eHarmony wants Australian singles for a real life event to test its matching algorithm

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Ever wondered if online dating works? eHarmony is wondering the same, and has put the callout to Sydney singles for a real-life matchmaking experiment.

The multinational matchmaking website announced to Australian singles this week that its first-ever “eHarmony LIVE” event would be held at Woolloomooloo in eastern Sydney on November 29.

Australian singles are invited to be set up on “a series of mini dates and have a chance to meet people based on years of eHarmony’s relationship research”.

As well as offering up a chance for singles to meet, the night is designed to emulate eHarmony’s online matching in real life, to allow the company to evaluate its secret sauce formula.

eHarmony is a matchmaking site in which applicants answer extensive questionnaires to profile their personality and interests. The site then, using a behind-the-scenes algorithm, connects profiles that it deems have the best chance for long-term relationships.

The company’s “matching scientist” Jonathan Beber will be flying in from eHarmony’s Los Angeles headquarters to oversee the experiment.

“People often confuse strong physical attraction with compatibility, and when building a new relationship may not take into account what would be best for the long term,” says Jonathan Beber.

“These superficial and incompatible matches are reflected in the high rate of relationship breakdowns and divorces.”

Beber said that while eHarmony already claimed a better rate of matchmaking for long term relationships than its rivals, he was interested to see if the algorithm also led to immediate chemistry in a real life introduction.

The experiment results will be analysed and written up in a white paper to be published early in the new year, to celebrate eHarmony’s 10th anniversary in Australia.

“The research here and around the world shows there is a lot of dissatisfaction in the outcomes of many dating apps. We want to make sure eHarmony continues to provide a superior service that leads to happier, healthier relationships,” said eHarmony Australia director Nicole McInnes.

eHarmony, established in 2000, runs websites in the USA, UK and Australia.

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