Wednesday, December 15, 2010

eHarmony vs Match.Com: What's the difference?

In my many years of being a post-divorce bachelorette, I've tried many online dating sites. This has all been research for my book, The Laptop Dancer Diaries, of course. However, as an added benefit, I've found online dating to be a good way to meet people. It has it's pros and cons, but all-in-all I'd recommend it. One issue, however, is that there are so many dating sites that it's hard to know which one to pick! I'm going to talk about two of the most well-known sites: eHarmony and and some of the differences.

Now I don't have all the stats, but based on the searches, I'd say that of all the online dating sites has the biggest selection of people. is especially great for women because it appears there are many more men than women on the site, so the women are typically in pretty high demand.

For example, I just did search for men between 48 and 52, 5 miles from my zip code, and came up with 162 hits. When I change to 15 miles (which would include Denver), I get 744 hits. That's a lot of eligible men to check out! Too many, actually, so I can do all kinds of filters to narrow it down.

How do I narrow it down? Well, I do what most people do and start with people who have photos. (You can limit your search to only those with photos.) And then I can filter on other things... for example I can limit only to non-smokers or people who are a certain height or body type or religion or... all kinds of things. After you've narrowed your search down to a reasonable number you can read profiles and find out all kinds of things about your potential date.

When you see someone you like you can "wink" or just go right ahead and send your wittiest email. (This goes to a special email address, so your real email address is not shared unless you choose to share it with a potential date.) let's you have a trial for 3 days completely free. However, they do ask for your credit card information and if you don't cancel before your 3 days are up, you will they will charge you for the next month. Another thing about that I don't like is that they will automatically renew your subscription when it ends, so you have to remember to cancel if you want to prevent that from happening!


eHarmony had this "29 points of compatibility" system in which they figure out based on some kind of sophisticated algorithm who they think you will be most compatible with.

You have to fill out a very long survey (be prepared to spend at least an hour filling out the questionnaire).

eHarmony will then send you people who they think are a good match. You can go through a "guided communication" which starts with canned questions and multiple choice answers. Eventually, if you make it through several stages, you can email each other. Both people have to agree to "fast path" to email or else you have to go through the guided communication.

eHarmony is meant for people that are wanting a more serious long-term relationship. I've heard they may deny you from joining for certain reasons like being separated rather than legally divorced.

Most men I know say they have more luck with eHarmony, but as a woman, my experience has not been good. The matches I get are often quite far away and often over 10 years older than me. Apparently there aren't that many men that match my "29 points of compatibility."

eHarmony often has "free communication weekends" but I think this is very misleading because you're stuck with "guided communication" and not able to email anyone. Also your picture isn't visible and you aren't able to see other's pictures.

Which is better?

Well, of course it's a personal decision, but I prefer for a lot of reasons:
- It's less expensive
- There's a better selection (at least for women)
- I can use my own criteria to search rather than depending on a system to match me
- I think you can tell a lot about personality by how a person writes, so I'd much prefer to send personal emails rather than depend on canned questions to communicate

Of course, there are some that think eHarmony's "sophisticated algorithm" will weed out people who are a bad match, but, based on my (unscientific) observations, they really don't do a very good job.

According to Popo:

I have a friend who I call "Popo" who is very wise and has great relationship advice. (Perhaps some day I will reveal his real name, but for now we will stick with Popo.)

Here is what the wise Popo has to say about the difference:
The guided comm on eHarmony is easier to cover my own writing faults but it gives you matches it thinks you want sometimes really missing the target by a wide margin. It seems to be more Communist because it tells you who you want even if you aren't looking for that kind of person. On match, it is more Capitalistic and gives you more freedoms to search and review on a case by case basis therefore having a higher level of responsibility for your own choices. A person once said, "With great power comes great responsibility". I think I prefer that instead of "here are the people's shoes you ordered, Comrad."
What are your experiences? Match? eHarmony? Or something else entirely?


Laptop Reviews said...

eHarmony vs Match.Com! awesome topic and very interesting. I was very curious to read the article. It will help people a lot. Thanks for sharing this very helpful article. I will recommend my friends to read your article. :)

Sample Survey Questionnaire said...

I'll try to open the two website and I will let you know my feedback about the two website.

Popo said...

You're right again, Yvette! I think Match is better after trying both for a little while. The key aspect to that I like is its flexibility to refine your search (which includes a keyword search). A friend of mine is talking up so I think I'll try that one also. I didn't know I have more competition on though. Woe is me...

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