Image of the book date or soulmate by Dr. Warren and the title of the blog post

I saw this book at a library book sale and the title caught my eye. The author, Dr. Neil Clark Warren is the founder of and I hoped the book would offer a glimpse into eHarmony's early days and inner workings.

I like that Dr. Warren takes a pragmatic approach to dating. His goal is to help daters quickly make accurate decisions about whether or not to invest time in dating and getting to know a potential partner. He believes that singles should think strategically about potential mates and since this perspective aligns with my own, it is easy to endorse the ideas in his book.

While I didn't get the inside scoop, I appreciated the pragmatic approach that Dr Warren takes on dating. The book focuses on helping singles make informed decisions about potential partners and avoiding wasted time and heartache. He encourages daters to think strategically about compatibility, a perspective that I share,

The Emotional Investment

The author points out that any developing relationship creates expectations and emotional attachment. The longer the relationship lasts, the stronger the feelings become. When things end, disappointment and sadness are inevitable. This highlights the importance of minimizing emotional risk by making thoughtful dating decisions.

Time: A Limited Dating Resource

Dating someone requires an investment of time and a corollary loss if the relationship fails. It also means missing out on meeting other potential partners. This further supports the importance of taking a strategic approach when searching for a partner for a long-term, committed relationship

Self awareness: The Foundation of Successful Dating

Dr. Warren emphasizes understanding yourself as a critical first step to effective dating. You can't identify what makes you happy or unhappy in a partner without a clear understanding of yourself first.

Shifting focus: Your potential partner

One of my favorite quotes in the book is “to really get to know someone you have to stop being self-conscious and learn to be other-conscious.” He's right. Dating anxiety can make daters prioritize making a good impression over paying attention to the other person.

Here, Dr. Warren offers practical advice: discover what the person enjoys about his life, how they feel about their job, and how involved they are with his family, friends, and community. Dr Warren also advises paying attention to whether your date seems interested in getting to know you and checking to ensure their actions align with their words. Finally, he suggests paying close attention to their judgment and their choices.

Shared Values are the Key

Dr Warren believes that the best approach to dating is to find somebody who's a lot like you. He offers daters seven critical areas of similarity including desire for intimacy, level of energy and ambition, expectation about roles, spiritual values, interests, and personal habits. If you have read my blog post XXX, you know that I too believe that value alignment can help daters avoid future relationship challenges

Some Advice Feels Dated

While the book's core principles remain valuable, some advice on self-discovery and creating "must-have" and "deal-breaker" lists feels dated. However, his suggestions can still serve as a good starting point for brainstorming.

Since the book predates the online dating boom, some of his advice is not as relevant in today's world where most couples meet online. Dr. Warren's background as a Master of Divinity is evident in the book's emphasis on religion, and his more conservative perspective on dating and relationships may not resonate with all readers.

While I didn't get a peek behind the curtain at eHarmony, I did get some insight into what its founder thinks should be prioritized when dating for a relationship. Twenty years later, many of those insights have stood the test of time.

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