eHarmony is considered one of the largest online dating sites in the world (and in Canada, too)! It started out years ago as a site that matched primarily Christian singles, but has branched far from that now and serves all heterosexual singles looking for love (gay singles are shipped off to another site run by eHarmony).
How is eHarmony different?
There are a few main differentiators that sets eHarmony apart from most online dating services:
- eHarmony has most extensive question and answer sign up process; It uses that wealth of information to provide more accurate matches for you;
- eHarmony doesn’t let you search the site for matches; You must wait for eHarmony to suggest matches to you;
- eHarmony doesn’t show you profile photos until you pay for a membership;
- eHarmony lets you communicate for free, but – again – without you knowing what the other person looks like.
How big is eHarmony?
Big. Put it this way: eHarmony purchases a whack of TV commercial time, and is one of the largest online advertisers as well when it comes to the dating space. And they’re profitable. What this means is they likely have a lot of matches in your area – especially if you’re from a larger city.
How did eHarmony get to be a huge dating site?
Simply, their algorithm. By asking you more questions than a typical online dating service does (and with a more robust algorithm), they can match you more accurately with other singles on the site. That success has lead them to claim:
- more marriages than any other dating site;
- a higher “marriage satisfaction” rate compared to other ways couples meet;
- the lowest “break up” rate compared to all methods (online and offline) that couples meet.
You can dismiss the claims as PR “BS”, but it shows the focus that eHarmony has on producing life-long marriages – and their different approach to achieve such results.
Ok, how long does the big sign up process take?
Not that long, actually. It used to be a longer (and more excruciating) process to sign up with eHarmony. The current version can be completed in around 20-30 minutes if you stick with it. That said, if you want to take a break at any time it will save your answers and allow you to start off where you left off. Not only that, the long pages of pull-downs that they used to use are long gone. Questions are more visual and answers are easy with a simple click on the response of choice. Then the next question is then shown on the next page.
What’s the downside of joining eHarmony?
I would say if you are seriously looking for a life long match then it’s worth a try. If you’re looking for a fling, you’re likely better off on another site. Do you have 30 minutes to spare to get signed up? If you’re seriously seeking a partner then you likely can find the time. As mentioned, you can do part of the survey and come back to it when you have more time.
In terms of communication, as mentioned, you can communicate for free but can only see photos once you pay. Most dating sites are the opposite: You can see but can’t communicate until you pay.
All that said, I’d sign up (create your free account) and see how many matches are sent your way (and how you feel they match what you’re looking for). If that part looks fine, try it for a few months to see how it goes (and to see photos of the people you’re matched with).
How much does eHarmony cost for full access?
It depends, slightly, on what you want to do. Below shows the options you have available under each plan. Note that, although not mentioned below, the Free plan doesn’t allow you to view profile photos.
So, how much for each of these? The Canadian dollar pricing (at the time of writing) for each plan is shown below.
Is it worth it, to pay for an eHarmony membership?
I’d say if you are looking for a serious relationship (e.g. marriage) then it’s worth a shot. As mentioned, eHarmony is one of the largest online dating services (yes, in Canada too!), and one that advertises frequently in mass media as well as online.
It is true that eHarmony is more expensive than most online dating services. You can help in that regard by choosing a longer membership plan (i.e. 6 months instead of 3 months). That’s half a year of matches (and hopefully dates!) for around $230 plus tax. Think you won’t be single for 6 months? Consider that a nice problem to have (and money well spent)!
FYI: Memberships auto renew on eHarmony
Like most dating sites, membership plans on eHarmony do automatically renew 24 hours before they expire. That means it’s up to you to cancel it beforehand if you don’t want to continue with it. Simply set yourself a reminder in your calendar of choice when you make your first membership payment (e.g. “remind me just shy of 6 months to cancel this if it’s not working!”)
Ok, so signing up is free – What should I expect?
We’ll quickly go through the sign up process below. As mentioned earlier, you can likely pull it off in 20 to 30 minutes. That said, you can stop at anytime and you can continue where you left off when you’ve got more time.
First up is your basic details.
And then you’re into the questionnaire. Note that we won’t be posting every screenshot of the process here, but just enough to give you an idea of the questions you’ll be required to fill out.
You’ll start with some basic demographic questions, such as gender…
… birth date…
… relationship status…
… the number of children you currently have (if any!)…
… and they’ll want to know if you know of anyone who has had success with eHarmony…
… and what your experience has been with online dating.
From there, the questions dig more into what you’re like, asking for you to rank how well a certain word describes your character.
You’ll be asked to choose your top four attributes…
… and select, from a range, as to where you fit in regarding certain action statements:
From here, you’ll be asked about interests and hobbies…
… and more statements that you will rank in terms of how well it describes you:
You’ll then be asked about some basic information (occupation, income, appearance, religion, etc.):
Then comes a more open format for describing yourself. This will appear on your profile (passions, what you’re thankful for, etc.):
With only 10% more to go, the questionnaire focuses on your desired match for items such as…
… habits with alcohol…
… and children:
Providing your phone number is optional (this is just for customer service purposes – It’s not given to your matches).
You’ll be asked to upload photos, but you can skip this step if you don’t have any photos handy (see the “I’ll do it later” link):
This marks the completion of the questionnaire. The matching algorithm will start working to provide you with suitable matches. Remember that eHarmony provides matches to you. You don’t search the site yourself.
At this point they’ll hit you up for a membership payment. I honestly couldn’t figure out how to bypass this page, but simply closing the window and logging in again gets you to your account dashboard and profile and such.
Your first view of the inside of the site will include help to get you started. The left/right navigation is a big part of the design – as opposed to a lot of top to bottom scrolling.
Below is what your profile will look like. You’ll notice empty places where you can add items to fill out your profile. Scrolling left and right allows you to view your entire profile.
If you don’t have a photo yet, you’ll be greeted by this:
Your matches will appear in a grid, all without photos until you pay for a membership.
When viewing the profile of a match, there may be some additional questions to answer – if the profile owner has answered them. These help to further determine if a true match is in order.
Whew, that’s a lot, I know. But, this amount of effort is what has made eHarmony one of the most successful online dating services on the planet.
Feel free to let us know about your eHarmony experiences in the comments below. Thanks!