Study lead author Dr Gina Potarca, of the University of Geneva, said cohabiting is viewed as “as a trial period prior to marriage.
“It’s a pragmatic approach in a country where the divorce rate is consistently around 40 per cent.”
With many social settings now shut because of the pandemic, more people are turning to dating apps instead of attempting to meet people outside the home.
Dr Potarca said: “The internet is profoundly transforming the dynamics of how people meet.
“It provides an unprecedented abundance of meeting opportunities, and involves minimal effort and no third-party intervention.”
Her findings, published in the journal PLOS One, add to increasing evidence dating apps boost the chances of compatibility – and reduce the risk of divorce.
Dr Potarca said: “Large parts of the media claim they have a negative impact on the quality of relationships since they render people incapable of investing in an exclusive or long-term relationship.
“Up to now, though, there has been no evidence to prove this is the case.”
Her team looked at 3,235 participants in a Swiss government family survey who were in a relationship and had come across their partner in the last decade.
The most committed to sharing a home tended to be those who had met on apps rather than in a non-digital environment.
The study also found these apps play an important role in modifying the composition of couples by making them more diverse.
In particular, this applied to highly educated women and less educated men getting together.
Dr Potarca said this “may have to do with selection methods that focus mainly on the visual.”
Since users can easily connect with partners in their immediate region, but also in other spaces as they move around, the apps make it easier to meet people more than 30 minutes away – leading to an increase in long-distance relationships.
Dr Potarca added: “Knowing dating apps have likely become even more popular during this year’s periods of lockdown and social distancing, it is reassuring to dismiss alarming concerns about the long-term effects of using these tools.”
A previous study of 19,000 people by researchers from the University of Chicago found couples who meet online tend to communicate better and have longer, happier relationships. The rate of marital breakups was 25 per cent lower.
The researchers suggested a greater pool of potential spouses might give users more options and allow them to be more selective.