I met my husband at a party in a bygone era. He had no online profile. Neither did I. We didn’t trade email addresses, as neither of us had one of those either. He seemed like a good guy–and a party was as good a venue as any for meeting a future spouse. He still seems like a good guy and I rather doubt I would have done any better if I had dated online (assuming that had been an option). But I guess I’m old fashioned, as a new study suggests that, on average, we can do better if we find our spouse using a computer.
In the decades since that long-gone, offline era, people have increasingly been using the Internet to search for compatible partners. In by far the largest study of its type, social neuroscientist John Cacioppo at the University of Chicago and his colleagues report today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that online meetings have resulted in a surprising number of successful marriages. From an online survey of 19,131 American adults who married between 2005 and 2012, the researchers revealed, for the first time, that a large proportion of marriages are emerging from online interactions. “I was astounded to see that over a third or marriages are now starting online. None of us knew that,” Cacioppo says.
Cacioppo’s team also found that meeting your spouse online was associated with a lower rate of marital breakups than were offline venues (5.96 versus 7.67 percent). And couples who met online also reported a higher rate of marital satisfaction than those who met without a computer intermediary.
Read the whole story: Scientific American
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