How did you meet your partner? Chances may be, online. But if you’re planning to get married, there may be some bad news in store.
Couples who meet online are more likely to divorce in the first stages of marriage, according to a survey.
The charity Marriage Foundation found that divorce is six times more likely for those who met through dating apps and other online forms compared to people who met at university or through friends and family.
But don’t fret too much – the statistics for getting divorced are actually pretty low.
The charity’s research of 2,000 married couples found that people who met online since the year 2000 had a 12% chance of getting divorced in the first year of marriage. In comparison, the figure was much lower for people who met socially – with a possibility of 2%.
But, just in case you were about to get cold feet, remember that a 12% chance of divorce isn’t particularly high – it’s just that others have a lower chance of separating.
The reason being for the vast difference may be our social connections, said The Marriage Foundation.
When people meet via friends and family, their social networks support them through the initial stages – your loved ones are likely to introduce you to people who have some interests and common ground.
In contrast, couples who meet online have relatively limited information about one another, and this may result in their later demise.
Harry Benson, the research director at Marriage Foundation, said the results are “troubling”.
“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 when compared to those who met via friends, family or neighbours,” he said.
“Over time this disparity disappears, but the question is why does it exist in the first place?”
Savanta ComRes, the market research consultancy which carried out the survey, said online couples have a disadvantage as they have to start from scratch.
They said: “Our findings in no way undermines or diminishes 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.”