Study: Couples who met online are happier
In case you still have lingering doubts about online dating, here's yet another reason to get over it.
A study of 19,131 American couples who married between 2005 and 2012 found that more than a third of them met online, and those couples tend to be happier in their relationships. And lest you think they're just overcompensating to prove meeting online totally works, you guys, I swear, not only did couples who met on the Internet report higher rates of satisfaction, they also were actually less likely to separate or divorce.
A few interesting tidbits:
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•Of the one-third of couples who met online, only 45 percent actually met on dating sites. The others met through social networks (21 percent) and a combination of other online communities like gaming sites, chat rooms and discussion groups.
•Divorce rates for this study, by the way, were nowhere near the 50 percent you hear people claiming. For couples who met "the old-fashioned way," as they say, 7.6 percent split up, compared with 5.9 percent of those who met online.
•Among couples who met offline, the most satisfied met through school, church, social gatherings or by growing up together. The least-satisfied met through work (which was also the most common way to meet offline), family, at bars, or on blind dates.
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The study didn't look at what might cause online couples to have more satisfying marriages, but the researchers have a few possible ideas: People who use the Internet to meet people may be different from those who don't, for instance, more motivated to meet a spouse; the large pool of online potential matches allows people to be more selective; and/or people may open up more online than they do face-to-face.
(As an FYI, the study was funded by eHarmony, which obviously has a stake in claiming online relationships end up happier. However, independent statisticians oversaw it, and eHarmony agreed the results could be published regardless of the outcome. Do with that information what you will, ladies.)
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Why do you think people who meet online might be happier?
More from The Heart Beat:
Photo: Happy couple / Hero Images/Getty Images
I met my boyfriend on POF. I was just getting bored of the site when I clicked on his pic. Met up a few days later and 'that's all she wrote'. Been together for 1 1/2 yrs.
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