Online dating is no longer considered weird. In fact, it has become so accepted that by 2035, it will be the primary way we meet our spouses, at least according to one 2019 study by eHarmony and the Imperial College Business School. And, by 2037, most children born will be from parents who met online, at least in the United Kingdom. Though, according to another study, those marriages that start online may not last as long as those that start in more traditional face-to-face manners.
The new study
The Marriage Foundation and UK-based polling company, Savanta ComRes, conducted a survey of adults who had been married at least once in their lives. These 30-year-olds and older adults were asked various questions about how they met their spouses, and the researchers broke the data down to online meeting, friend matchmakers and those that met in work and school.
The study’s findings
The study found that those couples that met on a dating app or online were divorcing at a 12% rate at three years and a 17% rate at seven. For those that were introduced by friends, the divorce rate was 2% at three years and 10% at seven. For those that met in school or work, they had divorce rates around 8%. Since the researchers took into account demographics before releasing the percentages, they believe this unequivocally shows that people who first meet online and then marry have a significantly higher chance of divorce that only increases over time.
What is behind the huge difference in divorce rates?
According to the researchers, many of these marriages based on online meet-ups are between relative strangers. This is because, when we meet a spouse online, we have never met them, their friend or their family. We literally know nothing, except for what they tell us, and of course, since we always put our best foot forward online, what they tell us is not always 100% accurate. This likely explains the significant difference at the three-year mark because we finally have gotten to know who are spouse really is, and sometimes, we do not always like that person. And, at three years, there is less of a chance of children than at seven, which makes separating and divorcing much easier.
Are there deeper reasons?
Yes. According to the researchers, they believe another huge part of this divorce rate difference is that those Brighton Howell, Michigan, couples that meet online have no social equity, meaning since they are new, our social circles and families have not “bought” into the relationship, which means there is less support during the marriage.