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Study: Online marriages happier

Slovakian Alpine ski athlete Veronika Velez- Zuzulova  (R) kisses her husband  and condition coach in her team Romain Velez of France after their church wedding ceremony at the St. Martin's Cathedral in Bratislava, on April 27, 2012. AFP PHOTO/SAMUEL KUBANI        (Photo credit should read SAMUEL KUBANI/AFP/GettyImages)
Photograph by AFP/Getty Images

Online dating has come a long, long way: Up until recently, signing up for Match.com was considered the last-ditch resort for the rejects of the romantic world. Yet a new study argues quite the opposite may be true today.

A study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences estimated than 35 percent of married couples now meet online. Of those, 45 percent met on dating sites, the rest met via online social networks, chat rooms, or other virtual venues.

But here’s what really surprised us: The study also found that relationships sparked online were slightly happier and less likely to split up than couples who met the “traditional” way—at parties, at work, or other face-to-face social functions. What’s up with that? The study’s lead author, John Cacioppo, a psychologist and director of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago, theorizes that dating sites may “attract people who are serious about getting married.” So, as a result, they’re more grateful once they get hitched.

Still, we’re skeptical, only because the study was commissioned by online dating site eHarmony, which paid Harris Interactive $130,000 to spin the numbers. What’s more, Cacioppo is a member of eHarmony’s Scientific Advisory Board. Nonetheless, we think this research is well worth pondering if you’ve pooh-poohed Internet dating in the past, for yourself or others. Many couples are still embarrassed to admit that they met online. We say go ahead and take heart in the fact that your relationship may be stronger as a result.

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