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eHarmony: Full Review   

 
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About eHarmony

 
URL : eHarmony
Year Started : 2000
Location : United States of America
Languages : English
Short Description : eHarmony is advertised as a personals site that is about finding a "soul mate," not e-mail pals, chat room friends or casual dates. Not a personals site in the traditional sense, eHarmony has nothing to do with browsing through hundreds or thousands of photographs or reading brief profiles. eHarmony is based on an extensive personality survey that is designed to not only match you with other members, but actually give you a detailed personality profile that outlines various aspects of your own personality, covering such details as how you react to stressful situations, what you seek from others, your most deep-seated anxieties and how you perceive yourself and others.
Number of Members : 3,000,000
Overall Rating : This is tough because eHarmony isn't really a dating website. This is a match-making service that happens to be online. Depending on what you're looking for, eHarmony will be either: A. Of no use to you and way too expensive or B. What you've been looking for and a small price to pay to kiss the dating scene good-bye and get on with the rest of your life - with the perfect mate by your side.
 
  

eHarmony Categories & Features

 
Relationships :
  • Marriage
Religions :
  • All
Ethnicities :
  • All
Finding Your Match :
  • Automated Matching
  • Search by location
  • Search (Quick)
  • Smart Matching
Contacting Members :
  • Private messaging
 
  

eHarmony Dating Service Review

 
The Company : Founded in August, 2000, eHarmony has almost 3 million members and is growing at a rate of 10,000 new members every day. This site seems to be solidly backed by a strong, professional presence and has an unusually high matching success rate , boasting 2,000 member marriages since 2001. eHarmony is backed by Dr. Warren, a psychologist who has studied both successful and failed relationships in the thousands.
Site Navigation : eHarmony has a simple lay-out and basic navigation, with a clean look and feel. It's difficult to judge the quality of the more advanced features such as e-mail because you can't use these features unless you are a fully subscribed member. The photographs of actual couples who have been matched through eHarmony are a nice touch.
Site Response Speed : Fast
Sign-Up Process : For the basic "look-around," eHarmony's sign-up is simple, but it doesn't get you much. To sign up for the service, expect to spend hours answering the 500+ questions for your personality profile. If you get through it, you're on your way to some excellent matches, though. This is hard to rate - for ease and speed, eHarmony is more like a 2, but if you're looking for an in-depth, quality profile, it's a definite 5.
Breadth of Services : In-depth, extensive and comprehensive services for those who are seriously seeking a mate. If there is a site that can find someone who really meshes with not only your interests, but your personality, beliefs and psychological make-up, eHarmony is it! eHarmony also has an excellent Q&A area with questions from members that are answered by Dr. Warren. Articles on topics relating to marriage and working out problems, etc. are also way above average.
User Base : Hard to tell what eHarmony's user base is really like, since the matching process automatically eliminates 99% of the membership as not compatible with you based on the profiles. The matches you do get through eHarmony will be, on the whole, of very good quality.
User Experience : eHarmony is an impressively thorough site with easy-to-follow instructions and encouraging bits of advice throughout.
Customer Service : Email customer service is very good - expect a response from eHarmony within 24 hours unless it's a holiday weekend. The "Help" section has six pages of FAQ's with detailed answers that cover just about everything you can think of.
Customer Service Hours :
  • Email via webpage
Registration Options : Registration Procedure
  • FREE to register
  • Quick registration
  • Online help
  • Tips and examples
  • Send photos by mail or email
Additional Services :
  • Automatic renewal
  • Money back guarantee
Long Description :

eHarmony

eHarmony may not be the right personals site for you if you're primarily interested in casual dating or just finding a few new friends of the opposite sex to chat with. Only after you have filled out eHarmony's complete profile will you be matched with others. The difference here is that you aren't answering basic questions about likes and dislikes. Instead, you answer a lengthy survey that presents numerous situations and possible responses from which you must choose the closest to your own feelings. After this is submitted, eHarmony sends you a complete personality and values evaluation for your own review. This will be used to match you with members who are either similar or complimentary to you.

eHarmony personals start with an extensive profile

Trial membership at eHarmony begins with your personality profile. Although you can browse through the most basic of personals, no photos are viewable and you can't communicate with others. If you are serious about finding "the right one," however, eHarmony caters to those looking for a serious, long-term relationship or marriage. When you are ready to begin, make sure you schedule enough time to properly complete the personality questionnaire. It will take a good two hours to answer eHarmony's questions and some of them require an instinctive reaction in order to get an accurate "reading," according to the instructions. There are sections on your moral stand on a number of issues, how you interact with family and friends, how you handle situations ranging from being at a party where you don't know anyone to how to approach someone about a personal problem. You'll have the chance to review your own profile, but will have to be patient to receive matches, which you will receive via e-mail in 48-72 hours. On average, eHarmony will send you 5 or 6 matches in your first mailing. You can then visit eHarmony, review their basic profiles (still with no photographs) and decide if you want to go any further. In order to correspond at all, you will need to join at this point.

eHarmony finds the matches for you

eHarmony's website is straightforward with a clear lay-out, done in muted, earth-tone colors. Rather than having models plastered on the site, the eHarmony site runs pictures of actual couples who have met using the eHarmony system, in some cases listing the date they were married. Because this site is dedicated to the possibility of serious commitment, there are no separate categories and there is no same-sex matching available. eHarmony is simple to use, but be prepared to dedicate serious time to getting set up and ready to go; then realize that you will have to wait a few days for the results. You will not get the opportunity to choose from among thousands of members - you will have the opportunity to correspond with several people and may get ten to twenty matches sent in a week's time. The expectation is that you will consider seriously corresponding with any of interest, rather than just chatting with dozens.

Strict communication process enforced by eHarmony

eHarmony provides an extremely controlled environment for its members. Once you decide you want to communicate, you are led through a structured, four-step process for communicating with your match. eHarmony's intention here is to encourage an "all the cards on the table" attitude about communcation, addressing big issues early on in the dialogue, which goes through the website without direct email exchanges. The first round is the chance to take a look at their detailed profile, which will include information such as "your proudest moment" and "who has influenced me the most." In the second stage, you will exchange answers to five closed-end questions from a suggested list ("If you were taken by your date to a party where you knew no one, how would you respond?" "Do you believe in Soul Mates, and if so, is there only one in each person's life?" "Do you consider yourself a dominant or more submissive personality with friends and those close to you?"). The third round of eHarmony's communication process is the exchange of your Top Tens: Ten things you must have in a partner and then things you can't stand in a potential partner. Then you will move to Phase 4, which is...well, you get the idea. Even the first exchange of emails at the final level (Phase 5) is monitored at the beginning, with suggested topics and guidance on how to move beyond the "exploration" phase of the emails. During this process, eHarmony provides links, suggestions and helpful articles on how to get the most from this "courtship" procedure.

eHarmony Extras: The psychology of dating

eHarmony is based on the counseling experiences and research of Dr. Neil Clark Warren, a well-known expert on singles' issues, relationship counseling and mating and dating rituals. His PhD in Psychology and years of research into why relationships fail is the basis for his matching system. eHarmony really isn't a dating or personals website so much as it is a computerized version of an Old-World concept - the Professional Matchmaker. Warren has taken the results of his experiences and developed what he refers to as the "29 Dimensions," which he feels are the basis of a successful relationship and ultimate compatibility. These dimensions are determined through the personality questionnaire he developed for eHarmony. It can be assumed that physical characteristics aren't essential to compatibility in his dynamic, because eHarmony doesn't allow you to see photos early on and physical descriptions in the initial phase are limited to height.
 
  

eHarmony Pros & Cons

 
Pros :
  • If you are looking for a serious, long-term relationship, eHarmony is a site that has a good chance of making it happen. It's almost like having your own personal matchmaker taking care of you.
  • The personality profile, if you answer the questions honestly, will give you an accurate glimpse into your own personality. For the most part you will find that eHarmony's profile understands you pretty well and you may be surprised by a few insights that you hadn't thought about before (show it to your family - you'll get a few knowing glances).
  • If you want some direction in discovering the real substantive details of potential mates, eHarmony gives excellent guidance and leads you through a kind of formal, virtual courtship that pares things down to the real nitty-gritty. It's backed by years of research and psychological studies.
Cons :
  • If you want to choose on your own or use physical characteristics as a primary selection criteria, don't bother.
  • eHarmony does not offer anything to bisexual or homosexual commitment-seekers.
  • eHarmony is not the site for people looking to date casually or simply seeking some "chat" friends.
  • eHarmony is also considerably more expensive than other sites.
 
  

eHarmony Plans Offered

 
Pricing :
  • 1 month for $49.94
  • 3 months for $99.95
  • 6 months for $159.95
  • 1 year for $249.95 (includes the "Relationship Starter Package")
  • eHarmony offers matchmaking services in all their detailed, scientific glory
  • Guided correspondence and assistance getting to know your matches
  • Additional access to detailed articles, safe dating suggestions, and a variety of resources on compatibility and relationship skills
Site Freebies :
  • eHarmony offers an extensive, detailed personality evaluation that is intriguing and may help you evaluate what you're really looking for in a relationship. If, after over an hour of answering questions for the evaluation, you log off in disgust because it's so time-consuming, don't worry - eHarmony wasn't the site for you anyway. If you can't commit to a two-hour evaluation, then you're not ready to commit to weeks of structured contact just to get to the point where you can really chat with a potential mate!
  • A peek at very basic profiles of other eHarmony members, but no contact allowed.
  • Some fascinating articles on relationships and developing genuine commitment.
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eHarmony Dating Service Review


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