Study: Spouses who met online enjoy happier marriages than those who didn’t (apparently)

online datingHave you ever found love online? Did it work out? Or did Cindy in Cincinnati turn out to be Bob in Bakersfield?

According to the results of a new study published Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Internet is playing an increasingly significant role in helping lost souls find one another, with almost 35 percent of recently married folk in the US having met their other half online.

While 45 percent of those found love through dating sites, 20 percent hooked up via social networking sites such as Facebook and 10 percent hit it off in a chat room, the results showed.

The study, involving a nationally representative sample of 19,131 US-based respondents who married in the last eight years, also found that spouses who met online appeared to have happier marriages with lower break-up rates compared to married couples who met at work, in a bar or in some other such Internet-free situation.

At this point it’s only right to let you know that this study was commissioned by online dating site eHarmony, but you probably knew something like that was coming. However, the Santa Monica-based company says on the study’s webpage that it was committed to publishing the findings whatever the outcome. On top of that, it had an independent statistician validate the work.

Study researcher John Cacioppo, a psychologist at the University of Chicago as well as a scientific advisor to eHarmony, said the results indicated “that of the continuing marriages, those in which respondents met their spouses online were rated as more satisfying than marriages that began in an offline meeting.”

He continued, “Moreover, analyses of break-ups indicated that marriages that began in an online meeting were less likely to end in separation or divorce than marriages that began in an offline venue.”

Speaking to AllThingsD about the results, eHarmony boss Dr. Neil Clark Warren said it might be that the Internet gives access to more potential partners, thereby increasing the chances of coming across a suitable partner.

“The pool of applicants on the Internet is so much greater than the pool of applicants at your church or favorite bar….or through friends of friends,” Warren explained.

If that sounds reasonable to you and you’re thinking of dipping your toe into the world of online dating, be sure to check out The complete guide to digital dating, guaranteed to maybe work by DT’s Jam Kotenko, who, you guessed it, found the love of her life online.

[Image: rudall30 / Shutterstock]


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