We have all done it, swiped left, clicked, “Like,” sent a “Wink,” etc. Online dating has become the de facto way to date, especially during the last two years. Indeed, for most of our younger friends, it is hard to find a couple, married or otherwise, that did not originally meet on a dating app or website. But, recent studies are finding that couples that met in these places may be getting divorces at increasing rates.
The recent study
This study, conducted by the Marriage Foundation, polled over 2,000 30-year-olds and above that had been married at least once. The responses were them put together a formatted by Savanta ComRes, a UK-based polling company. According to the study, “Relative Strangers: The Importance of Social Capital for Marriage,” if a married couple met on a dating website or app, that couple has a higher change of getting a divorce than those that met offline.
Specifically, when the study looked at the first three years of marriage, they found that only about 2% of couples that met through friends divorced, but for those that met online, that number increase to a whopping 12%. While not as high, couples that met in school divorced at an 8% rate and those that met at work were at 7%. At seven years, for those couples that were introduced by friends, the divorce percentage goes up to 10% and 17%, respectively.
According to the Marriage Foundation, the reason behind these numbers is likely because people are marring as relative strangers. Since they are meeting without any prior connection, they do not have the support of close support networks or social capital. In other words, there is no support structure to help the couples face the challenges of marriage.
So, if we do not want to divorce, we should cancel our online dating profiles?
Not necessarily. The study’s researchers suggest that this disparity due to lack of support can be solved, if Monroe, North Carolina, couples endeavor to gain a support structure and social capital prior to marriage, this could help close the divorce gap.