Online dating is so much better than it used to be. The stigma has gone, there are millions of singles who use dating sites and apps, and there are thousands of success stories.
However, online dating begins with choosing the right dating site. In this article, I’ll be taking a look at Match and eHarmony.
Match and eHarmony are both premium dating sites. They’ve both been around for over two decades, they’re both aimed at those who are looking for something serious, but because they both charge a fee before you’re able to send and receive messages, it’s really important that you choose one that’s right for you.
In this review, I’ll be comparing and contrasting the two dating sites to help YOU make a better decision. I’ll be taking a look at each site’s quality of profiles, their quality of matches, their quality of conversation, as well as whether or not they’re really worth the upgrade. I’ll end by suggesting a few other alternatives, too.
Ready? Let’s make a start.
Match vs eHarmony
|Pros of Match||Pros of eHarmony|
|Trustworthy established dating site||One of the best for meaningful relationships|
|Millions of members||Responsible for more than 600,000 marriages|
|Excellent user layout||Great matchmaking system|
|Cons of Match||Cons of eHarmony|
|Free members can’t read your messages||Not many members aged 40+|
Quality of Profiles
Match is one of the best dating sites around when it comes to the quality of the profiles. There are a few reasons for this. One is that Match requires everyone who creates an account to complete their profile builder. This is a tool that’s unique to Match, and which helps new users to create their profile from scratch.
In other words, it’s ideal for anyone who never knows what to write on a dating site profile. By walking you through a step-by-step process, which includes writing an ‘About Me’ paragraph and filling in a few details about yourself, it ensures that all profiles on Match at least have some basic details.
Secondly, Match allows users to add as many as 26 photographs. While most users won’t add that many, it ensures there’s plenty of space to really fill out your profile.
Thirdly, most users who sign up to Match are looking for something serious, and thus take the time to add something a little extra to their profile to help them stand out.
Fourthly, Match adds a compatibility number to each profile, which is based on how much the two of you have in common. This helps you to determine whether or not the two of you are a ‘match’ and should start talking.
However, where Match falls a bit short is that it’s free to create an account and browse other profiles. This means there is a fair percentage of free profiles on the site, and it’s often the case that these free profiles are lacking in detail. Worse still, it also means there will be some fake profiles here and there.
eHarmony is a premium dating site aimed specifically at those who are looking for something genuine and long-term (and often marriage). It claims to be directly responsible for over 600,000 marriages (and counting!), and for this reason it’s taken very seriously by its user base.
As such, it’s natural to expect that the quality of profiles on eHarmony is – by and large – high. Fortunately, this is the case.
Indeed, everyone who signs up to eHarmony must undertake a lengthy personality test and questionnaire. Any answers they gave are reflected on their profile.
Moreover, while adding something to their ‘About Me’ section isn’t entirely mandatory, most people who sign up to eHarmony take the time to fill their profile out so that you have a good idea of who they are and what they’re looking for.
And if you’re still not sure how compatible the two of you are, eHarmony adds a ‘compatibility’ tab to each profile, which gives you – in percentage terms – a strong idea of how much your values, attitude and personality match up with theirs.
This tab also shows you each persons:
- Social values
- Religious values
- Relationship values
- Physical intimacy
- Emotional intimacy
Naturally, some profiles are more detailed than others, and it all comes down to each individual to decide how much they wish to add to their profile. But because eHarmony is a premium dating site used mainly by those who are looking to settle down and potentially have kids with someone, most profiles at least give out enough information to help you decide whether or not the two of you should start chatting.
Moreover, eHarmony offers to help everyone with their profile, which further improves the quality:
There are practically no fake profiles on eHarmony.
Which Is Better?
Match and eHarmony are almost tied when it comes to profile quality – but eHarmony just edges it.
Match is saddled with more fake profiles than eHarmony, which can get really frustrating. Moreover, because many people still see Match as a dating site that can be used for something short and longer-term, you will also find lots of free profiles on here that haven’t taken the time to fill out their profiles.
While profiles on eHarmony aren’t always super detailed, there’s still more-than enough information to give you a good idea of what the person is all about, while the compatibility tab is a major bonus.
Quality of Matches
Match lets you tweak your search criteria so that you can find matches that are compatible with you. You can tweak criteria such as age and location, as well as more in-depth criteria, such as someone’s personal life, looks, background, values and spare time.
You can also tweak your criteria according to their last login and what they’re looking for.
All of this definitely improves the quality of your matches. But if Match is missing something, it’s a matchmaking service that curates matches specifically for you based on your preferences. This is something a number of premium dating sites have, but which Match doesn’t. When you create an account, you don’t need to fill in a personality test or questionnaire, and the site doesn’t curate matches specifically for you. It does have a ‘suggestions’ list, but it’s not quite the same.
eHarmony is different to Match in that it does have a matchmaking system that curates matches that are tailored specifically for you.
It works like this: When you create an account, it’s mandatory to complete a rather lengthy personality test, as well as a compatibility quiz. These are designed to learn more about who you are as a person – what your interests are, what your values are, and what you’re looking for.
eHarmony takes your answers and feeds them into an algorithm. Then, once your profile is up and running, it displays a percentage on each profile you visit that lets you know how compatible the two of you are. This ensures you’re able to get a better idea of whether or not you should start a conversation with them.
Indeed, eHarmony are really proud of the quality of their matches, and I have to admit that – generally – they’re very accurate.
Which Is Better?
eHarmony has an ace up its sleeve in the form of its compatibility tab that displays exactly how compatible it thinks you are with someone else. And because eHarmony has an excellent track record of creating couples, you have to assume that this percentage score is mostly accurate.
When it comes to Match, however, it’s largely up to you to decide how compatible you are with someone else. Most of the time, all you have to base your decision on is the information (which can sometimes be minimal) a person has added to their profile, such as their likes and dislikes.
That said, Match offers more in-depth search filters, while eHarmony offers a basic search filter only. For example, you can only tweak your matches by age and location.
Overall, though, eHarmony just shades it when it comes to the quality of matches.
Quality of Conversation
Match is largely aimed at those who are looking for a long-term relationship. As such, you’d assume that the quality of conversation is fairly high. However, it can be hit and miss.
One of the problems is that a lot of people shy away from opening with a message and instead will send you either a ‘like’ or a smile. Worse still, there are a lot of free profiles on Match, and because it’s free to send ‘likes,’ you might notice that you receive a lot of likes. Unfortunately, they won’t be able to reply to your message if they’re a free profile.
Other than that, the quality of conversation really comes down to the individual. There’s no doubt that there are a lot of engaged, smart, talkative and funny singles on Match. And especially if they’re a paid member, they will naturally want to get their money’s worth, which means they will make an effort when it comes to the conversation.
Like Match, eHarmony’s quality of conversation often comes down to whether or not the user who messages you is a free or paid user.
However, there is one crucial difference that sets the two dating sites apart. On Match, free members can send ‘likes,’ but they can’t send you a personal message. On eHarmony, free members can actually ask 5 automated questions, and they can also see your replies to each question.
The catch is that, once the two of you have gone through the 5 questions, the free member must upgrade their account in order to chat to you properly.
This definitely enhances the quality of conversation because it allows those who typically never know what to say in an opening message the chance to get things off to a good start. eHarmony have prepared the automated questions, and they help the two of you get to know each other.
Other than that, eHarmony’s membership profile is similar to Match’s. This is to say that the quality of any subsequent conversation comes down to the individuals. However, because paid members are paying good money to use eHarmony, you can be mostly sure that they will put effort into the conversation.
Which Is Better?
eHarmony edges this one because of their automated questions. Both free and paid members can use them, and they’re excellent ice breakers that ensure you’re not subjected to the uninspiring and cliched “hey, how are you?” intro. The same can’t be said for Match.
Match has three subscription plans:
- 1 month – $35 per month
- 3 months – $25 per month
- 6 months – $15 per month
You’re free to join and create an account. As a free member, you can also browse other profiles and send them ‘likes’ and smiles, but you can’t access any of the special features. Crucially, you can’t send or receive messages.
In terms of value, Match’s upgrade has obvious worth because it lets you send messages. It also gives you access to special features, including video dates, pre-prepared ice breakers, ‘Boost’ (which makes your profile more visible for an hour), as well as ‘Match Me,’ which puts you at the top of another members suggestions list.
Overall, these are useful special features that, along with the relatively affordable price and the fact that you can send messages, adds to Match’s upgrade value.
eHarmony has 3 subscription plans:
- 6 months – $35 per month
- 12 months – $15 per month
- 24 months – $12 per month
Like Match, you’re limited with what you can do on eHarmony unless you upgrade your account. You can send 5 automated questions to another user, but you can’t send or receive personal messages. You can view someone’s profile, but you can’t view their pictures.
When you upgrade your account, you can send and receive messages, view photos, have a video date, as well as use the What If? feature, which displays 30 further matches that are outside your preference list.
In terms of upgrade value, eHarmony excels. It’s priced competitively, its matchmaking system is one of the best on any dating site, and you get access to millions of members.
Which Is Better?
It’s almost a tie when it comes to upgrade quality because both Match and eHarmony essentially give you access to what you desire the most – the ability to message other users. The only reason eHarmony edges it is because there is less chance you could end up messaging a free user without knowing it who consequently won’t be able to reply to you anyway.
Match vs eHarmony: Which is better?
Match and eHarmony are both dependable, reliable premium dating sites that represent a safe way to meet your life partner. It’s my opinion that eHarmony is the stronger of the two, simply because it has a more advanced matchmaking system and the results (600,000+ marriages) speak for themselves.
Both sites allow you to sign up and browse for free, so the next step is to decide which one you feel is better for you and create an account.
Whatever you decide, I wish you the best of luck!
Read in-depth review further:
What are the alternatives?
Match and eHarmony are both reliable, popular dating sites. But there are still some other alternatives available, too:
Elite Singles is a niche dating site aimed at young, professional singles who are seeking an ambitious partner who’s got brains and beauty.
With 80% of its members possessing a university degree, Elite Singles is very much for the educated among us who are too busy to head to bars in order to find what they’re looking for.
With an affordable payment plan and high success rate, it’s a solid alternative to Match and eHarmony.
Plenty of Fish
Plenty of Fish (POF) is one of the oldest, most reputable dating sites around. It’s aimed at both those who are looking for something longer term and those who are looking for something shorter term, and it comes with a pile of features.
Perhaps the best thing about it is that it’s free to send and receive messages.
It doesn't have as sophisticated a matchmaking system as eHarmony, and it’s also plagued by time-wasters and fake profiles. But if you’re operating on a budget and want to sign up to a few different dating sites, it’s definitely worth a closer look. Read POF.com review.
Like POF, OKCupid is free to send and receive messages. It’s especially appealing to those who are looking for something longer term, and many of its users take the time to really fill out their profiles with lots of detail.
OkCupid is also known for providing a safer dating space online for those who are tired of being hassled. With very few fake profiles and time-wasters, and with strong appeal to the LGBTQ+ community, OkCupid is one of the highest-rated dating apps around. Read OkCupid review.
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