Online dating apps have been accused of fueling hook-up culture, and killing romance and even the dinner date, but their effects on society are deeper than originally thought. The rise of internet dating services could be behind stronger marriages, an increase in interracial partnerships, and more connections between people from way outside our social circles, according to a new study by economics professors Josue Ortega at the University of Essex and Philipp Hergovich at the University of Vienna in Austria.

Today, more than one-third of marriages begin online.

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has over 400,000 members, and approximately 20,000 profiles live daily.

Sukker’s users mostly live near or in big cities, such as Oslo, Bergen, and Stavanger.

What’s more, online dating leads to could lead to happier couples, too.

“Our model predicts that, on average, marriages created when online dating becomes available last longer than those created in societies without this technology,” they wrote.

Now, as we open our dating pool to strangers, the pool of potential mates has become more diverse, and the online dating world is “benefitting exponentially,” said dating coach Meredith Golden.

“We don’t always fall in love with our clone so a wider dating net, be it outside of race and ethnicity or tapping into a large LGBTQ pool creates happy unions,” she said.

Online dating is the second most popular way to meet partners for heterosexual couples and, by far, the most popular form of dating for homosexual partners.

Sites like OKCupid, and Tinder, all owned by Inter Active Corp In the past, the study said, we largely relied on real-life social networks to meet our mates — friends of friends, colleagues, and neighbors — meaning we largely dated people like ourselves.

There are a couple of dating sites that dominate the market in terms of membership numbers.