Bookmark and Share Claims Their Marriages Are Successful

( - February 18, 2004) According to, a January 2004 survey of more than 800 married people in two distinct groups -- those who met on and those who met through any means other than an online dating service -- almost all marriages were reported to be happy, loving, romantic and likely to continue, measuring stronger in these qualities than the sample group that did not meet using an online dating service.

According to Dr. Andrea Baker, Associate Professor of Sociology at Ohio University, "Online couples can potentially have a higher success rate or longevity than offline couples, or those who did not meet first online."

In her research, Baker learned that couples who first met online:

* Have many interests in common, as they have either met in a virtual community or discussion group designed to share those topics, or they selected each other from a dating site because of similar or complementary leisure and work pursuits.

* Have chosen each other from a much wider pool of people than they would likely find in everyday life, increasing chances of compatible personalities and lifestyles.

* Wrote to each other online for a time, revealing themselves and getting to know more aspects of each other before they became involved in activities other than their own focused communication. They may have developed their own communication style that they can carry into their offline lives together.

* Related first by email or chat or later by phone without overemphasizing physical chemistry, which can attract people but can also overshadow conflicts or problematic issues that will surface later.'s Survey Findings:

* couples tended to date for a shorter period before getting married than the offline couples, with 72% of couples getting married after dating for a year or less, vs. only 36% of the other couples.

* Ninety percent of married people indicated they felt "very optimistic" about their marriage, vs. 75% of the other married people. Sixty-four percent of the group knew they were in love within 5 dates, vs. 57% of the group that did not meet using an online dating service.

* In both groups "quality of character" was the most likely to be cited as the attribute that made the person surveyed fall in love with their spouse. "Sense of humor" was the second choice for both groups.

* Eleven percent of the married people surveyed said they knew they were in love with their spouse before they ever met in person, vs. 5% of the married people who did not meet on an online dating service.

* More than half the married people surveyed know friends, colleagues or family members who also met their spouse online.

"Based on resignation survey data we calculate that more than 200,000 members met the person they were seeking on the site in 2003," said Trish McDermott, Vice President of Romance and resident dating expert at "We expect many of these relationships to lead to marriage and, based on our research, we're confident that marriages have real staying power."

Both surveys were anonymous and included marriages that formed in or after 1995 only. The couples in the survey were more likely to have been married in the last four years, while the couples who did not meet using an online dating service were more equally distributed over the period from 1995 to present.

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