We hope you have an unlimited data plan because if you’re looking for a partner, a new study shows that you’ll probably find them online or on an app. The study undertaken by sociologists Michael Rosenfeld and Sonia Hausen of Stanford University and Reuben Thomas of the University of New Mexico shows that while only 39 percent of straight couples meet online, a whopping 60 percent of queer couples first meet through a screen. “It used to be that finding a partner is something one did with their community,” one of the researchers told Quartz, “Now it is basically an individual quest.”
That makes online dating the most common way couples meet for both straight and queer couples. Up until 2013, the most common way for queer people to meet was through friends. But the advent of internet dating and apps like Grindr helped to set the stage for queer people who might not live in the same place or have the same friends to meet and develop relationships. And while straight couples were hesitant about online dating at first—sometimes making up cute stories about meeting, rather than admitting they’d met online—queer users were early adopters and advocates of online and app-based dating.
The researchers told Quartz that people tend not to realize the large cultural changes online dating has brought, including bringing together more diverse couples. Online dating has led to more interreligious marriages, more interracial marriages, and more diversity in the levels of education of partners.
And there’s good news if you’re worried about app-based hookups: According to the study, couples who meet online are no more likely to break up that couples who meet in real life. Apps not for you? The study also shows that the second most common way queer couples meet is at a bar or restaurant.