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As the virtual world continues its technological breech into our everyday lives, the ways in which people work and play have been forever altered.
One clear indication of this is how people meet romantic partners.
According to research by the University of Rochester, online dating has become the second most common way people meet. Connections made through mutual friends remains the top method.
The study’s authors found one-third of people now prefer the online option over all other forms of meeting someone.
“Online dating is definitely a new and much needed twist on relationships,” said Harry Reis, one of the five co-authors and a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester.
“One-third of people prefer online over
all other forms of meeting someone.”
Reis said behavioral economics shows the dating market in Western society is severely lacking, especially after singles graduate high school or college.
“The Internet holds great promise for helping adults form healthy and supportive romantic partnerships, and those relationships are one of the best predictors of emotional and physical health,” he said.
The 64-page analysis examined more than 400 psychology studies and public interest surveys. According to the research, 25 million users world wide logged on to online dating sites in April 2011.
The study was commissioned by the Association for Psychological Science and was published in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest.