Lasting Virtual Connection

More than one-third of contemporary marriages begin with an online spark and, interestingly, Cupid’s arrow may be a little more effective when it strikes virtually, according to new research.

A new study, funded by the online dating site eHarmony, was published recently in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers found that of 20,000 Americans who got married between 2005 and 2012, some 35 percent met online. Interestingly, while 8 percent of the couples who met offline got separated or divorced, just six percent of the online-connecting couples did.

The researchers also found higher rates of marital satisfaction reported amongst couples who met online than they did among couples who met in more traditional, expected places such as bars or at college or through professional contact. While the difference in marriage survival rates may not be large enough to impress skeptics, the takeaway here may be that online dating, despite some of its pitfalls, may not be a bad way to make a meaningful, lasting connection.