Kathryn's Blog

FAQ #6 Shouldn’t I try eHarmony?

Well, maybe. It depends. On a lot.

I have to admit a personal prejudice towards Match.com. After all, Match is where I met my husband Drew, way back in 1998. Match was the first computer/Internet dating site, starting up in 1995. Match has successfully built a brand and service to singles that really can’t be matched. There are other big dating sites, some expensive like eHarmony, some even free like PlentyofFish.com, but Match has held the center for a clean, stylish, appealing site for normal folks, middle of the road of all ages.

But back to eHarmony.  eHarmony is a bit of a latecomer, starting up in 2000.  eHarmony is a more passive site, doing the “matching” for you, after you answer hundreds of questions that establishes, by eHarmony’s formula, with whom you would be best suited.

Most other dating sites are more like catalogues or phone books, where you browse the listings and pick for yourself. Some sites send you matches, too, as eHarmony does, but basically the whole membership is open to your perusal once you join.

Not so with eHarmony. You only see who eHarmony sends you, and remember, who they send is based on the eHarmony formula and how you and your matches answered the eHarmony questions.  How well did you answer the questions, and how well did others? I know that when I tried it out, I got very impatient as the questions kept popping up.  I started rushing and did not answer the questions carefully.  How much do you want to bet that others are careless with their answers, too?

Keep in mind too that it is a MACHINE that is doing the matching, not a live person. Ergo, lots and lots of entirely inappropriate matches that you have to sort through.  And what about those sloppy responses to all those questions?

Don’t like motorcycles? eHarmony does not sift out the bikers. You want someone close by geographically? eHarmony will tend to send you matches from all over everywhere. My clients consistently report their frustrations with the numerous and poor quality of their eHarmony matches.

Because of the more passive nature of eHarmony, women like it and have signed up in droves.  eHarmony does not release the gender ratio stats, but they have admitted to around a 2:1 imbalance, two women to every one man.  Since demographics skew the numbers as we age (more and more single women compared with the single men), we can assume that the 2:1 imbalance gets more dramatic and worse for women in the upper age categories.

eHarmony also has been plagued since its start by its conservative Christian roots. eHarmony founder Neil Clark Warren was closely associated with James Dobson and Focus on the Family, and eHarmony, from the start, refused to match same sex couples. eHarmony has been sued, has evaded and half-heartedly offered lame separate dating site solutions, but essentially still refuses to match gays and lesbian. So if you want to patronize businesses in line with your personal convictions, eHarmony’s may or may not be in alignment with you and yours.

Because of those factors, I just can’t recommend eHarmony with good conscience. Plus, I am firmly convinced that you are much more likely to get your best Sweetheart if you do the picking. Why fight the site that consistently seems to do the best? Go to Match.  Match.com now even runs the former Yahoo! Personals since mid-2010, making the Match.com numbers simply huge.

Here’s the one kind of person I would suggest eHarmony to: white, Christian, conservative men, the older, the better.  The eHarmony numbers will work for you, if you can get past the hundreds of questions (men tend to lack the patience), and if you can stand the slow “getting to know you” process that most eHarmony singles use. Caveat: it’s more questions.



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