eHarmony is one of the original dating sites, and a pioneer of cyber relationships firmly focused on serious, long-term romance. But does it deliver? Let's take a closer look and see what eHarmony has to offer.
eHarmony feels like one of the most grown up dating sites I've ever used. Of course, I know they're all aimed at adults, but somehow it seems more polished, more professional, and more, well, adult, than most. Perhaps it's because of the interface - eHarmony has firmly established branding, and aces it when it comes to slick design, non-offensive imagery, and colours that are calming and friendly. Or perhaps it is because you get pop-up reminders when you haven't finished filling in something that feels very close to being scolded like a naughty kid who hasn't done their homework!
Whatever the reason, it inspires confidence. I don't mind being told off for forgetting to complete a box if it's going to nudge me in the right direction to find love and happiness. Because that's what eHarmony is all about - it's not here for quick flings or naughty hookups, it's here to help every single person find long-term, sustainable relationships. Everything I have seen at eHarmony makes me feel sure that by giving it time and trusting the process; they'd be able to do just that.
The first positive is the ease of signing up. I'd expected an excruciatingly long and complicated personality quiz. Still, you can sign up directly through a Facebook account, thus importing much of your details and making the whole process very quick and straightforward!
Next, you will need to work your way through a Compatibility Quiz - but it's a lot simpler than I'd anticipated. Some of the questions do seem a little strange (I honestly have no idea why my preference in circles will dictate the right husband material for me!). However, they're fun. It took me about eight minutes to complete, rather than the twenty eHarmony suggests you set aside.
While the initial questions and quiz are mandatory, uploading a profile photo isn't so you can always leave that bit till later.
Once you're in, the site is simple to navigate and well laid out. Home, Matches and Messages all run along the top toolbar, with the main sections on the page giving you previews to new matches and recent visitors who have checked out your profile.
I have to explain now that you won't be able to see any real detail unless you subscribe and choose a membership option - the profile images are blurred out. You also need to complete at least 50% of your profile to be able to send a message or use any site features. For me, that makes sense - eHarmony isn't a site for quick flings; it's here to help people find meaningful relationships, and if you can't be bothered to fill in your profile it doesn't say much for your staying power!
Overall, eHarmony is very easy to use, and it's as I'd expect from a site that's been around this many years. The crisp white background, simple menu options and balanced layout are easy on the eye and intuitive to navigate.
Let's be clear - eHarmony takes a bit of effort. The subscription costs are not the cheapest by a long way, and you're pretty much required to sign up to a membership to get any use out of the site. It also requires you to complete the Compatibility Quiz, and add a minimum level of detail to your profile before you can see any of your matches, and does take a bit of time to work through the initial registration process.
The thing is, I respect this process. It's very easy to see a free dating site or be suckered in by photos of attractive singles (who purportedly live just down the road). But when it comes to getting real value for money, I'm far more likely to invest a little bit of time and a monthly subscription fee and expect to receive a valuable service that might make a world of difference to my romantic life.
eHarmony is grown up, and it should be. There are a million dating sites out there who offer baubles and whistles, exciting games and quirky features - but very few have been around for over 20 years and can lay claim to millions of successful partnerships.
It feels like the real deal; the profiles are authentic people, perhaps with some of the typical ritzy filters, but also with the lumps, bumps and wobbly bits we've all got. This is the power of an advanced compatibility algorithm. At the same time, I'm still unclear what the circles have got to do with anything, but I can see that this detailed study of your personality is actually the smartest possible way to meet genuinely viable dates whose characteristics gel well with your own.
Nothing on the platform feels rushed or promises any kind of instant gratification. In fact, the subscriptions start at six months rather than having a crazily optimistic notion that a 30-day account is going to make a tangible impact on finding you the soul mate you dream of!
That said, eHarmony remains with the times. You can see that a lot of thought has gone into the functionality, intuitive navigation, and user-friendly experience. This combines to deliver everything you need from a serious dating site; and if I were looking for a new partner, it'd be one of those sites that would be my first port of call.
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