Researchers with Stanford University recently conducted a nationally representative survey of American adults, titled “How Couples Meet and Stay Together” (HCMST). The goal was to study how Americans met their spouses and romantic partners. 4,002 adults responded to the survey; and 3,009 of those had a spouse or romantic partner.
Though 59% of Americans see online dating as a great way to meet people, according to the Pew Research Center, the reality is that the old-fashioned approach is still the best. That’s right: contrary to what dating sites would lead you to believe, Stanford’s data indicates that the most common way to meet someone is through mutual friends and acquaintances. In fact, the all-powerful internet is a poor assistant when it comes to matchmaking: only 5% of couples in the study met online.
The majority of people meet at school, work, and social gatherings. While it may seem surprising, church doesn’t really fare any better than the internet when it comes to meeting people. Lots of people also meet in “other” places, which encompass too many varied locations to specify. This could include the grocery store, mall, library, park, coffee shop, bus stop, or somewhere else you least expect it.
To summarize, if you want to find a companion for life, your best bet is to go to college or get a job, and hang out with friends afterwards. But don’t rule out the kid down the road that you grew up with, or someone you knew in grade school. The graphs show that love isn’t always at first sight; some people meet when they’re younger and start out as platonic friends before discovering romance later.
It’s nice to know that most couples are still making their initial connections in real life, where they don’t need to worry about clever usernames or attractive headshots. This means that if your soul mate is out there, God will find a way to bring the two of you together – and He can do it without the internet! So if you’re searching for Mr. or Mrs. Right, there’s hope – if you just glance up from your phone long enough to look.
Check out this infographic that we put together! Click on the image to enlarge it.
How Couples Meet – An infographic by the team at HomeschoolingTeen.com
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