by JP Duffy
April 2, 2009
Last November, eHarmony capitulated to the New Jersey Attorney General who demanded that eHarmony cater to homosexuals. Despite an outcry from eHarmony success couples from across the country, eHarmony followed through this week on its promise to launch a same-sex matching service.
My wife and I met on eHarmony almost three years ago, and we quickly began recommending the service to our single friends who were also drawn to the company’s good reputation. Last year, I told The Wall Street Journal, eHarmony’s success didn’t come from its slick advertising campaigns. It was their high moral standards, because they rose above the ‘hook-up’ mentality of their competitors, and because they were openly helping people find marriage partners.
eHarmony always asks new customers how they “heard” about the service. At the top of the list is “word of mouth.” Since the same-sex matching decision was announced, we have heard from a steady stream of other eHarmony couples who are closing their mouths shut. Without this word-of-mouth campaign, fewer values-driven customers will pay for this service, resulting in a new eHarmony that bears little resemblance to the classic values matching service it once provided.
It’s disappointing to watch eHarmony take this road because I believe there is a vital need for a values matching service. With eHarmony getting out of this business, will we see another service step up to fill the void? I know there are many Christian dating sites. I won’t need to use a values matching service again, but I know single friends who do. For their sake, I will be looking out for an eHarmony “Classic” to rise again.