Friday, July 8, 2011

eHarmony Founder Say's Dont Get Married

eHarmony Founder Say's Dont Get Married
There are about 23,000 weddings in the Seattle area each year. More than 2 million couples will get married in the United States. Sounds lovely doesn't it? Not to the founder of an online dating site who says thousands of couples should "reconsider, postpone their weddings or not get married" at all.

You've probably seen ads with Dr. Neil Clark Warren talking about eHarmony . That's an online dating website that he says is based on the science of matching people up for long-term relationships. But he writes in a column this week, bad marriages happen to "good people who are not good for each other."

It's time to rethink marriage:

The skill of choosing a marriage partner has often been treated as relatively unimportant in our society and a whole lot less complex than it actually is. And herein lies the secret of why marriage has often turned out so disappointingly for so many.

It's frighteningly easy to choose the wrong person. Attraction and chemistry are easily mistaken for love, but they are far from the same thing. Being attracted to someone is immediate and largely subconscious. Staying deeply in love with someone happens gradually and requires conscious decisions, made over and over again, for a lifetime. Too many people choose to get married based on attraction and don't consider, or have enough perspective to recognize, whether their love can endure.

When people choose a partner unwisely, it's a source of enormous eventual pain. During my 35-year clinical career, I "presided over" the divorces of several hundred couples. I never experienced a single easy one. If one or both partners didn't get clobbered by the experience, any children involved often felt deep emotional sadness and loss. Sometimes this sadness kept impacting these people for years -- even decades.

I have often suggested that more pain in our society comes from broken primary relationships than from any other source. If we could ever reduce the incidence of marital breakup from 40 to 50 percent of all marriages to single digits, I suspect it would be one of the greatest accomplishments of our time.

I'd like your thoughts this for a story I'm working on. Thumbs up, thumbs down? How's marriage working out for you? Comment below, email me, or leave me a message that I might use on the air at (206) 726-5422.

eHarmony photo of Jeremy and Beth who met through their online dating site.

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