Thursday, 21 August 2008

Internet dating: better meeting online than in real life?

New Scientist reports: "You're now more likely to find your true love on the internet than at work or at a party, in the US at least - especially if you're over 45."

That comment was made in an article about an online survey of over 10,000 people aged between 20 and 54 who got married in the USA between 1 April 2006 and 31 March 2007, conducted by Harris Interactive for online matchmaking service eHarmony which claims to use scientific methods to work out compatibility (eHarmony press release).

The survey was of course meant to highlight how many couples who got married met via eHarmony, but the New Scientist article mentions more generally statistics (presumably based on the full report, which hasn't been made available publicly) showing that, of the couples surveyed:
  • 19% met online (compared with 14 % in a previous similar survey of marriages between 2004 and 2005)
  • 17% met at work (down from 20%)
  • 17% met through friends (unchanged).

31% of the married couples aged 45 - 54 met online, compared with 18% of 20 - 44-year-olds who did, suggesting (which I think makes sense) that younger people have more ways than older people to meet potential partners, e.g. through college.

But still, that's a decent percentage of couples of any age marrying who met online. So, Ian, quite right - there's absolutely no shame in being on dating sites or looking for relationships online!

(For anyone interested: how to write the perfect internet dating profile?; the secret to successful chat-up lines.)

1 comment:

Alaric Snell-Pym said...

As a pervasive communications network, the Internet offers great opportunities for people to meet each other; rather than being one of those who worries that it's destroying social life (the kids are sitting inside at screens rather than playing in the streets!), I think it's saving it from the pressures of modern lifestyles and paranoid fears of crime (the kids are chatting online while stuck in their houses, rather than sitting staring at the TV and being drip-fed advertising and dumbed-down stories)...