dating apps divorce
Couple in conflict sitting on sofa at home, using smart phones.

Married Couples Who Met on Dating Apps More Likely to Divorce, Study Says ‘No Shit, Sherlock’

We all know that dating apps are best used for hook-ups, not happily-ever-after, right? Well, apparently some people don’t. They actually marry the mates they meet on Tinder, Hinge, and what have you. Unfortunately for those folks, the marriages are less likely to last than when couples meet via other methods.

So says new research by the Marriage Foundation and Savanta ComRes, which are based in the U.K. Their study, published under the title “Relative Strangers: The Importance of Social Capital for Marriage,” surveyed over 2,000 married adults over 30. They concluded that 12% of couples who meet online end up divorced three years after saying “I do,” in comparison to couples who meet through friends or family, 2% of which split in the same time period. Even those who stick it out longer – seven years, to be exact – are more likely to divorce if they met online versus through friends and family (17% and 10% respectively).

“These figures are troubling given the increasing popularity of couples meeting online,” said Harry Benson, the Marriage Foundation’s research director, in a statement. “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.”

In other words, if you meet your better half through people you already know, you’re probably more likely to turn to those same friends and family to help you through the rough patches – and because those loved ones presumably know both you and your spouse, we’d bet they’re more likely to support and root for your success as a couple. But when you get hitched to some rando from the internet, you might find you have fewer people in your social circle invested in your marriage.

“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,” Benson said. “Identifying these differences should allow those of us who provide support and instruction to couples thinking of tying the knot to better target the information we provide and encourage a focus on building social capital in the early years of marriage.”

The takeaway here, kids? Don’t marry someone you met on a dating app, if you can help it. And if you find yourself hopelessly in love with someone you swiped right on and decide to walk down the aisle with them, find ways to build up a network of support (like other married couples, of all ages) so that when the going gets tough, you’re less likely to give up.

Cover Photo: Vladimir Vladimirov (Getty Images)

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