The Secret to Boosting Your Shot at a Happy Marriage

wedding ringsWe've discussed what makes a man husband material, but if you're single, it's easy to find yourself wondering sometimes, "Where the hell are these guys? Do they even exist?" I'm no fairy godmother, but I am a former frustrated single girl-turned-happy Mrs., so I can attest to the fact that yes, they are out there. You just have to look in the right place: Online.

Hey, new research even proves it! Well, sort of. eHarmony (yes, the online dating site) commissioned a study that found nearly 8 percent of marriages initiated offline ended in breakups, while couples who met online reported lower rates of separation and divorce -- 6 percent. Two whole percentage points! I know, what a buncha BS, right?

Still, I can believe there's definitely some truth to this, being that I met my husband online.

In the past, when he'd jokingly resist the idea of getting married one day, and now, whenever we bicker lightheartedly about how we want to raise our kids, I'd always remind myself that our relationship began on the Jewish dating site, JDate. Thus, marriage and raising a Jewish family obviously mattered to my husband enough for him to join not just any dating site but one geared toward helping people find a long-term partner.

More from The Stir: Now That I'm Married I Can't Wait to Be Alone

That mirrors what the lead author of the study says about why relationships that begin online might have a higher (albeit slightly) success rate. He explained in a press release on the findings:

It is possible that individuals who met their spouse online may be different in personality, motivation to form a long-term marital relationship, or some other factor.

Well, yeah. You're not going to make a concerted effort to go online, pay with a credit card, fill out questionnaires and personal profiles galore, sweat over which photos should go with said profiles, hunt through other people's profiles, and endure a plethora of IM chats, phone calls, and dates if you're not, you know, somewhat serious about settling down.

The bottom-line: Serious online dating (meaning on sites specifically geared to finding someone with whom to get serious -- not sites that are often frequented by people looking for hookups!) presents a lot more hoops to jump through than say, meeting someone at a bar and striking up a conversation. Hence you're going to end up eventually, hopefully finding someone a bit more interested in building a successful relationship. In other words, if you're on the market for marriage material, going online may, most likely, be your best bet.

Do you buy that couples who meet online have a higher success rate?


Image by Emily Pogozelski/

dating, marriage


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nonmember avatar Kbull

I'm at my husband online married 5 years now. I think the one thing that you can get online that you really can't get meeting random person, is that you can say look, this is what I'm looking for this is what I want. And people will respond to that there's no awkward moment where you find out that you're not interested in the same types of future you can lay it all out there right from the beginning and stop wasting time with the guy who say, doesn't want kids, when you do. the relationship deal breakers can be met up front with no why lies or misunderstandings. There's far less wasted time, and you don't fall for someone who doesn't want what you want and you don't end up compromising on those deal breakers because you love them and end up hoping you can change them. Which is I think a good portion of the 2 percent difference that you see in the house because I almost married the wrong man because I love him but in the end he didn't want what I wanted and it would have lead to divorce I think if we hadn't realized that those deal breakers weren't going to change. When I met my husband online I was able to say everything I wanted and he responded because that's what he wanted to. I think I may have just said the same things like a dozen times so sorry about that but ya...Lol

Kirstin Bullock

I met my husband online married 5 happy years so far. 


I think the one thing you can get to do online, that you can't when you meet a random person is lay out the deal breakers before you fall in love.


I almost married the wrong man because I loved him before I found out he didn't want kids. I almost married him anyway because I thought I could change him. 5 days before the wedding we both realized that this was a deal breaker niether of us was willing to bend on. We called it off right before people started hoping on planes to come to the wedding. Close call.


When I met my husband I was able to say exactly what I wanted from my future, and people who didn't want the same things didn't feel the need to comply. Also I was able to kind of weed out the ones I didn't like prior to meeting husband, so I didn't waste any time with the wrong ones and was able to find the right one much more quickly. 


I think b/w wasted time on wrong guys and falling in love before you lay out your dealbreakers, could easily account for the 2% difference in sucessful onlne marriages. JMO tho.

Kirstin Bullock

Sorry about the randomly large amount of spacing -_- not quite sure how that happened.

nonmember avatar Meg

Met my husband while online gaming. We still have that in common. :)

nonmember avatar manda

I met my husband in an MSN chat room over 12 years ago. We are celebrating our tenth anniversary next month and have three awesome kids. Back then everyone thought we were stupid! Ha! :)

mommy... mommytojack0524

I met my husband on e-harmony. I figured that any guy who would go through their screening questionaire (which is quite involved) must be serious about finding someone. There are a lot of other sites that are much easier to join and a lot cheaper.  I was able to put myself and what I wanted out there and see who was a match. My husband and I always say that we can't believe how compatible we are. We have been married for 5 years and are really happy!

hexxuss hexxuss

Not married (panic attacks at the thought of it).  I'd have to say the chances are the same either way. 1st ex I didn't meet online, 2nd one I did on a gaming site.  Turns out everything he said was a lie, and the marriage, being based on lies, was bound to fail at some point, and did. Met my current BF at a site we still play at, about 4.5 years together, living together for almost 2 years now, we'll see where it goes. 

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

I think anytime you are with someone because of common interests you have a better shot whether that's a specialized online dating site like JDate or having the same major in college or both being gun nuts. You know you share interests and values that way, it's not like meeting someone in a bar who happens to be hot or funny then finding out you want very different things in life. 

Jen Roberts

No, here's the key to a good marriage. Stop being SELFISH!!!! I've learned that and still have issues but it's true! Learn to give constantly, love always, and walk away when they piss you off. Or even say sorry if it's not your fault! Sure you look stupid but it will save your marriage

nonmember avatar Helen

I agree Rhonda Veggie. I met my current bf both online but thru a social group in which we were both interested. I'm a member of which is an online network of groups who meet offline to engage in different activities together. I sent him an email asking what he thought of the group because I was considering joining (*wink wink*). He replied the same day and we have been together ever since.

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