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eHarmony Founder Leaves Retirement to Revive Dating Website

(UPDATED) Hoping to turn the once-Christian dating website into a 'relationship site,' Neil Clark Warren returns as CEO.

Update (Feb. 21): In an interesting interview with CNBC's Off the Cuff blog, eHarmony founder Neil Clark Warren claims that the reason for his dating website's recent business struggles is not competition from other sites. Instead, he attributes it to "people who are afraid to find the [right] person"–as well as the issue of same-sex marriage. An excerpt:

I think this issue of same-sex marriage within the next five to 15 years will be no issue anymore. We've made too much of it. I'm tired of it. It has really damaged our company, and when the attorney general of the state of New Jersey decided that we had to put up a same-sex site and we did it out of counsel that if we didn't do it we were not going to have any business in New Jersey – we literally had to hire guards to protect our lives because the people were so hurt and angry with us, were Christian people, who feel that it's a violation to scripture.

I have said that eHarmony really ought to put up $10 million and ask other companies to put up money and do a really first class job of figuring out homosexuality. At the very best, it's been a painful way for a lot of people to have to live. But at this point, at this age, I want America to start drawing together. I want it to be more harmonious.

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eHarmony founder Neil Clark Warren is back in charge of the company he started, and he wants to rebrand the online dating website as a "relationship site."

Warren, a former dean of psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary, founded eHarmony as a website for Christian singles in 2000. But after several years of lagging growth and declining membership, Warren has come out of retirement to lead the company once again, according to the Los Angeles Times.

This has meant big changes for eHarmony. Warren has narrowed down the board of directors and switched advertisers.

The goal? To jumpstart new growth for eHarmony, which was known in its early days for leading Christian singles into marriage. Now, according to the Times, Warren's plans for the site aims to "help users make new friends, find the right job, become better parents, cope with aging and solve interpersonal problems, among others."

CT reported when eHarmony launched an online dating site for gays and lesbians as part of a legal settlement. CT has previously discussed the issue of online dating for Christians and how the internet was "changing the Christian dating game."

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Posted:January 3, 2013 at 6:58AM
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eHarmony Founder Leaves Retirement to Revive Dating Website