Survey shows those married couples who met online divorce less

For many years, singles across the U.S. looked at the prospect of online dating with a certain mix of fear and resignation, equating it with poor results and a limited selection of potential matches. However, this attitude has now largely disappeared as more and more people of all ages are now heading to the Internet to find dates instead of turning to friends or even local establishments.

In fact, a recently released study by researchers at the University of Chicago and published in the latest edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences determined that online dating is now resulting in more marriages and, perhaps more significantly, fewer divorces.

Researchers arrived at this determination after interviewing almost 20,000 Americans who tied the knot from 2005 to 2012. Specifically, they determined the following about online dating:

  • 35 percent of the people interviewed met their significant other online
  • 8 percent of the people interviewed who met their significant other via more traditional off-line methods were divorced versus only 6 percent of people who met their significant other online

“Meeting online is no longer an anomaly, and the prospects are good,” said Prof. John Cacioppo, the primary author of the study. “That was surprising to me. I didn’t expect that.” The researchers also broke the numbers down further, and made some additional findings concerning marriage and online dating:

  • Income played a large role in whether people used the Internet to search for a potential mate as only 3 percent of people making less than $15,000 a year met partners online; In marked contrast, 41 percent of people making $100,000 a year or more met partners online
  • Marriages in which couples originally met through online dating sites were more likely to result in higher levels of satisfaction/fewer divorces than those marriages in which couples originally met through chat rooms or online forums

Why then are marriages initiated via online meetings so successful?

Somewhat surprisingly, Cacioppo theorizes that it might actually have to do with the idea that people can afford to be more open and honest on the Internet, meaning there are altogether fewer surprises when the two people actually get together. Furthermore, he points out that there is simply more selection or a bigger dating pool in online dating.

To learn more about divorce, property division or other divorce-related issues, contact an experienced and skilled legal professional.

This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.

Source: Time, “More satisfaction, less divorce for people who meet spouses online,” Maia Szalavitz, June 3, 2013