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The story goes that one hopeful romantic signed-up to an online dating site and registered his soulmate criteria. He sought someone who liked water sports, enjoyed company, favoured formal attire and was somewhat petite. The artificial intelligence matching process being a little unrefined advised him to go to the zoo and meet a penguin. eHarmony is undoubtedly more successful and sophisticated than that.

eHarmony, is one of the online dating forerunners, it has a unique and patented matching process that is purportedly responsible for over 500 marriages a day around the globe.

The Company uses a 200 plus questionnaire to match potential soulmates with a system for matching compatibles based on a scientifically proven patented algorithm. Admittedly, being matched by an algorithm doesn’t sound overly romantic but, with a ten-year track record of success, then eHarmony is quite proud of their process.

The Company has recently been taken over by European giant, Parship, so there may be some innovative changes and modernisation of the dating platform to come.

eHarmony’s unique feature is the reliance on their renowned matching system to create selected dates for members.

You can’t search for members in the standard way although eHarmony has recently bridged the differences between their competitors by allowing members to have sight of a picture before an introduction. This is a vast improvement as, regardless of what anyone says, physical appearance is a big initial factor in choosing a date.

eHarmony will, however, always be at the opposite spectrum for online dating compared to Tinder. For the former inner traits and qualities are deemed as more important than outward appearance regarding flagging up compatibility of the prospects of a successful match.

The eHarmony algorithm is such that there is no guarantee of a large number of introductions, however, in our view, it is better to have ten quality suitable matches rather than a hundred random time-wasting mismatches. One approach is to sign up for free and then see what comes in through the email box by way of matches.

eHarmony is firmly pitched as a relationship site and has barriers to entry that help assist that reputation. This includes barring multiple divorcees and married members, including those married but separated. eHarmony has its roots the gay and lesbian community, via a court case. The resulting outcome involved eHarmony establishing a separate site.,, The site owners do have a more modern and open-minded outlook now, but quite rightly, the Company remains firmly rooted in catering for singles seeking serious relationship singles.

Interestingly, eHarmony released a press release this year that claimed their survey highlighted that couples that met through eHarmony are significantly less likely to separate compared to both those who met online by other means. Moreover, the stats stressed that couples who connected through eHarmony are substantially less likely to separate compared to couples who got together via all methods combined. So, it appears the much-publicised algorithm works and isn’t merely a useful marketing tool.

eHarmony is slightly above the average price for the leading dating sites for short-term membership. With much of the membership base coming under the heading ‘professional,’ it seems many are prepared to pay a small premium for a personalised service that takes away the searching chore.

Sometimes it pays to sign-up for free and wait for eHarmony to try and induce you to cough up with some special offers. Also, watch out for our regularly updated section on discounts and coupons. Periodically, eHarmony also has free communication weekends that allow you to contact other members without subscribing.

These are the latest subscription prices eHarmony but watch out for new discounts in our news section.

Total Connect Membership Plan Costs
£15.95 per month with a 12-month membership
£23.95 per month with a 6-month membership
£29.95 per month with a 3-month membership
£44.95 per month with a 1-month membership

Basic Membership Plan Costs
£12.95 per month with a 12-month membership
£23.95 per month with a 6-month membership
£26.95 per month with a 3-month membership
£44.95 per month with a 1-month membership

The sign-up questionnaire consists of over 200 questions but, worry not, it’s possible to skip questions and come back to them later. Otherwise, reserve a good 45 minutes for the complete sign-up process. The prize for completion is a personality profile, and that’s provided even for a free sign-up and, of course, the prospect of some highly compatible matched from the algorithm that had been fed with all the information it needs.

Invariably, most of the subscription dating sites are weighted towards male subscribers in the gender split; however, eHarmony has an almost equal balance of the sexed regarding paid members.

Apparently under 1% of membership applicants are turned away. eHarmony explain that their compatibility software flags up that these would-be members are not ready or quite suitable for relationships.

The marriage statistics of members makes compelling reading. eHarmony’s track record is impressive, and about 500 members (including those from the U.S. site) get hitched every single day because of the site. A staggering 20% of American marriages are claimed to stem from eHarmony. To clarify, these are members getting married to other eHarmony members, and it’s not a case of an ex being given a second chance due to a bad experience on the site.

You won’t be able to make contact until taking out a paid subscription though, and with one of the most substantive databases of over 700,000 members, there should be someone for everyone. eHarmony generally sends a few new matches on a daily basis. Analytics website reports that there are 926,000 visitors per month to eHarmony, most of these are from UK traffic.

Statistics can be useful but we are also wary of them, and there are to quote a former British PM, lies, damn lies, and statistics. There’s no denying, however, that 500 global weddings a day is a figure even the Reverend Moon with his mass Korean weddings wouldn’t have scoffed at. Undoubtedly eHarmony works well for sincere souls’ intent on serious relationships. The Company was a late starter in the UK but is now established as the site of choice for those seeking a committed relationship.

Sign-up Process
A compelling attraction of eHarmony is that the full sign-up process is quite extensive. That may sound like a chore rather than a plus but, for those with serious dating or relationship intentions, it undoubtedly helps weed out the casual time-wasters.

A bonus from the free sign up process is that you are able to access your ‘personality report.’ This covers your conscientiousness, openness, emotional intelligence, stability, agreeableness, introversion, extraversion and conscientiousness. Most of us aren’t the best at assessing our own personality traits and the report, in addition to forming the eHarmony matching process is a very insightful tool to aid writing a dating profile.

You need to allow at least 40 minutes to fill out all the questions. Fortunately, most are multiple choice, so there’s no essay writing required. There is a lot of emphasis on your likes and pet hates. The system is so finely tuned it won’t even let you rush and sends out a gently chastening instruction to make you take your time and ensure you have the best chance of finding your match.

There is, of course, a purpose to the form filling; namely to match you up with the right person. So, painstaking as it can appear at times, it’s a well spent 40 minutes if the result brings a successful match. Once through that slightly arduous process it’s plain sailing as you wait for eHarmony’s patented matching algorithm to start sending you your long-awaited soulmate.

Basic Features
The site allows direct contact between members if there is mutual agreement. There is also a slower slightly indirect way; various creative questions with an array of multiple-choice answers are available to throw at your potential match to see if eHarmony really has sent you Mr. or Mrs. Right.

eHarmony has a user-friendly Matches page. There is the option to send smiles, messages and even ask matches one or more creative questions designed to reveal personality traits and compatibility.

eHarmony Guided Communication- this feature enables users to control the pace of communication and privacy. It allows you to get to know your match before full email contact. This process is primarily a Q & A process that is designed to see if your match thinks similarly on things. It’s a fun and insightful process with some very creative questions that makes the exchange entertaining rather than onerous.

eHarmony Mail- this allows communication with other users and matches through the site’s secure email server.

There is a feature that highlights where you and your match have stated you both enjoy specific things and hobbies and again the emphasis is on establishing if there is compatibility.

As you’d expect, eHarmony has a mobile app for a range of mobile phones including of course the iPhone, and Android ‘phones amongst others.

As with most dating sites, you can explore and sign-up without charge, but communication with other users is not possible.

Enhanced Total Connect Features
eHarmony scores highly on safety and privacy and, if this is particularly key to you, we would recommend going for the premium Total Connect features.

For example, you might not feel comfortable giving out your telephone number or someone who you’ve had limited contact with. eHarmony’s “Secure Call” feature enables you to call your match without revealing your mobile or landline number. This is nice if you want to maintain a bit of anonymity as you’re still getting to know someone that you met over the Internet.

Premium Personality Profile – This gives you 15 extra pages added to your personality profile. After answering questions, it gives you a breakdown of details about yourself that you can either keep private, share with everyone, or share with select individuals. The areas that the profile addresses are Agreeableness, Openness, Emotional Stability, Conscientiousness, and Extraversion.

Profile Advisor – Writing a profile can be a daunting process, and not everyone is blessed with excellent written skills. eHarmony has a premium feature called “Profile Advisor.” Subscribers are given access to a professional writer who will do most of the hard graft and write an appealing profile for you based on information you can provide about yourself.

RelyID – This feature gives legal verification that you are who you say you are! Specifically, this establishes that your name, location, and age are accurate. In an age where scamming on dating sites is rife then this is an appealing feature.

eHarmony isn’t the most modern of platforms; however, the essence of the site is that your hard work in the lengthy sign-up process means the site or algorithm can do the hard slog of searching for you and provide you with compatible local singles. So, if you have limited time for browsing through hundreds of profiles, then this site offers a good option.

eHarmony has a dedicated customer email and telephone support line and has won several awards for customer service. There are also extensive advice blogs and clear advice and guidelines on safe dating with an email to report violations from other members. Payment options are restricted to debit and credit cards. The site is straightforward to navigate around and, as you would expect, it’s possible to login with the ubiquitous Facebook.

The ‘Total’ Membership – as opposed to the ‘Basic’ provides a secure telephone option which means you can talk to a potential match without giving out your home number. It’s straightforward to halt any communication with another member and do so without having revealed any personal data. From that perspective, it’s one of the safest online dating sites around. As with most sites, there is an option to send an ‘icebreaker.’ Bonus points go to eHarmony for not designating it a ‘wink.’

It’s a routine process to cancel your membership from the default auto-renew subscription. Just click on your account details and untick auto-renew. New members need to think carefully about whether they want the auto-renew package. It’s certainly a cheaper option if you wish to take out a more extended membership, but it all depends on how optimistic you are about the duration it will take to find your match. If you think you’ll strike success within an initial month or three months of membership, then it makes sense to ensure auto-renew is unticked.

The website has won several awards for customer service, but we note the main award this year went to EliteSingles. eHarmony site has a dedicated customer care team who provide both telephone support number and email customer service.

Potentially plenty of compatible local matches
Like-minded members
Sizeable membership
Focuses on serious relationships
Few scammers
Site proves compatible matches and avoids time-consuming self-searching

A little expensive – especially if just taking out a single month membership
Limited self-select options compared to Match and and are like chalk and cheese. That’s not to say one is a better online dating site than the other; they just adopt a fundamentally different approach to achieving the same goal. puts you more in control in terms of selecting matches while eHarmony offers to do the hard work for you. In a sense, despite the modern technology, eHarmony is a traditional relationship matchmaker that has a well-documented history of bringing people together successfully.

With a current UK membership of 700,000 then clearly it has appeal and has hit on the right formula – or ‘algorithm’ to be pedantic. The site is a little more expensive than its rival, Match; however, if you are looking for a serious relationship, you will find that most of its members are like-minded and it’s money well spent if you find the right person and aren’t messed around by time-wasters.


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    Nick Evans

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