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Can you really find lasting love online?

Today, many young adults and not-so-young adults in the U.S. have more opportunities and options than did their counterparts 20 or more years ago. More women than ever are pursing higher educational degrees and choosing to work and advance careers over getting married and having children at a young age. Additionally, the Internet and mobile technology has greatly changed how people communicate and interact.

With so many people leading busy lives and primarily communicating via the virtual world, it makes sense that a growing number of men and women in the U.S. are turning to the Internet and online dating websites in hopes of making a connection and finding love. As evidence of just how prevalent online dating has become, an October 2013 survey by the Pew Research Center found that among single adults in the U.S. who are actively seeking a partner, 38 percent "used online dating at one point or another."

Both paid and free online dating sites require an individual to set up a profile through which they are able to establish connections and also be connected by others. For many, online dating is successful as a growing number of U.S. adults credit dating websites when discussing how they met a significant other or spouse. However, a recent study about couples who met online shows that these couples are more likely to split up and divorce.

For the study, researchers from Michigan State University surveyed more than 4,000 men and women some of whom had met a significant other online and some through more traditional means. Of those individuals surveyed, 23 percent of respondents who met a significant other through more traditional means split from a partner within one year. For individuals who met a significant other online, that number increased to 32 percent who split within the first year of dating. Additionally, of those individuals who were still with a significant other, 67 percent of those who met offline were married whereas only 32 percent of those who met a significant other via an online dating website were married.

Today, people's lives and relationships seem more complicated than ever. In cases where a couple breaks up or divorces after living together, sharing finances and having children together; it's wise to speak with a family law attorney about options and possible legal remedies.

Source: Techlicious blog, "Online Dating Leads to More Breakups than Traditional Relationships," Fox Van Allen, Spet. 29, 2014

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