Is Everyone Meeting Online?

So, on Saturday night my husband and I went to a really great dinner party.

Of the three other couples invited, we knew one couple very well, the hosts are new friends and the other couple we hadn’t yet met before. Everyone was incredibly interesting and so much fun – all  from different walks of life, a wide variety of careers, energetic personalities and a variety of ages.  Out of the evening’s conversations emerged that all four of the married couples attending this dinner party had met through online dating (three via and we met via eHarmony).

I think that’s pretty fascinating. I mean, I know that lots of people are using online dating to meet other people…but I’ve never really known so many other couples who met and married as a result of online dating (and certainly not all in one place). We have a ton of couple friends who met in more conventional ways (at work, introduced by a friend, at a bar, in grad school, etc.), so we often feel like the only couple who met online. Until now…

So, how prevalent is relationship success from online dating?

New data suggests that online dating accounts for a sizeable portion of new marriages and relationships. In fact, if current trends hold, by 2015 it may be the absolute most common way for somebody to enter in to a new relationship or meet their future spouse.

Take this with a grain of salt but a 2010 study conducted by found that after questioning 7,000 marriages, 38% of couples met through family and friends, 27% met through school, while 17% met online. And though marriages stemming from online meetings are still in third place, it’s important to keep in mind that the figure has risen from a base of 0% over the past 15 years. That’s a rather meteoric rise that has cut in to the “marriage market share” of other categories significantly.

In addition, sociologists Michael Rosenfeld and Reuben Thomas, at Stanford and CCNY respectively, released a working paper at the 2010 American Sociological Association meeting. They found in their study that approximately 25% of new marriages originated from online meetings.

So, while the prevalence of online dating has skyrocketed in the last decade, it’s still not the primary way people are meeting these days….but someday, it just might be.

Tune in tomorrow when I’ll discuss how to choose an online dating site to fit what you’re looking for.

In the meantime, are you dating online? If so…what’s the best experience you’ve had with it…and what was the worst experience? Spill… 🙂

Photo credit:Lel4nd’s Flickr photostream


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Categories: Online Dating


I'm a married publicist who holds a Master's degree in psychology, with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy. I'd like to make the world a better relationship at a time.

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7 Comments on “Is Everyone Meeting Online?”

  1. Really!?
    November 21, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    Yup! Online dating. Best experience: Met and dated some wonderful men I NEVER would have met or been OPEN to otherwise. Meaning, if I met them in person, I’m not sure I would have given them a chance.

    Awful? Gosh…I just don’t have the time, which is why I created a blog for this very reason. I’ll have to think of my worst dat eand share it. But which one? 🙂

  2. November 22, 2011 at 2:55 am #

    I agree. That’s the most amazing thing about online dating. I met so many interesting people I wouldn’t have other wise had the chance to meet. In fact, my husband and I joke that we would never have otherwise met because while we lived in the same city, we didn’t go to any of the same places, we didn’t have any friends in common, we didn’t work in the same industry…we just had no reason to cross paths. What a huge shame it would have been to have missed one another!

    LOL…I know what you mean – just pick and post one that stands out…we all know how many zillion funny or bad date stories we all have…

  3. November 29, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    Raising hand here – I online dated back in 2005 and it was a blast and horrifying at the same time.

    The best part is I met my DH.

    I have a few stories as well and once in a while I get to trot one out and share. Many many laughs still.

    • February 13, 2012 at 8:00 am #

      I would love to have you share some of your stories with me. As my blog is all about dating stories I would love to be able to hear some of yours. Check it out and leave me an email or a comment.

  4. smileysnowgirl
    December 4, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

    Online dating???!!! Most weddings that I have attended over the last 5 years have ALL met online some way or another. I have dated on and off online for many years. I just recently decided to blog about my experiences because they are definitely interesting to say the least! 🙂 It is an outlet for me to write about it and to add humor to my stories. So thank you for “liking” one of my posts! I have some funny stories out there that I’ve written about and need to write about some I have had throughout the years. But I don’t give up. I am sure I will discover my crazy inner self through this process as well! haha

    Again, thanks for your “like” and I look forward to reading more of your posts!

  5. December 6, 2011 at 8:14 pm #

    Over the last year I have dated all people I met online and it’s been a really terrific experience…. Best experience has to be Captain Amazing. We met originally on Plenty of Fish, and although we decided not to pursue a romantic relationship together, he is one of the absolute closest friends I’ve ever had. He is also someone I would have never met otherwise, since we run in different circles.

    I am someone who is waiting for the RIGHT one to come along, not just anyone. My worst experiences have been in trying to politely tell someone I don’t think we’re a good match. When you meet someone in person you learn so much about them. You can see his body language, hear the rythum of his speech and feel his aura. These are things you can’t feel online or via text message, so I have end up having “that talk” a lot in the past year. More often than not men say (or type) something mean and nasty as parting remarks. That’s definitely my least favorite part!

  6. December 19, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

    How did I miss this one?
    It just seems that is how it’s going. Unless you have friends that can hook you up, or meet someone at work, it’s really hard – people just don’t come up to you and strike up a conversation very often. (in my experience only creeps approach you on the street).

    I have made a couple of good friends out of it, had some really bad experiences… but I’m back on the horse again and hoping for the best 😉 we singles have to stay positive! 🙂

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