Meeting online may not lead to long marriage

Divorce rates are higher for couples meeting online, recent study statistics show. Yet, online meetings are the most popular way to meet a potential mate or spouse in today’s world.

Study Findings

Married couples who met online were six times more at risk for divorce during their first three years of marriage than couples meeting through family, friends or in college. This was true even when accounting for age, gender and occupation.

The Marriage Foundation conducted a study called Relative Strangers. They surveyed 2,000 married adults and categorized them by decade. As a result of the study, they discovered that online meetings accounted for 32% of people who married within the past two years.

The study found that of couples who were married since 2000:

During the first three years of marriage

  • Of couples who met online, 12% had a risk for divorce.
  • Couples who met through family friends or neighbors had 2% risk for divorce

After seven years of marriage

  • Couples meeting online had a 17% risk for divorce
  • Those meeting through family, friends or neighbors had a 10% risk for divorce.

After 10 years of marriage

  • Those couples meeting through the workplace had a 24% risk for divorce
  • When meeting online, the couples had a 20% risk for divorce
  • Couples meeting in a bar or restaurant had a 19% risk for divorce
  • Those meeting through family, friends or neighbors had a 15% risk for divorce

Why did divorce rates differ?

One possible reason is that online couples sometimes married as relative strangers. That is different than receiving input from their family, mutual friends or the community. You can grasp the long-term character of person more readily through a community connection. Social bonds develop over years or decades. However, when meeting someone online, the bonds you form with their families are new and you have to develop them.

Therefore, getting to know someone from online dating does not provide the same extent of background information and social support that you might find in a community.

On the other hand, online dating expands your options for choosing a compatible spouse. Searching within your immediate neighborhood is no longer a limitation.

The Law Office of Lindsey J. Wilson provides legal representation for clients in cases involving family law, custody and support, divorce, property division and modifications and enforcement.