According to New York City psychologist and author Vivian Diller, the seven-year study was too short to assess the long-term outcomes of relationships that begin online.
"Success in marriage is largely about how you negotiate differences, not just compatibility," she told AFP, adding that online dating can raise expectations and result in greater unhappiness.
"We found evidence for a dramatic shift since the advent of the Internet in how people are meeting their spouse," said the study, led by John Cacioppo of the University of Chicago's Department of Psychology.
marriages begin with online dating, and those couples may be slightly happier than couples who meet through other means, a U. The research is based on a nationally representative survey of 19,131 people who married between 20.
"We each had used online dating sites, and were both fascinated with how and why people use these services," Magee said "We started to look at the research out there, and realized that what was missing was research into what constitutes successful online dating experiences.
This is an extremely important part of most people's lives, and we wanted to look at the big picture." The Drexel study, entitled "Not Just a Wink and a Smile: An Analysis of User-Defined Success in Online Dating," examined data gathered during a two-week sample period in the spring of 2011 from success stories listed on the dating sites Match.com, e Harmony and Ok Cupid.
"Our findings also indicate that even with the proliferation of technologically and mediated social networking sites, real world social networks still play a significant role in technological adoption and mate selection." Each of the sites broke down their results into three categories of success: dating, engaged and married.
Their results, which will be presented at the international i Conference in February, point toward a more accurate interpretation of why people decide to use online dating technology, why they choose a specific site and what they consider a successful online dating experience.
"These data suggest that the Internet may be altering the dynamics and outcomes of marriage itself," said Cacioppo.
"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." But not all experts believe that online dating translates into instant bliss.
Online dating has ballooned into a billion-dollar industry and the Internet "may be altering the dynamics and outcome of marriage itself," said the study by U. researchers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
However, some experts took issue with the findings because the survey was commissioned by e Harmony.com, the dating site that attracted one quarter of all online marriages according to the research.