A recent US study shows that online marriages last longer. Christian Schuldt, an author of the book “Romance Real Girl”, knows why: because we get to know each other more romantically when we are online than offline.
Of course, I know the argument: love and anonymity don’t go well together. How are highly personal feelings supposed to ignite under such impersonal conditions? Before the internet existed, you would meet the woman of your life at work or on a date with friends, eyes met, a shy smile, and on the silver wedding anniversary, you said, “You remember to the time …?”
On the other hand, we first browse the profile pictures online. Then you write it yourself. Cats. Phone. Until finally, at some point, days or weeks later, you meet for the first time in “real life”.
The Anonymous Romantics Club & Dating Sites
And it is exactly: very romantic. In protecting anonymity, it is much easier to let your feelings run free. First write, then meet: this platonic knowledge leads to the fact that we quickly reveal something very personal and build trust. Of course, that doesn’t mean that online contact begins with a soul striptease. As with offline flirtation, the first messages on the internet are usually short, humorous, and non-binding: “Hey, you’re the first person here besides me who’s also addicted to ‘Modern Family’!”
But what happens when we truly engage in contact is all the more emotional: then distance creates closeness. Suddenly, we’re not just writing about favorite shows and animals anymore, but about our wishes, hopes, and expectations in life. It is precisely the lack of initial commitment that makes a flirtation more engaging, open, and honest than in real life.
More honest? Yes, more honest. The fear that many will present themselves completely different from what they really are in the protection of anonymity is mostly unfounded. A study was also carried out at the University of Mainz. The result: we want to be seen as human beings for who we really are – and especially in the secure space of the internet, this wish can be achieved surprisingly easily.
“Online marriage and Dating worths a quarter”
A positive result of this platonic knowledge is that a relationship can be established even before the first meeting. And it also strengthens the offline partnership, which ideally follows after. Various studies have shown that couples who have met online have more stable relationships. “Digital marriages last a quarter longer,” says media psychologist Jo Groebel.
This is exactly what a recent study by psychologists at the University of Chicago confirms. One of the results: “Married people who met their spouse online gave higher scores for marital satisfaction than those who met their spouse offline.” And: Marriage initiated online rarely ends in divorce or separation.
Online Dating – Where’s the Fate?
There remains the question of the spark of fate, the famous one. The magical coincidence. Isn’t it that the targets get to know each other not inherently romantic? Yes, effective research doesn’t go well with the romantic idea that love can’t be forced, it just happens. However, we forget that behind what we call “coincidence” or “fate” in real life, there are almost always rational decisions. We’re just less aware of it: education level, cultural preferences, groups of friends, it all has to be right for us to get into a relationship – or even just make a date. “It is unlikely that a medical student will look for Prince Charming in the bar at the station,” says sociologist Hans-Peter Blossfeld succinctly.
In reality, chance plays an even more important role on the Internet than in so-called real life. “Why was I present the moment she logged in, why did I click on her exactly?” Asks an online date. “These are the beautiful secrets that exist – chance or whatever.”
Why the internet saves romance
Such lucky coincidences stand a better chance on the Internet because here we get to know each other “in mirror”. By “seeing a stranger inside first” I can get intimate information even before a first date that would not be possible offline: someone may have ruined all the chances because they are wearing ugly shoes. Real-life can be so shallow.
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On the web, we meet more authentically, more emotionally, and also: more slowly. If not romantic!