eHarmony Review
Reviewed by Russ Ruggles on May 8, 2013
Rating: 4.5

A great choice for the more serious dater

I've tried about every dating site you can imagine. If you've tried some of the "search and pick" style dating sites, like OkCupid, you know that it can be frustrating to find reliable people who are serious about finding a match. eHarmony tends to attract a crowd that really wants to find a solid relationship. They spend great effort trying to figure out just what makes two people work together. They use their formula to *only* send you matches that are right for you.

This post is one of a series of online dating site reviews I have planned for some of the best online dating sites. Since we just recently started offering eHarmony promotional codes, I thought it would be great to start with eHarmony. A few main points about eHarmony:

  • eHarmony matches you on 29 different dimensions, ranging from curiosity and emotional energy to sexual passion and appearance. It takes about 40 minutes to take the initial survey and get started on the site.
  • Matches are delivered to you in batches so that you have about 10 different matches to review at any one time. There is no search function on the site because eHarmony only delivers compatible matches to you. Once you’ve reached your limit of active matches, you have to “archive” matches you aren’t interested in to get more matches.
  • eHarmony uses a “guided communication” process, which consists of matches sending each other multiple choice questions, and building up through several stages to “open communication”
  • There are some features that allow you to bypass some of eHarmony’s controlled process, such as “What If?,” which allows you to sort through matches, one-by-one, that eHarmony didn’t quite match you with. You can also request to bypass the “guided communication” process and send a message directly to a match.
  • eHarmony is the most expensive of the popular dating sites. A single month costs about $59.99, with considerable discounts for multiple-month packages. eHarmony discount coupons are sometimes available. You can try eHarmony for free, but you won’t be able to view the photos of your matches, or communicate with them.
  • eHarmony attracts an older, more conservative, more marriage-minded crowd.

Is eHarmony for you?

If you’re someone who is dead-set on finding a serious relationship – that will hopefully lead to marriage – then eHarmony is probably the best online dating site for you. They’re very serious about matching people up into successful relationships, and it shows. They invest a ton of their time and money into figuring out what makes relationships work, and everything about their service is geared toward finding just the right match for you.

But, if you aren’t that serious about finding the perfect relationship, you’re probably going to get impatient using eHarmony. From signing up to the site, to taking their extensive personality survey, to viewing your first matches takes about 40 minutes! But, the matches that you will see are practically hand-picked just for you. eHarmony analyzes your personality on 29 different dimensions, such as adaptability and intellect, and crunches numbers to find the match that complements you perfectly.

The upside of the seriousness of eHarmony is that the matches you find are also dead-set on finding a relationship that works. You’ll find way more profiles citing that they’re looking for qualities such as “loyalty, dependability, and kindness” than you will find on the standard needle-in-a-haystack sites such as OkCupid and Match, where the emphasis seems to be more about experiential qualities, such as looking for someone to “explore the city with,” or seemingly arbitrary qualities, such as what band someone likes best.

How it works

If you’re on eHarmony, you have to trust and believe in their expertise, or you may get frustrated with the process. You aren’t able to simply search through matches and message them, like on sites such as OkCupid and Match. But, they do keep a queue of matches that they have selected just for you. You can communicate with your matches through the “guided communication” process (building from multiple-choice questions, up to “open communication”). In my experience, this process can take as long as a few weeks, though there is an option available to skip the whole process and just send a message.

Because there’s no search function on eHarmony, you have to be prepared for a few matches that might not be what you would normally go for. They ask you about your preferences for body type and physical appearance, but there is almost no control over the ages of the matches that they send you (they ask you “how important” the age of your match is, but don’t ask you for an age range). So, if you’re the popular-culture standard male who prefers slimmer and younger women, you may be surprised as you get a few older and larger women. But, they have been chosen to complement your personality, so you might find it worthwhile to give them strong consideration anyway.

But, eHarmony continues to innovate and improve their features over the years. For example, they now allow you to connect your profile to Facebook (check your Facebook privacy settings while you do this, if it concerns you), and see if you have any friends in common with other potential matches that have connected their profiles. Additionally, you can send a match to a Facebook friend using “Ping a friend,” so they can give you the thumbs-up.

Here’s a little video review of how eHarmony works:

The price

If all of this wasn’t enough to weed-out the aloof, eHarmony is also the most expensive of the best online dating sites. One month of eHarmony is nearly $60, compared to a month of – which is a little less than $40, or OkCupid, which is pretty much free. There are, of course, eHarmony discount promotional codes available, and sometimes eHarmony has “free communication weekends” usually on a holiday weekend such as Memorial Day or Labor Day.

The verdict

There’s no question that eHarmony is one of the best online dating sites – I wouldn’t even be writing about it otherwise. But, it definitely doesn’t have a standard approach. If you’re really serious about finding a serious relationship – with enough patience and commitment – eHarmony is the perfect place for you to find it.

eHarmony Advice

Once you’ve signed up for eHarmony, check out some of my eHarmony Advice, such as how to write an eHarmony profile. Also, keep an eye out for eHarmony free weekends.

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