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Lastly, in spite of the rise in online dating, only 5 percent of married couples or those in a committed relationship say they met their partners online, and 88 percent of people say they met their partners via conventional means.So while online dating is on the rise, most online relationships do not lead to long-term, committed relationships. (2013), a higher percentage of married couples in their sample (30 percent) met online, and those that did were slightly but significantly more likely to stay together and report greater marital satisfaction.According to the Pew Research Center, 15 percent of Americans recently reported using online dating sites to meet people, and online dating is gaining wider acceptance across most age ranges, notably tripling among people age 18-24 from 10 percent to 27 percent between 20.Yet, one-third of people who have used a dating site have never met up for an in-person date.At that time, 22 percent of heterosexual couples reported meeting online.Meeting online was the third most common way of meeting, after being introduced by friends, and close behind meeting randomly in public settings (bars, restaurants, parties, etc.).What online dating behaviors and factors set the stage for a successful first date and the potential for an ongoing relationship?Sharabi and Caughlin (2017) set out to investigate the question of what predicts first-date success in their recent work.
Importantly, all other factors being equal, greater communication overall, and greater disclosure, predicted first date success.
Researchers are just beginning to understand the new and complicated dynamics of online dating, and it is unclear what factors go into successful matching, though long-term relationship satisfaction is likely to come from the same factors regardless of how people meet (see here for an overview of predictors of relationship satisfaction).
How do couples move from online dating to that all-important first date?
They surveyed 186 participants who were using online dating and had at least one person they were thinking of meeting in person.
Of that first group, 94 participants had a first date and completed the full survey, which included measures drawn from the literature on relationships and online dating.