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Among couples who were still married during the survey, those who met online reported higher marital satisfaction -- an average score of 5.64 on a satisfaction survey -- than those who met offline and averaged 5.48.The lowest satisfaction rates were reported by people who met through family, work, bars/clubs or blind dates.Of those who did not meet online, nearly 22 percent met through work, 19 percent through friends, nine percent at a bar or club and four percent at church, the study said. When researchers looked at how many couples had divorced by the end of the survey period, they found that 5.96 percent of online married couples had broken up, compared to 7.67 percent of offline married couples.The difference remained statistically significant even after controlling for variables like year of marriage, sex, age, education, ethnicity, household income, religion and employment status."These data suggest that the Internet may be altering the dynamics and outcomes of marriage itself," said Cacioppo.
Eli Finkel, a professor of social psychology at Northwestern University, led an extensive review of the science published about online dating last year.
He told AFP he agreed with the proportions found in the PNAS study.