So I’ve spent a lot of time reviewing online dating sites that have a cult following, little notoriety and cheesy gimmicks to attract members. I felt like it was time for me to really get in the game, so to speak, and review arguably the most popular online dating site out there today: eHarmony.com. eHarmony has some big shoes to fill right off the bat. They claim to be the first of the dating websites to use a “scientific approach” to matchmaking and assert from the get go that their mission is to help me find love. Well, eHarmony, that makes two of us. See the detailed eHarmony dating site review below for my completely-subjective-totally-unscientific impressions.
The picture that met me on the eHarmony.com login page was of an attractive young couple, but there was something special about these people that gave eHarmony a leg up on the competition. Rather than being a stock image, these two people (Kristina and Scott, in case you were wondering) were actually matched by eHarmony.com. Dating online is inherently met with a level of skepticism, but I have to say that showing me actual singles who meet people on the site gives me a confidence that I don’t necessarily have going into other online dating websites. It also doesn’t hurt that eHarmony is one of only a handful of dating sites that advertises nationally, most notably using commercials, along with competitors Match.com and Chemistry.com.
I knew going into my eHarmony review that the juggernaut was not a free dating site, so I was prepared to whip out a credit card. Instead, banners littered the screen telling me that with the new year approaching, it was time for a “free communication event” which allows new users to access the single chat functions of the site for free. Guess I picked a good time to poke around – free online dating is always more exciting than paid online dating.
The first thing that caught my eye was that the default for eHarmony.com asked if I was a “woman” seeking a “man.” This isn’t noteworthy except that on literally every other online dating website I’ve visited, the default was the reverse. My guess is that more women feel compelled to use eHarmony over other dating websites because there’s a level of expertise attached to the site’s matchmaking services.
So began my journey deep into the “comprehensive relationship questionnaire” (read: exhaustive list of questions aimed at determining the best single match for me.) After I got through the basics, some of the questions included How satisfied are you with your physical appearance?, How important is your match’s spirituality to you?, and What’s your income? After I got through all these types of queries, I started on the “range” questions, that is, those that asked me to select a number on a scale to determine how well a sentence described me.
These ranged from questions about my anger levels to ones about my moral compass. It. Was. Exhausting. All in all, the personality tests took me over 40 minutes to fill out, so don’t start this project if you’re not mentally and physically ready to devote a couple of hours to on line dating on eHarmony.com.
After the Login:
Finally I got in and after all that, when I viewed the profile tab, it was only 22% complete! My initial thoughts on design were that the site was nicely laid out. Nothing too different from the other popular online dating sites I’ve visited, but good organization: tabs at the top with Matches, Profile, Reports, and Settings, a small screenshot of my profile as it appears to other singles, and other sections for things like “who’s viewed me?” and “premium membership.”
I immediately headed to the reports section to find out what could possibly be in there. Book reports? Tax assessments? No, it was just my personality profile, as determined by the eHarmony online dating service. My report was quite extensive and spoke to pretty much every level of my personality and interaction with others, but I have to be honest and say it wasn’t 100% on the mark. I felt that at times it described my personality in more black and white terms that I believe it to be, but hey, eHarmony does claim to be the preeminent dating service expert. Perhaps they know something I don’t.
I spent a good while pouring over the results and contemplating aspects of my own personality, rather than just that of my potential mate. This is the first time since beginning my foray into dating online that I’ve found myself in a state of reflection, which says a lot for the caliber of what eHarmony offers. A dating site that encourages me to truly think in deeper terms about the whole experience can’t possibly be a waste of time. Or can it?
Oh, eHarmony. You had me, hook line and sinker, and I was ready to buy whatever you were selling. I honestly couldn’t wait to dive in and see who the dating website thought would be my (first) husband, and there they were: two matches. TWO. Now, I understand that my personality profile may have said a few unflattering things about who I tend to be, some fair and some not. But really, two singles? Herein lies the biggest flaw of eHarmony – they don’t let you do any of the matching yourself. As seen from the thousands of marriages that come from the large dating site, this method really does work, but if you’re one of the unlucky souls who doesn’t fit nicely into the “friendly and pretty and likes long walks on the beach” category, the eHarmony dating site has a much harder time determining who can, well, put up with you. Once I went through those 2 guys (who were actually pretty cute and well matched for me, at least on paper), I literally had nowhere else to go. I couldn’t scroll through other single men or reach out to someone outside my comfort zone because eHarmony wouldn’t even let me see people it didn’t feel were suited for me. My only option was to go back and edit my profile to make myself more appealing, both to other local singles and to the eHarmony.com algorithms. The problem is, once I start altering my profile, I’m no longer being honest to the process or about who I really am which kind of defeats the purpose.
Pay to Play:
Even though I didn’t pay a dime to sign up for the site initially, I knew that eHarmony was not about free Internet dating. Though not overly expensive, eHarmony’s rates were a little higher than I’d seen on other singles dating sites, ranging from about $20 to $60 per month, depending on the length of the contract. It’s really nice that eHarmony offers these “free communication events” every now and then as they really help you get your feet wet without suffering buyer’s remorse.
I wanted to be totally bowled over during my eHarmony.com review, I really did. I have heard so much about the process and the matchmaking abilities over the years and I was truly excited to try it out for myself. The dating site had more glowing testimonials than your average Sham Wow infomercial, and I was just convinced that eHarmony was going to find me love. What I was unprepared for was the silent assertion by eHarmony.com that I am, quite possibly, unlovable – there are just no single men out there well suited for me because perhaps I just don’t need to be in a relationship. Without being overly dramatic or depressing, these are the honest feelings I was left with after visiting eHarmony, and they didn’t exactly inspire me to go back. I do have a very strong feeling, however, that if I’d been matched with more people and the site had been more useful to me, it would have been a slam dunk. Some of the biggest things I learned during my dating site review were:
- eHarmony isn’t kidding when it says it’s “comprehensive.” The profile section takes longer to get through than a Francis Ford Coppola movie, but it does a reasonably good job of pegging your traits and potential matches.
- The dating website template at eHarmony is a little less exciting than some of the best online dating sites as there aren’t that many extra features or fun functionalities.
- Don’t expect free dating services from eHarmony.com. They offer premium matchmaking services and you’re going to have to pay for them if you want to really exhaust the site.
- Your matches, the number and quality, depend entirely to the answers you give on your profile. Users should be honest, but also expect to be disappointed if their personality is not one of the easiest to match.
I would absolutely go back to eHarmony.com again. I liked the site – the feel, the layout, and the integrity behind it – I just didn’t like my own, personal results. I think the next time I’ll go into the questionnaire a bit more jaded but a bit less hard on myself knowing that my answers will really limit the matches if I don’t choose them carefully. I wouldn’t say it was a wasted afternoon, but I would say that it may have been better spent organizing my winter closet or Keeping Up With the Kardashians …Join