Is eHarmony worth the cost?

The original e-dating site has done a great job setting itself aside from the competition.


Beck Diaz


With the rise of hookup culture and apps like Tinder and Bumble, it’s easy to forget about the original e-dating app, eHarmony.

A lot has changed in the 20 years it has been in service! Today, the online dating landscape feels less like a place to find a serious partner to settle down with and more like a chaotic marketplace. You either have egregious success or end up spiraling into an episode of self-loathing. There’s no in-between. But what if I told you that your e-dating success rate could be determined by the platform you use? Does that come as a surprise? Well, it shouldn’t.

Think of it this way: you don’t go to the dentist to get a scoliosis test. And you don’t go to the eye doctor for braces. See where I’m going with this? Every field has specialties and specialists, and that includes the online dating world. And while the schism for internet dating isn’t quite as harsh as healthcare, there are still distinctions to be made.

So if you’re a dating app user and you’re sick of playing mobile games with your romantic life, I have a solution for you. eHarmony! The original online dating site is still matching users based on compatibility. It’s your one-way ticket to finally finding yourself on the other end of that “We actually met online” storytelling experience.

What makes eHarmony dating different?

Aside from the fact that eHarmony doesn’t know how to humblebrag, there couldn’t be fewer similarities between this service and the apps that want you to swipe for love.

eHarmony’s official slogan is “love is closer than you think” and it’s pasted all over the website. Sometimes it feels like the site is screaming it at you––find love here, or else!!! And while no one is coming for you if your online relationships don’t last, the consequences of not using eHarmony are very real. Endless swiping, one-way conversations, and lots of booty calls. All of which, when sought after, are totally acceptable. But when you know you want something more than just a fun night, why would you risk setting yourself up for disappointment? Avoid the heart-breaking “I think we want different things” conversation and just use eHarmony.

Despite the rise of other online matchmaking services, eHarmony has remained one of the leading online dating sites for the last 20 years. And according to eHarmony user data, someone finds love on the site every 14 minutes. With a track record like that, you’ll be deleting all those other apps in no time. 

What eHarmony does well is describing the potential relationship experience between users. It does so by collecting as much relevant information from its users as possible. This makes the registration process rather lengthy, but it’s worth it in the long run. Instead of scanning shallow, three-sentence summaries, you’ll be reading insightful autobiographies that actually tell you something about the person in question.

But before you can view any profiles or field messages, eHarmony puts you through an extensive compatibility quiz. This quiz is how the service determines which users to recommend your profile to (and who they should recommend to you). It covers everything from dream houses to your favorite food and even your sleep habits. At the end of it, you’ll be able to tell people whether you’re right or left-brained. It’s pretty cool, as far as quizzes go. Once you’re done with the hypotheticals, you can move on to crafting a detailed profile.

You’ll start by uploading your favorite photos of yourself. We recommend adding pictures that aren’t grainy, blurry, dark, or tiny. Remember a picture is worth a thousand words, so what are yours saying about you? Once you’re confident the pictures you’ve chosen are fun and flirty, begin to sculpt yourself online. What are your hobbies? How would your best friend describe you? What sets you apart from the crowd? At the end of it, you should feel as though you just wrote an advertisement for whoever you are. Once your profile is set, you’ll be matched with potential users based on compatibility scores.

According to the eHarmony site, “Our compatibility points system, which ranges from 60 to 140, is based on you and your matches’ combined Compatibility Quiz results and preferences. Overall, it will indicate how well you and anyone of your matches will get along.” Any score over 110 is considered an “off the charts” match. Which, at the suggestion of eHarmony, should definitely be pursued. 

There is a cautionary tale for potential eHarmony members looking to take advantage of the free sign up. You get what you pay for (or don’t pay for). Without a premium membership, you won’t be able to see any of your matches photos, and you also won’t be able to send messages. Additionally, the free trial only lasts three days. So if you forget to cancel before your 72 hours are up, your card will auto-renew at the regular price.

How much does eHarmony cost?

You can’t have a dating site without profile pictures and messaging. So what will it cost you to enjoy this site properly? There are three different premium memberships available on the site, but they all offer the same perks: unlimited messaging, unlimited photos, the ability to see who’s viewed you, distance search, and access to users’ detailed personality profile. The only difference between the memberships is the renewal period and eHarmony price points.

It’s worth noting that eHarmony does run special offers and sales pretty regularly. You can usually score a deal around the holidays, the New Year, and Valentine’s Day. Currently, eHarmony is offering new users 50% off their first three months.

In Body Image
6 Months Premium$59.90/month
12 Months Premium$35.90/month
24 Months Premium$25.90/month

eHarmony reviews: My experience using the service

I have to say, my eHarmony experience was not at all what I expected. I had the idea that there would be no other 23-year-olds in Brooklyn willing to pay for the service. Zillenials? Looking for some commitment? Pinch me! I must be dreaming.

Quickly, eHarmony hit with an eye-opening reminder there are nearly 10 million people who live within a 10-mile radius of me. Within the first hour, the matches were pouring in. And based on their profiles and biographies, I’d say the setup was pretty on par with what I look for in a partner. Baseless swiping may work for some, but I really enjoyed having someone (or in this case, something) weed out the folks I’d never get along with.

eHarmony membership benefits

Compatibility testing has set the standard

There are so many little things that take the eHarmony experience over the edge. But its compatibility testing that does it for me. Having the ability to see a compatibility rating on the upper left-hand side of each potential match takes the cake. It shows you detailed comparisons between your answers to questions and that of the person in question. This way you can visualize how a relationship may fare. It may sound like it goes against human nature to have a computer tell you who’s worth a shot, but we’re well into the 21st Century. This is basically the norm, now.

Being able to view your compatibility quiz results in terms of data visualization is also incredibly interesting. You’ll learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible!

Icebreakers and available dating advice make your first hello not so scary

The other feature that has me in awe is the icebreaker feature for messaging. If you happen to come across a profile that interests you, but you don’t really know what to say or are shy, this is for you. It’s an absolute godsend! Here’s how it works: you pick from a shuffle of images and then your match does the same. Once both people have completed it, you’ll both be notified of how many of the same images you chose. While this seems as though it has nothing to do with getting to know each other, it’s a fun conversation starter.

eHarmony also offers an extensive blog that offers a ton of dating advice across all sorts of topics. So no matter your age or how much dating experience you may have, you can go into this thing with full confidence.

Its video dating feature is relevant for the times

Rarely is anyone’s first choice for a date a video call. But how often can you say you’ve navigated the dating landscape amidst a pandemic? Clearly, things have changed in the last few months so eHarmony adapted. And for that, we give them a whole lot of credit. Safely date from the comfort of your couch and who knows, maybe the awkward first date won’t inherently be so awkward after all.

eHarmony pitfalls

The free trial isn’t exactly free

Like I mentioned above, the worst feature of all is the lack of a truly free trial. Talk is cheap, clearly. Why else would all of the site’s necessary features be hidden behind a paywall? This means any who join under a basic account has basically played themself. Free accounts can’t view other people’s images. Nor can they hold conversations on the app. Unless you opt-into a payment plan, you’ll only be permitted to send one message per profile. So you better make it count!

If you want a “hack” around this, I suggest setting up an eHarmony-exclusive email. This means you don’t use this particular email for other sites or reasons other than messaging potential eHarmony love interests. This way when you find a match whose profile sounds interesting (remember, you won’t be able to see their pics unless you pay) you can use your one message to extend an olive branch of communication elsewhere.

However, I will say that I wouldn’t be so opposed to trying out the premium membership if eHarmony offered more affordable options. For instance, one that provided month-to-month access.

There is a certain level of intimacy that comes from viewing a compatibility dossier of someone else’s personality. And it’s something that you just can’t get from those swipe-based apps. So while this service is intended to save you time and get you successfully partnered quickly, its member options tell another story. Why would I want to commit to six months of a service that claims users find love in 15 minutes? Something doesn’t add up here.

Apparent lack of account verifying  

When people find love on eHarmony and eventually leave the service, their account gets left behind. And from what some Reddit users have to say, eHarmony doesn’t clear out expired accounts. So what does this mean for your experience? There’s a very high possibility that eHarmony will match you to accounts that technically should no longer exist.

Additionally, some users have also described a population of spam and/or bot accounts. While this has become the norm for online dating sites, it shouldn’t be as prevalent on a service you have to pay to use. Our advice? Never give out personal information on the internet, take the conversations slow, and try to verify the identity of the person in question. Whether that means looking them up on WhitePages or running your own background check is up to you.

Not as inclusive as other apps

eHarmony has come a long way since its inception, but it hasn’t quite caught up to the times just yet. Despite the fact that it matches same-sex couples, the service isn’t totally LGBTQ-friendly. As of writing this, the eHarmony app still only recognizes two genders and doesn’t take trans folks into account. It’s 2020 folks, get with the program! We’re literally asking for the bare minimum––respect!

Is eHarmony worth it?

Honestly, it depends. If you’ve got the cash to shell out for a premium membership, then go for it! However, if you’re strapped for cash, this site isn’t worth your time. There are definitely more affordable options out there for you. So we’d recommend waiting for a sale to take advantage of what the site has to offer. Because even though there are plenty of people who found success using the eHarmony app, it’s still pretty expensive for what it is.

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The Daily Dot