Looking for a spouse or a companion

September 25, 2014, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc
Credit: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

The increasing popularity of social media, online dating sites, and mobile applications for meeting people and initiating relationships has made online dating an effective means of finding a future spouse. The intriguing results of a new study that extends this comparison of online/offline meeting venues to include non-marital relationships, and explores whether break-up rates for both marital and non-marital relationships differ depending on whether a couple first met online or offline are reported in an article in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.

In the article "Is Online Better Than Offline for Meeting Partners? Depends: Are You Looking to Marry Or to Date?" Aditi Paul, Michigan State University, East Lansing, provides data showing higher break-up rates for couples who met online compared to offline whether they were in marital or non-marital romantic relationships. Additional factors besides the meeting venue can help predict whether a couple will stay together or break up, according to the author; these may differ for marital versus non- relationships and include the quality and duration of the relationship.

"The time-tested qualities of trust and intimacy still remain important factors on determining whether a couple stays together, regardless of whether they meet offline or online," says Editor-in-Chief Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCB, BCN, Virtual Reality Medical Institute, Brussels, Belgium and Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California.

Explore further: Meeting online leads to happier, more enduring marriages, study finds

More information: The article is available free on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking website until October 25, 2014.

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