Casual dating apps like Tinder, Hinge or Badoo have a very “quantity vs. quality” approach to matching people. There’s generally very little information available to figure out someone’s personality or what kind of relationship they’re looking for. It’s simply too random.
eHarmony and Christian Mingle are very different from casual dating apps since they focus much more on compatibility and attracting a specific type of users.
As the name implies, Christian Mingle attracts users who see themselves as Christians, regardless of denomination.
eHarmony started out as having a strong Christian bent as well, but over the years it has become a secular app and attracts people from all walks of life with all kinds of beliefs (or lack of beliefs.)
Both Christian Mingle and eHarmony are relationship focused, but eHarmony takes this up a notch since it’s personality tests and overall way of connecting people weed out people who want a casual or short term relationship.
eHarmony vs Christian Mingle at a glance
|29 million users||12 million users|
|Build a personality profile with a 30-40 minute psychological test||Simple sign-up form plus some details (smoking, drinking, religious denomination, education etc.)|
|Compatibility score built around personality test||Compatibility score built around interests, hobbies, location, age, religious denomination etc.|
|Users of all faith||Mostly Christian users|
If you don’t want to read the rest of this comparison, then the takeaway is this:
If you want a certain “personality type” then eHarmony is the much better bet. After all, just because someone is Christian doesn’t mean you are compatible with them on a personality level.
Christian Mingle is the way to go if faith is a big part of your life, and you want to prioritize compatibility in this aspect. There’s nothing stopping you from figuring out personality compatibility with a person as you go.
Sign-up process and creating compatibility scores
Both eHarmony and Christian Mingle work by matching users based on a compatibility score.
eHarmony’s compatibility score is built around an in-depth personality test with around 40-50 questions with multiple choice answers. It can take 30 minutes or so to finish.
Some example questions include:
- “Where would you rather live?” (City, suburb, small town, rural area)
- “Do you sleep with the window open?”
- “Which shape do you enjoy more?”
Once you finished the test, you can see your overall compatibility score with other people:
As well as a breakdown of that compatibility score on 4 multiple dimensions:
Christian Mingle’s sign up process is much faster and more straight forward. First you have to upload at least 1 photo, then fill out a couple of forms with information such as:
- Church Attendance Frequency
- Education level
- Have Kids? Want Kids?
- What sports do you like?
- Favorite forms of arts and entertainment? (dancing, collecting, action movies etc.)
- What activities do you like? (ex: writing, board games).
Overall winner: eHarmony. Matching with people based on personality tests simply makes more sense and produces better results than filling in a form about various practical aspects of your life.
Matching with other users
eHarmony has 29 million users while Christian Mingle has over 12 million.
This difference becomes obvious when using the apps side by side. There’s simply more people to match with on eHarmony, and there’s little risk of running out of other users in more populated areas.
By comparison, on Christian Mingle you will likely run out of other users to match with in 2-3 weeks even in larger cities. Smaller towns are even more troublesome.
After signing up, eHarmony will intially show you 5-10 potential matches, based on their compatibility score with you.
eHarmony will then gradually drip feed you new users every day. You will never see the full, existing userbase in your current location.
This drip feeding of new matches does make eHarmony feel frustrating at times, but the combination of fewer matches + compatibility scores makes interactions with people on the more meaningful since you never know when you’ll find another person with a similar compatibility score.
Christian Mingle has the opposite approach. It will immediatelly show you all available users within your distance range, mostly ordered by compatibility score.
You can then choose which users you want to interact with.
Christian Mingle also comes with a Tinder-like feature called Lookbook, where you swipe right or left on users.
Unlike Tinder however, the matches won’t dissapear if you swipe left. It’s more of an icebreaker to let users know they think each other is interesting.
Overall winner: eHarmony. There’s simply more people to match with, and the matchmaking produces better, personality-oriented results.
Talking to matches and paywalls
Both eHarmony and Christian Mingle have limitations in place that prevent or limit communication.
eHarmony does not allow free users to send messages or reply to messages. It’s as simple as that.
If somebody sends you a message this means they are a paid member. If you want to reply to a message (or send one), you too must become a paid member.
The only forms of communication available on eHarmony are of it’s Guided Communication functions where you can send:
- Icebreakers – predefined messages such as “This photo is awesome!”
- Questions with multiple choices.
Christian Mingle does not allow free users to initiate conversations, but they can reply to messages.
Here is an example of how this works: as a free user, you cannot directly message someone you might find interesting.
However, if that person messages first you will be able to reply to them and then continue the conversation normally without any further restrictions.
In a market with there so many free dating apps, having to pay to message people is certainly an inconvenience.
That being said, the “pay-to-participate” model of these apps is what makes them stand out, since it requires users to have skin in the game (meaning money).
An added bonus is it filters out the people who are flaky and only spend time on dating apps because they have nothing better to do.
|eHarmony pricing||Christian Mingle pricing|
|$59.90 per month with a 6 months subscription||$49.99 on a month-over-month basis|
|$39.90 per month with a 12 months subscription||$34.99 per month with a 3 months subscription|
|$29.90 per month with a 24 months subscription||$24.99 per month with a 6 months subscription|
Overall winner: Christian Mingle. Chatting with someone on Christian Mingle is simply much more straightforward. Plus, they offer better pricing plans.
Alternatives to eHarmony and Christian Mingle
Zoosk is somewhat similar to Tinder in it’s user experience, and is oriented towards all spheres of dating, including hookups, relationships, friends etc.
Unlike Tinder however, Zoosk asks you to complete a personality profile, and it’s algorithm will then suggest people based on that.
EliteSingles has made a name for itself by being the dating network for young, educated professionals who are looking for a serious relationships.
When you join the app, you will be asked to complete a personality profile, and their algorithm will find you matches based on that.
OkCupid is similar to eHarmony since it requires users to pass through a personality test when signing up. Users who really want more in-depth information about themselves and other people can then answer a further 200+ questions to find users with compatible values.
OkCupid also has the advantage of having a bigger userbase than either eHarmony or Christian Mingle. It’s free tier is also very generous and doesn’t limit with how many users you can chat with.