- More members than almost all the dating sites out there
- Unusual features that no other dating site has
- Extensive, long-term scientific research has gone into their matching process
- No search at all; eHarmony decides for you if someone's compatible or not
- The most expensive, well-known dating site out there
- At least an hour needed to sign up and fill out their detailed matching questionnaire
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As one of the biggest, most well-known dating sites in North America (and possibly the world), I’ve got a lot to cover with this eHarmony review to ensure you get new, yet important information to help you decide if you want to sign up.
(If you’re here just to share your own eHarmony review or read other people’s opinions, just scroll down to the bottom).
I find it tricky with the “big ones” – the dating sites that everyone has heard of – because most people already have an opinion formed, prior to signing up. They’re just looking to see if someone else can tell them “yes”, or, “no”, to validate the high cost of subscribing.
Let me be clear: eHarmony is one of the most expensive dating sites you’ll encounter, with good reason. There’s also a huge amount of history as well that may, or may not, affect your willingness to sign up. I’ll share what I know, and, the special “tricks” I use to get the most of out the site.
So let’s jump in!
Sign Up Process
If you’re not familiar with eHarmony, yet, have signed up with other dating sites, it’s a bit of a surprise when you first join.
There’s (about) an hour-long questionnaire to fill out before you’ll get access. Some folks might remember this questionnaire to restrict certain “undesirables” from the accessing the site, which led to a class-action lawsuit and then the creation of Compatible Partners. But, I digress.
Prepare yourself for a list of very personal, sometimes odd questions, that you’ll have to fill out. These questions form the backbone of the site, and you can’t join without taking all of them. (You can take more once you’ve paid, but, why would you want to?)
After you’ve finished the questions, it’ll depend on your demographic as to what you see next.
- Highly desirable demographically in a specific geographic location that has few singles? You might get eHarmony for free (more on this later).
- Part of the LGBT community? You’ll get sent over to Compatible Partners.
- Normal, everyday user? You might see an offer to join, or, a list of the qualities you embody that will best suit a romantic, heterosexual partner.
Why the Specifics?
When eHarmony first started, it was on the basis of increasing marriage rates between heterosexual partners. Sadly, only those in the know remember this; you’ll be hard pressed to find any evidence online anymore.
Now, depending on who you ask, eHarmony is responsible for 1 out of 5 marriages in the US.
The thing is, the site’s owners focused on Christianity as a basis for marriage. Which is perfectly okay if you know you’re signing up for a Christian dating site for heterosexuals only. Their explanation at the time was that all of their (and other people’s research) was based on long-term partnerships between heterosexuals, and they weren’t sure if it applied to other pairings.
It makes sense. I remember hearing this during the kafuffle and thinking, “Yep, I get it. I still wish I’d known it had a Christian focus”.
Fast forward to 2016, and getting any sort of reliable information to link to, to explain the situation, is a bit tricky. At one point I had their Terms of Service saved where it shared all of this information clearly. I’m assuming it all disappeared with the lawsuit, and then the creation of Compatible Partners – which, by the way, was mandated by a judge. I’m a bit confused who would want to use a real dating site that only exists because a court ordered it – but that’s just me.
Who Uses eHarmony?
One of the few dating sites that have a higher percentage of women than men, eHarmony also has a higher percentage of folks under 54 than most, too.
Back to the intent of this piece: my eHarmony review. Thanks for indulging me!
Last I visited eHarmony, there weren’t any search options. You sign up, you fill out the form, and then you wait. Sometimes, a day. On a few occasions, I’ve had to wait over a week. Eventually, you get matched with someone based on eHarmony’s algorithm. You can tweak based on distance, and that’s about it.
What will you see when you get matched? Again, it depends. Usually, no picture and some of their answers to free-form questions. It’s pretty bare bones, and specifically so.
eHarmony is a true compatibility dating site, meaning THEY do the matching. They use the best information they have about long-term, marriage-minded partnerships, and then facilitate your “meeting” someone that’s aligned similarly.
That’s it. And yes, that’s a lot. Just from a user’s perspective, it isn’t much.
Connecting with Other Members
You can only connect with other people on the site once you’ve been matched. In addition, there’s no way to see if the person has subscribed to the site, whether they joined years ago, or whether they’re on a free trial.
What does this mean for you? Well, you’re only matched with a small percentage of the population (makes sense), and, there’s no way of knowing if they’re actively looking still. So…. you’re going to get fewer replies than any of the other dating sites combined.
Still, it only takes one. That’s what I hear constantly from users, readers, and clients with their eHarmony review(s) to meet someone. I agree with them; marriage-minded singles will have better luck here than anywhere. You’ve just got to be patient.
As well, frequent “free communication weekends” offer an opportunity to get people back on the site and connecting. The issue?
You can only use their preformatted Q&A format – there’s no way to actually have a conversation unless you subscribe, and even then, it takes a bit.
The cost will differ based on several factors – your location, demographic and time of year. For the most part, a month-to-month membership costs $59.95 USD, with lower cost options if you subscribe for longer periods of time.
The cheapest I’ve come across for eHarmony, full price, is $251.50 USD for a full year (or $20.95/month).
Want eHarmony promo codes? [thrive_2step id=’661′]Sign up for the newsletter[/thrive_2step] and get a weekly email with a list of them.
How To Get eHarmony For Free
I get this question asked sooo much… it’s astounding. I get it; the site costs more than any other. Still, it’ll take a bit of work to get eHarmony completely, 100% free. There are really only three ways that I know how:
- Belong to a highly desirable demographic in an area where there aren’t a lot of members to match with;
- Write an eHarmony review like this one, and they (may) reach out to offer you a free month. Having said that, I’ve written about dating sites for well over a decade, and eHarmony is the only one that has yet to offer me a freebie;
- Play their discount system, but this will only get you so far.
When you sign up for eHarmony, you’ll get offered a set fee to subscribe. Decline, and wait. Don’t go back to the site, just forget about it.
In a few weeks, you’ll get presented with a discount offer. Again, wait. UNLESS it’s 92%, then, take it. That’s the best you’ll likely find (and the best I’ve come across).
The game here is that (a) you need to wait, and (b) it won’t happen around big dating-related events like their free communication weekends or Valentine’s Day.
Then, [thrive_2step id=’661′]subscribe to my email list[/thrive_2step]. In my reply, you should get a link for eHarmony. See if you can “stack” the coupon and the discount – you might get eHarmony for free. Do let me know in the comments what, worked for you.
eHarmony Research and Statistics
eHarmony has undertaken a lot of research studies and took part in many, many more. This is what’s of most interest to users wanting to sign up for the site, and that I used while writing this eHarmony review.
Marital satisfaction and breakups differ across online and offline meeting venues (2003)
Marital satisfaction higher with couples that met online; but also note that online couples in the study were older and wealthier than the offline-meeting couples.
Similarity, convergence and relationship satisfaction in dating and married couples (2007)
The research found a positive association between shared, similar emotional experiences and long term romantic longevity.
Date or Soul Mate? How To Know If Someone Is Worth Pursuing in Two Dates Or Less (2005)
A book written by eHarmony founder, Neil Clark Warren, citing some of the research and patents used in the creation of the dating site and company.
Attachment and daily sexual goals: A study of dating couples (2008)
Research undertaken with eHarmony Labs found that sex was used either to make the other partner feel better, or, to avoid negative consequences (highly paraphrased).
eHarmony settles lawsuit, will merge gay and straight websites (2010)
While challenging to find the actual data today, in 2010 eHarmony settled a long-standing lawsuit regarding not allowing LGBTQ+ singles access to their dating platform.
The Bottom Line With This eHarmony Review – Use It or Walk Away?
Do I recommend eHarmony? Yes, and no. I love their matching mechanisms and ability to get a report on your needs in relationship, even with their freebie version.
The cost (higher than almost any other dating site out there), and inability to see whether someone is actively on the site or signed up years ago, however, are both hugely detrimental in my opinion.
To avoid one of these issues, sign up, wait, and see what kind of discount you get within the first few weeks. I guarantee you will, and, it’ll likely get a bit more palatable when you do.
What do you think, though? Please scroll down and share your own eHarmony review, or read other users’ experiences.
11 thoughts on “eHarmony Review Explains How to Get Nearly Free Access”
Visitor Rating: 43%
I signed up just to see what was out there. After I paid for 1 month, answered all the questions and really thoughtfully gave honest requests, I thought I was crazy for doing this. I received lots of matches but nobody really peaked my interest until one day…I met an awesome man…eHarmony is so much more than a dating site. There’s a wealth of info available and the personality profiling is off the charts.
I will add a good tip. Dont sign up on eHarmony for long terms. I signed up for 6 months but found the best matches came within the first 2 to 3 months. After that the suitability of the matches i got really dropped. It may be tempting to sign up for longer with cheaper monthly fee but in the end it ends up more costly. Also the auto-renewal feature is confusing with you have to go to Cancel subscription to find it. No where else on the site is this informed other in Terms and Conditions. I didnt see it and suddenly got renewed for another 6 months. With eHarmonys absolute no refund policy thats lost money. 9 months in and no dates yet, and in the 6 last months i got one single reply on my contact attempts.
Useful – Thank you.
Both my husband and I only paid 1 month on eharmony and in 30 days we were matched. We now have 2 year old twins are successfully self employed and I attribute eharmony to how I found my dream man. There isn’t a better match on earth than he is for me, and I’m a believer that it really does work!
The only nice feature that eHarmony comes up with, is the personality profile that they generate from questions that members can answer. The entire description really fit me and every aspect of me, both good and bad to a ‘T’. Now what eHarmony then does with this, is not well explained on the site. Do they look for someone just LIKE me? Or do they find my opposite? Does research show that opposites attract? Even better: Does eHarmony apply evidence based research whenever they pick the candidates for me? They consistently seem to overlook that as much as I like an adventurous man, there are when it comes to looks types that I am going to be attracted to, and types that I find less appealing. And still I keep getting matched up with these dorky looking, out of shape, usually too old men. It really gets old fast. Keep your money in your pocket and spend it rather on a site like Match.com. They do a much better job at matching in my humble opinion and are way more affordable. Match has a 6 MONTH guarantee. eHarmony a 3 DAY cancellation policy, after which only physical disability would get me my money back. What a ripoff and what a slippery policy. What a waste of $$.
My experience has been with intermittent use of the site for five years. I am a professional, well-educated woman, now in my 50s, with a good life. I find the matches that come to me seem to be appropriate for what I have requested in demographics and interests. They also seem to be of generally higher quality than on free dating sites – they express more interest in long-term relationships, the profiles are filled out with more information, and I haven’t had any direct rudeness or ill will expressed.
The flip side is that this must be the most timid group of men in the world. My approach is this: I am paying money to have a larger pool of potential partners, so I want to really give this the fullest opportunity to work. When I see someone interesting or that I feel might be good to meet, I send them the eHarmony standard communication. I have no problem being the first to approach someone. However, the men do not respond. Only a few times has a man taken three minutes to either answer questions or write a response. Otherwise, they let my contacts sit there. They rarely close the contact (sending me away for good), but they don’t reciprocate in any way, either.
I am baffled. If it was just that these were tradition-minded baby boomers who can’t stand to be approached by a woman, you would expect traditional manners and a note saying “this isn’t ok with me.” But there is absolutely nothing.
I cannot recommend the site, at least for women my age.
Weeks can go by before you get a match and that happens constantly. Sometimes I think that eHarmony forgot that I’m still an active member but with so few matches and so much time lapses between them, I will NEVER rejoin! I opened my field of choices as much as possible but that did not improve the situation. I also have heard from other members who are now or at one time been in the same situation. I hate to say it but it almost feels like a scam. I wish I had something positive to say but my experience up to date has been extremely negative and disappointing.
Poor experience, horrible customer service….another company just looking to make a quick buck. I didn’t meet one match off of the website and chalked up the 3 month subscription expense to experience. I cancelled my subscription and went about dating elsewhere. This month I saw a charge for $75 from eharmony. When I went to the website, it stated that my account was still active and the $75 was an auto renew fee for 3 more months. When I called eharmony’s customer service, I was met by an overly rude guy that basically called me a liar. Although he admitted that there had been no activity on my account since the date I claimed to have cancelled the subscription! Bottom line, this is a company that over-promises, under-delivers and just wants your money! Don’t do it! I had better luck on match and okcupid (which is free).
This dating service is such a scam. I have gotten matches that are inactive, separated, scammers and matches that are out of state.
They send you matches, I go days without a match.
I complain and they tell me it is my fault, I should be patient, increase miles away (more than another state?) or increase age (more than 12 years?) really….
I have pictures (current, and I am not a beast) maybe write more, well no not until I talk to someone, I have come across a few who are not who they say they are, and want money…..
Eharmony might be a big name and advertise a lot but would not recommend them at all.
Customer service has guide book responses, no help what so ever.