When it comes to love, the algorithms may know better than your mom.
A nationally representative scientific sample of over 19,000 married and divorced people found that almost 35% of couples who married between 2005 and 2012 originally met each other online. The couples who met online were less likely to divorce, even after controlling for age, education, income, and race. Meeting over the web was also independently correlated with higher levels of marital satisfaction.
This study was unusual because it actually discriminated between types of online venues. While a whopping 45% of the total who met online did it the old-fashioned way, on a designated dating site, and another 20% hooked up through social networking (no word whether Bang With Friends was involved), others took the less beaten path. 9.5% of happy couples first connected through chat rooms, 3.59% through multiplayer games, 2.13% through virtual worlds, and 1.89% through discussion groups or posting boards. 1.59% of respondents even met spouses through the comment section of a blog.
Unfortunately for fans of the accidental online meet-cute, it apparently makes a difference whether you first encounter your honey in the wholesome, well-lit hotel ballrooms of Match.com and eHarmony, the banal, crowded corridors of Facebook, or while costumed as a purple-and-blue Draenei in World of Warcraft.
Meeting on most dating sites, with the exception of Yahoo, predicted higher marital satisfaction; meeting in an online community or chatroom was worse for your union. (There were similar effects for couples who met in various venues offline: Meeting through work or a blind date was worse than meeting through school.)
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