Good news, online daters! Your next relationship is more likely to last than that of your non-Internet-y peers. A new study from eHarmony (and independently verified) found that more people than ever are finding their mates online. A survey of 19,000 married people found that a third of them met their significant other via an online dating site. And those who met online reported higher levels of satisfaction in their marriages. Couples who met online were also less likely to break up or get divorced.
But just because two people met online doesn’t necessarily mean they were using an online dating site. While 45 percent of the people surveyed were on some matchmaking site, 20 percent met their mate via social networks, and another 10 percent through online chat rooms.
Why might meeting online work so well?
In part, it’s likely because people can spend a lot of time figuring out who the other person is without being swayed by stuff like looks and sexual chemistry. There’s also a certain amount of freedom the online space gives users in allowing them to safely open up to strangers. Plus, online communities like chat rooms ensure that potential mates share some common interests. As the stigma of meeting online slowly wears away, I think we’ll see even more people hooking up that way.
So should you run out right now and sign up for OK Cupid? It couldn’t hurt. [PNAS]
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