost their chances of finding love and overcome their problems with prospective partners. As she explains, “Dating Detox has been designed to help the individual take a journey of self-discovery, so that at the end they are able to form satisfying and lasting relationships and rid themselves of these toxic dating barriers.”

"It’s similar to the way you'd treat someone with a phobia," continues Dr Lukats. "It's called exposure and response prevention. You encourage the individual to put him or herself in the feared situation and instead of doing what they'd normally do – for instance, a shy person will look at the floor and go home - you encourage them do things differently.

When working towards your goals the trick is to break things down into manageable tasks, starting with something easy like saying good morning to your colleagues and gradually moving on to harder exercises. So, for instance, the next step could be asking for directions in the street, followed by making eye contact on the escalators, chatting to someone in the supermarket and ultimately flirting on a night out and asking someone on a date.”

“You do each exercise for about 45 minutes, so that by the end the individual’s anxiety level has gone down and that’s what they remember. It’s also important to do the exercises regularly. Obviously, each individual’s treatment is different as it is personalized according to their problem areas.”

Dating Detox is a combination of psychoanalysis, cognitive behavioural therapy, dating etiquette and a matchmaking service provided through PARSHIP. With nearly 5 million members PARSHIP is Europe’s largest online matchmaking service; rather than relying on the typical prompts of photographs and self-descriptions, it uses a psychometric test to suggest matches between people who could be genuinely compatible.

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For Further information, please contact Penny Conway on 020 7014 4046, 07775992350 or email Dr Victoria Lukats is available for interviews.

Notes to editors:

Case studies

Case studies are available of singles who have completed the Dating Detox treatment.

About the research

The research was conducted by Facts International in October 2007 with 5,000 adults over the age of 18.

About Dr Victoria Lukats (

Dr Victoria Lukats, MBBS MRCPsych MSc is a psychiatrist, agony aunt and dating and relationship expert. As well as working as a relationship and dating expert for PARSHIP, Dr Lukats is a Specialist Registrar in Psychiatry within the NHS.

About PARSHIP is the UK’s largest compatibility-based online dating service, specifically for people who are serious about forming a lasting relationship. It is the British subsidiary of Europe’s most successful serious online dating service, now with nearly five million members, predominantly affluent, educated men and women between 28 and 55 years old.

Since its launch in Germany in 2001, PARSHIP has matched thousands of single people who are serious about forming a long-lasting relationship. The first step is an 80-question psychometric test, which is free of charge and takes about 20 minutes to complete. The results of the test create a fascinating profile of each member’s personality. Using methods based on years of scientific research, this profile is then carefully matched with the profiles of other members whose balance of similar and complementary characteristics marks them out as a potential partner for the new member. Research suggests that people are twice as likely to form a lasting relationship with PARSHIP’s help than they are through any other method.

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