For as much as I ramble about eHarmony and its founder, Dr. Neil Clark Warren, I’ve yet to pick up any of the books he’s written on relationships and marriage. The story behind eHarmony goes that while promoting one of his books on how to evaluate people as marriage material, people kept asking him how to meet these people in the first place, ultimately inspiring the eHarmony site. With this in mind, I picked up a used, hardcover copy of Finding the Love of Your Life for the bargain price of 99 cents.
The book reveals the origins of many of the serious relationship themes found in eHarmony while exposing a bit more of the author’s Christian background. If you can get past that and his argument for celibacy until marriage, there is some solid advice to be had:
- Get married for the right reasons
- Figure out what’s important to you in a partner first
- Find someone you have a lot in common with or is good at compromising
- Get to know them over a good length of time before marriage
Many of the big issues and areas of compatibilities show up in eHarmony’s “29 dimensions”, and explain why their matches tend to be better than the basic physical characteristics used by Match or even OkCupid’s more sophisticated test question and personality fuzzy logic. Given the author’s degree in clinical psychology and experience as a marriage counselor, you would expect him to be able to identify the critical traits of successful matches.
In summary, the book offers solid basic advice on finding the right person to marry once you remove a few biases, and provides some useful background on what’s driving eHarmony’s matching system and philosophy.