eHarmony co-founder talks online dating over 80, same-sex marriage

(CBS News) Started nearly 13 years ago, the online dating site eHarmony has hit it off with many people, sparking the weddings of more than half-a-million people, and five percent of marriages nationwide each year.

Neil Clark Warren, the co-founder of the company, credits a scientific approach for the company's success.

But now the company is experiencing success with a perhaps surprising growing demographic. Warren said, "We've had 88,000 people over 80 apply to eHarmony. We only go to 99. We don't know of any over 100. But my own dad, after being married 70 years to my mom, ended up, after a year, being so lonely, he got married again. And he called me to tell me he was getting married again."

Warren, who has been married for 54 years himself, said that adaptability is what makes a marriage work. "You're just not going to be the same on a whole bunch of things."

Speaking of his wife, Warren said, "Marylyn was born in Boston. I was born in Iowa. I was the only kid in my class. Marylyn was from a big school. She moved all over the East Coast. I think she's the most adaptable person in history of the whole world."

In addition to his company's success, Warren also discussed the controversy surrounding his company's stance on same-sex relationships. The company was forced to open a separate website following a lawsuit on the basis of discrimination. Warren, asked if they would have opened the site on their own without the lawsuit, said, "I doubt that we would have because I didn't know anything about it."

And then turning to the subject of same-sex marriages, Warren said, "Well, you know, that's been the biggest problem that we've had in America for the last few years. It's kind of nice that it's kind of moving in the direction now that it's taken care of. Now, we can turn to a much bigger issue: We only have about 25 percent of all marriages that work. We need to get about the task of figuring out how to make that 50 percent, 75 percent."

For more with Warren, watch his full interview above.

  • Amanda Cochran

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