If You Met Online Are You More or Less Likely to Divorce?

If you’ve seen a commercial for an online dating website, you’re most likely familiar with the fact that today one-third of all marriages begin in cyberspace.

What you may not know is that Internet-facilitated marriages result in fewer divorces than traditional marriages and report higher levels of happiness, according to a study published in 2013 in the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study examined nearly 20,000 respondents who wed between 2005 and 2012 and met in a variety of ways. Many of the findings confirm that online dating is changing the dynamic of marriage in the U.S. Those findings include the fact that:

  • Of the 35 percent of respondents who met their spouse online, half met their spouse on a dating website and the other half met through email, social media, and other online outlets.
  • People who met online reported a mean average score of 5.64 on a satisfaction survey, while people who met offline reported a score of 5.48.
  • Unfortunately, 6 percent of the marriages that were fostered online ended. However, for marriages fostered in more traditional ways, the figure was 8 percent.
  • The least successful marriages were those in which the participants met in bars, through blind dates, or through avatars in online communities that act as a virtual world (such as The Sims).

The author of the study, John Cacioppo, states that online-initiated relationships are happier and longer lasting due to the user’s access to a larger pool of candidates and the mindset people have while searching for a potential life partner.

Online users have the opportunity to thoroughly advance screen potential dates, are more likely to be selective and are more likely to be focused on finding a long-term love with mutual interests.

Despite some individuals’ continued negative stigma of online dating, Cacioppo believes that the findings were “encouraging, given the paradigm shift in terms of how Americans are meeting their spouses.”

However, the long-term results of online dating are still unknown. Even this study, one of the largest, most thorough ever completed on online dating, only covered people who were married for at most seven years.

The results, nonetheless, can give Americans hope that love could be just a click away. According to MarketWatch, Cacioppo believes that “given the marriages that we studied were from one to seven years in duration, I was surprised we found any differences in marital breakups.”

The study was funded by the online-dating website eHarmony.com, though implemented by independent statisticians. eHarmony founder and CEO Neil Clark are on a mission to reduce the divorce rate from 50 percent to a single-digit number. According to the results of the study, he’s making progress in the right direction.

Whether you met on the Internet, through a blind date, at a dog park, or on a reality show, if your marriage isn’t working, we’re here for you. Never hesitate to call and request a free consultation to understand all of your options if you are considering divorce.