Website finds love for singles by ignoring choosy demands
When it comes to looking for love, being picky may seem the best way to help you weed out undesirables and find your perfect match.
But, according to online dating website eHarmony, ignoring choosy relationship demands is the best way to help singles end up with Mr or Mrs Right.
The website, which for 17 years has closely guarded its matchmaking algorithm, has revealed that its success lies largely in ignoring the wishes of choosy clients.
Singles are asked to fill out an extensive list of personal preferences before the computer programme spits out a list of suitable dates. But Steve Carter, the site's chief scientist, has revealed that although singles are asked to choose likes and dislikes on a sliding scale, unless they pick the extreme ends their answers will be largely ignored.
Mr Carter said it stopped daters ending up "in a universe of one". He added: "We saw that by giving people the opportunity to say what race do you want to be presented with, what religion, what denomination, how much can they smoke or drink, people thought, 'Oh, I have to make a choice here', when they might not have made a choice.
"Then that choice becomes absolute, and that choice is run against the database and anyone who doesn't fit that choice never gets presented to them.
"So we needed to figure out a way to not allow them to paint themselves into such a corner.
"So then we started asking people how important these things were on a scale of one to seven - though it's now a scale of one to three.
"If you didn't say it's very, very important, if you didn't go all the way up to the top of that scale, then, yeah, we kind of ignored it anytime we could."