Resources from Marriage Savers: Articles
To Find the Love of Your
I received an e-mail today from "Beth," a young woman who is in television
and has done some modeling with a problem:
"I find many men are
stuck on my looks and career and are never really interested in delving into
the spiritual/mindful side of things. Translation: they're not too keen on
"And of course
many of them express their physical desires as bluntly and pathetically as
you can imagine. Also, I find many men try to be something they think I want
and obviously end up being false and of course, found out. As cliché as it
may sound, I'm praying for my Prince Charming."
Beth is right to be concerned. More than 70 percent of Americans have
experienced divorce first hand either in a failed marriage of their own or
of their parents. Of 281 million people, 196 million men, women and children
have been scarred by this plague. Further, people are more afraid to commit
than ever. Marriage rates have plunged 39 percent.
Clearly, Americans are doing a terrible job of mate selection. In nations
such as India, where parents of eligible young people preselect potential
mates for their son or daughter to consider, the divorce rate is vastly
lower. Why? Parents know their adult child's strengths, his/her education,
ambition, energy level, interests and will match them with someone of
similar background. The more common interests couples have, the better is
their chance of success.
But in America, where high school kids watch 12,000 hours of TV, what do
"TV leads you to think that everything should be looked at
externally the person's appearance, status not matters of the heart or
character," says Dr. Neil Clark Warren,
author of "Finding the Love of Your Life," which sold 700,000 copies in the
He has created an answer I recommended to Beth, a website for singles who
are looking for someone of the opposite sex with character traits that match
their own: eharmony.com. More than a
million people have signed up: 651,000 women and 407,000 men. In Birmingham
there are 7,971on line. Within driving distance of Allentown, PA, 23,703.
Every other web site has more males than females. Why? They allow people to
send in pictures, and men want to see what the woman looks like before they
take another step.
At eharmony, no photos are posted.
Instead each person has to take an inventory with 400-500 questions that
take two or three hours to answer. There is no charge for the inventory or
the report it will give the individual, but a monthly fee to post one's
profile. Each person will be measured on 29 key variables such as ambition,
communication, integrity, honesty and anger management.
Incidentally, 61,611 individuals who submitted profiles were told politely
that eharmony was unable to "find a match for them at this time." Why?
Either they seemed emotionally unstable, or they went off the charts on a
"lie scale," saying for example, "I never tell a white lie." No other
web-based matching service eliminates anyone.
The aim of eharmony is to help
individuals think through three key questions:
1. How well do
you know yourself? Most people don't know themselves well. Clark suggests
that you write a one paragraph answer to questions like these: What is the
one dream for your life that you most look forward to achieving? Who makes
you angrier than anyone in your life and what does he/she do to make you
angry? How do you feel about yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and
spiritually? What bores you? In order, what are your three strongest
2. What are the
most important ten traits you "must have" in a mate? The two top choices are
chemistry and kindness. But there are 48 others you can choose from: sense
of humor, verbal intimacy, educated, exciting, patient, tolerant, energy
level, affectionate, attractive, conflict resolver, intellectual, artistic,
shared interests, loyal, no children, sociability, spirituality, ambitious,
relaxed, responsible. But you can only pick 10!
3. Build a
similar "can't stand" list from such traits as vanity, dependent, depressed,
lying, cynical, angry, rude, materialistic, lazy, intolerant, childish,
petty, flirts, sloppy, etc. But only 10.
Clark claims that a person who knows his/her inner character, and firmly has
in mind 10 "must haves" and 10 "can't stands" can decide in two dates if a
person is worth pursuing.
And an average person who signs up will get 12-25 potential matches in a
No wonder 150,000 signed up this month!
Copyright 2003 Michael J. McManus.