Online dating and marriage statistics

With one third of marriages now starting online, platforms such as Match.com, Ok Cupid, Tinder and Bumble are making us more diverse.There’s a direct correlation between the percentage of interracial marriages among newlyweds (which is now at the highest it’s ever been) and the popularisation of dating apps and sites.We are much less likely to travel in the same circles with people of very different backgrounds than we are to meet such folks online, after all.So more online pairings should lead to an increase in marriages between very different people. "It is intriguing that shortly after the introduction of the first dating websites in 1995, like Match.com, the percentage of new marriages created by interracial couples increased rapidly," the researchers note. Though the article goes into less detail on why this might be so, Ortega and Hergovich's models also predict that the strength of marriages should go up in a world where a great many people meet online (perhaps because we have a wider pool of possible partners to choose from? This too jives with observed reality."Research into the strength of marriage has found some evidence that married couples who meet online have lower rates of marital breakup than those who meet traditionally.

These days one third of marriages start with a few clicks or a swipe.

“It isn’t about being aggressive or angry, it’s about saying, ‘Come and sit at the table with us, let’s talk about this [together].’” There’s only one rule: man or woman, Bumble demands that its users adhere to what Troen calls Bumble’s “checkbox of principles”.

"Join our product if you are respectful, progressive and if you are looking for a meaningful connection," Troen says of their “set of morals, principles and values that are centred around equality”.

While this research is obviously in its early stages and it's far too early to say anything definitive about the total effect of online dating on society, these initial findings are a happy dose of optimism at a time when many negative, unintended consequences of the tech revolution are coming to the fore.

Fake news might be tearing us apart, complicated algorithms few understand are making life-altering decisions on our behalf, and internet companies are collecting vast troves of poorly secured data on us, but at least next time you're suffering through a bad Tinder date, you can at least tell yourself you're participating in a trend that might be helping to heal some of society's deepest divisions and make lifelong, mutually supportive unions more common.

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