More than a third of marriages between 2005 and 2012 began online, according to new research.
The research at the University of Chicago also found that online couples have happier, longer marriages.
Although the study did not determine why relationships that started online were more successful, the reasons may include the strong motivations of online daters, the availability of advance screening, and the sheer volume of opportunities online.
"These data suggest that the Internet may be altering the dynamics and outcomes of marriage itself," the study''s lead author, John Cacioppo, the Tiffany and Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor in Psychology at the University of Chicago, said.
The results were published in the paper, Marital Satisfaction and Breakups Differ Across Online and Offline Meeting Venues, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences during the week of June 3 to 7.
The research showed that couples who met online were more likely to have higher marital satisfaction and lower rates of marital breakups than relationships that began in face-to-face meetings.
Marriage breakups were reported in about 6 percent of the people who met online, compared with 7.6 percent of the people who met offline.
Marriages for people who met online reported a mean score of 5.64 on a satisfaction survey, compared with a score of 5.48 for people who met offline.
People who met offline found marriage partners at various venues including work, school, church, social gatherings, clubs and bars, and places of worship.
Among the least successful marriages were those in which people met at bars, through blind dates and in virtual worlds (where individuals interact in online spaces via avatars), the researchers found.