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Are couples who meet on the internet more likely to divorce?

If you are looking for a long-lasting relationship and marriage, online dating should be avoided, states a recent study.

Figures compiled by the Michigan State University in the US show that couples who met though online dating platforms are 28% more likely to separate within the first 12 months of their relationship.

The study analysed more than 4,000 couples. The article, published in this month's 'Cyberpsychology, Behaviour, and Social Networking' journal, compared dating couples and married couples who met both online and offline.

The study found that partners who met through 'traditional' ways, such as work, socialising and friends, have more stable and long-lasting relationships. By contrast, those who met on the internet have poorer relationships which are likely to fail fairly quickly.

The study showed that 67% of the people surveyed who had met their partners' offline were married. This compared to 32% of the 'online' participants who had got married.

Dr Aditi Paul, author of the report, spoke of how finding love online could quash the need to get married.

"Even though a large percentage of marriages in recent years have resulted from couples meeting online, looking for partners online may potentially suppress the desire for getting married", said the author of the study.

Break up rates higher

Dr Paul went on to talk about how separation rates are higher amongst couples who met on the internet. Over the course of the survey 8% of the 'online' couples were divorced or separated, compared to just 2% of couples who had met through means other than the internet.

"Furthermore the breakup rates for both marital and non-marital romantic relationship were found to be higher for couples who met online than couples who met through offline ventures", said Dr Paul.

The new research by Michigan University also suggests that a huge 86% of participants using online dating were concerned that daters' profiles were inaccurate and contained misleading information. Consequently, trust in one another may have been jeopardised in the early stage of the relationship.


However, the findings of the Michigan State University starkly contradict to a report compiled by the University of Chicago. The study, which was funded by the online dating company eHarmony, suggested couples who met on the interne had stronger relationships.

According to statistics, in the UK around 20% of heterosexual couples met online, whilst 70% of homosexual couples met through the internet.

The advantages and disadvantages of online dating have been debated by people since the practice of finding love online began to gather momentum. Whilst concerns about inaccurate profiles and couples literally 'shopping' for dates through the likes of Tinder's 'swiping' function may be condemned for creating relationships that are insecure and don't last, there are plenty of couples who met online and are happily married or still in a relationship many years later.

What are your thoughts about online dating? Perhaps you met your partner online and are now happily married? Or do you think the very nature of online dating spawns a culture of 'date shopping' and unstable relationships? We'd love to hear your thoughts.

If you do have any questions or concerns about any aspect of divorce and separation and would like to friendly and professional advice, get in touch with Tracey Miller Family Law.