As it turns out, eHarmony (review) may have an unfair rep for being a clunky, complicated dating site. Many users complain online that it takes forever to sign up or that the personality questionnaire is painfully long – a plus or a minus, depending on who you ask. Yes, eHarmony.com asks a lot of its online daters and yes, members must fill out a rather extensive personality profile to join but, hey! That’s what makes this dating site one of the premier online dating spots in the world and to prove my point, I’m going to walk you through the eHarmony sign right here and now so buckle up, singles, and let’s get harmonizing!
Well lookee here…We’ve already completed the (not so) dreadfully long Relationship Questionnaire and all that’s left to do is create a profile and upload a photo. If you’ve ever used Facebook or even a passport, you can do this. Once your profile’s up, the eHarmony dating site does a lot of the legwork for you, sending you matches and such. Word to the wise here, daters: make sure you’ve been honest and forthcoming on your personality profile so the online dating giant doesn’t try to match you with an Usher when you’ve got your heart set on a Denzel.
So here’s a simple screenshot of the homepage – easy enough, right? Again, all this should look familiar to any of the roughly 93 billion Facebook users out there so take it one step at a time. I find it helpful that eHarmony.com allows me to add additional photos and tells me what I’ve yet to complete on my profile – spoonfeeding is where it’s at. And how much fun is the panel on the right that tells you who’s looked at you, who your matches are and who’s trying to communicate? THIS IS HOW ONLINE DATING SHOULD LOOK, PEOPLE.
Here we have a quick sample of what My Matches look like – I’m able to see all their profile information and photos and decide if I want to communicate via IM, email or not at all. I have a love/hate relationship with the “Something to talk about” section that clues me in on our common interests. Part of me thinks that if I can’t strike up a conversation with another single without Cliff’s Notes I may not be ready to date, anyway.
So here comes eHarmony again, breaking it down for me so I can really create a profile that works. Afterall, I wouldn’t go out to a bar wearing a cowboy hat and spurs (helpful hint: I’m not a rancher) so why should I put up a profile that doesn’t really reflect who I am? All of this information is optional but the more I fill out, the better my matching will likely be – don’t stress too hard about being profound or hilarious in your profile…it’s really best to be yourself and see who responds. I think the values section is crucial, so I dig in deep there, but we all know the photos are where all the action comes in. Please try and remember the three B’s: no babies, no boobs and no bathing suits. Just don’t.
So here’s where eHarmony sets itself apart. My Personality Profile tells me everything I need to know about myself and what I’m looking for in a significant other…if you’ve filled your questionnaire out correctly, this will be dead accurate and even contain a few surprises. Those eHarmony matchmaking services work as well as the site claims they do. This section’s psychological and pretty deep so don’t read it, you know, at happy hour on your BlackBerry but when you do go over it, really think about traits you have you need to work on and how you can be a better partner. The more self-reflecting you do, the better the dating service will work (and the more money you’ll save on therapy.)
I also like that eHarmony gives me so many options when it comes to setting up my profile. For a (dark) period a year or so ago, I decided to turn the matching system off and give it a go on my own. A few bait-and-switch blind dates later and I turned it back on but that’s neither here nor there. EHarmony has also built in a ton of security features to the site like anonymous phone numbers and email, all of which should make singles a lot more comfortable giving out their information.
Last but not least on our eHarmony overview is a look at the Dimensions of Compatibility. EHarmony fully believes couples who share a lot of these 29 Dimensions are better set up to succeed and after years of online and real-world dating, I’d have to say I agree. The dating site does a pretty good job of nailing down what matters and what doesn’t when it comes to relationship interaction and you’d be doing yourself a favor to learn this chart well. Of course, this isn’t a blueprint for perfection – sometimes the perfect partner really is your exact opposite – but eHarmony has years of experience and thousands of marriages to back up their scientific relational claims. If you’re already paying the membership fee, you might as well listen.
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Just like all the other dating sites, eHarmony.com did something early on to set itself apart. The thing to note, though, is that the site’s matching services really do add value to online dating you just can’t get anywhere else. For my money, I’d be hard pressed to find a dating site that worked harder to find me lasting love. If you’re new to online dating or just tired of the grind, it may be worth considering the cost to hitch yourself to the eHarmony saddle and see who may be out there just waiting to meet you too.