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How to Find a Spouse by alexey ,  Jun 4, 2013

A Third of Recently Married Couples Met Online and They're More Satisfied and Less Likely To Split-Up

Source: Based on data from Marital satisfaction and break-ups differ across on-line and off-line meeting venues (chart by Larry Magid)

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that 35% of couples married between 2005 and 2012 met online and that these couples were slightly more likely to stay together and “associated with slightly higher marital satisfaction among those respondents who remained married,” according to the report.

The study, which was led by John T. Cacioppo from the University of Chicago’s Department of Psychology, Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience was based a Harris Interactive survey completed by 19,131 married respondents.  The study was commissioned by eHarmony but was vetted by independent statisticians who “oversaw and verified the statistical analyses based on a pre-specified plan for data analyses.  Prior to the survey, an agreement with eHarmony was reached “to ensure that any results bearing on eHarmony.com would not affect the publication of the study. Having read the entire report (I have a doctorate in education with a survey research specialty), I can say that it looks very legitimate.

Hate to break it to you, traditional matchmakers, but you're being supplanted by algorithms. (PAINTING: "DE KOPPELAARSTER (THE MATCHMAKER)," GERARD VAN HONTHORST, 1625)
Results indicate that more than one-third of marriages in America now begin on-line. In addition, marriages that began on-line, when compared with those that began through traditional off-line venues, were slightly less likely to result in a marital break-up (separation or divorce) and were associated with slightly higher marital satisfaction among those respondents who remained married.

Meeting online leads to happier, more enduring marriages

William Harms

More than a third of marriages between 2005 and 2012 began online, according to new research at the University of Chicago, which also found that online couples have happier, longer marriages.

Although the study did not determine why relationships that started online were more successful, the reasons may include the strong motivations of online daters, the availability of advance screening and the sheer volume of opportunities online.

John Cacioppo

John Cacioppo

“These data suggest that the Internet may be altering the dynamics and outcomes of marriage itself,” said the study’s lead author, John Cacioppo, the Tiffany and Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor in Psychology at the University of Chicago.

The results were published in the paper, “Marital Satisfaction and Breakups Differ Across Online and Offline Meeting Venues,” in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Marriage breakups were reported in about 6 percent of the people who met online, compared with 7.6 percent of the people who met offline. Marriages for people who met online reported a mean score of 5.64 on a satisfaction survey, compared with a score of 5.48 for people who met offline. The survey was based on questions about their happiness with their marriage and degree of affection, communication and love for each other.
The state of matrimony in the U.S. is in flux. Fewer Americans tie the knot even as gays battle state by state to be able to do so. The Census reported in 2011 that 51 percent of adult Americans were married—an all-time low and falling, while the median age for marriage hit an all-time high (29 for men and 27 for women). Still, most Americans, according to the Pew Research Center, still want to get married at some point in their lives.
In the final analysis, is online dating unique from, and does it yield superior romantic outcomes to, conventional offline dating? The answer to the uniqueness question is an unqualified yes: Online dating is pervasive, and it has fundamentally altered both the romantic acquaintance process and the process of compatibility matching. The answer to the superiority question is more qualified. Online dating offers access to potential partners whom people would be unlikely to meet through other avenues, and this access yields new romantic possibilities. On the other hand, the heavy emphasis on profile browsing at most dating sites has considerable downsides, and there is little reason to believe that current compatibility algorithms are especially effective.
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