Do Opposites Attract?
Among the online dating services that use a standard survey approach to matchmaking is eHarmony.com, founded by Dr. Neil Clark Warren, a psychologist and an apparent guru at matching up singles for long term relationships. Asking over 200 questions and requiring an hour of each applicant's time, the study conducted by eHarmony helps to determine the characteristics and remarkable qualities and how well they matched up with other available singles for romance.
It seems that match making website's approach is a raging success. Claiming responsibility for over 43,000 marriages in the US, this dating service maintains that their matching methods are sound and scientific. This formula for relationship success spills over into corporate and societal realms as they rise to the top of the online love game and their claim to American marriages seems to be about 2% of the total marriage market. Not a bad number for just one of many relationships services offering marital bliss on the web.
Branching out to a wider market, though, eHarmony.com finds that they may need to adjust their matching algorithm. Recently launched in the UK, for example, eHarmony finds a market with a slightly different approach to couple interaction and meaningful connections in general.
The Oxford Internet Institute discovered, for instance, that British couples are less likely to argue than their American or Australian counterparts, less likely to be put off by partners too tired for intimacy, and generally more likely to agree on key relationship issues such as major decision making, extended family interactions, financial issues, and the division of household labor. Their US counterparts emphasized the importance of interpersonal communication. Kissing, touching, exchanging of ideas and the ability to confide in each other were among the most celebrated relationship facets. Interestingly, Australian couples valued projects that brought them together and were bothered little by unaffectionate or non-demonstrative partners.
Other surprising cultural differences were revealed when the study noted that British, American, and Australian couples were likely to experience relationship low points coinciding with the birth of a child while Chinese couples generally experienced high points in their relationships with such an event.
Two things seem proven by The Oxford Internet Institute survey and the success of this matchmaking web site--relationships are not static points of reference that can be used to generalize notions of human interaction across cultural barriers and science can be applied to love for romantic success. Suddenly, finding the ideal mate seems achievable for nearly anyone.
Posted at 3:04 PM on Oct 17, 2008 By 5StarDating.com
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