5 October 2009
Why are my matches so varied?
This is a perennial question from eHarmony members. If we match people based on personality, shouldn’t there be a common thread that runs through all of your matches?
I have been matched with around 60 women since I joined eHarmony a few months ago; communicated with 35; 12 of whom let me read their personality profiles; I met 4 women, all of whom were great matches for me but none of them were remotely alike. If eHarmony’s aim is to match people based on personality, how can so many very different women be good matches for me?
Does this letter sound familiar? It’s a question we’re often asked and one we’re happy to answer. eHarmony is searching for someone who is similar to you in many ways. We base our Compatibility Matching System™ on key dimensions that our research has shown are fundamental to a successful long-term relationship. These dimensions vary widely, touching on many different areas like intelligence, kindness, curiosity, ambition, emotional health and adaptability, to name just a few.
So why do we think similarity in these areas is so vital in a match? The one trend we saw above all others when researching successful couples was that people who had long and happy marriages were very similar to their partners on these key dimensions. This doesn’t make them clones. They are still unique people with space within their relationship for things like separate friends and interests. But on the big personality traits – on social and lifestyle issues – they were very similar at the time they met.
Major differences between yourself and your partner will all create the need for compromise, which is very wearing to a marriage. We don’t mean compromises on small things like what film you want to watch or which restaurant you want to eat in. We mean compromise on the key dimensions. If education is very important to you and not to your match, or if you are very ambitious and your match is not – these issues will stack up and gnaw away at your relationship.
That said, there is still room for great diversity. Due to the large number of dimensions we match you on and the huge range of human activity within each dimension, the people that are a good match for you will vary widely.
• Someone who has an extreme analytical intelligence, a large amount of curiosity in several specific areas, a general ambition, and a tiny amount of anger might be a good match for you.
• Someone who has a considerable human intelligence, an average amount of curiosity in all things, a huge ambition and a very effective way of releasing their more sizeable natural anger, might also be a good fit for you.
If you were to meet these people at the same time, they would seem very different and this is only looking at four dimensions. We want you to be aware that we only present a match to you when we feel we’ve found someone special. Every match is a good fit for you in deep-rooted ways.
» Experience the eHarmony difference – subscribe today