eHarmony is a paid dating website and app that some people love and that others love to hate. It started in the year 2000 as an online dating site, with a unique vision of bringing people together through compatibility testing. It is privately owned, with the help of large investors, and was founded by clinical psychologist Dr. Neil Clark Warren and his son in law.
eHarmony is not like Tinder, PlentyOfFish, or OkCupid. It’s not even like Bumble or Zoosk. In fact, eHarmony may not be like any of the dating sites you’ve tried so far, though many have mimicked its algorithm style personality testing. The site is geared for those in search of monogamous lasting relationships or marriage and has had its share of controversy due to its focus on straight unmarried couples.
A U.S. court had to intervene over eHarmony’s refusal to cross promote its site for gay matches https://mashable.com/2010/01/28/eharmony-lawsuit/#voZImCD72Sqh and, due to that, it now promotes its same sex sister site, Compatible Partners compatiblepartners.net.
The History of eHarmony:
eHarmony’s marketing is geared around its algorithm based personality testing, which is supposed to lead to better compatibility and matching. In the United Kingdom, the ASA (or Advertising Standards Authority), has banned the site from claiming it has ‘science’ backed matching, concluding that eHarmony’s odds are not substantially better than on other dating sites.
eHarmony stands by its belief that users who marry through their site have more successful matches. While users may not realize the significance of questions about their values and beliefs, emotional tools, mental health, and more, they are continuously being computed by an algorithm. eHarmony doesn’t operate off the idea that opposites attract, but believes compatibility leads to longer lasting love. User’s engagement (a.k.a. time online) on the site is also matched up as a calculation of behavioral patterns.
Since eHarmony first became profitable in 2004, the site has gone on to have profit margins in the millions and a large share of the online dating market. It’s main niche has been carved out through its focus on marriage and/or monogamy. While founder Dr. Neil Clark retired and left the site several times (though he returned in 2012 through 2016, and made sweeping improvements as the chief executive officer), eHarmony has changed their sign up/personality questionnaires and reduced their length from 450 to 150 questions, with recent sign up seeming even more streamlined.
Pros & Cons
- Since eHarmony is competing against other dating sites and apps that have similar compatibility testing (and also against the popularity of Tinder & Bumble, which rely on Facebook as their algorithm source for matching and not extensive user questions) it has improved its question and answer section. It now presents questions in attractive ways, which avoids long lists, and only has you answer enough compatibility questions to get started, while leaving some optional (for users to seek out later).
- One of the best features on eHarmony is the “The Two of You Together” section, found when you look at another’s profiles. This section lists areas of compatibility based on one’s Q & A and gives a percentage match for Intimacy, Altruism, Exclusivity, and other categories. For instance, if you and another user have 100% Exclusivity as a match, then it means you are both equally interested in monogamy as a priority, etc.
- Profiles seem to be crafted with more care on eHarmony and make for a better read with most people filling in personal answers and extensive details about themselves and their life. The layout of each profile is easy to browse and interesting, with sections that are interesting to read, such as, best “life skills”, 3 things one is thankful for, or how friends would describe the user, etc.
- Unpaid members can read profiles, send ‘smiles’ and answer questions pre-written by the site (with automated reply selections or the ability to write one’s own answer).
- The site used to immediately remove new users who listed they were separated and not actually divorced, but their new sign up process seems to remove that question from the immediate sign up and profile. Historically, 20% of the profiles created for eHarmony site have been rejected – some for being married 4x or more, others for still being married (only divorced, widowed, or single were allowed) and some for being between the ages of 18-21. As the site competes with less restrictive dating sites, many things are changing, just as eHarmony’s gay marriage stance.
- The site is fairly expensive for the Premium membership, though the Standard membership is a bit more affordable. See our pricing breakdown below.
- If you consider yourself more outside the box, you might find users too traditional and conservative. If you’re looking for casual dating, you will have better luck on other sites.
- One big con is that photographs cannot be viewed until you’re a paid member. Less user dating heavy sites often do, in hopes that you’ll sign up as a paid member before deciding if you like any of their selections. Until you pay for membership, you will only see blurred versions of user photographs. If you’re unsure if you want to sign up, you can browse the written portion of each profile and see if it resonates with you. Likewise, only paid members can correspond via messages.
Benefits – See who has viewed you, send and receive unlimited messages, see match photos, see who has favorited you, browse matches outside your preferences.
- 12 month plan: $21.95/ month (option to be billed in 3 installments of $87.80)
- 6 month plan: $36.95/ month (option to be billed in 3 installments of $73.90)
- 3 month plan: $58.95/ month
Ease of Use
Website and app features are straightforward and not placed under trendy confusing names. For instance, selecting “Matches” will take you to a page of matches, where you can easily edit the age range you’re in search of, view your favorite matches, who has favorited you, mutual favorites, the paid ‘what if’ section (which gives users an extra 30 matches per day and the ability to decide which eHarmony will match them with). You won’t have to purchase coins or tokens to get extra benefits. Overall, the site feels straightforward and adult. The changes made to eHarmony over the last year or two, have put it back in the running of fun and easy to use.
To change or cancel your membership, get help logging in, and more, contact eHarmony at: (844) 544-3179.
How does This Work?
Sign Up & More:
Go to eHarmony.com or download the eHarmony app.
Select if you are a man or woman and the opposite gender will automatically generate as what you’re looking for. If you are looking for a same sex match, you can alter the automatic gender selection and you will be redirected to eHarmony’s partner site, Compatible Partners.
Beneath your gender you will enter your name, email address, password, and zip code. You will then proceed to the start of your compatibility, personality, and background questions.
Step 2: Questionnaire
eHarmony’s questionnaire is no longer completed as a lengthy boring list all at once. Rather, you will click from millennial friendly screen to screen and be finished within about 20-30 minutes, depending on how much thought you put into your questions. These questions will range from standard health habits (alcohol or cigarette use), your religion or spirituality, ethnicity, your interest in dining out and watching tv, church involvement, friendships, and if you have children, and many more, etc.
You will then complete open text boxes where you answer a range from what you passionate about, your interests and how different characteristics describe you. You should also enter a profile image(s). If you try and click away from the questionnaire and basic profile questions by reloading the app or reloading the eHarmony web address, you will simply be logged out and resent to the same screen once you log back in.
Decide if you want to be a paid member. On the app, you will automatically be shown the Premium membership prices over the Standard rate, but both options show available on the website.
Step 3: Search
Once you have completed the required questions, you will see the full range of site options. First, go to the icon image of your profile picture and click the white downward arrow for a Dropbox to appear. Select “Match Preferences” and then alter any selections that aren’t what you want. One important choice will be ‘Distance and Geography’. The search starts at 30 miles and up. You can also search specific countries, states, etc.
eHarmony will suggest that you keep your minimum search distance to 60 miles, but that is primarily because the site lacks as many users as sites like Tinder. If you aren’t opposed to your matches living a bit further away, take their advice. If you prefer a match distance of 30 miles or less (which is still pretty far away), keep it to that minimum.
Step 4: Matches & More
Review the browser bar at the top of eHarmony’s website or the bottom of the app. ‘Activity’ will show you who has viewed your profile, if you’re a paid member. If you’re yet to sign up for official membership, you will instead see the name and profile links of anyone who has ‘smiled’ at you or sent you a site generated question, etc.
Under “Matches” you can view your matches and edit your age range (the site suggests not making your age range too small). You will also see who you’ve viewed, who has viewed you, mutual matches, users you’ve hidden until you want to match, and “What If” (a paid feature where users view up to 30 additional users a day and select who they want to be matched with.
Step 5: Other’s Profiles
If you haven’t signed up for the paid version of eHarmony, look over other user’s profiles, perhaps based on convenience of location or for users who have sent you ‘smiles’, ‘messages’, and/or site generated questions to answer. If you enjoy reading a particular user’s profile, consider if you want to commit to the site enough to sign up. Though profile photos remain ‘blurred’ until membership is paid for, you can still gather a certain amount by the outline in a photograph. Go through three (3) of the site generated icebreaker questions (3) and you can begin to message one another.
- Benefits – Same as Standard Plans, along with browsing anonymously, getting read receipts for messages, personalized help (phone call) from an expert, get featured for 24 hours every month. eHarmony may offer you an initial Special Offer, such as $11.99/ month for 12 months, billed at $139.99 (offered on the app). The app seems to only present the premium priced membership options, as of 2018.
- 12 month plan: $29.95/month (option to be billed in 3 installments of $119.80)
- 6 month plan: $46.95/ month (option to be billed in 3 installments of $93.90)
- 3 month plan: $70.95/month (option to be billed in 3 installments of $70.95)
Another con is that eHarmony has less users and only some are paid members. In 2017, eHarmony was thought to have about 10 million active members and only 750,000 of those being paid members. According to stats from Business Insider, Tinder now has a high percentage of marriage minded users, which further dwindle’s the stronghold eHarmony had on that portion of the market. http://www.businessinsider.com/eharmony-win-back-millennials-2017-2
Due to the lower amount of traffic, finding a local match can be more difficult. On eHarmony you won’t have endless swiping or any swiping. Matches will be given on the daily or through your search and it might become clear that less matches means focus on quality over quantity/visual attraction.
If you know what you’re looking for, have money to spend, and don’t mind a worthy match taking a little bit of time, eHarmony might be for you. If you want to find more immediate meet-ups, enjoy swiping or viewing multiple photographs, are especially concerned with the physical appeal of match’s photograph, or aren’t sure what you want (perhaps you’re a fan of ‘opposites attract’) then you’re better off downloading Tinder, Bumble or looking to Plenty of Fish.
eHarmony Review: The Essential Guide