I was in a long-term relationship during the rise of Tinder. When I found myself single and ready to date again, I was skeptical of dating apps. The idea of meeting someone online felt forced, and the horror stories I heard from friends fueled my skepticism. I gave online dating a shot with low expectations. Perhaps it’s why it worked so well for me – I met my fiancé on Bumble soon after my first foray into the world of swiping.
The Percentage Of Marriages That Come From Online Dating
Since then, I’ve attended three weddings where the couple met online. Anecdotal evidence aside, all this begs the question: What percentage of marriages come from online dating these days? According to SimpleTexting data shared exclusively with Bustle, over 13% of daters got engaged or married after meeting through an app. This is in line with the findings of a Pew Research Center study that revealed that 12% of Americans have married or been in a committed relationship with someone they first met through a dating site or app.
“A growing number of marriages today can be attributed to online dating platforms, as more and more singles are relying on them to build meaningful relationships. The convenience they offer and the ability to tailor one’s search to their specific preferences have made them increasingly popular for finding long-term partners,” says Sam Holmes, a relationship counselor and the editor of Feel and Thrive.
The growing number of marriages that come from online dating is not surprising when you consider the fact that online dating is now the top way of meeting a love interest. A 2019 study showed that meeting online has become the most popular way couples meet, eclipsing meeting through friends for the first time around 2013.
The Benefits Of Meeting Your Future Spouse Online
Michael Rosenfeld, a sociologist at Stanford who has extensively studied online dating, shared some of the benefits of this trend in a Washington Post interview. “For people who have a hard time finding partners in their day-to-day, face-to-face life, the larger subset of potential partners online is a big advantage for them,” he said. “For folks who are meeting people everyday—really younger people in their early twenties—online dating is relevant, but it really becomes a powerful force for people in thin dating markets.” For example, if you’re in your 40s and divorced, a lot of people your age are already settled down. Online dating opens up more chances of meeting someone.
Rosenfeld also discovered that people who meet online tend to progress towards marriage faster than those who meet offline. According to him, there are two reasons for that. The first one is the ability to be more selective: “When you’re using online dating, and there’s the possibility of selecting on characteristics that you know you’re going to like, you’re going to know a lot more about people before a first date.” Additionally, the “information-gathering that courtship is really about is sped up by the information you can gather from the profiles and from a person before actually meeting them.”
Makes sense, right? Your partner pool expands, your ability to make choices increases, and you get to assess your compatibility more efficiently than when meeting in real life.
Interestingly, the journey of meeting online may also lead to happier, stronger relationships. Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) revealed that marriages that began online were slightly less likely to result in a marital break- up (separation or divorce) and were associated with slightly higher marital satisfaction than marriages that began offline.
Want To Get Married? Make Online Dating Work For You
You may be thinking, “Great. But 13% of marriages is not a lot.” Regardless of the data, successfully dating online is about making it work for you. Just like in the days before the internet existed, there will be people who are just looking to hook up and people you won’t connect with on dating apps. Plus, nurturing a relationship requires effort no matter how you meet. Instead of focusing on the odds of online dating leading to marriage, your best bet is to refine what you can control – the way you approach the process.
“When it comes to online dating, it is important for singles to keep an open mind and be realistic about their expectations. While it can be tempting to expect a perfect match with someone you find online, online dating is still about connecting in a meaningful way and building relationships. Additionally, a realistic and honest approach to online dating can actually increase the chances of finding someone compatible with your goals and values,” according to Holmes.
The Pew Research Center survey mentioned above showed that about 7 in 10 online daters think that lying to appear more desirable is common on dating platforms, so honesty is a crucial factor for success, both in terms of being honest yourself and using your discernment to identify potentially dishonest dates.
“With the right strategy, online dating can be a great tool to help you find your perfect partner. Start by asking yourself what kind of person you want to meet and be clear on your intentions, then narrow your search according to those parameters,” adds Holmes. “Once you’re engaging in conversations, keep things genuine and authentic to get to know the other person. Finally, don’t be afraid to take the conversation offline – a good relationship should begin in person.”
According to Daniel Conn, a relationship coach at RelationshipAdvisers.com, there are some online dating apps that are better for marriage than others. “If you are looking for a serious relationship or want to get married through online dating, I would recommend specialized dating sites like eHarmony, which will match you with compatible people based on a very extensive test.” He also suggests staying away from Tinder, which tends to be more hookup-oriented.
He’s onto something – eHarmony once revealed that 542 users a day get married through its platform. If you date with intention and show up with honesty and transparency, you could soon become part of the promising statistics about online dating and marriage.