Couples who meet via online dating are more likely to break up

Cupid is not going to be OK when he hears this news. According to a new study published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, couples who meet via online dating are less likely to stay together than couples who first encounter each other IRL.

Recent research from eHarmony found that one in three marriages starts online and other studies have suggested that meeting a spouse on the internet corresponds with lower divorce rates. But this new study included couples who didn’t marry or live together, and came to some different conclusions.

The researchers surveyed 4002 people who were representative of society as a whole. They found that 60% of couples who met online weren’t married and that online daters were less likely to get married, in part because the websites gave the impression that there were a lot more potential partners to choose from. People were also slower to trust people they met on the internet, with 86% of people initially concerned that their online beaus might be liars.

But even when they did take their time to make a commitment, couples who met online were still more likely to call it quits. And maybe this isn’t such bad news for dating sites: if people are more likely to split up with someone they meet online, then it makes them more likely to keep coming back (or trying out the new sites and apps on the block). Sadly, what’s bad for the heart is good for business.

But there is some good news if you’ve just met the potential love of your life through a website: as Psych Central reports, the study also found that the longer couples stayed together, the less likely they were to break up, no matter how they met. And the researchers note that while how couples met was a factor in their success, compatibility was too:  ‘Relationship quality and duration of relationship were found to be significant factors that predicted if couples would stay together or break up.’

Image via Pixabay.

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Diane Shipley

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