Putting yourself out there over the internet can be a bit daunting at first, however, the truth is that it is a totally normal thing to do. In fact, 1 in 5 relationships now starts online. Relationships that form online may appear to be for a quick fling, but this is not the case, and many sites attempt to match people based on interest in order to find long term, compatible partners. There has been a big boom in the number of sites offering these services, and the number of people opting to test the waters. These sites are not all made equally, however, and can offer different packages, prices, and different solutions for their customers. Here we will be reviewing one of the market leaders who has been in the game for a long time: eHarmony.
Background Story and Statistics
eHarmony is an online dating website that was launched in 2000, and it has grown to be one of the most reputable sites on the market. The process begins with a propriety questionnaire that asks individuals for their beliefs, characteristics, values, emotional health and skills. Sophisticated and robust matchmaking algorithms use these answers to match people who they believe they would be compatible with. Some of the key take-home points to tell you a bit about the site and its scale are as follows:
- Over 16,000,000 active weekly users
- 15 million matches per day, every day
- 600,000 marriages to date
- 53:47 male to female split
- The site attracts members looking to settle down
To say that the site is successful is a bit of an understatement. It has excellent statistics when it comes to matchmaking, and fulfils on its promise to make long-lasting, meaningful relationships. We, therefore, wanted to see what all the fuss is about and rate an individual’s chances of finding a meaningful relationship on there, as well as testing out some of the interesting features that are available.
Membership Options and Signing Up
eHarmony is generally a paid-for service, free memberships are available but they come with a large number of restrictions, like only having the ability to send generic premade messages. We would really recommend for anyone serious in the search for a partner to opt for a paid-for service; of which there are different options depending on cost. This includes the basic and more premium service, the differences are not tremendous though. Basic still gives you an unlimited pass on messages, and you will not be negatively impacted just going for this package. Premium does give you some better options, like seeing who has viewed your profile whilst staying anonymous, and searching by distance. Payment plans have a lot of options also in terms of time length:
- Single-payment options - a one-off lump sum payment of your current subscription
- Two-payment option - the total subscription amount and its subsequent charges are divided into two payment schedules
- Three-payment option as above but with three payments
This makes it suitable for people that do not know how long they want the app for (they can simply purchase a month), and also gives people who are dedicated users a chance to split their payments up to make cash flow easier.
Once you have decided on the plan you are going to go for, you must set up your profile. eHarmony asks you 150 questions in order to gauge your personality and tries to match you with compatible individuals. These questions will normally have a situational spin, for example, ‘what would you do if…’ type of questions. Compatibility questions are also used that lean more towards the physical makeup of your potential partner, like their body type, nationality, or height. You can rank how important these features are in this part also. Once you have given all of this information, the algorithm will get to work on finding you a match. This will not happen immediately though. In keeping with their commitment to building meaningful relationships, matches will take some time to generate. Signing up is also made easier by allowing you to do so through Facebook as well as through email. Most people take just 10-15 minutes to create their profiles and begin finding their match.
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Making Contact and Profiles
This is the main reason we would suggest opting for the paid service. In-app messaging is the only mode for conversation, and you will be really limited if you do not have the capacity to write your own customised messages. Premium also allows you to chat with people they deem to be outside of your compatibility area. This gives you generally more options.
The profiles visible on eHarmony are generally very detailed. Answers to questions are displayed on individuals’ profiles, and members they are matched with can ask questions as well. The compatibility tab shows how compatible you are with your prospective partner based on important factors of a long-term relationship, such as physical intimacy, conscientiousness and emotional intimacy. Premium members can also look at the city their match is resident in, their age, and their name, as well as any photos they have posted. All of these features are off-limits for those with the standard, free membership plan.
This is one of the areas that eHarmony really shines in. As the site looks to match people for a longer-term commitment, the user interface is designed to be fit for purpose and minimalist, so that it does not exclude different groups of people, for example, older individuals who have a harder time with technical navigation. This contrasts with some of the more complex sites that are focused on younger people. This should not take away from the site however, as it is still extremely in-depth. It is just that this information is more easily accessible than on other competitor sites.
The mobile app for eHarmony follows from the minimalist user interface that is present on the website. Mobile apps can be confusing, but eHarmony does a good job of presenting all of the essential features of the website in a simple way. You can browse matches, send instant messages, and edit your page all whilst on the move. The app is also free to download, you can simply log in with your online credentials and as long as you have an active membership you will be able to enjoy all of the app’s features. You can also purchase a premium subscription directly from the app. This is great for people that do the majority of the browsing on devices, you can sign up for the free service then upgrade whenever suits you.
eHarmony does not offer all that much in terms of unique selling points, it does so well in a competitive market because it does what it promises it will do so efficiently. There are however some trendy features we spotted that were missing from some of the other dating sites:
- Send a smile – when reviewing your match list, a small smiley face icon will appear next to their name. Clicking it will simply send the other person a smiley face. This is a light-hearted and informal way of initiating contact with a potential partner, whilst avoiding the stress of thinking of a way to introduce yourself.
- Send questions – as aforementioned, the ability to send a question to match can be a good icebreaker. eHarmony also gives you suggestions on some of the questions you might like to send a prospective partner.
- Add to favourites – by clicking the star icon next to a name, they will be placed in your own private favourite list. This allows you to streamline and shortlist some of the people you may be interested in.
- What if – this is a feature we really like, the ability to widen your match pool to another 30 that are just slightly out of your compatibility. This simply gives you more options if you do not feel a suitable connection with your current match pool, but do not want to wait for a refresh.
- Video date – this lets the users meet over video on the eHarmony site. This allows you to spend more real-life type of time with a person from the comfort of your own home. This is a feature we believe will gain a lot of traction under the current global circumstances.
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
We have given this site an overall rating of 4.5 based on sign-up, contacting members, profile quality and features, and how good the app is.
The modes of dating are certainly changing with the times, and with a seemingly endless supply of dating websites, it can get a bit confusing in terms of where you think you would be best placed to find a partner. Although basic in its features, eHarmony Is certainly one of the best in the game. They have a lot of experience in helping people to find meaningful relationships and have been developing their robust matchmaking algorithms for over 20 years now. The system will do a great job of matching you with people that are likeminded in terms of their interests, wants, and general personalities. If you want a long-term relationship or maybe even more, for the financial investment, we really think eHarmony is worth a try.