eHarmony Finds the Limits of Digital Dating

Looking for love? eHarmony has a Yente for you.

Not an algorithmic version of the matchmaker from “Fiddler on the Roof” — that is, a software program that matches compatible online profiles. eHarmony’s Yente is a flesh-and-blood human being.

For a steep fee of $5,000 a year – compared to roughly $700 for the regular membership – eHarmony offers access to a personal relationship coach, a service it calls eH+. The coach, usually a licensed psychologist, sifts through profiles to find matches that a computer would miss.

If a user filling out eHarmony’s 200-question profile survey tells the service they want to be paired with people who live less than 20 miles away, the company’s algorithm cuts out people who live 30 miles away, even though they may be a good match, says eHarmony Vice President Grant Langston.

The coach also acts as an advocate with both the user and potential mates. If a member is determined to find a partner with, say, an athletic build, but the user base includes super compatible partners who carry a spare tire, the personal Yente will call them up and advocate for the member while counseling the member to loosen his or her criteria. The coach also advises on things like how to spruce up profile pictures.

Full Article on WSJ

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