I Put My Marriage to the (Genetic) Test

By ABC News

Jun 27, 2014 1:59pm

Maria Pardalis and her family will be featured in an upcoming “Nightline Prime” piece about Instant Chemistry, a company founded by a group of scientists that uses DNA testing in an effort to measure a couple’s compatibility. Here, Pardalis offers a first-person account her experience going through the testing process.

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Taso and Maria Pardalis, shown here with their two kids, have been married for five years andistry's DNA compatibility test. Credit: Courtesy Maria Pardalis

I always thought my husband, Taso, and I were a “good” match. We are both driven individuals who are constantly looking to get ahead in life professionally and personally, while ensuring to find the time to have fun and laugh. Never did I begin to question our compatibility until we were approached by ABC’s “Nightline Prime” to partake in a scientific study conducted by Instant Chemistry to test our overall compatibility.

As a strong believer that “things are meant to be,” I was at first skeptical that science is what brought Taso and I together. How could that be? As the founder and CEO of Eventsy, a social club based in New York City that provides weekly networking experiences and multiple opportunities for people to meet naturally, I figured this was going against my overall beliefs. I am an expert at bringing people together and always thought I was good at it. Could science also be a driving factor?

My curiosity quickly increased and two days later I found myself, along with my hubby, spitting in test tubes on national TV in my living room with my extremely active 2-and-a-half-year-old running circles around ABC’s crew and my 6-week-old newborn girl screaming at the top of her lungs. Yes, very romantic as you can imagine.

As we patiently waited for the results to be delivered, I couldn’t help but to constantly have the top of genetic compatibility on my mind. What if Taso and I lacked in having complementary genes? Would we lose our physical attraction to each other and begin to question our relationship? Will our long-term relationship satisfaction begin to dwindle? Then the skeptic in me would return and fight all the negative thoughts. We have two beautiful children together and have been married for five years this coming September. No way could some test measure the strength of our bond or determine our life’s outcome. Taso and I have been through way too much, especially now with two kids in the picture.

After what felt like forever, a week later the results arrived and the “Nightline Prime” crew was back to capture our raw reactions on national TV. Luckily for Taso, he’s a fabulous attorney with an even more fabulous poker face that can keep it together. I am the extreme opposite when it comes to concealing my emotions and thoughts and this is why I was petrified to learn of our long-term chemistry, psychological and genetic compatibility while hundreds of thousands of Americans were watching.

And all I can say is wow! Taso and I are 98 percent genetically compatible and, according to Instant Chemistry, this is extremely rare and only occurs in less than 10 percent of the population. We are, in fact, an outstanding match. As you can imagine, all my worries quickly vanished and a huge smile quickly formed and remained embedded on my face. This is crazy! Our personality came in at 63 percent showing both of us being very social — surprise, surprise!

After going through this fantastic experience and learning more about ourselves and each other, I can truly say that I am happy I decided to take the test. Science is amazing. The more we learn about ourselves and overall genetic makeup, the better we will efficiently grow as people.

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