Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I was reading the "news" on and ran across this article. Nothing surprises me anymore...

PASADENA — Four years ago, match site eHarmony quietly launched a new initiative, eHarmony4Kids, to help parents find mates for their children. The new program, whose tagline is "Play Dates, Life Mates. eHarmony for Kids," has worked so well that the company is rolling it out nationally this year.
"People want to steer their kids toward compatible potential life partners at an early age," says an eHarmony spokesman. "Core beliefs are in place at a young age so we can help them do that."
Parents in Nashville, Seattle, Sacramento and Boston were secretly invited to participate in the field testing. They had their kids, ages 5 to 17, take the online personality test. Then eHarmony matched them up with other kids they deemed compatible.
The parents did not tell the kids what was happening but encouraged email friendships, play dates and online chatting.
"We told her it was like having a pen pal," says one mother whose daughter was 8 when she joined the test program.
eHarmony also encouraged parents to form "affinity clusters" of half a dozen or more kids, any two of which were likely to pair up and marry, according to eHarmony's test results.
"Working in clusters allows your child to have some modicum of choice, instead of just ramming them at one other person and hoping for the best," says the spokesman.
One set of parents colluded to have the kids in their affinity cluster attend the same college. One of them, Kate Dockery, 19, enrolled at Azusa Pacific University where she and several classmates later found out they'd been "eHarmony-ed" by their parents.
"I felt ripped off," Dockery says. "They'd been parading suitors before me for four years."
She does admit that the people in her cluster "are all very good friends. It's kind of eerie how well we get along," but she says she would have rather found that out on her own than through eHarmony.
"I don't mind the whole semi-arranged marriage thing, as long as I'm an active participant," she says.
eHarmony does not expect the program to be controversial.
"We're just refining what parents do already," says the spokesman. •


The Arender's said...

That is crazy!
What is this world coming to? Sometimes it is scary to think about.

Taylors said...

That is hilarious! It just makes me laugh thinking about it!
I am sooo doing that with my girls! :D JK

Misty said...

Oh my goodness......

If you think back actually very few of the people you knew during childhood married each other (my sister is an exception I guess!)

Travis said...

hmmm...i guess if you're going the arranged marriage route, its a more accessible means of doing so.

on the surface it seems preposterous,
but many cultures [even some w/in the US] still practice a form of arranged marriage (i.e. chinese, orthodox jews).
i'll admit i wouldn't want it for my children. but i cant say i'd attribute it to another downfall of society.

[way to bring on the thought provoking stuff, jodi].

Travis said...

"but i cant say i'd attribute it to another downfall of society"

*i meant another characteristic of a society that in many ways is increasingly debouched and mentally sick.

Jodi said...

True- there could be worse things happening than parents wanting the best possible mates for their children...and I realize that some cultures, even church groups, practice arranged marriages...
BUT- the fact that a parent would pay for a membership to a well known online dating service so that the dating service could hook their child up with a suitable life partner- or a group of potential good candidates, is just so foreign to me.

Hey, if your old enough to be married and you want to try eHarmony, I say- "good for you!"

But for children?

For instance, eHarmony is supposedly a reputable online dating service that is "scientifically" based and they advertise that each compatible match is pre-screened across "29 dimensions"-
Great for adults...I suppose.
But, don't children change as they grow older?
True, basic personality may stay the same- though sometimes even personalities can be altered due to many different circumstances in the course of one's life.
And goals change, wants change, and even (sometimes) beliefs change.

Finding a life mate is not rocket science-
it is much MUCH more important than that.

So as a possible future parent what will I do?
1. I will be doing a lot of praying.
2. I will do my best to teach them how to make good and God lead decisions.
3. I will trust God to guide them- who knows...
He may have other plans for them than marriage.

Wow! I am opinionated!

Travis said...

i understand. and agree. i failed to point out that most of the arranged marriages occurring within the united states are not set in stone till adolescence. so you're right. online matchmaking for toddlers is a bit extreme. i just dont think there's any blatantly corrupt intent on the part of the parents.

Mary Ellen said...

OK - that is just WEIRD!!!!

Mary Ellen said...

BTW, I was referring to your subject matter - not Travis. "-)

Nonentity said...

That made me laugh!

Travis said...

haha. just noticed that.

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