Imagine Cupid woke up one morning and realized a computer is a much more effective way to bring people together than a bow and arrow. And that, then, we wouldn't have all those nasty medical liability issues. MyDaily: Real Woman Share The Ups, Downs And Where The Men Are In Their Hometowns
So he finally (thank you) puts on some pants and goes to college to earn a doctorate in psychology so he can put everything he knows into a computer program that...
Oops. Too late. Dr. Gian Gonzaga beat you to it. He's one of the masterminds behind eHarmony.com, the online dating site, and its now-famous 29 points of compatibility. He is the site's senior director of research and development and chiefly responsible for making founder Neil Clark Warren's dream of introducing you to the love of your life a reality.
Gonzaga helped designed eHarmony's test so you can find that Special Someone. He's also the author of The eHarmony Guide to Dating the Second Time Around for people who find themselves suddenly single and once more find themselves shivering at the edge of the dating pool.
Gonzaga holds a doctorate in social psychology from the University of California at Berkeley and a bachelor's degree in psychology from Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pa. He talked with MyDaily in a phone interview about the dating scene—especially for people going in for Round 2.
MyDaily: First of all, how did eHarmony.com get started?
Gian Gonzaga: Dr. Neil Clark Warren was a marriage therapist for 30 years. He realized many couples were done for from the beginning. They didn't share fundamental compatibilities -- he was just negotiating an exit strategy. He decided it would be better to start from the beginning since that is the really important part of a relationship.
What's the major pitfall in dating?
The physical things we are attracted to in the beginning are not the things that help people get along in the long run. People tend to overweigh physical attraction. You need certain amount of physical attraction to come together, but staying together requires compatibility on a much deeper level. MyDaily: Is "Marital Leave" The Key To A Happy Marriage?
How does eHarmony make a difference?
You can study the couples who have been successful over the time. What are the characteristics that make them happy over a number of years? What keeps them together? All of these questions count at various levels.
Can you really trust answers on a survey? There is so often a difference between who we are and who we want to be or think we should be. Don't people puff themselves up, even subconsciously?
It is a challenge. That's one of the reasons the survey is so long. People tend to try to make themselves more than what they are. That's why we built a self-enhancement bias safeguard into the test.
How successful are you?
We are responsible for at least 542 marriages a day. I love that number. It's a lot better than just saying we have 100,000 active users.