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Dating Site Takes Next Step: Marriage Help

For $75, couples can fill out an EHarmony questionnaire and get a computer-generated analysis of their relationship.

February 06, 2006|David Colker | Times Staff Writer

First comes online love, then comes interactive marriage.

That's the plan for dating site EHarmony.com Inc., which today launches an Internet service aimed at strengthening marriages.

"We call it a marriage wellness service," said company founder and pitchman Neil Clark Warren, 71, whose ebullient manner and upbeat commercials have been parodied by Jay Leno and on "Saturday Night Live."

EHarmony Marriage is not a substitute for counseling, Warren said, but a customized program to deal with routine conflicts.

Couples willing to put their trust in computerized relationship analysis start by filling out 310-item online questionnaires concerning communication, romance, sex and other topics. They then receive a computer-processed marriage profile that points out strengths and possible problem areas.

The fee: $75 per couple.

Additionally, a series of instructional online videos hosted by Warren can be added to the package, bringing the total to $239.

There are no discounts for folks who met on the Pasadena-based EHarmony (Warren said that more than 16,000 marriages had resulted from matches on the site since it was founded in 2000).

Warren promises in television ads that EHarmony, which charges as much as $50 a month, is the place to find "the love of your life."

But could EHarmony Marriage lead to disharmony?

Warren and his wife, Marylyn, filled out the questionnaires when the service was being tested.

"There were things I found out about her feelings toward me that I didn't know after 46 years of marriage," he said. "Things we needed to work on."

Warren said he had no plans to start an e-divorce service.

"Every good marriage," he said, "has conflict."

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