In this review I’ll be looking at the first matchmaking site to make use of an extensive psychological questionnaire to match members. The site is called: eHarmony.
eHarmony takes a very rigorous and scientific approach to relationships. The initial psychological questionnaire that is used on the site was developed by veteran clinical psychologist Dr. Neil Clark Warren.
During his 35 years of work, he learned that unsuccessful marriages were often the result of couples with large differences, so he set about defining the traits that lead to successful relationships.
These traits are now identified when you complete the eHarmony questionnaire; after which you are matched only with members whom Dr Clark believes you are most likely to succeed in a relationship with.
So does it work? I’m afraid you’ll just have to read this review to find out.
eHarmony first launched in Australia back in the year 2000. Now, over 12 years later they have built a membership base of over twenty million singles. Regular advertising on TV and other mediums has helped to keep the site in the limelight – and the membership numbers growing.
Most members fall into the 30 to 55 age bracket, so this is not really a site for younger people. If you are under thirty, then dating sites like match.com and Plenty of Fish are probably better suited to you.
A very high percentage of members on eHarmony are looking for long-term commitment and marriage, this is most definitely not your casual affairs website.
eHarmony TV Ad
Creating Your Profile
The initial registration form is very straightforward and it will take you very little time to fill out. You can see an example of the form below.
What isn’t quite so simple is what you are required to do next.
After the initial registration you must then complete their extensive psychological questionnaire, and I’m afraid that there is no way around this; it must be completed before you can begin to use the site.
But since the only reason for joining in the first place is their compatibility matchmaking system, it really makes no sense to attempt to skip it by answering the 100+ questions half-heartedly. Once complete, you can then add a personal description of yourself and upload a photo or two.
Features You’ll Find
The number one reason that people choose to join eHarmony is for their excellent Compatibility Matching System. And as already mentioned, this all starts with a questionnaire comprised over 100 different questions. The questions asked are based around things like: your character, sense of humour, values, beliefs, and numerous other key character identifiers.
Providing that you answer honestly, the system will then match you to members with whom you share certain values and beliefs. This is supposed to lead to a longer and more successful relationship.
An example of one of the questions asked can be seen below:
I’ll admit I was very sceptical in the beginning. But after exchanging mails with a number of my matches, it did appear that we had quite a lot in common from the very beginning. Which is great, as often you can exchange many mails before it dawns on you that you share no common ground. And let’s be honest, no one really likes writing email after email, we just want to get to the dating part as fast as possible.
Completion of the personality questionnaire also enables your own individual personality profile to be built. You may also find that it reveals some things about yourself that even you didn’t know.
One feature that I would prefer not to see are the Ice Breakers. This is basically a tool for lazy members to communicate using winks and short pre-written messages like: I’d love to chat, you have a nice smile, just wanted to say hi and your profile brought a smile to my face. And I’m not joking! Although ladies can often get away with these, for you gents, you will need to put the effort into writing a proper message if you expect to receive a reply.
You will not find the standard search options on this site. Instead you’ll find something called “My Matches”. This is basically where you will find all of the members that have been matched to you. However, unfortunately not all are searchable at once, and only a maximum of ten are displayed each day. And unless you are a paying member, their photos are unfortunately not visible.
There is also the Secure Call feature. This provides a private and secure way to chat with site members on the telephone, but with the added benefit that your number is not revealed. Although this comes at an additional cost that I discuss in the prices a little further on in this review.
eHarmony is also fully mobile optimized and supported. There are apps for the iPhone, Android and iPad.
The Traffic Test
Usually whenever I join a new dating site I like to perform what I call a “traffic test”. This is just a simple search using my preferences and local town to see what the membership numbers are like. It would be crazy to pay for a service – and then discover that there are only a handful of singles registered and living within a suitable distance to yourself.
Unfortunately this is impossible to do on eHarmony because there is no traditional search option. All you see is a maximum of 10 matches per day. Of course, if you are willing to be patient, and view your daily matches for a couple of weeks, then you will soon have an idea as to whether or not it’s worth subscribing.
The Scam Test
I always suggest leaving your profile description incomplete, and also not uploading a photo for at least 7 days. This helps to identify how active scammers are on the site. Since real people very rarely message members with no description and no photo, if you do receive a message or ice breaker within these 7 days, it’s most likely a scam, so close your account ASAP.
Fortunately this is not an ideal site for scammers, since they often work by mailing as many members as possible. However here, since you only receive a maximum of 10 matches per day, this also means that you can only contact 10 different members per day. This makes the scammers job 100 x more difficult.
I’ve had an active profile on eHarmony for over 6 months, and not once have I received a message that I believed to be from a scammer. But I may have just been lucky, so keep your guard up, and if it sounds too good to be true, it’s most likely a scam.
eHarmony provides very few features to non-paying members. Yes you can view your matches and personality profile. But you can’t view photos of members, and you can’t exchange messages with members. So to make use of the site, you will need to take out one of their paid membership options.
The 2013 basic membership prices for eHarmony are:
$19.95 per month for a 12 month membership (48% Saving)
$29.95 per month for a 6 month membership (24% Saving)
$39.95 per month for a 3 month membership
$59.95 for a 1 month membership
The benefits to being a paid member can also be seen in the image below:
Also offered is what they call the total connect plan. This costs around an extra $4 per month and allows you to call members without revealing your number, and additional analysis of your personality. I’d recommend saving your money and instead using Skype or Google Talk to communicate with members you like, whilst still maintaining your anonymity.
eHarmony will automatically renew your membership when it expires (this is common to all dating sites). Apparently it’s to ensure you receive an uninterrupted service, but we all know that the real reason is that they just want more money from us. So make sure you can the automatic renewal ASAP, don’t forget!
Good and Bad Points
Rather clever compatibility matching system
Nearly all members are searching for long-term commitment from a partner
iPhone, Android and iPad mobile support
Healthy membership base
Limited choice in members if you are under 30 or over 55
Only 10 matches are viewable per day
Not the cheapest of dating sites in Australia
eHarmony and their unique psychological matchmaking system certainly offers a different approach to online dating. If you find yourself always communicating and dating the wrong people, then eHarmony might just have something to offer you.
From my own experience on the site, and with the members with whom I was matched, we most definitely had many things in common and conversation was relatively easy.
But this does come at a price, as it is most definitely not the cheapest of dating sites. It’s also disappointing that you can’t view photos until you are a paid member, and that you are limited to only 10 matches per day. You also have no idea how many members are in your local area.
To summarize: A great matching site, but it does come at a price. Can you afford to join: www.eharmony.com?