These days we have digital matchmaking, digital dating, and digital sex -- so why not digital couples therapy?
A short article in the Los Angeles Times reports that today super-successful (and conservatively Christian) online dating company eHarmony will launch a new feature that its silver-haired spokesman and founder, Neil Clark Warren, calls "a marriage wellness service."
Like its dating program, eHarmony's marriage service begins by asking couples to fill out an encyclopedic 310-item questionnaire touching on topics as varied as romance, stress, communication and sex. For $75, a computer magically processes the data, compiles the couple's strengths and weaknesses -- I imagine something like the Gobstopper machine from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory -- and spits out a report. And for couples in need of more than a quick fix, a set of instructional videos, hosted by Warren himself, can be added to the package.
Though eHarmony boasts a remarkably high match rate -- Warren tells the Times that more than 16,000 marriages have resulted from matches on the site since it was founded in 2000 -- of course not every couple ends up in wedded bliss. (For proof, read Rebecca Traister's article about the site and its founder.) Is the new service just a genius way of profiting off romantic successes and failures? When those 16,000 couples start having trouble in paradise, they shouldn't expect special treatment: eHarmony offers no discounts on its marriage program for returning customers from its dating service.