Websites which help people look up old flames on the net may be adding to the UK’s rising divorce rate.

The number of couples getting divorced is at its highest level for seven years, official figures for 2003 show.

Relationship experts at Relate said the increasing number of people going to websites like Friends Reunited to look up old partners was having an impact.

Friends Reunited said it was only an intermediary and for each unhappy story there were hundreds of positive ones.

Spokeswoman Carolynne Bull-Edwards told BBC News Online that almost 12 million people – around 47% of UK internet users – were registered on the site.

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