Americans increasingly are spending more and more time on the internet. From facebook for keeping up with friends, Amazon for buying anything you would ever need, and Google for pretty much everything, there are few things that can't be accomplished online. Along with this growth in connectedness and accessibility has come a growth in online dating. Online dating, however, has become stigmatized to a certain extent, with the idea that it is not serious and has a higher chance of ending with a break up or divorce.
However, recent studies have proven that wrong. Time magazine recently published an article indicating that, far from being less successful, marriages resulting from relationships started online are actually statistically less likely to end in divorce. A Harris Poll conducted between 2005 and 2012 determined that 35% of married couples met online in those seven years. The rate of divorce for the people who met offline was 8%, while the rate of divorce for people who met online was only 6%. Taking into account factors such as income, age, and educational level, the results narrowed a bit, but there remained a statistically significant difference between people meeting online and offline.
There remains a question as to whether meeting online or offline was the determinative factor of success in the relationship, however. Only approximately 15% of people making less than $15,000/year met online, as opposed to 41% of those making $100,000 or more. Because higher income is a factor in predicting a successful marriage, it may be that those who met online are more likely to have a successful marriage because they will likely not have serious financial issues later on.
It may also have something to do with personality. Online dating sites varied in their success rates, with EHarmony the best. This may be because it charges for use, and attracts only people who are serious about settling down. Normally, meeting offline does not weed down the population to only people who are ready to settle down. People may also be more comfortable being themselves online, without the need to appear differently in person. More truthfulness is correlated with a more successful marriage.
It has not yet been determinatively proven that meeting online is less likely to lead to divorce than meeting in person. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that meeting online does not make you any more likely to divorce. If you're about to walk down the aisle after meeting either online or in person, you still need to make plans to have a successful marriage. Drafting a prenuptial agreement allows all matters to be disclosed, and a plan worked out for the treatment of any assets you may possess. Contact our Pittsburgh family law attorneys today to discuss your divorce case!