Neil Clark Warren
|Neil Clark Warren|
September 18, 1934 |
Des Moines, Iowa, USA
|Occupation||Clinical psychologist, inspirational speaker, Christian theologian, founder of eHarmony relationship site|
Neil Clark Warren (born September 18, 1934) is a clinical psychologist, Christian theologian, seminary professor, chairman and co-founder of the online relationship sites eHarmony and Compatible Partners.
Warren earned a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Chicago. He is a former dean and psychologist at the Graduate School of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary. Warren is the author of ten books, and his articles have appeared in numerous journals and magazines. He has been interviewed on more than seven thousand radio and television programs.
In 1995, Warren and son-in-law Greg Forgatch created Neil Clark Warren & Associates, a company which offered seminars and teaching tools based on Warren’s books. In early 2000, they saw the need to redesign the company and created eHarmony, an online compatibility matching service. After retiring in 2007, Warren came out of retirement in July 2012, again becoming the chief executive of eHarmony and helping to restructure the company.
Born and raised just outside Des Moines, Iowa, Warren developed an interest in compatibility when he was very young. Although his parents' marriage lasted seventy years, Warren was frustrated by their inability to communicate with each other due to the differences in their intelligence and interests.
"They had a nice marriage, but they were not a very well-matched couple. … My dad was just so stinking bright, and my mom was so sweet, but she was two standard deviations below him in intelligence," Warren said. When his father ran for office in Polk County, Warren's grandmother refused to vote because she didn't think one should meddle in politics. Soon after, the family relocated to Long Beach, California.
Warren received his undergraduate degree at Pepperdine University. He got his master's in divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1959. Warren obtained his Ph.D in psychology from the University of Chicago in 1967.
Following his time at Princeton Theological Seminary, Warren moved to Chicago to continue his career in clinical psychology. He attended the University of Chicago. He served as a professor and then dean of Fuller Theological Seminary's Graduate School of Psychology. During these years, he worked in private practice as a clinical psychologist. In his 35 years of therapy he focused on marriage compatibility and performed many "divorce autopsies." After counseling thousands of couples, Warren developed an interest in helping singles find lasting relationships.
Warren has researched and written extensively about the complex challenge of finding, attracting, and selecting the right marriage partner. He published his first pamphlet in 1975 entitled Selecting a Marriage Partner, and went on to write ten books, including Learning to Live with the Love of Your Life, Love the Life you Live: 3 Secrets to Feeling Good—Deep Down in Your Soul, and Date or Soul Mate?: How to Know If Someone Is Worth Pursuing in Two Dates or Less.
In his book Finding the Love of Your Life, Warren writes, "What we desperately need in America is a revolution—a total change in our mate-selection process. … I strongly believe that we can significantly improve this vital area of our corporate life."
In 1995, Warren and his son-in-law Greg Forgatch started Neil Clark Warren & Associates, a company that offered seminars and teaching tools based on Warren's book Finding the Love of Your Life (published in 1993). In early 2000, they decided to shift the direction of the company. "We came to the conclusion that single people in America do not want more education about relationships," Warren said. "They're sick of that. They want somebody." His goal was to lower divorce rates and create lasting marriages. Building upon his research and writing on the subject of building strong marriages (including his book, Finding the Love of Your Life), Warren and Forgatch started eHarmony in 2000 as a web-based method of matching singles with compatible mates for marriage. Their "29 dimensions of compatibility" can be divided into four categories:
- Character and constitution
- Emotional makeup and skills
- Family and values
Warren was Chairman of the Board of Directors at eHarmony from its beginning. In 2007, he went into retirement to live in Kennebunkport, Maine with his wife Marylyn. Warren then returned to eHarmony as CEO in 2012 due to conflicting visions concerning the future of eHarmony. Upon returning, one of Warren's biggest changes to the company was to expand the brand into a broader "relationship site" to help people create compatible relationships throughout their lives: to become better parents, connect compatible employers and job seekers, cope with aging and solve interpersonal problems. "I think we could have had a very good business forever matching people for marriage," Warren said in 2012 in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. "But our sense was, we could do a lot more than that." He currently has no plans to retire again.
Warren has been open about his religious views and these views strongly influence his work, though these views have at times come into conflict with his desire to grow his business. He has stated: "I think there is something very incredible about Jesus. I don't back away from that. At the same time ... the public we want to serve is the world… You can say that that is just a good business idea, because it increases the size of your market. But it's also for me a philosophical point: I think our world will be a lot better world if we can help people of all types get married well." 
As an example, Warren attributes much of eHarmony's initial success to its promotion on the daily radio broadcast of Focus on the Family. As the company expanded and sought broader market share, Warren parted ways with Focus on the Family and its founder, James Dobson. In 2005, Warren discontinued his appearances on Dobson's radio show and bought back rights to three of his books—Finding the Love of Your Life, Make Anger Your Ally, and Learning to Live with the Love of Your Life—originally published by Focus on the Family. As Warren explained, "We're trying to reach the whole world—people of all spiritual orientations, all political philosophies, all racial backgrounds."
Warren's religious views also came into focus due to controversy over eHarmony's policy on not offering same-sex matches. Warren explained his position by noting: "cities like San Francisco, Chicago or New York ... they could shut [eHarmony] down so fast. We don't want to make enemies out of them. But at the same time, I take a real strong stand against same-sex marriage, anywhere that I can comment on it."
- God Said It, Don't Sweat It ISBN 978-0-7852-8064-4
- Finding Contentment ISBN 978-0-7852-7234-2
- Finding the Love of Your Life ISBN 978-0-671-89201-2
- Catching the Rhythm of Love ISBN 978-0-7852-7344-8
- Make Anger Your Ally ISBN 1-56179-707-3
- Falling in Love for All the Right Reasons
- How to Know if Someone is Worth Pursuing in Two Dates or Less
- Love the Life you Live
In promoting his books, Warren has appeared on numerous radio and television programs, including Focus on the Family, The 700 Club, Geraldo, The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, CNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News, PBS, and CBC (Canada).
- Slater, D. (2013). Love in the Time of Algorithms. London: Penguin Group.
- Warren, N. (1992). Finding the Love of Your Life. New York: Pocket Books.
- 29 Dimensions
- Chang, A. (2012, December 13). "EHarmony founder has his heart set on reviving the dating site." Los Angeles Times.
- Love in the Time of Algorithms. Dan Slater
- Kornblum, Janet (2005-05-18). "eHarmony: Heart and soul". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-05-20.
- "Interview with Neil Clark Warren". Focus on the Family. Retrieved 2004-03-03.
- Press release on Dr. Warren, eHarmony.com.
- Interview with Warren on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, addressing the issue of providing services to those seeking same-sex matches. Audio file.
- Q&A with Warren on National Review, with comments on eHarmony demographics.