Does it really matter how you meet your spouse? Probably not, but a new study is trying to argue it does.
Titled "Relative Strangers: The Importance of Social Capital for Marriage," the study found that 12% of couples who meet online get divorced within the first three years of marriage compared to 2% of couples who meet through friends or family.
Conducted by the Marriage Foundation and assembled by the UK-based polling company Savanta ComRes, researchers polled over 2,000 adults who were at least 30 years old and married at least once in their lives.
The results also show that after seven years, those statistics increase to 17% and 10% respectively.
In addition, 8% of couples who met in school and 7% of spouses who met at work divorced within the first three years.
“These figures are troubling given the increasing popularity of couples meeting online," the Marriage Foundation’s research director, Harry Benson, said in a statement released Sunday. "It suggests that in the early years of marriage, couples who meet this way might lack sufficient social capital or close support networks around them to deal with all the challenges they face."
It adds, “for online couples, wider social bonds between families and friends have to form from scratch rather than being well-established over years or even decades… it is therefore not entirely unsurprising that the input of family, friends, or co-workers reduces the risk of making a hasty mistake.”
Whether or not a person buys into this study, it shouldn’t discourage someone from finding compatibility with someone online. After all, what the study doesn’t say is that the other 88% of couples who do meet online seem to have a successful marriage.