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Falling in love for all the right reasons

Since forming eHarmony in August 2000, I have been approached in the most unusual places by people with requests for help in finding lifelong love and happiness for themselves or someone they care about deeply. For instance, two years ago I was assisting in the funeral ceremony for a good friend, Lewis B. Smedes, when Ross Porter -- a popular Los Angeles radio and television personality who for years has been one of the three "voices" of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball broadcasts-clutched my arm. I had known Ross for a number of years, but I was surprised nonetheless at the sense of urgency with which he sought me out.

"Neil, I have a daughter named Rosalyn," Ross said furtively. "She has been divorced for seven years, and she's a wonderful young woman. She's bright, beautiful, and articulate." Ross paused and took a deep breath before continuing. "She has two great kids, so following the divorce, she moved back home and my wife and I have helped raise the children."

My friend stepped closer to me and lowered his voice. "But I have to tell you, she has not been able to find the right kind of person...not even to date, much less to marry. I've heard your advertisements on the radio, and I think she'd be a good candidate."

"Have her give me a call," I said, "and we'll see what we can do to help." I handed Ross a business card, feeling a bit awkward about holding our conversation in the midst of our fellow mourners, but wanting to assist nonetheless.

Ross later told me that while driving home after the funeral, he informed his wife, Lynn, of our conversation: "I talked to Neil Warren about Rosalyn-"

Lynn interrupted him. "Oh, Ross. You didn't! That's terrible. Have you lost your senses? You should never have done that! Rosalyn would not be happy. She would probably take that as an insult or be terribly embarrassed."

"Okay, fine," Ross said. "I'm sorry I mentioned it." He handed my business card to his wife. "No harm done."

About two weeks later, Rosalyn and her mother were engaged in a conversation concerning Rosalyn's stagnant social life. When Rosalyn mentioned her frustration at not being able to find a man with whom she felt strongly compatible, Lynn let it slip that Ross had discussed her discouragement with me. "You know, your dad talked to Neil Warren about you at Lew Smedes' funeral, and Neil gave him his business card for eHarmony...Let's see, I have it right here in my purse...but I told your father that you would not be the least bit interested..."

"Give me the card," Rosalyn said. "Wha-?" "Just give me the card," Rosalyn said.

Her mother found the card in her purse and handed it over to Rosalyn. She called me, and I explained to her how eHarmony.com works.

"I think I'd like to try that," Rosalyn said. She completed the eHarmony personality profile and eventually was matched with a man named Jeff, an eye surgeon who was also divorced and was raising three children by himself.

They began to communicate through the eHarmony Web site and quickly progressed through the four stages of "safe" correspondence leading to open communication. Before long, Rosalyn and Jeff met and went out on a date. During their conversation, they couldn't believe how compatible they were. They shared common interests, values, and goals. They hit it off so well that they were finishing each other's sentences!

Within a year, Jeff proposed to Rosalyn and the couple sent my wife, Marylyn, and me an invitation to their wedding. We're not able to attend many of the weddings of people who have met on the eHarmony Web site (we have been the first step down the aisle for more than six thousand marriages in the past few years!), but this was one wedding we didn't want to miss.

Rosalyn and Jeff involved all five of their children -- her two and his three -- in the wedding ceremony, and it was truly the uniting of two families, not merely the marriage of two individuals in love. Prior to the service, Jeff's sister introduced herself to me and said, "Thank you so much for bringing Rosalyn and Jeff together." Tears welled in her eyes as she said, "I feel as though I've gotten my brother back. He has been lonely for such a long time and now he is so happy. I can't ever begin to thank you."

At the reception, when Marylyn and I greeted the bride and groom, Jeff hugged me. I mean, he hugged me!

Jeff is a strong man, and when he threw his arms around me, I knew I wasn't going anywhere; my arms instinctively went around his back. He said, "Neil Warren!" and he hugged me some more! I stood there awkwardly for a moment, and Jeff continued to hang on to me. I let go of Jeff and dropped my arms to my sides, the universal sign between males indicating "Okay, this hug is over," but Jeff still kept me in his grip. Almost reluctantly, I lifted my arms back up around Jeff's back and I hugged him a little bit longer. And he still held on to me! Three times I lowered and raised my arms, but Jeff continued to cling to me. He hugged me for about a minute or a minute and a half, which seemed like forever with other people standing behind us waiting to greet the beaming bride and groom. But Jeff didn't care. "Thank you, Dr. Warren," he said over and over. "Rosalyn and I are so happy! We are so well matched. Thank you for bringing us together."

With more than six million people now using our Web site -- and that number rising by more than ten thousand every day-eHarmony has brought together literally thousands of men and women -- serious singles who are not simply looking for a date for Saturday night, but who are sincerely searching for lifelong marital success. We have thousands of exciting stories in our eHarmony files -- each one interesting and unique, yet all bearing witness to a strikingly simple and similar truth: When you discover a person with whom you have broad-based compatibility, your chances of experiencing true, lasting marital happiness rise exponentially.

But what is broad-based compatibility, and how can you find such a person with whom you may share it?

How will you know him or her when you meet? How can you be sure the person to whom you are initially attracted won't change into a stranger after the two of you have tied the marital knot? Even though you both enjoy sushi, or jogging at sunrise, will you still be in love twenty years from now? How can you avoid wasting years of time, enduring one painful relationship after another or-perhaps worse yet in your estimation-having no promising relationships at all?

In Falling in Love for All the Right Reasons you will discover the answers to these questions and many more that come to mind-or should-every time you consider a dating relationship with somebody of the opposite sex.

Nowadays, people tend to fall in love for all the wrong reasons. Physical appearance, power, prestige, social status, wealth, and sexual "chemistry" are a few of the more transient, fickle qualities on which men and women sometimes base their relationships. Not that those aspects of a relationship are unimportant. Indeed, they merit close examination and we will evaluate them in these pages, but they are not a sufficient foundation on which to build a solid, long-term marriage.

At eHarmony, we want you to fall in love for all the right reasons so you can remain in love for a lifetime. And because we have discovered twenty-nine dimensions that determine long-term success in marriage-scientifically proven principles of compatibility, based on more than thirty-eight years of research into what ingredients are required in a healthy, happy marriage-we feel absolutely confident that we can help you (or other singles you know) find "Mr. or Ms. Right." Even more important, we can help you establish a growing relationship with that person that potentially will lead to a successful marriage.

That's what Falling in Love for All the Right Reasons is all about. The good news is that thanks to modern technology, you are more likely to discover your soul mate-that person with whom you share the most "broad-based compatibility"-than ever before in the history of human relationships.

Think about that! You really do have a good chance of finding the love of your life! You can experience an incredible attraction, a thriving, fulfilling relationship that you will relish for a lifetime, and a magnificent marriage, all with a person who wants to share life at the deepest levels with someone such as you. Not only will this book help you to know yourself better and to know what sort of person you are looking for more specifically than you have ever imagined, but we'll even show you how you can best search for that person with whom you are most closely matched.

To boost your confidence, let me tell you a little about how eHarmony came together, how we developed these twenty-nine dimensions of compatibility, and how you can apply them and use them to evaluate a potential marriage relationship. Then we'll get extremely specific about what kind of person you should or should not marry. Are you ready? This is going to be the adventure of your life!

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