Couples who meet online have a higher divorce rate?
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All right. So the article that we’re wanting to talk about today, Steve, was couples who meet online are more likely to get divorced. I was quite interested when I saw this headline. Jameson brought it to the table as something interesting to talk about. This study found that 12% of couples who found their significant other online got divorced within the first three years of marriage, which, by the way, it doesn’t actually sound as bad as I thought, that percentage. 12% divorced in the first three years. That’s not too bad as a percentage. However, only 2% of lovers who met through friends got divorced in the first three years of marriage.
So 12% compared to 2% get divorced in the first three years after meeting online. What are your thoughts? And just I’ll add a little color to that. The study suggests that in the early years of marriage, couples who meet this way, i.e. online, might lack sufficient social capital or close support networks around them to deal with all the challenges they face. So I’m curious to know what you think of this, Steve.
Yeah, that rings true to me intuitively that there might be a little less stability in online couples only because maybe they are coming from… Theoretically, you can meet someone anywhere in the world from any different social group from you. And there might be benefits to that, but it also might just be harder because it’s that sort of like from different worlds things, or very different families, and there’s a lot you discover. And yeah, there’s probably something, isn’t there, where just people who are from their friends share communities, probably just share pressure. There’s social capital, but there’s also just social pressure. Like we met through friends, we have all the same friends. What’s that line in American Psycho? He says to her, “I want to break up.” And she’s like, “No, I don’t think that’ll work.” And he’s like, “What do you mean?” And she’s like, “Well, your friends are my friends. We know the same people.”
Ah, I don’t think we should see each other anymore.
But your friends are my friends and my friends are your friends. I really don’t think it would work.
And there’s something to that, right? It’s just more, in a way, the exit costs are higher if you are more socially intertwined.
Yeah. That’s interesting, isn’t it? Because that’s kind of what it seems to be alluding to, is that the entwining of your worlds, as opposed to each having a world. Because when it talks about social capital, you can have your own social capital coming to a relationship with someone you meet online and they can have their own social capital. But I suppose what seems to be alluded to here is that independent social capital doesn’t keep a relationship as strong as social capital that’s combined. I mean, I understand the pressure of this for people, even through our own mother, Steve. I remember mum at a certain point going, “I can’t do it. I can’t get to know anymore of your girlfriends. I can’t do it. I can’t do it, Matt. I can’t get close to them anymore. I can’t keep having it. I keep having me heart broken.”
She got too attached.
She got too attached. But in fairness, people have always got very attached to mum. It’s always been a loss, hasn’t it, to anyone, really, in our lives, friends or otherwise, to lose mum from their lives. But she ended up with PTSD. It took her a long time to believe that it was worth getting close to someone again because she struggled with it. But I, conversely, I remember being with someone who was literally halfway across the world in my early twenties and that breakup being easy as pie at the time. Not because there was no heartbreak, but because there was none of the normal mess. I shouldn’t say it was easy as pie. It was easy as pie compared to-
You are a heartless monster.
No, no, no. It wasn’t easy in terms of heartbreak, but it was easy in terms of it didn’t come with all of the mess that breakups come with when you have all the same friends, when you like each other’s friends, when you come to share each other’s worlds. I suppose the moral of this story, Steve, is once you’ve been on a date with someone, make them meet all of your friends and family on week one so that if they break up with you, they’ve got to break up with all of them too. They have to go up to your dad and go, “I’m very sorry.” And then your sister and go, “I’m very sorry.” And then your best friend and go, “I’m very sorry for your loss of me.”
That’s a strategy some people use, is really get yourself in the old friend group. Wedge yourself in there so you are irreplaceable. The thing I will say, there could be a wider point about social glue, of that whole thing of like the Sebastian Junger Tribes book that I know Jameson’s a big fan of. But when closely knit together communities, or even just some community, does help to keep things in place. It helps when you’ve got these support systems.
I mean, that’s one of my sort of critiques of modern relationships is this idea that couples get together, silo themselves away, maybe in their urban apartment or wherever. And then it’s just expected. We will just do this all together. And then they wonder why they’re going mental with a kid screaming in a flat somewhere in New York or London. And it’s like, because it probably was meant to be that you have all these people around you who help pick up slack, make the relationship easier, support it. All those things do help. And probably if you meet through friends, there’s a little bit of that effect where you have these other parts to the relationship.
I suppose what this teaches us, if anything, is that there is a power in combining your two worlds. Which presupposes that you each bring a world to the table in the first place. But combining in some way, where appropriate, your friends, your family, creating more bonds between your respective worlds as opposed to just between the two of you, gives you a support network when things go wrong. It gives you a healthy amount of social pressure, as you alluded to. And it also just gives you the sense that you are losing something when you lose that person, that it transcends merely that person, that you’re not just part of a relationship but part of a world that you’re really enjoying being a part of, that you don’t want to walk away from. And all of those things, in reality, do contribute to our decision of whether to leave a relationship.
I agree. And those of you who think you’ll solve this by running off to the countryside, you think I’m critiquing the city? No. Isolating yourself in the countryside is also a big mistake. So don’t think, “Oh, he’s saying get out of London and everything will be fixed.” No. I’m not leaving London. That’s what I’m saying.
That’s seems clear, Steve. I can’t imagine you on a farmyard property somewhere with a few pigs and chickens roaming around.
I’ll be honest, it’s not my vibe, mate. I don’t want any of it. I don’t want the mud. I don’t want all of it.
What’s going on, guys. This is Matthew. I just wanted to tell you before you clicked off this video, I have something I’m really excited about this month. On November the 16th, I am doing my first free live training that I’ve done in a long time. I’m calling it Dating With Results. Because inside this free training, I’m going to show you the five secrets to end the casual dating traps that so many people fall into over and over again, and how to put yourself on the authentic, no-games path to a real committed relationship.
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6 Replies to “You’re More Likely to Get Divorced If You Met Online?! WATCH THIS!”
Hi Matt, Thanks for all your vids and invaluable info. WRT this video though, my husband of 20 years dumped me for his one and only that he met online. Well, I was in IT I knew and did nothing to stop it. Why thrash a dead horse, pointless. I thought it would fizzle out eventually but he divorced me and has been married to her for 20 years. Yup I’m 64 now. Still. we all need love. I met my current husband at work. Probably a mistake but you live and learn. 20 years not been bad but there are always problems when 2 universes collide and you have to somehow sort them out. Hence my listening to your podcasts and trying to find out what it is that is making my man turn off me. Well, pleased to report your sensible information has helped tremendously. He hasn’t changed but I am learning to chill out and not use those weapons you talked about in 2020. Have signed up for the course and so looking forward to some more tips and tricks to keep my man happy. Do you do a men’s one by any chance? Might persuade him to take a look too. Hinting for some books for Christmas from him. (sigh)
Brilliant as always!
It made me think of something: What do you think about someone who’s still in touch and hangs out with her ex’s friends or people she met through her ex, with no intention of getting back with him? Some friends say it’s mature, others say it’s nasty.
I disagree on this, my last 2 relationships we met online – (one I was married the other defacto) both still ended, despite combining our lives on all levels.
It definitely made life post breakup a lot harder.
But I don’t believe my ex husband took our combined lives into account in his decision to leave.
And whilst I did think about all I’d loose from my combined life with ex defacto I felt I had to leave cause I couldn’t bear the pain of knowing he was cheating on me and stay.
Leaving has had a way bigger impact on my life than I anticipated.
I’ve often had that thought that I should have stayed cause I have now lost so much by doing so.
Yet part of me knows – it happened the way it happened cause it couldn’t have happened any other way cause it didn’t.
So in my opinion meeting online or via friends – sometimes no matter how intertwined your lives are relationships still end.
May I offer a different reason why the divorce rate is lower for couples who meet through friends than online.
Friends are more likely to have similar values to us, and share a world-view akin to our own; we ‘like’ them because they are like us.
Birds of a feather flock together, so others with similar values and views would be attracted to our friend group, hence how we come to meet these new people.
When couples form with similar values and world-views they are more likely to succeed than those whose top say 5 values differ.
The problem with online dating, most people are unaware of what it takes to have a successful relationship, so they don’t know what to look for to ensure aligned values.
Because it’s not about aligned activities or interests, that’s not the glue to a great friendship, let alone a romantic, intimate connection with your significant other.
And the dating app algorithms… well, they’re there to ensure profits for the business, not to ensure they create connection quickly and lose customers.
Hi Matt. I contacted you a few months ago about an online relationship. It IS difficult when the other is halfway across the world in a different time-zone. Plus my guy, a brilliant IT specialist, is a workaholic with a degenerative illness, & is gradually losing the sense of when I’ll be around. It’s weird to be mourning someone when no-one around me knows him except through me. I mean, the whole thing is weird, but to my surprise, at 67 I’ve found a fair percentage of women friends – even far more conventional-looking ones than me – are doing a variation of the same thing. Who’d’a thought it! I’m not sure if it would’ve been easier if we were physically together, or worse. One thing that sort of helps: I’ve met his cousin also, the same way as I met him, playing an online word-game. Also a brilliant guy. Gives me a sense of relatedness. Sort of surreal though.
Thanks for finally talking about > You’re More Likely to Get Divorced If You Met Online?!
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