I was staggered the other day when I stumbled across an article that said one in six married couples met on an online dating site. Isn’t that incredible? I looked into it more closely and these figures are a couple of years old and the study was in the US, (for dating website Match.com), but still – one in six?! I wonder what the statistic would have been even 10 years ago? It seems long gone are the days where a weekend trip to the local disco, throwing some shapes on the dancefloor and buying a Babycham was the most common answer to the kids’ question: “Mum, how did you and dad meet?”.
The full run down from the research into how spouses met goes like this:
1) Through work/school 36%
2) Through friend/family member 26%
3) Via online dating site 17%
4) Through bars/clubs/other social events 11%
5) Other 7%
6) Through church/place of worship 4%.
Additionally, one in five single people have dated someone they met online dating and 20 per cent of new relationships now begin on an online dating site.
Of course, I don’t know the exact scope of the research so I wonder if the response was broader to just include those who met online rather than specifically dating sites, would the figures be higher? With chat rooms, forums, Facebook, Twitter etc it is likely that thousands of couples are being introduced to each other online without the formality of a dating site.
So what does this tell us? Well many things, but when related to family law it reinforces my belief that offering information and a shop window to services online is now an essential tool for us. More and more, people are living their lives online, from finding a partner to socialising to shopping – the virtual world has never been more real. To not engage effectively in this arena, as we have always tried to do at Woolley & Co, seems to me to be a bad business decision.
It also makes it easier for us to broaden the services we offer. It is not just direct legal services, but broader articles (and blogs!) offering advice and guidance. This adds value and I believe enhances the reputation of the firm, and in the current tough economic climate, anything we can do to stand out from the crowd has to be worth investing in.