eharmony review: A somewhat tedious sign-up process makes for a long, happy marriage

If you’re interested in eharmony, I’m guessing you’re a serial monogamist fish in a pond of swiping app users who just don’t take dating seriously.

It’s always something, isn’t it? If you’re not catching feelings for people who just want to hook up, you’re six months deep having the “What are we?” conversation with someone who is definitely too old to still be playing games.

Maybe you’re just plain tired of going through breakup after breakup with people you thought you were gonna marry.

Yeah, well, 10 million other people are tired of the same things, and they’ve put their love lives in the hands of eharmony: the site that claims to make a love connection every 14 minutes. If you’ve been nervous about online dating, this is one place where you’re almost guaranteed to find good intentions.

 

eharmony is the go-to for marriage-minded people looking for a serious, long-term commitment. We’re dating to put a ring on it, people. Not just dating for attention or as a reason to not be alone on a Friday night.

If you’re worried about the stigma that, for whatever out-of-date reason, surrounds online dating, we’re telling you to reevaluate. Dating IRL and leaving everything to fate clearly hasn’t been working either, or you wouldn’t have clicked on this. Sorry, but real life isn’t like Sex and the City where you casually bump in to a long term partner at a coffee shop or art gallery.

Technology has now made it possible to meet people you may have never known existed and who want the same thing as you, which opens up your dating pool significantly. eharmony’s membership pool consists of singles who reside in all 50 U.S. states and more than 200 countries worldwide, making up around 5 million visitors per month. That’s a bit behind competitors like Match, Plenty of Fish, and Zoosk, but not a low number by any means. Where they lack in numbers, they make up for in a seamless and extremely personalized user experience, which continues to be perfected since the site’s debut in 2000.

And that’s clearly something users hold near and dear, because they keep coming back. In 2013, eharmony ranked first in creating marriages compared to other dating sites, and is apparently responsible for creating 4% of marriages in the U.S. They’re pretty confident in their matchmaking abilities, too, because they make a guarantee that if you’re not satisfied in three months, they’ll give you another three months for free. And honestly, it’s comforting to know that this shit works. (Don’t believe us? Read these success stories and weep, y’all.)

While most competing sites have made upgrades and tried to keep up with social media or internet trends, eharmony has maintained a pretty consistent message. But if you used eharmony 10 years ago, you might not recognize it today (in a good way): The app has been totally modernized to appeal to people who want something more mature than Hinge, but still like the clean, one-person-at-a-time look of swiping apps.

 

 

Making a profile: Honesty is a must, guys
The landing page used to feature your typical heterosexual hipster couple, which was more nauseating than inspirational. Now, you’re greeted with more inclusive headshots of men and women.

The compatibility quiz takes around 20 minutes to complete. There are 70 questions in total (down from 100-something questions a few years ago), which seems intimidating — but I guess getting down into the nitty gritty is how to make sure you really know someone.

The questions are pretty standard and are similar to what most other in-depth dating sites will ask. You’ll give yourself a rating on prompts like “I’m an honest partner,” with sliding scale choices like “This describes me well,” to “Doesn’t describe me at all.” On paper, asking deep questions like these right off the bat makes total sense when pairing two people together — but they’re so basic and annoying. Who wants to answer “Are you emotionally stable?” with “No, doesn’t describe me at all”? I am 100% aware I’m the most sensitive, ridiculous crybaby in the world, but do I want to admit that I suck at dealing with arguments like an adult? Hard nope.

 

Unless people have an extremely realistic sense of self, I feel like these answers just can’t be telling. Everyone would love to rate themselves the highest on patience and romantic and the lowest on selfishness, but if these people were perfect and had zero problems in relationships, they wouldn’t need online dating in the first place.

Just remember that the right person will except your quirks and flaws. As much as you’d like to lie to feel better about yourself, you know deep down that’s not the way to a healthy relationship. Admitting that you have problems in a certain area is key to eharmony matching you with someone who complements you. And finding someone who makes up for what you lack is better in the long run, even if it’s hard to come to terms with at times.

 

Just be honest about your communication skills, or your next relationship is gonna look like this:

Scattered through the mushy stuff are questions that are actually fun to answer — but still super important. These are questions that potential matches can see your answers to and serve as a fun conversation starter or an easy way to tell if you would get along. They’ll be anything from “Do dogs go to heaven?” to “If you woke up with a fever on the morning of an important meeting, what would you do?” Basically, they’re trying to find out about your work ethic, political preferences, what you value in life, and other quirky things that I honestly think matter just as much as communication and patience.

eharmony does a really nice job of making it all look modern and not too jumbled, which is an issue I’ve come across on a lot of other dating sites. Having a lot of features can be fun, but not when there are notifications popping up for things you didn’t even know existed. A calming color scheme and minimalistic layout is the way to go, and eharmony nailed it.

You even have the option to put your favorite TV shows, music, sports, and more on your profile, and the redesign cleans it up into a really nice, modern app view.

 

 

Finding a match
Finding the right one takes time. eharmony is trying to find you someone to spend your life with, and that’s something that can’t be half-assed or rushed. Unless your life is eerily similar to a rom com, weeding out all of the non-compatible ones may take a few weeks — or months. It may get frustrating, but “slow and steady wins the race” is the mindset to have here. If it seems to be taking a while, that doesn’t mean it’s never gonna work — that’s how it is for everyone.

The matchmaking process can be sped up by taking a look at your compatibility score. For every person you come across, a color-coded graphic will show which wants or needs you have in common, based on answers to the questionnaire. The categories include things like, “What is our driving force?” and “How do we organize everyday life?” If one person is focused on kids and a family and someone else is focused on a career and traveling, the mismatch will be obvious.

Something unique about eharmony is that there’s no search feature. At all. Unlike Match, it won’t even let you browse a list of who’s nearby outside of the matches they’ve picked for you. Each day, you’ll get a new batch of matches, which is fine if you’ve made good decisions in the past, but bad if one day’s batch happens to be full of people you’re not interested in.

On the bright side, matches you do get are very likely to want to talk to you, as you’re clearly compatible and have things in common — and you won’t be getting random “heys” from a million random people that you’d never talk to. (eharmony also monitors each user’s site activity very closely, so the chance of getting nasty opening messages about your favorite position in bed is minimal.)

 

 

The final verdict
If you’re tired of having your feelings f*cked with, eharmony is your best bet when it comes to finding someone who wants something just as serious. Because the process is so drawn out and calculated, you might want to sit down and really think about if you want a long term relationship or if you genuinely want marriage ASAP, because eharmony is a lot of time and money that you’re not going to be happy about losing if you’re not on it for the right reasons.

You can’t expect to make multiple matches a day. Not being able to browse the dating pool at all will probably be a new concept to most, and having extremely limited freedom can definitely turn into a pain. But it’s clear that the people you’ve picked by yourself in the past weren’t the right choices, so it may be time to sit back and let eharmony take the wheel.

With a younger, more progressive generation blazing toward the marriage part of life, dating sites that were previously “old-fashioned” need to make an inclusive environment a priority. It’s totally understandable if you can’t get past the conservative vibe, but know that eharmony is actively working to appeal to groups past cisgendered straight people.