Online or Face-to-Face?: Relationship Satisfaction and Attraction in Romantic Relationships Across Two Media
Zmyslinski, Anne Nicole
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The purpose of this study was to examine romantic relationships that began through face-to-face (FtF) interaction or computer-mediated communication (CMC). Two hundred seventy-six participants who were currently in romantic relationships that began in person (196) or online (80) completed an online questionnaire. The study explored several relational variables (relationship satisfaction, intimacy, trust, communication satisfaction, physical attraction) and tested for differences in the two types of relationships; however, the data were not consistent with the hypotheses and research questions. Post-hoc tests revealed that sample characteristics (including sex, exclusivity of relationships, same/opposite sex relationships, and length of relationships) accounted for several differences when tested with the relational variables. Finally, the study sought to find which of these variables related to relationship satisfaction in relationships that began FtF and online. Trust and communication satisfaction significantly predicted relationship satisfaction in relationships that began FtF, and physical attraction and communication satisfaction significantly predicted relationship satisfaction in relationships that began online.