Couples that meet online are six times more likely to divorce
A study by the Marriage Foundation has revealed that couples who meet on dating apps are six times more likely to get divorced within the first three years of marriage.
The survey of 2,027 married adults aged 30 and over, also found that meeting a partner online now accounts for a third of marriages in the last two years, and is the most popular place to meet a potential spouse. In contrast, just 1% of marriages in the 1990s and 7% in the 2000s were between couples that had met online.
The survey also revealed that the highest divorce rates between those married for a decade, occur in couples who have either met in the workplace (24%) or met online (20%), closely followed by 19% who met in a bar or restaurant. Couples that met via friends and family have a 15% divorce rate and those most likely to stay together for a decade are couples that met at school or university with just a 13% divorce rate.
Harry Benson, research director of the Marriage Foundation, told the Sunday Times that the reason why online dating may end in such high divorce rates is because partners who meet on the internet may “lack sufficient social capital or close support networks around them to deal with all the challenges they face when compared to those who met via friends, family or neighbours”. Suggesting that those who meet virtually are a greater risk of divorce because they could be “relative strangers” when they get married.
“Our findings in no way undermine, or diminish the vital role of online dating. But it does highlight the greater risks and difficulties of getting to know a relative stranger where reliable sources of background information and subsequent social support are less readily available.”
But the Marriage Foundation study did not examine whether there was any difference between divorce rates for those who used relationship sites such as eharmony and Match, in contrast to users of more casual dating sites such as Tinder and Grinder.
Previous research has however found that despite apparent differences between the users of both types of dating apps, attitudes to marriage remained fairly consistent across the board. A survey conducted by One Poll, asked 2,000 young unmarried adults about their attitudes towards marriage and 89% of those who were in a relationship via a casual dating app such as Tinder or Grindr, said they wanted to marry. Those who met through a relationship dating site were slightly less open to marriage at 84%.