In today's fast-paced world, many aspects of our lives are increasingly adapting to rapid speeds, same-day deliveries, and the increasing I-need-it-now instant gratification mania. Even the dating sphere is now ruled by swipe-powered apps that give you an endless stream of potential mates at the edge of your fingertips. While the current state of online dating platforms are excellent for the wealth of options they provide, they could prove to be problematic if you are looking for serious long-term relationships.
While it is possible to find serious relationships on platforms like Tinder and Bumble, a significant percentage of their users are on there in search of flings and short-term pairings, and they are often less likely to commit.
Nevertheless, if you are a hopeless romantic/serial monogamist, you are not entirely left in the cold when it comes to online dating. Sites like eHarmony and religious dating platforms like Christain Mingle offer an online dating domain where users are almost exclusively interested in long-term relationships and marriage.
eHarmony: Serious Matchmaking for Singles
For when you want to slow it down and focus on finding the right partner for the long haul, eHarmony provides an online platform where users can match with other people seeking serious, long term connections.
Everything from the site's homepage to how the interface is set up makes it clear that the service's goal is to pair up users for long-lasting relationships. Since its creation in 2000, eHarmony has stayed true to this mission, consequently making it the go-to platform for individuals seeking marriage partners.
eHarmony's founder, clinical psychologist Dr. Neil Clark Warren creating the platform with a focus on matching users with the highest chance of compatibility for long term relationships.
Consequently, the standout feature of the eHarmony platform is a complex patented matching system tries to match users by comparing their traits. According to eHarmony, they are committed to figuring out what makes long term relationships work, and they incorporate findings of their scientific research into their matching model.
To feed this algorithm with sufficient data, eHarmony collects significant amounts of member information and runs personality tests as well. From the analysis of this data pool, the matching engine provides you with a small list of potential matches.
However, unlike other dating websites, eHarmony does not let you search for and message new members, except those on your match list.
Nevertheless, eHarmony pulls in a significant amount of users in search of serious relationships, and the platform currently boasts a member base of over 10 million users both from the US and 200 other countries worldwide.
Does eHarmony Work?
With the extreme focus on marriage and the restriction on who you can contact on the platform, eHarmony is already sounding like a very restrictive, conservative dating site.
However, while these accusations may be true, with the service now handling over 10% of the US dating market and reporting more than a quarter-billion dollars in revenue annually, they must at least be doing something right.
While the site is not one of the largest in terms of its user base, it is super effective at achieving its goal, which is fostering long term relationships.
The eHarmony platform is currently responsible for over 600,000 marriages in the US, and they facilitate several more long term connections. The website creates more than 15 million matches every single day, and the platform claims that this results in at least one love connection every 14 minutes.
eHarmony is the clear leader amongst dating sites when it comes to creating marriages, and one report claims that the platform is responsible for 4% of all marriages in the United States. Furthermore, eHarmony also claims to be responsible for about 550 weddings per day in the country.
Furthermore, since the eHarmony platform is regarded as the premier location for seeking marriage connects, many of its users and new members are people that fit that profile. Hence, if you are nervous about the unrestrained nature of online dating, and would much rather settle for more serious connections, eHarmony may be one of the best options for you.
Who is eHarmony For?
If we asked you the first thing that comes to mind when we mention eHarmony, the chances are that you will say “marriage.” The possibilities are that most people will say the same thing, and that is part of the reason why the platform is excellent for people seeking serious relationships. Those types are the only ones you will find on there.
Consequently, eHarmony is a perfect match for people who are ready to take the brave step to seek a committed serious relationship.
However, being bored on Tinder and Bumble is no reason to jump onto eHarmony. The eHarmony platform is not a place for seeking non-committal flings or friends with benefits, and you may even have a jarring effect on other members if you misuse the platform.
Many of eHarmony's users are divorcees or people with long term relationships in their history, and most of the site's user base is only interested in a serious, committal relationship. Hence, if you are not ready for monogamy, this is not the platform for you.
On eHarmony, the whole platform and interaction process is geared around being vulnerable, opening up, and considering a long term future with your matches. If this setup is not your style, you will be better off with an alternative service.
Furthermore, the eHarmony platform has conservative leanings, and for the longest time, the website's main target was the Christain demographic. Hence, if you skew significantly towards liberalism several features of the site may have too much of a right bias for you.
eHarmony Site Features
The eHarmony website features a pleasing minimalist aesthetic that is easy on the eyes and great for getting the job done. All aspects of the interface, like the notifications, labels, chats, and other features, have inch-perfect placement and a lovely interplay.
However, some elements of their profile builder are quite old-fashioned and are not on the same level as the overall design.
To begin the signup process on eHarmony, you have to fill out the form on their homepage indicating your gender, the gender you are interested in, and then enter your email and password.
However, this signup form is only the first of many in a multi-stage process that will take at least 30 minutes to complete.
Next, you have to answer a multiple-choice compatibility quiz that contains over 100 questions, as well as several essay-style questions that will form the basis for your eHarmony user profile. This entire signup process has a clinical feel to it that is quite comparable with personality tests like the Myers-Briggs test.
The questions cover everything from your views on monogamy, religion, and social situations. The signup process is quite thorough, and you immediately get the feeling that the site has the potential to match you with people with whom you are genuinely compatible.
While signing up for an eHarmony account is entirely free, you will have to pay for a premium subscription before you can see your matches or initiate contact.
The eHarmony Matching Algorithm
One major feature that sets eHarmony apart from the competition is its unique member matching system. Site founder Dr. Warren created the matching algorithm in the late 90s based on his experience as a practicing psychologist and as a long-time marriage counselor.
The matching system uses eHarmony's 32 dimensions® model to match members based on their compatibility. According to eHarmony, the compatibility matching system uses scientific methods to filter for prospects that match you and have the highest chance of building a quality relationship with you.
To use the eHarmony matching engine, you should check the Matches section, where you will find the users that are compatible with you. Typically, the platform serves you a few matches daily. From here, you can view a detailed percentage view of how you match with each person or move on to view their profile and establish contact.
However, unlike other conventional dating platforms, you can not search for users yourself, and you are limited to only the matches the system serves you. Hence, if you do not have any potential connections or do not like the ones you currently have, you have to edit your profile and wait on the eHarmony algorithm, which is as frustrating as it sounds.
Once the system matches you with another member, you can choose to like their profile or to reach out with a custom message. Alternatively, eHarmony offers a guided communication system that takes you step-by-step through several levels of communication from icebreakers to detailed personal questions. These automated questions can help you start and carry a conversation and get to know the other person.
If you and another member hit it off, you can then proceed to more advanced communication channels like emails or voice conversation with eHarmony's SecureCall feature.
- What If – this feature lets you finetune the matching algorithm to your taste. Here, you are presented with a sample of 30 random users and prompts to choose who you would like to add to your watch list. The system then uses your selection as part of the data it uses in picking your future matches.
- Smiles – another way to initiate conversations is to send a smile. Below each user photo on your watch list, you will find a smiley which you can use to send a smile to initiate contact.
- Add to Favorites – eHarmony lets you add users you do not want to contact immediately to your favorites list by clicking the star icon beside their profile. You can also view people that have added your to their watch lists under the “hidden matches” section.
- SecureCall – offers a safe way to call other members without exposing your phone number. However, this feature comes with an extra charge of $7 per month.
- eHarmony Advice – Here, you can browse through a curated list of dating tips and advice from expert writers on the eHarmony blog.
eHarmony Free vs. Premium
While eHarmony does technically have a free account option, the free account is worthless. The free account lets you take the personality test, set up a profile, and browse your matches, but that's it.
With a free account, you can not initiate conversations or reply messages. You can also send winks and automated questions to other members, but your actions will be pointless because you can not reply to their replies even if they send them.
Furthermore, with your free account, you can view member profiles and add people to your favorites list.
A premium eHarmony account, on the other hand, brings added perks like extra matches, unlimited messaging, the ability to view photos, see who added you to their favorites list and who viewed your profile. With the more expensive Premium and Premium Extra plans, you the ability to browse the site anonymously and see read receipts for all your messages.
However, a premium eHarmony subscription is a serious commitment as the starter standard plan will set you back a whopping $69.95 per month.
|Plan||Duration||Price Per Month||Total Price|
|eHarmony Standard Lite||6 months||$69.95||$275.70|
|eHarmony Premium Plus||12 months||$22.97||$419.70|
|eHarmony Premium Extra||2 years||$17.97||$431.40|
eHarmony Pros and Cons
- Premier option for finding long term partners
- One of the top platforms when it comes to privacy and security of user data
- The comprehensive profile-building system focuses on user personality
- Guided communication feature is excellent for an in-depth understanding of your potential mate
- Extensive user insights from the dashboard
- Unique personality-based matching system
- A limited number of available matches even for premium users
- The highly restrictive matching process with no search or browse feature
- Significantly more expensive than the competition
- The matching process is often unnecessarily long
- The matching system brings up unrelated matches
- No video integration
When it comes to the depth of their profile system, few sites can hold a candle to eHarmony. The closest alternatives you can get are Match.com and OkCupid. However, both options offer significantly more freedom that eHarmony as they allow you to browse nearby people, search through the user base, and match with whoever you want.