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Love at First Site

Couples who meet online stay hooked for longer

Author Jacqueline Detwiler


Sometime between the advent of Facebook and the Harlem Shake, internet dating went from a thing people made fun of to a thing that everybody was doing. And it’s really almost everybody. More than a third of all marriages are the result of online meetings, according to a new study of nearly 20,000 Americans published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. And the joke’s on those who think the practice is lame: University of Chicago researcher John Cacioppo and his team found that people who met online were happier with their spouses and more likely to stay together over the course of seven years than those who met in “real” life. Both of these effects persisted even when the scientists controlled for age, education, income and religious affiliation, among other factors. Results may not apply if your profile still references the Harlem Shake.

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