The world is going down the tubes, right? Not according to the latest statistics regarding divorce rates and online dating. Since the explosion of internet dating sites like Match.com and Tinder, singles are finding new ways to connect with potential mates, and dates are rapidly converting into marriages.

Why is that?

Expanding your social network

In the past, most couples would meet through work, family, neighbors, and close friends. Basically, you ended up dating the boy next door. You grew up with a set of expectations defined by your immediate social network. Online dating throws out a much larger net, connecting individuals with complete strangers who just happen to share your personal values and interests, and not necessarily those of your parents.

Moving beyond accepted norms

Not only are you more likely to build a lasting relationship with someone who shares your political, religious, and social values, you may also connect with an individual not of your social class or race. Online dating is resulting in more interracial marriages at a rate higher than any other time in American history.

Setting your own standards

Since most online dating sites don’t email your parents for assistance in picking out the right guy or girl, you have the opportunity to choose who you want to meet based entirely on a set of standards you put into place. You are no longer restricted by the definition of a “nice girl” as previously dictated by those closest to you.

It is certainly a curious twist, as many traditionalists bemoaned the advent of online dating and predicted that divorce rates from internet marriages would soar as a direct result. But just as the dating sites changed how we meet people, the whole process may help to lower divorce rates as indicated from initial studies.

It looks like the world might actually be headed in the right direction after all.