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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.

By Glamour Magazine Jun 7, 2013 3:58PM

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.

Photo: Happy couple / Hero Images/Getty Images 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?

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Photo: Happy couple / Hero Images/Getty Images

54Comments
Jun 9, 2013 2:12PM
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You see, a man has to do it just right or he gets rejected! This is not right, this tells me that women don't want a man as much as they say they do! At least the foreign women are still real women who want a man!
Jun 9, 2013 2:09PM
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No, it doesn't work, or at least it hasn't worked for me! I got pumped up with excitement when I would try the online world and ended up with heartbreaking disappointment! It is not right when a man has to craft special emails and messages just to entice a lady to respond to him! So many American women are so spoiled, it is pathetic! It takes a specially crafted profile just to get them to look at you, a specially crafted message to get them to respond! And if that's not enough, you have to literally use special techniques to keep their interest longer than 5 minutes! American women have a terrible attention problem that seems to be if a person can't hold their attention, then they either just reject the man in such a heartbreaking way as to crush him! Then, if a man does get an American woman, she will just cheat on him the first chance she gets, as soon as the poor fellow leaves to go make a living for her and his family, she is online looking for men to cheat on him! THERE ARE NO GOOD WOMEN LEFT IN AMERICA, THEY ARE ALL ROTTEN TO THE CORE!
Jun 9, 2013 1:14PM
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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.

Jun 9, 2013 11:52AM
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I met my BF on social networking site last Jan 2011, two months of non-stop talking we both ended up paying huge mobile phone bills, so I agreed to finally meet him (he's separated, no divorce in the Phil). The minute we met face to face, that's it. Fast forward, 2 years, he went to Canada last March, and I, still here in the u.k. will soon follow. So we are back to where we started constant online chat, and mobile calls. Hopefully when I go to Canada we could settle there for good and start a family, or he has to come back here in the U.K. Does it work? So far... all is well.
Jun 9, 2013 11:37AM
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I met my perfect soul mate in a scrolling chat website 13 years ago the 18th of this month. We celebrated our 12th anniversary last April. I adore her in every way. I am not sure what tomorrows will bring but I do know we will greet each and every one together.
Jun 9, 2013 11:14AM
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I have yet to meet a now married couples (my sample is small...only about six couples)  who met in these online sites, who ever divorced or even entertained the idea.  My own sister met her now husband in a games chat room...over the period of over a year they became more and more communicative until he (in California) and she (in Michigan) decided it was time to meet face to face.  He flew up to MI and met the family members...after a week of getting to know the live person he returned to California but left her with an expressed desire for her to join him out there.  I got her a ticket to fly out there and meet his family and spend more quality time getting further acquainted.  A few months later she finally decided to take the plunge and went to California...that was about 9 years ago and they married and are  still mad about one another.   I think online meets start out with people getting to know one another in a very safe way...they feel free to be open and honest because they have never seen one another and texting is a less threatening way to be open.  In all cases each couple was surprised at meeting their future partners in this manner and still remain somewhat stunned at the success.
Jun 9, 2013 9:49AM
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these comments are are great & wonderful but where are the negative ones? You can't tell me there are no horror stories out there. CATFISH anyone?!
Jun 9, 2013 9:36AM
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I met a woman online august will be 2 yrs ago, unfortunately she lives in the Philippines, however we Skype most everyday, sometimes 2 and 3 hrs, this is since august of 2011, we absolutely beyond a shadow of a doubt love each other and its so intense at times we both can't stand it that we can't be with each other, . you would say, How can you know you love each other,... well,. It's really simple, you take sex, inhibitions, and dishonesty out of the equaision and you've got a sure fire match made in heaven if your still talking online for that long, the only thing that's stopping us right now from coming together is both our financial issues plaguing us, but I assure you just as soon as I can get the money, I'm 95.5% sure we're the story book happily ever after and I'll hold on for as long as she will and so far we aren't letting up either one of us.....dose online dating work ?....hmmmmm? 
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