eHarmony is a leading matchmaking site for those seeking a serious relationship with a compatible partner in every sense. They've developed their own personality matching system that is designed to help you find your soul mate.
- eHarmony uses a scientific approach to find you a partner who's compatible with you on every level
- It has a higher bar to entry than most places with its test so there are fewer time wasters
- They let you set match preferences that override their own match system. This allows you to fine tune everything.
Launched in 1998 they were one of the early pioneers of scientific matchmaking. Despite its age, they've kept pace with the times and offer their own brand of matchmaking on the web and through their popular apps.
Given that eHarmony requires a little more commitment in terms of your time, the question then becomes: What exactly do they offer their customers, and who is their match service most suited to?
A little bit of History
eHarmony is the brainchild of Dr. Neil Clark Warren, a clinical psychologist with decades of experience in his field.
At the time of eHarmony's launching, people were still sitting on the fence when it came to online dating - it was a new thing, and there was a bit of stigma attached to the whole thing.
Nowadays online dating is ubiquitous; it's no different than going to the mall for a bit of shopping or having a meal at a fine-dining restaurant.
You can sign up for eHarmony either on their phone app or at the main website.
The registration process is a standard affair where you provide the details you normally would if you were to register at any dating website. The profile setup stage is user-friendly, simple but quietly sophisticated. In other words, it doesn't try to get too complicated.
Once you've entered your basic details, you get to the one thing that distinguishes eHarmony from the other dating sites: its Relationship Questionnaire, essentially a huge, staggering personality test with over 13 sections and containing more than 200 questions. The test looks at:
- Your core personality type
- Values and beliefs
- Your outlook on life
- Your ambitions
- Your suitability for a long-term relationship
It is this questionnaire that sets eHarmony apart from the pack.
To make things as fast and easy as possible, the questions are put in front of you and you just click one of the circles to describe how important it is to you.
After clicking a few dozen times, there's a temptation to just rush through to get it done with. But you need to be patient with the test because your matches will only be as good as the information you provide.
Like most dating sites, you only get the goodies after you sign up for a paid membership. But at least you can take the test without deciding if you want to become a paying member.
For the curious, their comprehensive personality test is definitely worth taking, even if you eventually decide not to go for a paid membership. You might come out of the experience knowing a little bit more about yourself and what you're looking for in a partner. Just be sure that you can allocate at least 30-45 minutes for it.
You probably want to make sure you've finished all your projects and assignments for the day before giving it your undivided attention. You can save and return to it at a later date, but if you're in the mood for some soul-searching, why not just complete it in one go?
Your test will be used to calculate your compatibility with other members and ultimately decide the personal profiles you will see there.
For example, based on the questions you answered in the questionnaire, your results might show that you're compatible with someone who shares the same core spiritual beliefs or someone who has a more impulsive side and who loves living life on the go.
Once you've finished the formalities you can go about setting your match preferences. These are fact-based settings that will override any automatic matches. For example under Religion and Spirituality you can set the religions of the people you want to meet. Under Distance & Geography you can set the maximum distance you are willing to travel.
Keep in mind that on eHarmony, you don't get to browse through the various members' profiles. Instead, it uses an algorithm to match you with potential partners that it thinks are the most suitable for you, based on your test results.
They say that those couples who share certain core compatibility traits, upon which it's matching system works, are "statistically" more likely to form a successful relationship.
This has both its good and bad side. It is great for people who don't have the time or inclination to go through a whole bunch of profiles just to find a handful of people they might be compatible with; with eHarmony, you get results delivered to your virtual door.
In a way, you can think of eHarmony as a virtual matchmaker, one that helps you weed out the not-right-for-you candidates and leaves the quality ones for you to go through.
The bad side of it is some people actually like to browse through pictures and profiles. There's a lot more variety in doing so, and you get to look at a wider range of potential partners. These users know, of course, that not every profile will appeal to them, but it is the whole browsing experience that interests them.
Furthermore, while you're not going to get the opposite sex version of yourself on eHarmony (which might be a nightmare for some of your friends), you might find the matching process constraining, especially if you're a sensible khaki-wearing social worker looking for a girl with tattoos who enjoys living on the wild side.
Speed of Matching
Don't expect to be flooded with a sea of profiles immediately. If you're lucky, you might get a handful of matches. Free members are only ever shown a limited number until they subscribe.
Be aware that if you choose to remain a free member, you wouldn't be able to view all of their pictures nor reply to any of your matches.
Breaking the Ice
Once you've joined as a paid member, eHarmony allows you to communicate fully with your matches. Subscribers also have the choice to see a much wider selection of people - even those they may not be compatible with.
Not everyone is suited to eHarmony. If you've been married several times, have emotional disorders, or you're just plain not heterosexual, you probably won't be a good fit for their service. Note: If you're not heterosexual, you can join eHarmony's other site, Compatible Partners.
In regards to the fees, eHarmony is about average. The minimum package (the Basic Plan, allowing viewing and communicating) will set you back $9.95 a month, and runs for no less than 3 months. You pay more if you subscribe for shorter periods.
One thing to look-out for is their “free communication weekends”. These special-offers are a regular occurrence and allow non-paying members to briefly communicate with their matches.
The Digital Age
eHarmony hasn't remained stagnant in terms of technology. It has reinvented itself quite a few times. These days you can find eHarmony mobile apps for three platforms: iPhone, iPod, and Android. And if you're feeling a bit apprehensive about filling in a questionnaire that will take upwards of half-an-hour of your time, the Relationship Questionnaire created for these devices takes just 10 minutes (approximately). Perfect for those with short attention spans!
Is it Worth the Time, and Money?
At the end of the day, the good thing about eHarmony is that it doesn't claim to be more than it is: an online dating site for people who are serious about finding a potential life partner. It is not for people looking for a casual fling, summer romance, or a one-night stand.
They've developed a product for a particular customer demographic. And the fact that it is still as robust as ever shows that it has determined what its customers want, and has developed just the right product for them.
If you're serious about finding a life-long partner, you might want to give eHarmony a go. Your future partner could be less than a hundred clicks of the mouse away.
- High-Quality members: Most eHarmony members have spent time and money to join the site, so they are pretty serious about finding a potential partner. So if you’re looking to tie the knot in the foreseeable future...
- Diversity of members: eHarmony has several million members and operates in over 150 countries - with numbers like those, you should find at least one potential soul mate out there.
- Excellent success rates: You’ve probably already seen or read about the figures and statistics on eHarmony success rate with marriages. Yes, you have.
- Comprehensive Personality Test: You might have thought you knew about all the things you want in a partner - eHarmony’s massive personality test helps you turn those thoughts into words. You might even learn a new thing or two about yourself.
- User-friendly Website - Although eHarmony doesn’t advertise this feature, the fact of the matter is that whatever improves your experience in the whole online dating process is a good thing. eHarmony’s easy and uncluttered user interface is one of those things.
- Limited ability to search - The search is biased towards members you're compatible with. To see others you will need to upgrade.
- Limited Communications - Similarly, you cannot communicate with anyone else other than with the members you’ve been matched with.
- Possibility of not being accepted - eHarmony has been known to turn some people away, based on the results of their personality test. They might even turn you away while you’re doing the test.