eHarmony is one of the world’s leading dating sites that’s used by those who are seeking a genuine, long-term relationship. 90,000 people are active every single week, while the site claims to be responsible for around 600,000 marriages.
Using scientific research and an advanced matchmaking algorithm, eHarmony (which was founded by a clinical psychologist) wants to make dating easier than ever for anyone who’s looking for love on the internet.
Hey, I’m Will. I’ve been testing out dating sites for the last few years to help others make better decisions regarding whether or not to sign up to them. In my eHarmony review, I’ll be taking an in-depth look at:
- How real the profiles are
- How easy the website is to use
- How secure eHarmony is
- How easy or hard it is to get what you’re looking for
Let’s make a start.
Pros of eHarmony:
- Advanced matchmaking system
- Ideal for those looking for life partners
- Thorough sign-up process weeds out fake profiles
Cons of eHarmony:
- Not much you can do as a free user
- Not cheap
Like many dating sites these days, eHarmony is a premium dating site that requires you to upgrade your account to send and receive messages. However, unlike a lot of dating sites, it offers three different subscription packages:
- Plus Extra
Payment plans are flexible, and you can choose to either subscribe for six months, twelve months, or twenty-four months. This, of course, means you can’t simply sign up for just one month. However, there are two reasons for this. One, eHarmony is for people who are prepared to take their time to find the One. Two, eHarmony regularly offers free trials that give you a chance to get a feel for the site before upgrading.
Here are the prices broken down:
- 6 months (Premium Light) – $35 per month
- 12 months (Premium Plus) – $15 per month
- 24 months (Premium Extra) – $13 per month
Here’s what you get as part of each plan:
Premium Light, then, is the most affordable package, but it’s also the most basic. If you want to get as much out of eHarmony as you can but don’t want to lock yourself into a 24-month subscription plan, I highly recommend going with the Premium Plus option. It’s competitively priced, it’s feature-rich, and it will allow you to get the most out of the site.
Plus, you get access to eHarmony’s advanced matchmaking system, which many say is the best in the world of its type (more on this soon).
Is there a lot you can do as a free member?
As a free member of eHarmony, you can create an account and take the Compatibility Count. This is a personality questionnaire that takes around 10 minutes. It’s designed to help the site display suitable matches for you.
You can browse matches and view complete profiles, and you can also send winks to other users and add them to your list of Favorites. eHarmony lets you send five automated questions that act as icebreakers, too. Crucially, however, you can’t go beyond those five questions and start an actual conversation with someone until you’ve upgraded your account.
Audience Quality – Are The Profiles Real?
One of the biggest concerns people have when they sign up to any dating site is whether or not the profiles are real.
eHarmony is easily one of the most trustworthy and reputable dating sites around. It claims to be directly responsible for 600,000+ marriages, which alone should tell you that the profile quality is good.
However, this doesn’t mean that eHarmony is immune to fake profiles. Where there’s a dating site that’s used by people who are looking for love, there are always scammers.
They are aware of this and have even created a guide to help you stay safe from scammers on their site. They also employ a Risk Management team that assess profiles constantly to make sure there are no fakes, bots of scammers on their site. And if you do become suspicious that someone is a scammer, make sure to raise your concerns with eHarmony immediately.
Other than that, eHarmony doesn’t have a fake profile problem. Yes, there are some fake profiles on here (as there are on all dating sites), but eHarmony has a lot less than any other dating site I’ve seen.
How do you know if a profile is real or fake?
The easiest way is to message premium users only. Fake profiles won’t have upgraded their account, which means that if you message a premium user, you can be sure you’re messaging someone genuine.
Also, a careful glance at a profile should tell you whether or not someone is genuine or fake. Most users on eHarmony have taken the time to fill out their profiles with lots of detail. If someone has left their blank, it’s a surefire sign that they’re fake.
Other than that, profile quality on eHarmony is really high. eHarmony encourages everyone who signs up to add more detail to their profiles to help them find better matches faster.
The more information you add, the easier it will be for compatible matches to find you.
Before they sign up, all users must take a series of personality questionnaires and tests, with their answers helping to make up their profile. Indeed, when you click on the “About Me” section of any profile, you will be able to see their level of compatibility, which is based on the answers the two of you gave in those earlier tests and questionnaires.
In the image below, for example, the level of compatibility is 101:
eHarmony, then, is very much unlike dating sites and apps like Tinder where filling out a profile isn’t mandatory. On eHarmony, you’re free to add as much as you like to your profile, but because premium members are paying X amount of money each month to help them find a life partner, most of them take the time to fill theirs out.
Also, eHarmony has prepared a series of questions/prompts for you to answer. Again, it’s up to you how many you answer, but your answers will be added to your profile. This further helps others decide how much they think they’ll get along with you.
The Sign Up Process
The eHarmony sign up process is lengthier than it is at most dating sites. This is because eHarmony is committed to helping you find the love of your life, and as such have prepared for your personality tests and questionnaires.
How long does it take to create an account? I’d say a good 10-15 minutes. It all depends on how much care you put into your answers. If you answer each question super fast just to get things over with, it won’t benefit you.
Because the whole point of the tests and questionnaires are so that eHarmony can get to know you better. What I mean by this is that all your answers are designed to help you find better matches on the site.
For example, your answers to the compatibility quiz will help eHarmony work out how compatible you are with ANY member. When someone comes along and clicks on your profile, eHarmony will compare your compatibility quiz answers with theirs to give the two of you a compatibility score. This will help you decide whether or not you should get to know each other.
It’s also worth pointing out that it’s REALLY important you answer each question carefully and honestly. This is because eHarmony doesn’t have a conventional search function. Instead, it gives you a preference list of matches that are based on your answers to the tests. To see people outside this list, you need to subscribe.
You’ll be asked questions about your hobbies and interests, how you feel about marriage, and how you like to spend your weekends. It will take a while to get through everything, but eHarmony keeps you up-to-date with how much of the quiz you’ve got through so far.
This can help to prevent fatigue:
Also, you can pause whenever you want and return to the test later in the day.
Other than the tests and quizzes, the sign-up process is standard stuff. You’ll be asked to hand over basic information, such as your age, gender, and what gender you’re interested in, and you’ll be asked to register either with an email address or your Facebook account.
Then, you’ll be taken to the mandatory quizzes and tests (and, yes, everyone has to do them!).
Once you’ve completed these, your profile will be ready to launch.
Launching your profile is completely free, and once it’s “live” you’ll also be free to take a look around the site.
Like all dating sites these days, eHarmony comes with a few special features that are designed to make it easier than ever to find what you’re looking for. Let’s take a look at eHarmony’s best features.
- Smiles (Free)
Smiles are free to send. They’re essentially an easygoing, no-risk way of letting someone know that you like them.
Smiles are especially useful to use if you’re not sure what to say in an opening message (they can encourage the other person to initiate a conversation), but if you send a smile as a free user and the other person responds, you will still need to upgrade your account if you want to then start sending your original messages.
- Automated Questions (Free)
If you’ve come across a profile you quite like but you’re not sure what to say in an opening message (or if you’ve got a free account but want to see if someone is worth you upgrading or not), you can send automated questions.
Automated questions are questions that eHarmony has come up with. You’re allowed to send as many as you like in one day, and it’s up to the other person to respond with their answers.
Once you’ve sent enough questions, eHarmony will ask if you want to upgrade your account to continue chatting to them “properly.”
They’re an easy way of getting to know someone without you having to come up with your conversation. Moreover, the other person's answers can inspire new conversational topics.
- Favorites (Free)
Many dating sites let you add users to a list of Favorites, and eHarmony is no different.
What is a list of Favorites?
It’s a list of profiles you’re interested in, but who you haven’t got around to messaging yet.
However, on eHarmony there’s a crucial difference – you can only see a list of Favorites who have matched with you.
That said, you can still narrow it down so that you only see matches you’re interested in.
It’s a useful (free) feature that is ideal for whenever you’re in a hurry. You’ve seen someone you like the look of but you’re too busy to compose an opening message right now. In which case, you can add them to your list of Favorites before shooting them a message later on.
- What If? (Paid)
One of the frustrations some people have with eHarmony is that they can’t see potential matches who are outside their preference list – not until they upgrade their account and use the What If? feature, that is.
This feature is pretty cool because it lets you see users who eHarmony haven’t deemed are compatible with you based on the answers you gave to the personality tests and questionnaires. In other words, you get to see people who have so far ‘slipped through the net.’
It also means you get access to more matches, which – of course – increases your chances of finding someone you like.
- Video Date (Paid)
The modern dating site is becoming so advanced that it now lets you go on video dates with your matches.
This is especially useful during 2020 when the COVID-19 outbreak occurred. eHarmony offers this service, but it’s a paid service, which means you’ll need to upgrade your account to access it.
How does it work?
It’s really simple. After you’ve exchanged a few messages with someone and decided that you kinda like them, you can ask them if they would like to go on video date with you.
Because the video call takes place on eHarmony, you can both be sure that it’s safe and secure.
It’s just a great way of getting to know someone a bit further without having to leave your house and head out on a (potentially expensive) first date. It works really well, too.
Design-wise, eHarmony is unfussy and simplistic. Its user interface is minimalist, and it shouldn’t take you more than a minute to understand exactly where everything is:
At the top of your homepage are three separate menus:
These are the only menus you need. Clicking the “Home” tab just takes you back to your homepage, where you can see any new messages. Clicking the “Matches” tabs takes you to a grid-list of profiles that eHarmony thinks are compatible with you based on the answers you gave in your personality tests. This section also acts as the search section, and you can change your preferences at the bottom of the page.
Clicking the “Messages” tab, meanwhile, takes you to your inbox.
Where some dating sites complicate things, eHarmony keeps everything simple. In reality, there are only two tabs you’re going to use – the search section and your inbox. And that’s literally it.
The color scheme might come across as a bit drab to some users but it’s in keeping with the eHarmony brand. Moreover, everything is neatly organized and it’s impossible to get lost. With just one click of a button, you can be exactly where you want to be.
And when you want to send someone a message, you just need to click on their profile and click “New Message.”
Privacy and Security
Privacy and security are, of course, our number one concern whenever we sign up to a dating site. The last thing we want is for our private information to be leaked, and our bank details to be hacked.
In terms of site security, eHarmony is one of the most secure dating sites out there. It’s 100% legit and – unlike some dating sites – there have never been any reports of the site being hacked or attacked.
In terms of how safe it is in terms of other users, I’d also say that eHarmony is one of the most secure on this front, too. Why? Because eHarmony requires new members to go through an extensive and thorough sign up process that surely helps to weed out the bots and the scammers.
Even better, eHarmony personally screens every single new profile against criminal registries. This ensures that everyone is exactly who they say there are. And if someone isn’t who they say they are, eHarmony will kick them off.
Naturally, you should still take precautions whenever you’re talking to (and planning to meet) someone online. But this is also why eHarmony created the video chat feature – to let you verify someone, making sure that they’re the person in their pics.
Does eHarmony Work?
In this section, I want to talk to you about my personal experience using eHarmony so that you get a better feel for the site. I also want to show you how easy or difficult it was for me to find what I was looking for.
The first thing I was asked to do was select my own gender, as well as the gender I was interested in. Then, I had to either hand over my email address or connect my Facebook account.
eHarmony then took me to the personality test. They let me know how long it might take (as long as 20 minutes), and they told me to relax and put some time aside. I like how they iterated how important it was that I gave the test my full focus because my answers would decide the type of subsequent matches they displayed for me.
The test didn’t take me as long as twenty minutes, and although I had to spend some time thinking about some of the questions, I largely breezed through many of them.
Note: The questions aren’t super complex, and you won’t have to do some soul searching! They’re purely designed to help the algorithm learn more about you – your values, your interests, your character. Things like that.
I found the test easygoing, and once it was done, eHarmony took me straight to my homepage. From here, I was free to start searching for other users.
I like that eHarmony prepares some potential matches for you straight away based on the answers you gave to the personality tests. My matches were prepared for me under the “Matches” tab at the top of my homepage. Whilst some were too old for me, all I had to do was tweak the search filters to lower my preferred age range.
Then, I upgraded my account and began taking things seriously. I noticed that eHarmony had prepared matches based on my interests, but what’s also cool is that you can tweak these interests even more in your search preferences. For example, I was able to filter out users who didn’t have the same tastes in music as me.
This sort of thing is really useful because one of the problems with some dating sites is that you inevitably end up messaging other users who aren’t really suitable for you. You just don’t know until you’ve sent them a few messages. On eHarmony, there is so much information on every single user available at your fingertips that you have a better idea of whether or not you should message someone.
And by the way – eHarmony prepares a lot of matches for you (well over a hundred).
It wasn’t long before I’d sent a few messages to other users, and it also wasn’t too long before I’d received a few messages. For sure, many of the users here are looking for something serious and genuine, but there are also lots of people who are just looking to make new friends.
Over a few weeks, I made genuine connections with two people and arranged dates. We decided to meet in a restaurant for a meal each time, and although one person canceled, we rearranged for a week later.
Overall, my experience with eHarmony was positive. Although my dates were ultimately unsuccessful in that neither of us felt a spark, eHarmony did a great job in providing me with several suitable matches. The best thing to do on this site is to take your time. Many people who sign up lock themselves into a 12-month subscription plan. This means they’re in no hurry to find the One. If they don’t feel that there was a spark on their date with you, they will move on. This is something you should be prepared for. People who use this site spend a lot of money looking for love, and they won’t just settle when they don’t need to.
Best Alternatives To eHarmony
Like eHarmony, Match is a premium dating site that’s been around for more than two decades. It’s mostly aimed at those looking for a long-term relationship, it has around 8 million active users, and – like eHarmony – it comes with a matchmaking algorithm that helps you find someone compatible.
It’s more colorful than eHarmony, however, and there’s no need to take a lengthy personality test. Read Match.com review here.
OkCupid is ideal for singles (and even couples) who are operating on a budget. It’s free to send and receive messages, it’s LGBTQ-friendly, but it doesn’t have quite as sophisticated a matchmaking algorithm as eHarmony.
It’s aimed at those looking for new friends, as well as short and long-term dating, and it’s long been seen as a “safe space,” where members of minority communities can come to find new friends and even love. Read the OkCupid review.
Who Is eHarmony For?
eHarmony is almost exclusively used by those who are looking for a life partner. You’ll find one or two members who are just looking for new friends but this is not a casual dating site.
Do People Really Find Love On Here?
Absolutely. eHarmony claims to be directly responsible for at least 600,000 marriages already! The high success rate is entirely down to the advanced matchmaking algorithm and the mandatory personality tests.
Is eHarmony Safe and Legit?
Yes. eHarmony was founded by Dr. Neil Clark Warren and continues to be run by eHarmony Inc. It’s one of the safest, most reputable dating sites online today and there are practically no fake profiles. If you do suspect that someone is a scammer, you can easily report them using the Report This Match feature.
eHarmony may be the perfect dating site if you’re looking for love. It will require some patience, and it’s certainly not cheap. But if you’ve reached the stage of your life where you want to settle down with someone and build a life together, eHarmony is one of the best – if not the best – online dating sites to assist you.