eHarmony Review

eHarmony Front Page

eHarmony is one of the most popular sites on the internet for dating, boasting 20 million online users. You’ve probably seen eHarmony ads all over your TV and other media outlets touting “deeply compatible” matches. They also boast privacy – no one can just browse your profile unless they are compatible. All communication is anonymous until both parties are ready to share personal information. Interestingly, eHarmony claims that on average, 542 members on the site get married ever day in the United States.

How eHarmony Works

What makes eHarmony unique in the online dating space is its Compatibility Matching System. By analyzing your answers to the in-depth and comprehensive compatibility questionnaire, eHarmony is able to match you up with members it thinks you are likely to have a long term relationship with. This is based on the 29 Dimensions that are critical to relationship success.

Describing the eHarmony questionnaire could take a book unto itself. If you spend the time to answer the questions honestly and accurately, the whole process will easily take more than thirty minutes. So keep that in mind, before you sign up. Questions asks you things like how you resolve problems, what you look for in a match, and lots and lots of questions about your own personality traits.

eHarmony questionnaire

But you aren’t done! Just when you finish, you find your profile is only half-way done. This is where the free form text boxes come in. Here you’ll answer questions about what qualities you look for in another person and standard questions like that. The profile is obviously the strength of this site, but you need to be serious about your answers. This will ensure that eHarmony will return you the best possible matches.

eHarmony does not include the search capabilities that you find on other online dating sites. This is because the only profiles you see are the ones that are matched with you based on your initial questionnaire answers. However, they do offer very interesting personality reports which you can read if your match is willing. You’ll also get access to your own personality profile as well. This is fun, because it gives you insights into who you are, and how other perceive you as well.

eHarmony really has no free features to speak of. While you get a list of matches, you won’t see any pictures of them until you pay. So if you want to use the site to find someone, you will definitely have to shell out some money. Keep this in mind before taking the time to join eHarmony and create your profile.

eHarmony profile

While eHarmony’s membership prices are relatively expensive, I think that’s good because it pretty much weeds out all the non-serious daters. There are a couple of different membership options. A basic member can view photos, request photos, and send/receive communication requests. This is for $59.99 per month, though you can sign up for longer plans at a somewhat reduced rate. A TotalConnect member can get a deeper personality profile, talk on the phone anonymously, and get their personal details verified. This is $44.95 for three months or $134.85 up front.

eHarmony Subscription options

Once you’ve paid your money, you’ll want to communicate with your matches. While you can use the standard eHarmony mail, another option is the eHarmony guided communication feature. When you find a match that you want to talk to, you can use this option to break the ice and get to know your match better. Basically it’s a set of pre-made questions you can select from to send to a prospective match. I know many people find starting that initial conversation to be extremely awkward, so this guided communication can actually be helpful to some.

eHarmony Pros

  • Very detailed personality profile
  • Deeper, better matches
  • More relevant matches, although less choices overall.

eHarmony Cons

  • More expensive then other dating sites.
  • Very little in the way of free features.
  • Requires some time to complete your entire profile.

If you are more interested in casual online dating, and seeing a wider variety of matches, then you may want to look elsewhere. Creating a good eHarmony profile takes time, and not everyone is willing to go through the entire process.

However, if you are looking for a deeper, long term relationship, then eHarmony could be a great fit. While eHarmony prices are high, it is hard not to recommend them because it does work well for its target market. It definitely has the brand recognition, and reputation to attract other serious members who are looking for the same things you are.

If you have some free time, why not give eHarmony a shot?

Chemistry.com Review

Chemistry.com

Chemistry.com is Match.com’s answer to the personality profile online dating engine. You’ve probably seen ads for it on TV and it has also been featured on 20/20 and Good Morning, America. The site works by asking you a lot of questions and seeks to get to know your innermost self. You will also receive a report of your personality in case you were wondering what all of those questions meant. This is all based on the anthropologically research conducted by Dr. Helen Fisher. Taking the personality test only takes about twenty minutes and doesn’t feel “too long”. The site is simply laid out with a soothing blue color palette.

The profile and matching capabilities are obviously what makes this site work. It doesn’t feel as in depth as eHarmony, but it does have some of the same effects. You feel as if you are matching on something other than just what movies you have in common. When you bring up someone else’s profile, it automatically shows your profile beside it. This is a nice touch to see how your personality types and other information coincide. Like eHarmony, there is not way to search for other members, but you are matched according to your personality types. There is quite a bit of information on the site about what each personality type is and how your answers determine it.

There are also some interesting ways to get the ball rolling with a match. One of them asks you to give your opinion on a picture and then asks the same of your match. One allows you to send a list of four items to your match and then he/she will send a list back for comparison purposes. There are three more fun ways to break the ice with your match, but none of this is available for free.

As a free member, you can make your profile and look at your personality scores. You cannot connect with anyone as a free member. As a paying member, you can find out who has looked at your profile, who has shown an interest in you, and unlimited communicating – including emails – with your matches. This service is $49.99 per month, and the price per month goes down with the number of months you purchase.

Chemistry.com Pros

  • in depth personality profile
  • free personality results
  • cheaper than eHarmony

Chemistry.com Cons

  • no free benefits
  • more expensive than other sites

In the personality dating game, Chemistry is a good alternative to eHarmony. Its profile is not nearly as overwhelming and I actually found a couple of good prospective matches on the site. Not only that, but it’s cheaper, so why not give it a try?

Singlesnet Review

Singlesnet

Singlesnet.com is one of the bigger online dating site in the US. It was recently bought by Match.com and its online literature says that it makes online dating simpler. It views its profile as more of a simple introduction rather than a in-depth interview. Simple is definitely the word for it.

First Thoughts

The standard Singlesnet profile is rather plain. It asks the usual questions, such as ethnicity, body type, and religion. You also have the ability to state whether you would consider dating someone of a different ethnicity or smoking preference, etc. For those of you that don’t like to write, Singlesnet does not force you to write a paragraph about yourself. You have the option of just proceeding with the stock questions. Be warned: your profile will look quite anemic without any text. There just isn’t much there. Photos are also allowable, but there is nothing that says how many you can upload.

The search engine is pretty basic. You can search by zip code, region, username, or by who’s online. The site states that they have a particular algorithm that picks out the right matches, but there is no ability to narrow your search when you get thousands of hits. Upgrading your membership allows you to access a more robust search engine.

As a free member, you can search for matches, create a profile, and send emails to people who are featured members. A featured member is, in fact, a paying member. You also have the ability to send flirts to express your interest in a member.

For $24.99 per month, you can get all of the benefits that the site has to offer. Naturally, the cost goes down as you pay for more months at a time. As a paid member, you have unlimited connections with all members. There is also an instant messaging feature that opens up for the paid subscriber. Your profile will be highlighted, and you will receive top placement in search results. Singlesnet also offers four ways to pay: credit card, paypal, online check, and check by mail.

Singlesnet Pros

  • Simple and easy to navigate interface
  • Multiple pay methods
  • Ability to email featured members for free
  • Relatively less expensive

Singlesnet Cons

  • Online Profile is pretty limited
  • Search function is too basic

Overall Impressions

Singlesnet reminds me somewhat of an online bar. You can see people, but don’t really have a good feel about what they are like. That’s what talking is for, but people who are looking into online dating have already had enough of kissing frogs. People are always trying to contact you on this site, but I found it somewhat difficult to judge whether or not you want to speak with them based on the profile. Still, if you’re looking for a date and don’t want to go through a complicated signup process, give Singlesnet a try.

Match.com Review

Match.com

Match.com is one of the “big dogs” in the online dating market. Since its inception in 1995, Match.com has been the largest singles dating site on the internet. The site boasts millions of singles and serves over twenty four countries. It also targets a wide variety of niche groups, such as Christians, Jewish people, African-Americans, and many others. It is laid out in an easy to use manner with a simple color palette. It is welcoming with very clear instructions on how to proceed with setting up your profile.

Match.com Review - Match.com Profile

Match.com Profile

Your Match.com profile can be as detailed as you want it to be. In addition to asking for things like favorite movies, religion, and appearance, it also asks about things like birth order, favorite comedian, and favorite charity. It allows for up to twenty-five photos and you can customize just about every question field you can answer. For example, if you want to explain your religious beliefs, there is an optional box you can check for that. On the downside, you are mandated to put two hundred characters in your main profile space which can be sometimes difficult for those who have trouble writing an online dating profile.

Finding Your Match

The main search mechanism of Match.com is straight forward. It asks for location and distance, then sends you to the profiles. In addition, you may continue to customize your search as you bring up matches to narrow your field. They have two other search mechanisms. One is “mutual match” which helps find people who match your ideal date as outlined in your profile. The other is “reverse match” that shows you people who are looking for someone like you.

Match.com Review - Mutual Match

Other Match.com Features

Match.com also features some its own unique technology to better help you find good matches.

Daily Matches – Uses Match.com’s proprietary matching technology to present the best matches to you. You can then mark the matches that “spark your interest” and the ones that don’t. The more matches you rate, the better the system gets at picking people you will like.

Match.com Review - Daily Matches

Like At First Sight – Like other dating sites, Match.com has its own set of fun quizzes to take. You’re shown a group of pictures and a question, and asked to pick the picture that makes the best first impression on you. This is another way to improve the Match.com algorithm to show you better matches in the future.

If you have a few minutes, watch this Match.com review video I did, where you can get a closer look at what’s inside the site.

Match.com Pricing

Free members can create a profile, conduct searches, and send “winks” to people to let them know your are interested. For $34.99 per month, you can contact singles, use instant messaging, use email, remove profiles from your view, and see who has viewed your profile. If you sign up for more than one month, the price per month is less. For instance, six months of membership is only $17.99 per month.

Match.com also has a six month guarantee that you will find someone in six months or you get six months free. That’s a company that really believes in it’s service.

Match.com Pros

  • Large community
  • Multiple ways to search
  • Six month guarantee

Match.com Cons

  • Cannot respond to emails as a free member

Match.com Recommendation

Match.com is the largest dating service on the internet and there are many matches to choose from. It is one of the best places to start looking for matches and I know of a handful of my friends who have found some great matches on the site. The six month guarantee is also a nice feature and alleviates the doubts you may have about joining a site like this. If you are looking for the premier online dating site of the internet, Match.com is it.

Match.com vs eHarmony – On Which Site Will I Meet Mr. Right?

So now that you’ve decided to leave the real world and take off for internet space in your search for a partner, you need to decide which online dating site you’ll entrust to play matchmaker. You can be a paying customer, or you can join one of the free dating sites. This article will discuss your options if you’d like to pay to date; next week’s column will review some of the prime singles sites for online-daters on a budget.

The two most popular online dating sites for paying customers are Match.com and eHarmony.com and I’ve had experiences with both.

Match.com vs eHarmony

Match.com Pros

  • With Match.com, you’re allowed full freedom in browsing profiles and contacting whomever you choose. While Match.com may suggest people it thinks you may like in its Daily Top 5, you are not limited to a certain number of people who meet a given “chemistry” criteria. Match.com does not presume to know who you’ll like.
  • It’s affordable. If you sign up for a six-month membership, for example, it can be as cheap as $15.99/month. There’s even a “meet somebody in six months or your money back” guarantee. Keep in mind, however, that this guarantee comes with strings attached; you have to prove you’re actively searching out a mate with a minimum number of monthly emails and responses. Sounds exhausting unless you enjoy a challenge that involves going on a date every night.
  • You can clearly see what people look like from the pictures. I’ve seen sites that somehow manage to reduce the picture quality to the point that your “blind date” is truly that—you have no idea how they’ll look in person from the fuzzy pictures on their profile.

Match.com Cons

  • This is a pro in my mind, but could be a con for some – as aforementioned, Match.com doesn’t pick your matches. It’s up to you to do the dirty work and peruse profiles to narrow down your options. You need to know what you’re looking for, or you’ll be overwhelmed by the 5 million men/women online and you’ll try having a date with all of them. Totally inefficient.
  • You don’t know who’s a paying member and who’s not. Non-paying members of Match.com can’t do anything but wink. So somebody may wink at you, but then never respond to your email – because they can’t! Just assume if you don’t hear back from somebody, then he or she is a non-paying member who can’t send/receive emails and move on.

eHarmony Pros

  • eHarmony decides who you’ll be romantically attracted to according to your answers to a comprehensive personality profile it generates based on the 29 Dimensions of Compatibility.
  • Not sure how to make the best impression on your match? Then you can take advantage of the eHarmony Guided Communication option to help you break the ice, and get to know your matches better.
  • Geared towards people trying to find their soulmate, or at least a more long-term type relationship. According to a Harris Poll, 239 members get married each day which is amazing.

eHarmony Cons

  • It takes a long time to setup your profile. There are at least six or seven steps to work through before actually getting to correspond with an eHarmony potential match. They include sending multiple-choice questions to one another and sending “must-haves & don’t-wants” (pre-chosen lists of deal-makers and deal-breakers for your ideal partner). If you’re not truly serious about finding a match, you might not get through the process.
  • It’s more expensive than Match.com. However they do have a free trial and they often have free communication weekends that you can take advantage of.

Match.com vs eHarmony? Match.com is definitely the dating site that appeals to a wider dating audience. It also has the most members and tons of features that make the online dating experience easy. You’ll generally find lots of decent matches, and overall I’ve been pretty happy with the handful of dates I’ve found on Match.

eHarmony is for more serious daters who are looking to get married or to find a long-term lasting relationship with someone. If this fits what you’re looking for, then you should definitely give eHarmony a try.