Finding the Love of Your Life: Ten Principles For Choosing the Right Marriage Partner

by Neil Clark Warren
Reviewed date: 2008 Feb 7
166 pages
cover art

Neil Clark Warren is best known for starting the internet relationship website eHarmony. The principles eHarmony uses to calculate compatibility between potential mates are principles that Warren developed after years of counseling and study. Finding the Love of Your Life is a 1992 book that explains some of these principles.

The underlying premise behind Finding the Love of Your Life--and behind eHarmony--is that mate selection is the single most important factor in a successful marriage. Choose a good partner, and you'll likely have a successful marriage. Choose unwisely, and divorce is likely. Most people have no idea how to choose a good marriage partner because they've never been taught the necessary skills. Warren's ten principles are designed to help people make a wise, informed choice about who to marry or not to marry.

I won't go through all the ten principles (go read the book!) but I will highlight chapter three, Find a Person to Love Who Is a Lot Like You. Opposites may attract, but too much difference quickly turns into conflict. Warren puts it this way: "For couples, similarities are like money in the bank, and differences are like debts they owe." If a couple has a lot of similarities in the bank, they can handle their differences. If they have a lot of differences but only a few similarities banked, they're in trouble.

Warren talks about a number of areas in which similarities are particularly important: socioeconomic background, intelligence, moral values, intimacy, interests, and expectations about roles. He also talks about differences than can be particularly destructive: energy levels, personal habits, money habits, and verbal skills.

That's all very helpful in theory, but how does a couple considering marriage put Warren's advice into practice? By taking Warren's 50-item quiz. It's included at the end of the chapter. There are a list of fifty "helpful marriage similarities." A couple goes through the list and figures out how many of these items they can claim as similarities.

Warren offers practical advice in every chapter. Many of the things he says are common sense, but sometimes it helps to have someone articulate them.

Finding the Love of Your Life is not an explicitly Christian book, but Warren is a Christian and his values show through. He dedicates a whole chapter to warning couples not to have sex before marriage. He believes that couples who have genuine spirituality (not just empty religion) have a greater chance of marital success.

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