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Not a match: Online dating leads to more break-ups than meeting in-person

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With the proliferation of dating apps and websites, it's no secret that it has become pretty common to start dating someone you met online. While some popular dating sites take pride in its role in matching couples, a new study found that people who met online are more likely to break-up, as opposed to couples that met in the real world.

Most of us know long-lasting couples that first connected on the Internet, but researchers from Michigan State University and Stanford found that both divorce and separation rates of people who meet online are higher than those who are first introduced in traditional settings.

The study found that relationships that start online are 28 percent more likely to end within a year. Married couples that were introduced online are three times more likely to divorce that those who initially met in-person.

Published in the peer-reviewed journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, the article 'Is Online Better Than Offline for Meeting Partners' says that other factors such as the quality and the duration of the relationship can help predict whether a couple will break-up or stay together.

"The time-tested qualities of trust and intimacy still remain important factors on determining whether a couple stays together, regardless of whether they meet offline or online,"  says Brenda K. Wiederhold, editor- in-chief of Virtual Reality Medical Institute, Brussels, Belgium and Interactive Media Institute.

After studying more than 4,000 couples, relationships were found to be more stable if the pair initially met face-to-face through mutual friends, work, hobbies or social events.

Couples who hit it off online are less likely get married. "Even though a large percentage of marriages in recent years have resulted from couples meeting online, looking for partners online may potentially suppress the desire for getting married," says lead study author Dr. Aditi Paul.

According to the new study, 86 percent of online daters are cautious to trust people they meet online for fear they are receiving false information. Love in the time of computers is certainly proving to be an interesting and complex case study.  

The story has been changed to reflect certain updates. 

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