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Couples that Meet Online Far More Likely to have Marriages End in Divorce

Dan Joseph
By Dan Joseph | October 9, 2014 | 12:04 PM EDT

Couples who get married after meeting online are four times more likely to divorce than couples who meet in a more traditional way.

Those are the findings of a recent study conducted at Michigan State University which examined recent trends in how relationships that begin on the Internet have evolved since the inception of online dating.

The study found that one in ten Americans have used an online dating service to find a partner and two-thirds of these users have gone on an actual date with someone they met on the site.  Nearly 50% of those surveyed reported looking for marital relationships on dating sites.

While couples who met online were statistically found to be about as likely to end a relationship as an offline couple, the divorce rate for the couples who met online and then got married was far higher.

Of those studied, 8% of couples who met online had ended their marriages two years later, compared to 2% who met offline and tied the knot.

Despite the high divorce rate, the study found that 60% of those who are currently in romantic relationships that began online are not married.  This could be due to the relative newness of the online dating platform as well as the fact that online couples tend to break up more frequently than couples who met offline.

In its conclusion, the study speculated that the practice of looking for partners online may itself “suppress the desire for getting married” leading to more problems within the married relationship once it begins.

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