eHarmony offers a managed, personality inventory-based approach to online dating. You may learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible and have the opportunity to share the information with matches selected for you by eHarmony. With an ongoing national ad campaign, a well-developed site, and consistent focus on lasting relationship results, eHarmony wins our TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award.
At eHarmony, it’s about quality rather than quantity. It is difficult to gauge the potential dating pool at eHarmony because you will only see matches selected for you by the service and these are limited to about nine at any one time. Though you may not be able to assess quantity, you may assess quality with these matches. You can receive matches before paying the membership fee, but you must join to see photographs.
eHarmony reports 90 eHarmony members get married every day on average (Harris Interactive study, Fall 2005). eHarmony has the highest proportion of women visitors: 71 per 100 according to Quantcast, an independent open internet ratings site. Statistics also say 46% of eHarmony’s visitors earn over $60,000 per year and 64% are over the age of 35.
The eHarmony profile is one of the most extensive found on any online dating site. With 436 questions measuring 29 dimensions of compatibility, the profile will take you about 40 minutes to complete. Think of it as a multiple-choice test with a couple of short open responses thrown in. Be particularly thoughtful when you answer the open-ended questions.
You won’t write an essay about yourself, commonly done on other online dating profiles, so these answers are the only original statements potential matches will see. Along with information about yourself, you will also define your “must haves” and “can’t stands.” Choose from intangibles like verbal intimacy and spirit of volunteerism for required traits and from a host of negatives like hypocrites, flirts and television junkies for deal breakers.
If questions are simply being rushed through, eHarmony will not let you proceed with the profile. At the top of the screen a note will appear stating that rushing through the process has a negative impact and will ask you to review or change your answers before moving on.
One drawback to eHarmony’s profile maker is that if by the end you have answered all the questions and eHarmony does not like what it sees, you will be told they have no matches for you and you can’t move any further.
The searching and matching functions are different than most online dating sites because eHarmony manages both of these features for you. They will only match you with singles that match your profile and will not allow you to search for matches on your own.
Communication replaces searching and matching on eHarmony. You may choose from two types of communication: standard (guided) and fast track (open). eHarmony was founded on the guided communication method, but has added the second option for those who are comfortable with writing emails to their matches at the beginning of the process and thereby circumventing the multiple choice question and answer phase.
If you opt for guided communication, you may express interest in one of your matches and select five multiple-choice questions for him/her to answer. If your match answers, you will receive their answers and a set of questions to answer in return. You may select one of the pre-written answers or answer in your own words. After two rounds of this type of exchange, you may move to open communication.
Alternately, you may choose to request a secure telephone call at any step in the online process. And, at any point, you may choose to put communication on hold or close it.
eHarmony offers name, city and age verification for an additional fee. If you subscribe to this service, the verification will be posted with your profile. This service may help members feel more confident communicating with other members, and help decrease the chance of an unpleasant surprise when two members meet.
To take full advantage of the information you submitted on your profile, visit the Reports section to see a lengthy analysis of your profile including agreeableness, openness, emotional stability, conscientiousness and extraversion. Additional pages are available for a fee.
eHarmony offers an entire site devoted to advice and dating information called eHarmony advice. Find helpful articles about common dating mistakes and how to remedy these mistakes, receive tips on how to act on a date and how to tell if a person is interested in you. You can also take quizzes that will tell you what you are doing wrong, what type of person you should look for and what type of person you should avoid.
Navigation is simple throughout this well organized site. Photos are not included on your home page — you’ll have to go to the profile to see a photo — adding an extra step to the process of deciding whether or not to pursue a recommended match. Question forms are easy to complete and the communication log provides a visual and clear record of the communication stage for each match.
Look for the icon with a lower case i when you want additional information or clarification. You may also visit the FAQs page and contact eHarmony by email.
eHarmony offers a fundamentally different approach to online dating than Match.com: it’s all a matter of who takes the reins. If you feel more comfortable with the managed approach, eHarmony is for you, but if you want to do the choosing, look to match.com.
eHarmony has a detailed profile-making process to help you better match with singles.
If by the end of the profile process eHarmony can’t find matches for you, you can’t do anything else on the website.
For a detailed and on-the-dot match, eHarmony is a great service.