Here's How the Germans Love, And We, Too

Would you believe it took match.com, or its German equivalent, to help people in this country find love?  Well, according to smartplanet.com, "The last decade has seen Germany grow into the second most profitable online dating market in Europe after the UK."

Shannon Smith reports that market value in 2012 was eight times what it was in 2003 when the first dating sites arrived on the scene.

But a little differently than in this country, it's mostly 40- to 60-year-olds who flock to the sites.  And the younger people who do visit these sites?  They're more into polygamy, Smith relates, manifesting in "separate living situations and other non-traditional romantic and familial arrangements."

In 2008 eight percent of people between 20 and 35 questioned by a German magazine acknowledged that they were in relationships with more than one person who they met online, according to a study referenced by Smith.

Smith notes that the magazine credits Jean-Claude Kaufmann, French, sociologist and author, who made some observations about this new angle, quoting him as saying, “Romantic encounters changed abruptly at the beginning of the third millennium — a gentle revolution triggered by . . . the general diffusiveness of the Internet.”

In fact, in the U.S., one-third of people who met online married, a recent survey found, according to John Bohannon at sciencemag.org. In the beginning, a lot of people found it creepy and talked about it in whispers, or behind their hands, to friends.  But with the proliferation of sites like match.com, okcupid, eharmony, and others, suddenly meeting online became old news.  And these marriages fare as well as any others, Bohannon says (though with our current divorce rate of over 50%, I guess that's somewhat pallid praise!).

Bohannon puts the number of people who met online and married in the millions.  I have some friends who have found success, too, including one that survived being GI (geographically incompatible) -- she lived in Connecticut, and he, Vermont.

So would you go online to meet your spouse?  I did it the old-fashioned way, at a singles' weekend (which they don't do anymore, face-to-face being so unpopular).  But cheers to the folks who have met their match this way.  And maybe (except for Andrew Weiner), it's a good way to get to know someone, when they have to put their feelings into words, first.


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