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The Effects of Online Dating

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Date added: 19-02-05

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Online dating has become a revolutionary phenomenon that millions of people use worldwide in search of love, companionship, and casual hookups. Online dating has posed several benefits and challenges. In this age of digital match-making services, there has been a change in the fundamental nature of social networks and human interaction. In the quest for love and or lust, communities are being connected in novel ways, which include breaking down boundaries and possibly making stronger long-term relationships. The digital revolution has shaped the human appetite for sex and companionship, but it has also changed the way we form relationships. New evidence is emerging that there has been a profound effect on dating behavior.

People create social links with others that were previously nonexistent. But the most profound effect leads to the biggest decision that people make which is choosing the right mate. Offline, people were accustomed to meeting people who are found in family networks, or among circles of friends and colleagues. People who meet online are more likely to be strangers, but in the world of digital dating there are a greater choice of strangers who may lead to potential partners for you to choose from. There has been a limited amount of research the status of relationships while online dating, evidence has proven that marriage and divorce rates have been affected and that opportunities online are encouraging infidelity. With a surmountable amount of online dating apps, people tend to gravitate to sights that have similarities to their personal beliefs and values.

Meeting people online can lead to mixed experiences. Some establish satisfying relationships while others have stories filled with confusion and frustration. There has been a reconfiguration of marriage and oftentimes the sustainability of relationships offline has proven to have its challenges (Whitty 2008). Many people with active religious affiliation lean more to sights that cater to spiritual like-minded people. People who decide to disclose their religious affiliations may seek to find romantic partnership in people with the same religious affiliations (Young, Dutta, Gopal 2018).

The purpose of this study is to identify relationship patterns among people who have experienced marriage and divorce via dating someone that they met online. This study will also examine the role that religious affiliations have on meeting potential mates. Studies have shown that couples who met online are three times more likely to get divorced than those who met offline and face-to face. People are getting married and they are having happy relationships, but some of the marriages are not lasting. Many people are looking to date and create relationships with people of the same faith, but people are trending more around spirituality opposed to defining religion. Online users are finding it easier to date within the same faith and that faith is the most important factor when it comes to finding a partner. This study will provide more insight into these factors and give several explanations and analysis on the current state of online dating.

Theoretical Perspectives

While examining the effects of online dating, we must examine the components of choice and how the multiplicity of consumers people has the tendency to become overwhelmed and experience “memory confabulations while misremembering details of particular profiles. The dating criteria becomes muddled and people began to make making decisions that do not align with their idealized mating decisions. With the extensive array of options, consumers are highly appealed and constantly seek better options. As this pertains to marriage and divorce rates, people began to less indispensable when more options are just a click and a swipe away. The Choice Theory, also known as “overchoice” is defined by Wikipedia takes place when the advantages of diversity and individualization are canceled by the complexity of the consumers decision-making process.

The Choice Overload theory is a cognitive process in which people have a difficult time deciding when faced with many options. The Choice Overload theory predicts that larger choice sets would result in weaker romantic matches and more relationship instability (Rosenfeld 2017). In an informal 2002 of divorce lawyers, findings show that 68 percent of the divorce cases involved one party meeting a new love interest over the internet (Rosenfeld 2017). The ability of the Internet expanded the supply of new people that any individual can meet. Couples who met on dating apps and had many choices have higher choices and lower rates of transition to marriage. Despite the growth of online dating and the choice of several prospects, the anecdotal evidence of couples meeting and marrying online contain doubt over the frequency and vitality of successful match-making (Dutton, Helsper, Whitty, Li, Buckwalter, Lee 2009).

The Effects of online dating and religion

In the early stages of online dating, the acceptance of secular social changes was not adopted in the religious community. Products that catered to the conservative Christian subculture were generally deemed unsuitable for the mainstream audience. Many of the romantic relationships occurred under the watchful eye of friends, family members and church leaders and marriages tended to be religiously and racially homogenous. But with the emergence of dating apps such as Christian Mingle, these services help to ensure that conservative evangelicals marry and raise children within the same faith all while maintaining prominence nationally for future generations. People with a high level of religious saliency are less likely to entertain the idea of online dating. Over time, religious individuals began to adapt and negotiate boundaries with secular culture over time and online dating became a possibility for more viable options under certain conditions (Gurrentz 2016). Those with higher religiosity tend to be more traditional and have lower divorce rates, lower rates of cohabitation, and lower rates of interfaith marriage (Gurrentz 2016). The goal among very religious individuals is to resist the practices of the secular culture. Despite certain oppositions, dating sites have increasingly become a driving force in creating new faith-based families.

The effects of marriage and divorce rates among online daters

Previous studies have given mixed reviews on the state of marriage and divorce among online daters. Some project stronger and happier marriages while other report that longevity is less common among married couples who met online. The break-up rates for marital and non-marital romantic relationships are higher for couples who met online versus couple who met offline though other outlets (Paul 2014). There are other factors that cause the dissolution of marriage for online daters, but the main factor entails the lack of relationship quality. The length of the relationship is also a determining factor of weather stay married or get divorced. The hurdle of getting to marriage is inconsistent among online daters. Online couples have lower odds of getting married (Paul 2014). Age distributions are factors in marriage rates among online daters. The largest proportion of married couples who met online were middle aged, which consist of ages 25-55 years of age in countries like Australia, UK, and Spain (Dutton, Whitty, Helsper, Li, Buckwalter, Lee 2009).

H1: There is a positive relationship between the success of marriage rates and divorce rates.

Based on prior research I expect to find that marriages are affected by quality relationships among online daters and divorce rates are higher for couples who met while online dating.

H2: There is a positive relationship between couples who met online and have distinct religious preferences while dating.

Based on prior research I expect to find than couples who have a religious preference while dating online, seek partners with the same religious beliefs and values.


There are negative and positive effects of online dating. There was once a stigma associated with online dating, but it has diminished considerably within the last decade. Several Americans suggest that online dating is a great way to meet people and with an unlimited amount of choices, match-making is inevitable. But the over exertion of entertaining several choices, it may have short-term and long-term effects. In a world filled with the need for instant gratification, settling down may seem far-fetched, but when settling down does become an option, to what extent does a person make a life-long commitment? Marriage rates are common among online daters while not staying married is also common. There are certain factors that strengthen the bond in a committed relationship that may lead to marriage and religion must be considered as a factor. Online dating has changed the nature of society and has had a huge impact on dating behavior. Online dating is a main driver of change among people seeking relationships and as the world continues to evolve, changes will continue to arise in dating patterns and we can assume that the results will be a benefit to society.

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