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1 in 3 U.S. Marriages Begin With Online Dating

By Betty Wang, JD | Last updated on

Online dating leads to marriage more often now than ever before. More than one-third of recent U.S. marriages began with online dating, according to a new study.

That finding is based on a survey of nearly 20,000 people who tied the knot between 2005 and 2012. The survey also found that married couples who met online are also slightly happier and less likely to end up in divorce compared to those who met offline, USA Today reports.

Don't get too click-happy just yet, though. Here are three precautions that you may want to consider when it comes to online dating:

1. Be Wary of Distortions.

Sure, we all like to post our more flattering pictures online and maybe inflate our worth just a little. But while a little white lie may not hurt anyone, the big glaring falsities can. Some huge distortions to be cautious of include things like lying about having kids, lying about one's relationship status (read: they're still married), or about whether or not they're actually employed.

So be careful. While a toupee or some make-up to cover up that pimple on a first date can be overlooked, some others can lead to disastrous results.

2. How Old Are They, Really?

In the same vein of exaggerating details here and there, watch out for fibs about one's age -- especially if you're younger, or looking to date someone younger. Statutory rape laws and laws pertaining to minors vary by state, but in general are fairly strict. Many impose strict liability, meaning that even if you were deceived, you could still be at fault for attempting to court someone who is actually far younger than whatever age their old soul might appear to be.

3. Privacy Concerns.

As a general rule of thumb, it's wise to be more conservative when it comes to sharing information online. This especially pertains to things like posting your home address on your profile, or giving out credit card information. Even posting your birthdate may make you more susceptible to online identity theft.

Now that you're aware of these concerns, get out there and have fun! It's just you and Cupid, now.

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