Are Online Matches the Fastest Way to the Altar?

asian-man-chatting-online-0614137According to the results of a somewhat controversial study, people who meet online are more likely to later wed and are happier than couples who meet offline. The study was led by John Cacioppo, psychologist and director of the University of Chicago’s Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience. Cacioppo is also on the Scientific Advisory Board of eHarmony, the organization that funded the study. However, Cacioppo insists that his research, which involved over 19,000 couples who met and married between 2005 and 2012, was not influenced by his affiliation with eHarmony.

Eli Finkel, a social psychologist with Northwestern University, seems to agree with the results, although he does believe the findings may be somewhat biased to favor dating websites. “Does this study suggest that meeting online is a compelling way to meet a partner who is a good marriage prospect for you?” asks Finkel. “The answer is ‘absolutely.'” But he cautions that all of the research on the topic is still in its infancy and despite the high numbers of online relationships that end in marriage, more marriages still begin with people who meet offline.

Michael Rosenfeld, a sociologist at Stanford University in California also agrees that the findings are within reason. In fact, Cacioppo’s study revealed that nearly one third of all marriages now begin with online matchmaking, a finding that is only slightly higher than the 22% that Rosenberg reported in his own research.

With regard to the claim that online marriages are happier than offline marriages, Rosenberg and Finkel believe the verdict is still out on that one. But Rosenberg did offer further support for the trend toward online matchmaking by adding that his most recent review of nearly 1,000 couples showed that marriage rates were twice as high for the online couples when compared to the couples who met offline. When we consider all of this information, it appears that marriages are still the result of two people finding each other and falling in love, online or off.

Jayson, Sharon. (2013). Study: More than a third of new marriages start online. USA Today (n.d.): n. pag. Web.

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  • Edie


    June 14th, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Happier? How do you measure that? That is such a subjective thing, and don’t you think that some couples who meet online and then get married might lie about how strong their relationship really is just so others won’t be so judgemental about the way that they met? I am not saying that this doesn’t work nfor some people because I am sure that it is or else the online dating sites wouldn’t continue to be so popular. But do you really think that in the end they are stronger just because they met online? Or maybe this is just the new normal?

  • mary


    June 14th, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    online or offline the important part is to remain content with each other.and the meeting place does not dictate that we are all spending more and more time online it is possible that more and more people are finding their life partners online.that does not mean online means a better marriage though!

  • keller


    June 15th, 2013 at 4:34 AM

    Just because they could be the FASTEST way to thataltar, that doesn’t mean that it’s the healthiest way, right? I am fine with however you meet your future spouse. Some of us will meet online, some in a bar, some in church, grocery store, whatever. There is no judgement there. But no matter where you meet there has to be time for you to learn about each other and grow together as a couple, and that is a real failing that I see in the state of many marriages today. I think that many times they are so ready to just be married and have that wedding that they rush in and don’t give too much thought to the actual future with this person. It is all about the moment and when that fades away that’s when you are left feeling like there is no marriage there anmore. It’s really not that there’s no marriage there anymore, but more likely that there just wasn’t the real structure there to begin with.

  • Rianna


    June 16th, 2013 at 8:00 AM

    There was a time when I was kind of embarassed to admit that I met my husband through an online dating service, but now I am not so embarassed by that anymore.
    We are the perfect match for one another, and I am not sure that we would have ever found each other had it not been for the dating website.
    It gave us time to really get to know each other and it made the msit sense for the two of us.

  • jacqueline


    June 16th, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    stopped reading when it said the researcher was associated with eHarmony.its just like Big Tobacco saying everything’s fine!

  • Sally


    June 17th, 2013 at 4:15 AM

    I feel that if you meet a partner on or off line, you should give it time, go slow and really get to know the other person. Everyone tries to put their best foot forward at the beginning. Give it some time. There is no rush. Get the chance to learn who each other are!

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