Whether it’s Tinder, Hinge, Her or Feeld, you’ve probably got some horror dating-app stories in your back pocket.
But every once in a while sparks fly and, before you know it, you’re saying ‘I do’.
And while dating apps are now one of the most popular ways for people to meet The One, new research suggests they don’t always make for a happily ever after.
A study from from Arizona State University found that couples who meet on dating apps are unhappier in their marriages than people who meet in the real world.
Researchers surveyed 923 couples, who were asked about how satisfied they were in the marriage, and how stable it was. About half of those couples had met on dating apps, while the other half had met in ‘real life’ – for example, at university or work.
They were then asked a series of questions, including: ‘how well does your spouse meet your needs?’, and ‘have you or your spouse ever seriously suggested the idea of divorce?’
Those that had met online reported lower marriage satisfaction and stability.
While the reasons behind this aren’t completely clear, the lead author of the study, Liesel Sharabi, suggests it could be linked to the judgement online couples still face from the way they met.
Five signs you might need marriage counselling
- Conversation between the two of you is difficult or strained. If you find it very difficult to have a chat when it’s just the two of you then it could be time to get help, explains counsellor Hilary Sims. She tells Metro.co.uk: ‘It could be you prefer to pick up your phone rather than talk to your partner. Or if your partner asks how you are, you just give the standard “OK” answer as you don’t want to really tell them how you feel. You just want to keep the conversations as short as possible.
- You are no longer interested in the same things. Hilary says: ‘This can happen after the children have grown up and moved on and you find it difficult to find something to do that you both enjoy.
- You no longer have an intimate relationship. ‘The lack of intimate relationship can be magnified when there is just the two of you left at home,’ Hilary adds.
- You prefer to go out with your friends rather than your partner. Hilary says: ‘It might be you make arrangements to go out with your friend when your partner asks if you want to go out – or you say you are “too tired”’.
- You find an excuse to stay away from the house. If you (or your partner) finds yourself not wanting to come home and spend time together, this is another red flag. Hilary adds: ‘Maybe you spend time just walking around the shops after you have done your shopping, just to stay away from home.’
The NHS offers a tool where you can search for relationship counselling services near you.
She said: ‘Our research reveals it’s the stigma surrounding their relationship that puts online couples under stress – they tend to face higher levels of societal marginalisation, either because they are more likely to be an interracial or a same-sex couple, or because they feel judged for meeting their spouse online.’
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Liesel added: ‘Being aware of these obstacles may allow online couples to have a longer, stable and happy future together.’
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