Dating Discord

Out of tune with eHarmony


eHarmony, the dating site of choice for those looking to get hitched, has a longstanding "straight people only" policy. In May, Linda Carlson sued the site because of it. Her application was denied after she tried to use the site to meet another woman.

Carlson isn't the only one peeved at eHarmony. The day she filed her complaint, the company prevailed in a lawsuit filed by a man who said the site discriminated against him for being "legally separated" from his wife. eHarmony refused his application, saying it doesn't cater to the married, only to the marriage-minded. The previous month, eHarmony took flak for rejecting the applications of short men. Apparently the site found them unlovable, or at least unprofitable.

Although eHarmony's founder is an evangelical Christian once tied to James Dobson's conservative nonprofit Focus on the Family, the company defended itself in nonmoral terms: "The research that eHarmony has developed, through years of research, to match couples has been based on traits and personality patterns of successful heterosexual marriages. Nothing precludes us from providing same-sex matching in the future, it's just not a service we offer now based upon the research we have conducted."

Meanwhile, those who dislike eHarmony's policies have other options. Sensing an opportunity to profit from dating desperation, launched in May. It offers men-only matching for just $37.95 a month—a price slightly cheaper than eHarmony's.