Founder of eHarmony’s Advice on Marriage

Why Neil Clark Warren, founder of eHarmony, thinks everyone ought to be happily married.

By Maria Bartiromo from Reader's Digest | February 2008

What exactly do single people want?
They are dying for a deep sense of companionship and to feel really good about themselves. When you find someone who makes you feel good about yourself, you want to be around that person all the time!

What’s the one essential quality to a successful relationship that most people overlook?
Honesty. I find singles are too forgiving of people who lie to them. They think they won’t lie the next time. But liars tend to be liars.

What’s the most important of your 29 criteria for compatibility?
Emotional health. No marriage can ever be stronger than the emotional health of the least healthy partner.

Do opposites attract?
I have been the greatest opponent of this because I believe so much in the importance of similarities. The truth is, opposites attract, then they attack.

You don’t just help singles. Tell us about eHarmony Marriage.
It’s our online marriage wellness program, and it’s private and personalized. Couples fill out a questionnaire and receive a report indicating where their relationship is strong and where they could make it stronger. There are exercises on conflict resolution, sex, trust and more.

What’s next?
We’re turning our attention to helping people find a life vocation, which could be satisfying for so many. Unhappiness at work for one spouse can place a heavy burden on a marriage. Apart from your marriage, making the right decision about where to work is the single most important thing you’ll ever do. Our research team is working full-time to identify the criteria that will help people find a vocation they love and a satisfying place to fulfill it.

What’s your favorite love song?
Billy Joel sings about “don’t go changing,” which strikes me as very odd, since adaptability has been key to my marriage lasting 48 years!

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