The internet and speed dating agencies are the biggest of the group.There is a rise of businesses who teach men how they can meet women themselves without the use of a dating agency, some of which use the label pickup artist.
Though most people meet their dates at social organizations, in their daily life and work, or are introduced through friends or relatives, commercial dating agencies emerged strongly, but discreetly, in the Western world after World War II, mostly catering for the 25–44 age group.
Newspaper and magazine personal ads also became common.
Since the emergence of the Internet, mate-finding and courtship have seen changes due to online dating services and mobile dating services.
Telecommunications and computer technologies have developed rapidly since around 1995, allowing daters the use of home telephones with answering machines – mobile phones – and web-based systems to find prospective partners.
"Pre-dates" can take place by telephone or online via instant messaging, e-mail, or even video communication.
Many singles look for love on the Web, and research in the United Kingdom suggests that as of 2004 there were around 150 agencies in that country, where the market was apparently growing at around 20 percent a year.