Forget the bar — dating apps are the modern way to meet a partner these days. Even prior to the pandemic, it was so much easier (and often infinitely more entertaining) to scroll through a feed of potential prospects from the comfort of your own home. But does online dating ensure a happily-ever-after? Not necessarily, according to a new study from the UK-based Savanta ComRes (and commissioned by the non-profit, non-religious Marriage Foundation).
Researchers discovered that finding love online comes with the caveat of higher divorce rates. The findings show that couples who met on dating apps are a whopping six times more likely to divorce in within the first three years of marriage compared to those who met in person through mutual friends or at a work event.
The study, which featured 2,017 married adults over the age of 30, also revealed that there was no difference between those who met on “hook-up-friendly” apps like Tinder versus those who plunked down their money on sites such as eHarmony. So, in a nutshell, it appears any relationship that hit the ground running due to an online service or app is doomed to a higher likelihood of divorce. But should we really be worried?
Related: 21 sex myths everyone thinks are true.
Why are there higher divorce rates for people who meet online?
The survey also concluded that, in the UK, a third of marriages (32 per cent) in the last two years have been a result of meeting online (compared to only seven per cent in the early 2000s). As for why there are higher divorce rates among those who meet via online services and apps? It turns out, the answer is a bit layered.
According to the report, “gathering reliable information about the long-term character of the person you are dating or marrying is quite obviously more difficult for couples who meet online without input from mutual friends or family or other community.”
It adds, “for online couples, wider social bonds between families and friends have to form from scratch rather than being well-established over years or even decades… it is therefore not entirely unsurprising that the input of family, friends or co-workers reduces the risk of making a hasty mistake.”
Whether or not a person buys into that theory, it shouldn’t discourage someone from finding compatibility with someone online. After all, dating is hard enough without all the additional pressure of where or when you should meet “the one.” Why not just enjoy the process as much as you can, be it in person or via app, and see where it leads?
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