So, I am reading that according to a Journal of the National Academy on the Sciences, 35% of marriages are the result of relationships that started online. The article suggests that people that meet online, around common/shared interests, may have happier relationships.
Obviously, I have mixed feelings about this. I don’t necessarily follow the common wisdom that meeting online is something for “creeps” or “losers.” But still, the decline of my previous 9 year relationship had much to do with a former partner who met a new love interests on a online MMO.
Still, it was the internet that made my current, much happier relationship possible. A caveat: I didn’t meet my current partner online, I met her at a record store that booked bands in a back room. When the band I was playing in played a one-off show in a smaller town in western Massachusetts, she introduced herself and we stayed in touch and became friends after that. We were both musicians in a niche scene in the Northeastern US, and remained friends until long after the dust had settled from my divorce. So, postmortems on my past relationship aside, the internet had the benefit of creating a flourishing friendship –from a chance meeting with somebody that shared a passion for music and art.
The point here, the internet currently allows me to conveniently stay in perpetual contact with other artists, musicians and other professionals in my field that I’ve worked with in varying capacities in the past several years. I regularly stay abreast of the lives of friends who’ve moved out of the area, and know when their bands have gone on tour, and when their events are happening.
At least one of the other musicians I’ve worked with over the years has become my partner of about a year-and-a-half. Our shared interests overcame geography. Aside now living together and sharing a life, we’re recording an album together and we collaborate on each others projects and pitch in when the other has a show to play. There’s a point that the Times Union article linked below really hits the nail on the head: in our daily lives, we tend to have a relatively small social circle based on geography, work, or interests. A club or bar may put people together with some shared interests (you probably won’t be at a live show without an interest in the genre) but the internet sort of widens the scope when your looking to find a person based on shared interests, values and goals.
Ultimately, with more relationships starting (or in my case, blossoming) online, people looking for successful relationships might consider that looking in your online contacts might not be just the domain (pun intended) of creeps or losers.
Here’s the article I read, published in my local paper: http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/More-matches-made-in-cyberspace-4577504.php