About two weeks ago, a study/survey was released pointing out that marriages between people who meet on the internet tend to last longer, and be 'happier' than marriages between people who meet in more traditional ways.
Now, two disclaimers on the study: 1. It was paid for eHarmony, so you might ask if you can trust it anymore than any other study commissioned by someone who stands to gain from the results, and 2. I'm part of the statistic, because I met my wife through the internet, even though I didn't take part in this online survey(married too long, they wanted folks married between 2005-2012).
I don't doubt the results of this study. I'm not exactly sure how you quantify 'happier', but...you can quantify longer. My wife and I are happy(I can't imagine being happier, even with Kate Upton or Christina Hendricks along for the ride) and as we celebrated out 12th Wedding Anniversary this year, I think we have passed the longevity test.
Reading their article, I agree with most of their reasoning to 'why' this might be true...people who meet through the internet(as long as they are truthful to respective partners AND themselves) should feel like they are looking for the same things. There is a box you check if you want a long term relationship, and that gives you a leg up on the girl you are introduced to by friends, or bump into at a book store.
To my way of thinking though...that 'leg up' would be something that leads to a higher percentage of 'first dates' leading to marriage, not longer, happier marriages. Once you get to the point where you say 'I do' you should feel equally confident moving forward no matter how you met.
That is a stat I would would find much more interesting(and would be much tougher to come by)...what is the percentage of 'initial meetings' that lead to marriage 'internet vs. traditional? In my own case, the amazing woman who would become my wife was not the first, second, or probably even the 12th young lady I met through yahoo, the vast, vast majority of which were one and done type things. Yup...you might both be looking for a long term relationship, and you both might like Garth Brooks, but that doesn't mean you will cotton to each other.
Here is what I do know...the internet made it faster. Meeting up with those 12-15 young ladies through the internet was much less stressful for me than doing it the old fashioned way would have been. Asking a girl who has checked a block or sent you an e-mail to meet for coffee(or meet at the mall so she can stand you up, much like my future wife did 6 months before we met for real) is MUCH easier than walking up to a cute girl the old fashioned way, and asking her out. I would hazard a guess that in between playing sailor, I was probably on yahoo 18 months or so before meeting my wife. Left to my own devices, it would have taken 6-8 YEARS to work up the courage to ask a dozen girls out in person looking for the right one.
All in all, I'm glad it worked out the way it did.