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Christian Dating Sites – Praise God
It was an unexpected but very welcome email, from Charles, with whom I had not corresponded since 2003, when his wife had suddenly and tragically died:
I am remarried now to Jane, a lady I met through eHarmony dot com. She is wonderful. We just celebrated our first anniversary. Have lost a lot of weight and am healthier than I have been in a long time.
I had never heard of eHarmony (I live in Australia), so assumed it must be a Christian dating web site. But then, coincidentally, a day or so later, I came across a lengthy feature in the Atlantic Monthly titled “How Do I Love Thee”, about online dating services, including a little on Christian dating services.
As far as I know, the online article is for subscribers only. In it the writer wrote amusingly of completing eHarmony’s 436-question personality survey, and then discovering that she couldn’t be matched with anyone (even though the service has nine million members).
And I found fascinating the following short excerpt, in which the writer interviewed the company’s founder, Dr. Neil Clark Warren, about eHarmony’s origins, and why some people think of it as a Christian dating service.
“And then,” Warren recalled, “we found an error in our matching formula, so a whole segment of our people were not getting matched. It was an error with all the Christian people on the site.”
This is a sensitive topic for Warren, who bristles at the widely held opinion that eHarmony is a Christian dating site. The company’s chief operating officer, he offered by way of rebuttal, is Jewish….And while Warren describes himself as “a passionate Christian” and proudly declares, “I love Jesus,” he worried about narrowing the site with too many questions about spiritual beliefs. Which is where the error came in.
“We had seven questions on religion,” he explained, “and we eliminated four of them. But we forgot to enter that into the matching formula! These were seven-point questions. You needed twenty-eight points to get matched with a Christian person, but there was no way you could get them! We only had three questions! So every Christian person who had come to us had zero matches.”
Fortunately, a wave of positive publicity, featuring married couples who’d met through eHarmony and the naturally charismatic Warren, turned things around. Still, Warren said of the innocent mistake, “you kind of wonder how many relationships fall apart for reasons like this—how many businesses?”
It’s almost irrelevant whether or not eHarmony is a Christian dating web site. It has brought love and happiness to Charles, a wonderful Christian man, and for that praise God.
April 5th, 2006