In October, the Marriage Foundation UK released the study “Relative Strangers: The Importance of Social Capital for Marriage.”
The foundation had commissioned Savanta ComRes to survey two-thousand married adults about where they met in order to analyze marital outcomes.
“Until the 2000s, two-thirds of married couples met either through family and friends or through social settings such as bars or parties,” the study says.
With surges in social media usage and online dating platforms, though, that proportion has now been halved.
“In our survey, twenty-eight percent of couples who married since 2017 had met online, overtaking family and friends as the most popular way to meet prior to marriage,” the report found of recent years.
While this finding may not seem surprising at first, the survey also found that couples who met online have experienced a significantly higher risk of divorce during the first three years of marriage than those who met via traditional avenues.
In trying to figure out why the survey concluded that couples are marrying as relative strangers rather than through mutual relationships.
“Gathering reliable information about the long-term character of the person you are dating or marrying is quite obviously more difficult for couples who meet online without input from mutual friends, family, or other community,” the report states.
These social bonds have to form from scratch without the kickstart of already existent friendships. Also, this input from friends and family is shown to reduce the risk of making quick decisions.