I’ve used a lot of dating apps and am excited to do an eharmony review because of its reputation as a popular online dating platform with huge success if you are looking for a long-term relationship.
Sound hopeful? It sure does!
Here’s a fact for you from the app itself:
“71% of women, 69% of men meet their spouse on eharmony within a year.”
In this article, I provide a detailed overview of eharmony’s features, benefits, and drawbacks. I will be honest about my experience without sharing details of anyone I chat to, meet or date.
Having tried other dating apps with reasonable results, I have the benefit of experience to be able to compare, without the cynicism that many people have before they’ve even created a profile!
My moto is to try every app with enthusiasm and an open (but slightly guarded) heart. And that is what I have done in this eharmony review. I hope it helps you decide whether it is the right dating app for you.
eharmony was founded in 2000 by Neil Clark Warren, a clinical psychologist and relationship expert.
The app is designed to help people find meaningful, long-term relationships by matching them based on compatibility. It has has a large user base, with millions of registered users worldwide, and is available in several languages.
eharmony stands apart from most other dating apps due to it’s complex matching system that uses a comprehensive Personality Questionnaire, designed to assess each user’s personality traits, values, beliefs, and preferences. The app’s algorithm then uses this information to match users with compatible partners. Trust me when I tell you they dig deep here – see more about the Personality Questionnaire later.
The app can be accessed via desktop or mobile devices.
The compatibility test questions
The Compatibility Questionnaire (or Personality Questionnaire/Quiz) is what sets eharmony apart from it’s competitors on the dating app scene. It is the very first thing you do when you join eharmony. Not only does the questionnaire make for better matching … but it’s also rather fun.
It takes about 20-minutes to complete. The app tells you to find find a quiet space and take your time, and I suggest you do. Your answers could guide you to the partner of your dreams so it’s worth some serious focus. At the same time, try not to over-think your answers and be completely honest. You want to come across as you, not another version of yourself that you think will be more appealing.
There are 80 questions. It seems like a lot doesn’t it? But I promise you it doesn’t feel like it.
Some are pretty standard, but others are completely out there. I won’t share them all as that takes away fun when you do it, but here are a couple of examples:
There are also some really cool questions around images shapes and patterns, see two such examples below. I have no idea what they mean but if it might help me find a match, I’m up for it.
Once you’ve taken the test you can’t go back and re-do it, so as I say, take your time and enjoy … I certainly did. It got me thinking about myself, what I want from a partner, and from life in general.
Basic membership (the free version)
The question we all ask is: Can we get a free version of eharmony?
The answer is yes. But eharmony doesn’t refer to it as a “free trial”. It is the Basic Membership package.
The main problem with the Basic Membership package is that you are unable to view photos of your potential matches.
What you do get is lots of blurred out images of your matches, use of the ehamony communication tools (Icebreakers, Smiles etc – explained later), compatibility details and some messaging.
If you are game enough to chat/communicate with someone based on their first name and a blurred photo, you are braver than me!
Note: The free version, sorry … I mean the Basic Membership is unlimited, meaning you can use for as long as you wish.
Premium membership (the paid version)
Next up is the Premium Membership package. As at April 2023, the cost is:
- Premium LIGHT (6 months): $39.90 per month
- Premium PLUS (12 months): $29.90 per month
- Premium EXTRA (24 months): $21.90 per month
Note: There is often a special that offers 50% off the first month for the PLUS and EXTRA packages.
The best bit about the Premium Membership is that you can see photos of your matches, phew! In addition, you get:
- To message to your hearts content
- See who has visited your profile (you can switch this off, more about this later)
- Put more defined parameters on your search
- Get full, detailed personality profiles on your matches
Setting up a profile
Like with all dating apps, beware that the minute you join, your profile is out there for all to see … whether you have finished it or not. To allow you time to perfect your profile before sharing it with the world, head directly to PROFILE > SETTINGS and click the toggle so your profile is not visible. Then, once you have played around and are happy with your profile, head back over and turn visibility on.
Uploading photos to eharmony is mostly straight-forward.
The photo area is a only small so it’s hard to share photos with much background. This is a shame because I think photos depicting where you are and what you’re doing tell a lot about a person.
Note: It can take some time for photos to be approved. eharmony say it can be up to 24-hours and it was about that for me with a couple of photos. This is frustrating when you’re on a roll and want to perfect and launch you profile straight-away.
I also had a photo disapproved for no apparent reason. I tried uploading another which was almost identical and that got approved, so yeah, sure what the go is there.
Other than that, the process to add photos is easy. You can add up to 12 photos and swap them around easily to change your profile pic whenever you like.
You get 500 words for your bio. This is standard for a dating app.
You can update and change your bio anytime.
All super easy, nothing more to add!
Setting are a really important part of a dating app. Don’t underestimate the power of them! On eharmony, they include:
- Show me: Choose whether you want to see men, women or both.
- Profile visibility: Choose if you want your profile to be visible to other members or not, this is great while building and perfecting your profile
- Visitors: This setting allows you to see who has visited your profile and others can see if you have visited their profile. If you turn this off, you can neither see who has visited your profile and will not be listed as visiting anyone else’s. I have this turned-off.
- Online right now: If you have this clicked ‘on’ a small note on your profile will allow users to see you are currently online or not. It also allows you to see when others are online. If you turn it off, no-one can see if you are online and you can’t see if other people are. Personally, I like to have this turned-off.
Take your time to set-up your notification so they work for you.
Yes, you want to know if a super hot person has sent you a message. No, you don’t want spam emails from eharmony … and definitely not from their partners.
You have control here, so use it.
Why can’t I swipe right?
If you’re used to Tinder, Bumble or most of the other dating apps available, you might be wondering why the “swipe” feature doesn’t work on eharmony. It’s simple: There isn’t one. I know, right!
Your matches will display:
- On desktop: Across your screen a bit like an online game of solitaire
- On mobile: By scrolling down
Checking out your matches
Instead of swiping left or right on potential match images, you have the option to:
- Send a message
- Send an Icebreaker. This is the lollipop or popsicle icon. As Icebreaker is a way to start a conversation with someone you like if you have drawn a blank. You and your match get sent five of the same images and you both chose the one you like the most. Voila, you have a talking point. “We picked the same image, yay”. “What made you pick that image?”. You get my drift.
- Send a smily face: This means you’re interested in a person and it may prompt them to contact you.
- Click on the image and find out more about them
The compatibility score
Wondering what that number on the top left of each match photo is? That’s the compatibility score between you and them. It ranges from 60 to 140. With 60 being “nah don’t go there” and 140 being “shall we set the wedding date?”.
Getting matched with eharmony
The best bit about eharmony is that it matches you really carefully based on all the information you provided in your Personality Questionnaire. Unlike other apps, which base your compatibility on location, age and interests, you know the candidates lined-up for you by eharmony will be fairly like-minded. That, along-side the unique compatibility score displayed for each potential match, allows you to gage quickly who might be worth some of your valuable time.
Since you really need to pay if you want a useable version of eharmony, there are less people using the app than on other online dating apps. If you are in a regional area this can present a problem as you might not get many matches.
Having said that, you can change your Match Preferences at any time to widen your net as it were. Match preferences include:
- Age range
- Distance from where you live
- Whether they smoke
- If they have children
- If they want children
Then, if you really want to drill down, you can filter your matches by the music they like, the sports they play and the kind of holiday they enjoy. I personally wouldn’t touch this section. Not only will it limit your matches, but really … is their love of country music or the fact that they like baseball really a deal-breaker? If it is, you might need to be more open-minded on your search for love.
What I like about eharmony
The people are genuine
To use eharmony properly i.e. to see photos of your Matches, you need to pay. This might seem like a pain but the end result is that you are sharing the space with people who have also paid … meaning they are (and have) invested in their search for love. eharmony definitely attracts the genuine “looking for love” and “long-term relationship” crowd.
There are less messers
For the same reason as above, because you need to pay to play on eharmony, this filters out the time wasters who are not dedicated to their mission to find love. Not having to deal messers not only saves you time but also protects you from some of the truly awful behaviour that has become the norm on dating apps such as ghosting, catfishing and breadcrumbing.
Most dating apps match you based on location, age and interests … not eharmony. Because of their famous Personality Questionnaire, eharmony pin-point lots more reasons for matching you based on every type of question you can imagine. Not only that, the Compatibility Score then allows you to see exactly how compatible you are based on your answers. This means that when you sit down for that first date, you’re more likely to have stuff in common and hit it off.
I have to say that it’s refreshing to have a dating app without swiping. The left swipe, right swipe can feel a bit blasé and dismissive after a while. Whereas with eharmony, your matches are static on the screen for you to come back to at anytime. It gives you a chance to go through them at your leisure and perhaps contact someone when you’ve had a proper chance to look through their profile. The whole process feels less frantic and more respectful to humankind.
Love the Icebreaker
I really love the Icebreaker function. It’s such a great little conversation starter when you feel tongue-tied or just over trying to start a chat with stranger. I have no doubt that many marriages and long-term relationships have started with the eharmony Icebreaker!
What I don’t like about eharmony
Location change is manual
Unlike some other dating apps, eharmony has a set location, which is where you live. It means you can’t match with people if you are travelling, on holiday or on a night out away from where you live. You can change it manually though.
No free option as such
Although, you can physically use eharmony for free, including completing your Compatibility Questionnaire and setting up a profile, you are unable to see potential matches … which is a very important part of online dating. The only way to go on eharmony is by paying (this is not all bad though as per my point in the “pros” section).
More people needed for rural areas
I am in a regional area and had plenty of matches but I understand that if you are in a rural area, matches are limited due to the number of users on the platform. eharmony is definitely about quality and not quantity.
Would I recommend eharmony to a friend?
The answer is yes, I would 100% recommend eharmony to a friend.
Most specifically to a friend who is new to online dating. eharmony makes for a gentle introduction into this brave new world with (mostly) genuine people all looking for love and long-term relationships.