WhyNeverMarried?com
Online Dating: It’s Not For Everyone (Part 2)

by Carl Weisman

Direct questions or comments about this article to
Carl Weisman
PO Box 1941, Redondo Beach, CA 90278
Email: Carl@WhyNeverMarried.com

“When you’re ready to find the love of your life” reads the homepage of eHarmony, one of the nation’s fastest growing relationship sites. The appeal is almost overwhelming. For a mere $49.95, not only will they deliver your soul mate practically to your front door, but you can start making wedding arrangements immediately and it goes without saying that the two of you will live happily every after. After all, you did take the time to answer an in-depth questionnaire. If only it were that simple.

I have no problem with the service that these “value-added” online dating services offer, which usually involves a series of questions to establish certain parameters of your personality. The more completely they establish your profile, the more likely they are to find you someone who is compatible with you. The problem I have with these online dating services—of which eHarmony is the biggest offender—are their advertising campaigns that practically guarantee you finding your soul mate and your living happily ever after.

Now I realize this is the free market and companies do what they need to do to sell their product. However, it is a disservice to hold out as practically a guarantee that one thing we all think we want, if only we use their service: a soul mate with which to grow old.

For better or worse, we all judge the success of our long term relationships by two key measures: 1) how happy are we from day to day and 2) does it last forever. That is why they call it happily ever after. If these online dating services want to know if two people will live happily ever after, they would discard their in-depth questionnaires and replace them with two simple questions. The first question would be along these lines. When the honeymoon is over, the weeks turn into years, the going gets tough and you can’t stand to look at your partner’s face (the phase of the relationship Daphne Rose Kingma in her book The Future of Love refers to as Chaos), will you cut and run or will you tough it out? The honest answer to that question is the only way to know if two people will live “ever after.” Unfortunately it takes years to answer that question, not the ten minutes it takes to answer an online questionnaire. You have to live it to know it. The second question would go something like this. Regardless of the particular circumstances in your life, when you wake up each day, do you choose to be happy? Happiness is not something somebody else makes you or gives you or does for you, it is something you choose (or not) of your own free will every day. If online dating services could truly guarantee your happiness they would be able to charge a lot more money.

Happiness, or the lack thereof, is a topic all its own. If you want to know what makes people more happy or less happy, I suggest you read an excellent book on the subject Happiness Is A Serious Business by Dennis Prager.

I suspect that when we look back ten years from now, the divorce rate from people who met through dating services like eHarmony will be about the same as the divorce rate in the general population. This is not a knock on these services, but rather a harsh truth. They may use an in-depth personality profile, but they cannot change human nature.

Perhaps as our understanding of our relationships changes, we will begin to evaluate their degree of success differently, and happily ever after will no longer be the benchmark. Maybe just being together with someone for 15 or 20 years in a contented, loving relationship and successfully raising healthy and well-adjusted children will become the gold standard. Then the online dating services of the future can take a whole new approach to their advertising campaigns. When you’re ready to find love for awhile, visit eContentment. Day to day happiness is your choice and how long the relationship lasts is up to the two of you. Just fill out our brief questionnaire and we will find you someone that may interest you. And oh yeah, that will be $49.95 please.

Direct questions or comments about this article to
Carl Weisman
PO Box 1941, Redondo Beach, CA 90278
Email: Carl@WhyNeverMarried.com