Entries in eHarmony (3)


The Truth Behind Online Dating: What Motivates Users and Companies

Read Part 1 of this series here: The Truth Behind Online Dating: What Is and Isn’t Real

People are shallow. Psychological science has demonstrated that people often use a “what is beautiful is good” mental shortcut.1 People tend to assume positive characteristics about others based on physical attractiveness, even though these perceptions are not accurate. This bias for beauty has been shown in all types of contexts that are not limited to online dating. A classic study from the 60s on in-person dating found that a date’s hot body/face predicted romantic attraction more than personality traits, intelligence, popularity/charisma, mental health, and self-esteem.

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Internet Dating by the Numbers (Sponsored Post)

Internet dating received another vote of confidence recently. A study compiled by Harris Interactive showed that the percentage of marital break-ups for couples who met online was 25% lower than for those who met the old-fashioned way, which is a figure that will probably shock many people. 

According to the research, 25.7% of responders met their other half on eHarmony.com, making it the most popular dating website for lasting love. The responses, which were taken from a sample of approximately 20,000 people, showed that those who found each other online were more likely to stay together than couples who met through more traditional methods (for details of the research, click here). 

Online dating takes work in much the same way as meeting people in real life. It’s not a case of finding the right person straight away – but if the results of this latest research are anything to go by, you’ve got a better chance of finding someone you can stay with long-term, and build a steady and compassionate relationship with which will stand the test of time.

For more on this topic, see Cacioppo, J. T., Cacioppo, S., Gonzaga, G. C., Ogburn, E. L., & Vanderweele, T. J. (2013). Marital satisfaction and break-ups differ across on-line and off-line meeting venues. Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences. Volume 10.

(Editors' Note: This post is sponsored by eHarmony.com)

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Log On for Love?

Several years ago I received a Facebook message from a stranger.  After exchanging a few innocuous messages with him, he invited me to lunch and—partly because I was recently single, partly because I had never gone on a formal date with someone I met online, and partly because I enjoy the excitement of a potential kidnapping—I agreed. Over the course of the meal he peppered me with a series of questions that I thought were somewhat atypical for a first date (“How many children do you want?” “How soon can I meet your family?”).  Eventually, I set my fork down and said, “Not to be rude or anything, but it feels like you’re auditioning me to be your wife.” He shrugged his shoulders and replied, “Kind of, yeah.”

Despite my adventurous spirit, I had enough sense to not marry the guy. But a growing number of individuals are meeting their future spouses online. In fact, results of a recent nationally representative study suggest that over one-third of individuals who married between 2005 and 2012 originally met their partners on the Internet.1 What is particularly compelling about this study, however, is that it tackled a previously overlooked question that many dating websites (e.g., eHarmony) claim to know the answer to: Do individuals who meet their partners online or offline have more successful marriages?

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