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Among couples who were still married during the survey, those who met online reported higher marital satisfaction -- an average score of 5.64 on a satisfaction survey -- than those who met offline and averaged 5.48.
The lowest satisfaction rates were reported by people who met through family, work, bars/clubs or blind dates.
Eli Finkel, a professor of social psychology at Northwestern University, led an extensive review of the science published about online dating last year.
He told AFP he agreed with the proportions found in the PNAS study.
His research showed about 35 percent of relationships now start online.
"The overreach occurs when the authors conclude that meeting a partner online is better than meeting a partner through offline avenues," Finkel said.
"These data suggest that the Internet may be altering the dynamics and outcomes of marriage itself," said Cacioppo.
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.
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.
I've decided to organize the statistics and facts into two main areas.
The first which starts on this page will deal with the general online dating industry as a whole.
Reis (University of Rochester), and Susan Sprecher (Illinois State University) take a comprehensive look at the access, communication, and matching services provided by online dating sites.