Is eHarmony worth it and how well does it work compared to the more mainstream dating apps like Tinder and Bumble?
Instead of swiping left or right on profile cards, eHarmony matches people based on a personality score. The score is obtained by completing a personality test when signing up.
This changes the whole dynamic of how people interact on the website.
Finally, there’s also the big elephant in the room: eHarmony is mostly a paid dating app.
These differences between eHarmony and other dating apps are pretty big, so here’s how they work out in real life – both the good and the bad ways.
|eHarmony Strong Points||eHarmony Weak Points|
|Very relationship oriented||Free version is extremely limited and paid version is expensive|
|Personality score matchmaking works well and creates meaningful interactions||Similar competitors have far more generous free versions|
|Large userbase even in small areas and with a good age distribution||Not a good dating app for hookups or short term relationships|
|Balanced gender ratio between men and women||Matches are drip fed in a very slow manner|
|Easy to use interface with lots of filters||Singing up and actually using the app takes a while|
5 Reasons eHarmony is worth it
eHarmony users tend to be relationship oriented
eHarmony has always had a reputation for being a site oriented for long-term relationships and marriage.
Because of its reputation , users on eHarmony have already self-selected themselves so that the people seeking hookups or short term stuff don’t stay on the app for long.
However, price and the matchmaking process are the biggest reasons why eHarmony discourages users who just want hookups or something short term.
eHarmony’s paywall is essentially a “put your money where your mouth is” kind of thing. People who want a long term relationship generally see eHarmony as an investment so they can get the kind of partner they want. After all, the app only needs to work once.
People who want something short term don’t usually want to pay eHarmony’s relatively high price when they can just stick to free casual dating apps like Tinder.
Finally, both men and women have to pay to properly use eHarmony. Many online dating apps are structured in such a way that women don’t need to pay, but men are practically forced to do so just so they can use the app and expect any sort of success.
Finally, eHarmony only gives you a limited amount of matches every day. It does this as a way to make matches seem more precious and encourage users to take them more seriously.
While this approach work relatively well for building more serious relationships, it’s not really a good way to find hookup partners.
Personality score matchmaking works well & encourages meaningful interactions
To register for eHarmony you first have to complete a rather in-depth physchological test that scores your personality across 4 different dimensions:
- Fundamentals of your personality
- How you behave in a relationship
- Your everyday life
- Style of communication
The test is quite in-depth with 100+ questions and can take upwards of 30-45 minutes to complete.
The questions themselves are interesting. Many of them will push you to be introspective by asking how you would deal with hypothetical situations.
For example, you’ll be asked questions such as:
- You and your partner go to your wedding, what are you most likely to think about?
- How do you plan your vacations?
Other questions analyze your personality in more subtle ways, such as showing multiple geometric shapes and patterns and asking which one is more appealing.
Afterwards, every profile you see will have a compatibility score attached, so you can see how well your personalities mesh together.
Another benefit to the compatibility score is that it encourages users to invest a bit more time and effort into their matches, since it makes matches with high compatibility scores seem more precious and not something you would want to miss out on.
A reasonably large user base across all age ranges
eHarmony is a very well established online dating network, meaning it has a wealth of users in most cities and towns.
The userbase is also pretty varied, with people coming from all walks of life.
More importantly, eHarmony also has a varied age range distribution:
- 18 to 24 – 30%
- 25 to 34 – 18%
- 35 to 44 – 20%
- 45 to 54 – 18%
- Over 55 – 14%
The end result is that you won’t really have to worry about running out of people to chat with like on smaller online dating sites.
Good ratio of men and women
A frequent problem with online dating sites is that men outnumber women. In fact, most dating apps usually 2x-3x as many men as women, with some going up as high as 4x-5x more men compared to women.
This gender unbalance causes problem for men and women alike. Women will generally be spammed and have tons and tons of messages (many worded in rather weird ways).
Men on the other hand have to struggle on a statistical uphill, since it’s not really possible for every guy to find a partner when there are 2-3 guys for every woman on a dating app.
eHarmony isn’t completely immune to this problem and has around 60% male users to 40% female. While not ideal, it does go some way in minimizing the gender imbalance issues seen in other apps.
Pleasant and easy to use interface
Finally, the eHarmony app itself is very user friendly and gives you lots of options to filter what kind of people you will match with.
Note that the more powerful features require you to upgrade to a premium account – which raises the question if premium gives you your money’s worth.
5 Reasons eHarmony is NOT worth it
eHarmony is expensive and requires money to use
It costs nothing to sign up to eHarmony, however free users can’t do anything on the app, except just navigate the UI and send “smiles” or “icebreakers” to people.
A smile is basically you sending a notification to someone that you like their profile, while an icebreaker is a multiple choice question you can send someone so you can get to know them.
That’s pretty much all you can do as a basic user. In fact, basic users are so limited even the photos from other users are blurred.
And in case you’re wondering: you cannot directly message other users to chat with them unless you have a paid account. And even if you do message them, the other user must also have a paid account so they can message you back.
In essence, eHarmony is a completely “pay-to-play” kind of dating app, with the free version pretty much being the digital version of window shopping.
Finally, eHarmony’s pricing structure doesn’t allow you to subscribe on a monthly basis. The shortest possible billing period you can choose is 6 months, at $60 per month.
|$59.90 per month with a 6 months subscription|
|$39.90 per month with a 12 months subscription|
|$29.90 per month with a 24 months subscription|
There are alternatives that are free or cost less
Tightly connected to the previous point is the fact that there are quite a few dating apps out there that matchmake people by using a compatibility score obtained through a personality test.
The best part about these alternatives is that they are primarily free. Yes, it will help if you pay for some features, but you don’t really have to in order to match, chat and meet up with someone.
Some examples of these apps:
- Plenty of Fish
Their personality tests may not be as in-depth as eHarmony, and the compatibility scores not as detailed, but they’re in the “good enough” territory.
This isn’t to say that eHarmony isn’t worth the money, but if you’re looking for a dating app focused on compatibility scores, then it’s best if you first check some of the free apps listed above first.
Not a good dating app for hookups
This is either a positive or a negative, depending on exactly you’re looking for right now.
But if you just want something short term, then eHarmony isn’t the best place to go to since you can’t cast a wide net the same way as on other, more casual dating apps.
As mentioned previously, it’s partly because of the price and partly because of how eHarmony slow feeds you with only a few matches at a time.
Even if you wanted to use eHarmony as a ways to find short term relationship partners, you would find that it’s simply not very time efficient compared to practically any other dating app.
The drip feeding of matches
Even if you become a paid member, eHarmony will still limit how many matches you receive per day.
When you first sign up you’ll receive a larger batch of matches (think 20-30), but afterwards you’ll be drip fed with just a few matches per day.
The exact number varies by location, but you can expect to receive 1-5 new matches per day.
That may seem like a good number, but you have to take into account that many of those matches are free users who have also just signed up and are probably on a free account.
This means that even if you, a premium member, message them first the other person won’t be able to message you back until they also become paid members.
By comparison, most other dating apps give you tens or even a hundred matches per day just as a free user. Purchasing a paid account on those apps (that usually costs less than eHarmony’s) gives you even more matchmaking features and communication options.
The intention behind this design decision was probably to encourage users to take conversations with their matches more seriously, since they received so few of them.
While it’s a commendable attitude, this design decision has probably swung too much the other way and now limits user choice too much.
Creating an account takes a while
As mentioned previously, creating an account first requires to complete a relatively lengthy personality test so eHarmony can create a compatibility score between you and the other people on the network.
You probably won’t notice just how long this test is if you really do want to invest yourself in eHarmony.
However, the long signup process is a real drag if all you want to do is just hop on the app and see what it’s like.
The end result is that eHarmony really discourages more casual users who are seeking a relationship, but aren’t crazy about it and just want to devote some time here and there.
Overall eHarmony comes with it’s own advantages and disadvantages compared to other dating apps. Is it worth using and subscribing to? If you’re only looking for a long term relationship want to weed out the wishy washy people, then yes it is worth it. If you’re open to anything however, eHarmony might not be the best choice for you.