Nearly two-thirds of same-sex couples that got together in 2017 met online, according to a new study in the US.

The latest research published on January 28 found that 65 percent of same-sex couples that got together in 2017 met online, compared to to nearly four in 10 (39 percent) of straight couples.



The study—called “disintermediating your friends,” which is still in the draft stages—was carried out by Michael Rosenfeld and Sonia Hausen of Stanford University, and Reuben J. Thomas of the University of New Mexico.

It found that meeting online has been the most common way for same-sex couples to get together in the US since 2000.

Researchers analysed the data from a previous study called “How Couples Meet and Stay Together,” which was carried out multiple times by Rosenfeld and Thomas between 2009 and 2015.

Meeting online is now the most common way for both heterosexual and same-sex couples to get together, says survey

The 2019 study also presented data from a new “nationally representative” 2017 survey for the first time.

“People used to make up stories about how they met, so they wouldn’t have to admit that they met online, but now many people embrace it.”

—Reuben J. Thomas, assistant professor of sociology at the University of New Mexico

Researchers behind “disintermediating your friends” found that meeting online is the now the most common way for straight couples to get together.

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Previous data up until 2013 indicated that the most frequent way for heterosexual couples to meet was through friends.

A same-sex couple holding hands, representing the gay couples who met online
A same-sex couple holding hands. (Justin Sullivan/Getty)

Researchers of the January 2019 study concluded that the pattern for same-sex couples meeting “has not changed as much” in recent years as LGBT+ individuals were “early adopters of internet services for meeting partners.”

The survey credits gay dating app Grindr, launched in 2009, with “helping to initiate the phone app phase of internet dating.”

Survey says LGBT+ people were “early adopters” of online dating

“About 65 percent of same‐sex couples who met in 2017 met online, compared to about 39 percent for heterosexual couples,” the 2019 publication reads.

“The 65 percent of recently formed same‐sex couples who met online is very similar to what Rosenfeld and Thomas …reported for same‐sex couples in 2009 using the 2009 data alone.”

Responding to the results, Thomas told news website Quartz: “People used to make up stories about how they met, so they wouldn’t have to admit that they met online, but now many people embrace it.”

Researchers found that the next most common way for same-sex couples to get together in 2017 in the US, after meeting online, was in a bar or restaurant.

Around one fifth of same-sex couples reported first meeting in a bar or restaurant, while just below 20 percent said they met through friends.

The least common way same-sex couples said they had met in 2017 was through church.




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