In 2019, the dating app, tinder was the most downloaded app in South Africa. It seems to this day, South Africans are still using online sites and applications to look for love. However, the odds might be stacked against couples who met online and are looking to make it to their third anniversary.
Yes, a new survey from the Marriage Foundation found that couples who meet online are six times more likely to divorce within the first three years of marriage than those who meet their partners in more traditional ways.
According to Mail Online, the Marriage Foundation report surveyed 2 000 people who married aged 30 or over and found that 12% of couples who met over the internet did not make their third anniversary, compared to just 2% for others.
“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 or family or other community,” said Harry Benson, the foundation’s research director according to the publication.
“For online couples, wider social bonds between families and friends have to form from scratch rather than being well-established over years or even decades. It is therefore not entirely unsurprising that the input of family, friends or co-workers reduces the risk of making a hasty mistake.”
The report also argues that couples who meet through personal connections have more “social capital”, which it defines as networks of friends and family who share similar values and beliefs.
“Groups with high social capital are usually considered to function better because of their shared goals and informal support they provide,” the study said further.
It is believed that about a third of people now meet their spouses on dating websites or apps, with researchers predicting that this will grow to more than 50% by 2035.
Of course, Benson said the findings did not diminish the “vital” role of online dating in expanding the marriage market, but it showed the difficulties of getting to know a relative stranger without reliable background information.