Tips love

Last updated on November 22, 2013 | by Aet Suvari


Love online vs love offline – the Science!

If you had to put your money on a marriage where the couple found love online or a marriage that began in more traditional ways – which do think would last the longest? Would you back the online daters or is the notion of finding love online mostly marketing hype from big online dating sites?

Well, online dating really can lead to happy endings – people meet, get married and live relatively happy and fulfilled lives. It’s not like we didn’t know this already (at least we suspected…) but now there’s actually a study to prove it! And we are not talking about mumbo-jumbo pseudo-science here, no – an an actual science journal has published the results of a new research suggesting that as much as one in three Americans now meet their better halves online and that those marriages are happy ones and won’t end in divorce as often as the more traditional ones.

The study was funded by eHarmony, a website which goes into a great length in trying to find suitable matches for its users, matching them according to a very thorough and diverse compatibility testing system (and you can read more about eHarmony here), so we’re not surprised they were keen to find out what actually happens to those people they and other dating sites have matched up. Is it a success story all the way or do the couples later find out they are not so compatible after all and part ways?

Finding love online

The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and it looked closely at 20,000 couples who married between the years of 2005 and 2012. 35 per cent of them met each other online (although not just dating sites were involved) and only 6 per cent had ended their marriage whereas the percentage of breakups for married couples who had met each other somewhere else than online was higher – 8 per cent!

The authors of this study have also tried to interpret the findings, saying that people tend to be more honest with each other when they meet online as well as pointing out that the choice is much bigger online plus you generally meet people with the like-minded interest of finding a possible long-term partner. We agree that while you might meet the love of your life in a bar or sitting on a train next to you during your every day commute, most of us are not that lucky. We’re just not at the right place at the right time. However, on an online dating site you’re always at the right place and the timing is totally up to you.

Love is a bit like a huge lottery win – only more common and therefore more likely to happen than a seven digit windfall. But it has one aspect that is the same and I sometimes point it out to myself when I feel particularly discouraged or fear that love might pass me by entirely. What I remind myself then is what my mum used to say to me when I was small and we passed by a lottery ticket counter. “You have to give luck a chance,” she would say and buy us a ticket. And when I think of that I know I have to keep looking at the right place. It’s the only sure way you’re really giving love a chance to find you.

Photo credit to thomas-r-stegelmann on Flickr, thanks!

About the Author

has been reviewing and writing about the world of online dating since 2008 and the launch of Online Dating Help. A stickler for promoting ethical practices within the UK dating industry she champions the sites that get it right while highlighting those holding it back. You can follow her on Google+

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