Online dating has reached the point where it isn't weird to say you met someone via the internet anymore. Tinder is another story, but that's a digression for a different day. However, while sites like eHarmony and Match are quick to espouse their success rates (the former claims that 438 members marry every day) it turns out their data, much like OKCupid, might not be telling the whole truth. A recent joint-study (PDF) conducted by Michigan State University and Stanford found that people who met online weren't as likely to stay together for the long haul as their offline-matched counterparts. The separation and divorce rates for folks who'd paired up online was much higher than their offline compatriots, and more online-founded relationships tended to end within a year after the survey. Is Online Better Than Offline For Meeting Partners? states that those who met on the web were more likely to date than actually marry compared to people that'd met IRL, too -- by more than double.
As Playboy noticed, the paper states that perhaps the lack of thought that goes into online relationships is what has a malignant effect on them. Need a feel-good aspect to this story? The research also states that the keys to lasting relationships and marriages differs differ quite a bit. The trick to a long marriage, it says, is having a higher relationship quality, meaning, according to the paper, it's fulfilling and gratifying, irrespective of how long the relationship has existed. For daters, the success factor wasn't entirely surprising: partners being able to spend more time together to develop a relationship were less likely to call it quits. Maybe staying in with your significant other tonight instead of going out with your buddies could have long-term benefits -- call it a hunch.