More and more Dutch couples are meeting via the internet or at work, while fewer people met on an evening out or on holiday in the last ten years.
Place of meeting partner by period of first meeting
Internet as meeting place
Most cohabiting couples in the Netherlands met each other on an evening out or on holiday. This was the case for 46 percent of couples living together in 2008 who met before 2000. For couples who met after 2000, however, this proportion is lower, namely 35 percent. In the last ten years work and the internet have become increasingly important meeting places. While the internet played hardly any role at all in this respect before 2000, in the years since then 8 percent of couples met each other via a dating site or an online social network.
Average age at meeting partner, by meeting place
Partners who meet online older on average
Partners who meet each other via an online dating site, a dating service or a personal advert were 35 years old on average when they met. This is significantly older than partners who met while in school, on a night out or on holiday, at a social or sports club, or via friends or relatives. People seeking a partner online or through a dating service usually start looking at later ages, when they have not met someone through other channels. Couples in second relationships also more often use online and traditional dating services.
Meeting place of present partner, by level of education
Many couples met during higher education
People with higher levels of education are more likely than those with lower levels to have met their partner via school or study, and less likely to have met them while out for an evening or on holiday. Also, as higher levels of education take longer to complete than lower levels, there is a greater likelihood of meeting a suitable partner in higher education. Relatively more people with lower levels of education report having met their partners via family, and less often via a social or sports club.