By Lucas Owen
GETTING TO KNOW eHARMONY
After working for over 30 years as a marriage counselor and clinical psychologist, Neil Clark Warren decided to do some research in collaboration with Dr Galen Buckwalter. The objective? Engineer a model of compatibility that matched people based on certain characteristics. After 3 years of research, they created a world famous matchmaking system based on what Dr. Warren calls, the “29 Dimensions of Compatibility.” eHarmony.com was founded soon after in August of 1998 and the system was implemented. It seems to be working. Harris Interactive(the premier custom market research firm) reports that an average of 542 eHarmony.com members in the United States marry every day. With these kind of results, eHarmony.com has grown to over 20 million members worldwide in over 140 countries. Headquartered in Pasadena, California, eHarmony.com has about a 55% female to 45% male ratio.
MY EXPERIENCE ON eHARMONY
THE RELATIONSHIP QUESTIONNAIRE
- Before I could sign up on eHarmony.com, I had to fill out a Relationship Questionnaire that had 13 Sections. It’s starts from General Information in Section 1 to Matching Information in Section 13. Most of the Sections ask you to pick out words or phrases that most closely describe you and the type of partner you are looking for. Are you an Over-Achiever? Are you a Good Listener? Is it important to you to take the time to “smell the roses?” How often during the past month were you happy, sad, satisfied or angry? How important to you is your partner’s capacity for emotional intimacy? How important to you is your partner’s ability to communicate? These are just a few of the 436 questions that I had to answer on the questionnaire. Hence, be prepared to assign about 30 minutes to complete it.
WHAT I LIKED
- Easy Navigation – I was happy with just how easy it was to navigate the site. Every link option was clearly labelled and easy to follow. For a dating site as large as eHarmony.com, it has a very basic and straightforward design.
- No Search Option – There is no browse or search option on eHarmony.com. Like it or not, this is what sets eHarmony.com apart from the rest. The site sent matches to me based on the information I provided on the Relationship Questionnaire. True, this was different compared to what I was used to on other dating sites but it was also somewhat refreshing. I figured that with this kind of approach, eHarmony.com was pretty confident in their matchmaking system. Hence, I sat back and thought to myself: “Alright eHarmony.com, you have the controls, show me what you’ve got.”
- Free Personality Profile Analysis – I appreciated the fact that eHarmony.com allowed me to have a free report of my in-depth personality analysis. Hey, I did spend 30 minutes filling out the questionnaire after all. All jokes aside though, this was a nice touch. Based on 5 Categories: Agreeableness, Openness, Emotional Stability, Conscientousness, and Extraversion, I was able to gain some very helpful insights about myself.
- No-Nonsense Approach – Quite frankly, eHarmony.com doesn’t make it too easy for you to join up. They do have some strict terms. They do not accept you if you are under 21, separated or have been married more than 4 times. They also will not accept you if you fail the Relationship Questionnaire. Don’t worry, unless you violate the terms I described earlier or you are on 10 different pharmaceutical drugs for depression, anxiety and hysteria, you should have a good chance of passing it. Just be honest and consistent with your answers. However, I did find it refreshing to see just how serious they were about making sure that their pool of members were those of quality. After all, that is what we want as members of the site, to be matched with people of quality.
- Guided Communication – eHarmony.com has a very unique way of enabling their members to communicate. Once I received my matches, I was able to choose the Guided Communication process. It starts with the Get to Know Each Other Section. Here I could ask 5 questions of my match and wait for a response. If we both liked our responses, we could then move on to the Must Haves & Can’t Haves Section. From here, we could move on to the Learn more about Him/Her Section. From here, we could move on to the final stage, the eHarmony Mail Section and communicate through email. This method of communication may be too time-consuming for those who just want to get on with emailing a match right away. That’s fine. You do have that option as well. However, this method of communication is one of the reasons why eHarmony.com is a different type of dating site.
WHAT NEEDS IMPROVEMENT
- No Questionnaire Disclaimer – Perhaps it’s just me, but I did feel like it would have been a good idea to leave some kind of disclaimer for people who are about to fill out the questionnaire, to let them know that they could be rejected based on their answers. I can imagine how some people may feel after taking the time to complete the 436 questions only to find that they were rejected based on their answers. Again, most people who take the questionnaire do pass. However, it would be a nice touch to have some kind of disclaimer to make people aware of the fact that there is a possibility of failure.
- Matching Paying Members with Non-Paying Members – There were a few instances when I was matched with other members who were non-paying members. The problem with this is that I didn’t know that they weren’t paying members. eHarmony.com doesn’t differentiate paying members from non-paying members when they send you matches. Hence, you send them a message and they are unable to respond because they are not subscribed to the site. This got a little annoying at times.
- No Customer Support Phone Number – Thankfully, I didn’t have any issues that required customer support from the site. However, I did find it peculiar that eHarmony.com has no customer support phone number published anywhere on their website. This could be easily frustrating for some members who may have issues or queries and would like to talk to a human being on the other end. By the way, that number is 800-951-2023.
MEMBERSHIP AND PRICING
- Free Membership – Create a Profile. Upload a Photo. Free Personality Profile Analysis Report. Free Matching. Send Icebreakers.
- Basic Membership
- Full Price 1 Month Plan – View Match Photos. Request Photos from Your Matches. See “Who’s Viewed Your Profile.” See When Your Matches Last Logged In. Send/Receive Communication Requests. $59.95
- Basic Plan (3 Months) – View Match Photos. Request Photos from Your Matches. See “Who’s Viewed Your Profile.” See When Your Matches Last Logged In. Send/Receive Communication Requests. $45.95/month (Billed at $137.85) or 3 payments of $45.95.
- Premium Membership
- Total Connect Plan (6 Months) – Get Your ID Verified. Talk on the Phone Safely and Securely. Get a Deeper Analysis of Your Personality. View Match Photos. Request Photos from Your Matches. See “Who’s Viewed Your Profile.” See When Your Matches Last Logged In. Send/Receive Communication Requests. $34.95/month (Billed at $209.70) or 3 payments of $69.90.
- Total Connect Plan (12 Months) – Get Your ID Verified. Talk on the Phone Safely and Securely. Get a Deeper Analysis of Your Personality. View Match Photos. Request Photos from Your Matches. See “Who’s Viewed Your Profile.” See When Your Matches Last Logged In. Send/Receive Communication Requests. $26.95/month (Billed at $323.40) or 3 payments of $107.80.
Be aware that eHarmony.com does not match same sex couples. They have a separate website, Compatible Partners.com that does. eHarmony’s unique matching system does work. I was sent some very compatible matches. However, without a doubt, eHarmony is a dating site that is designed primarily for those looking for a long-term relationship. That 436 question Personality Profile Questionnaire alone will be enough to discourage most people who aren’t serious about finding a compatible, long-term partner. Nonetheless, it’s because of this that eHarmony truly excels. They could make it a lot easier to join but they don’t. Therefore, if you are looking for the love of your life, I honestly cannot recommend eHarmony.com enough.
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