A study conducted last year by the University of Chicago — somewhat dubiously funded by e Harmony — found that relationships that started online were more enduring than those where couples met in face-to-face settings, but the study wasn't without its flaws; of the 19,000 survey-takers included in the study's research group, online daters were generally older and had higher incomes than "regular" daters.
Possible sponsorship conflict of interest aside, this means that the previous good news about online dating was possibly just an artifact of the online daters' demographics — because it's been previously well-established that the older you are when you marry and the higher your income, the less likely you are to divorce.
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.
Online dating has just about lost its stigma, and more couples are meeting online than ever before — but the effects of this kind of social environment are not yet well understood.While online dating can certainly lead to meaningful relationships — more than a third of marriages start online — new research suggests that couples who meet online are also more likely to divorce.Still, online dating outcomes may not be quite as bad as headlines will imply.After all, there are also other factors at play (aside from easily measurable ones like age and income) when it comes to online dating.Online daters were also found to be less likely to marry their partners at all.
So much for our technologically-facilitated "happily ever afters." Interestingly, the new study contradicts other research that suggests meeting online actually leads to longer, happier marriages.