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Why Christians Use eHarmony and Tricks to Get the Most out of the Dating Service

Many Christians typically entertain first thoughts of eHarmony when it comes to dating services for finding like-minded individuals.  Perhaps this is because eHarmony is one of the oldest dating sites for Christians.  Maybe it’s due to years of eHarmony’s founder and television promoter Neil Clark Warren describing his Christian dating service and personality matching system on television.  Quite possibly it has something to do with being aware of friends in the Christian community who have experienced good results finding the love of their lives on the dating service.  The fact that Neil Clark Warren is a Christian theologian and seminary professor helps to cement the perspective that the site is mainly for Christians.  But most don’t know that Warren is also a clinical psychologist giving significant credibility to the website and matching system.

Many Christians Relate eHarmony with Online Dating in General

eHarmony is indeed synonymous with Christian dating and many times is the de-facto standard for Christians looking for a serious soulmate to love and adore forever.  When people talk about finding a lifelong mate within Christian circles, one of the first subjects that come up is typically eHarmony. In fact, many, when asking a fellow Christian if they have tried online dating, will rather ask if they have tried eHarmony. But is eHarmony’s process still in tack after all of these years? In this article we will take a look at the new eHarmony and its online dating process for finding like-minded Christians to love forever, as well as offer some tips and tricks along the way.

The Matching System is the Secret Weapon of the Site

In the manner Google has become the de-facto search engine of choice, eHarmony has become the de-facto dating site of choice for Christian singles looking for a life-mate.  There is no secret to Google’s success, simply pertinent and well-matched return results for the search terms entered.  The secret behind the highly pertinent return results of Google is the algorithm. In comparing Google to eHarmony, the member’s profile is analogous to the keywords submitted to the eHarmony algorithm for processing while the Google return results are analogous to the eHarmony matches received by the member.

A Little eHarmony History

eHarmony is a privately held company, first launched on August 22, 2000.  Its head offices are located in Los Angeles, CA with additional worldwide operation centers in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and Brazil.  They also operate eHarmony Labs, a relationship research facility to fine-tune and optimize the matching process and a relationship advice website called “eH Advice.”  eHarmony has over 16 years of experience, a massive database of members, tons of empirical data and algorithm fine-tuning to help find the most compatible matches for their members. According to eHarmony’s eH Advice website, over 236 people who met on eHarmony get married each day. That’s over 86,000 people a year that find their mate as a result of the service.

Like-Minded Christians

Because of the long history and connection eHarmony has with the Christian community, it’s difficult for Christians to justify using any other dating site.  Finding a like-minded match on non-Christian dating sites is possible, but in reality, doing so is much akin to looking for a polar bear in a snowstorm.  The fact that so many Christians have in the past, and continue to choose eHarmony will aid them in finding a more like-minded and compatible Christian match.

Numbers Count when Looking for a Christian Life Mate

As one of the first and largest dating sites, eHarmony enjoys a very large database of individuals to choose from. The matching system regularly offers significant numbers of fresh, like-minded matches to their members.  The very large database allows the system to offer new, compatible matches daily.  There is almost no chance of running out of potential matches when an individual is signed up with eHarmony. There is someone out there for everyone in the Christian community and eHarmony is the system able to connect almost everyone.

eHarmony’s 29 Dimensions of Compatibility Testing and Strict Option Settings

When an individual initially signs-up with eHarmony they are faced with what may seem like a rather daunting task of answering a rather large quantity of questions that are honed to determine their personality type and compatibility with other members for accurate matching purposes.  While this may be rather intimidating to some, this is where eHarmony shines when it comes to finding link-minded Christians that are serious about their relationship with the Lord.  When using other dating sites, members may spend countless hours reading profiles and communicating with numerous people before determining if a person prioritizes their Christian walk, has a similar world view and denominational perspective.  But with eHarmony’s 29 Dimensions of Compatibility Testing and the use of strict options setting for the importance of commonalities in faith, the matching system is better designed to find a more appropriate match for serious Christians. Answers to the compatibility testing questions are only used within the site matching engine to develop an in-depth personality profile and are not exposed to potential matches or the public perusing the site. The system will later ask a series of essay-type questions where the member details their character. The answers to these questions are viewable by eHarmony member matches.

Access to Matches is More Structured

Set apart from many other dating websites, eHarmony does not provide a system that allows complete unfettered access to the entire database of individuals to peruse and communicate with. The highly successful and evolved matching system determines if and when a highly compatible match is released to a member on a structured basis. When a member first signs up, a significant number of first matches normally keeps the member communicating and busy for a while, then the system typically releases seven new highly compatible matches to the member each day.

Flex Matches and What If

Even with the huge eHarmony database and daily new matches delivered to their members, there are always more potential matches that are slightly outside or inside of an individual’s profile dynamics for a few areas. That is where “Flex Match” comes in offering matches that are not as fine tuned to a profile in one or two areas. By expanding the match criteria that the member indicated on their scale of importance for certain questions in the Compatibility Test, the system can offer additional matches. For example, if the member indicated that an occasional drink is numerically less important than someone who smokes, then those members that feel the same way may be included in the Flex Match results.  These matches will be labeled as Flex Matches and are presented in a different color than the more pertinent matches so as not to confuse the member with the regular, higher compatibility matches.

eHarmony’s “What If”

If a member somehow still wants additional matches, they have another choice called “What If.”  These consist of 30 additional and lesser compatible matches that are a small amount out of the ideal personality type. They are presented to those who feel they need more options in looking beyond their current allotment of system matches. This feature is only available to paid subscribers to the eHarmony service.  The matches are presented in successive order one after another. “What If” requires the member to decide one at a time as to whether to communicate with the match prior to the next match being presented to them. Once a person is bypassed, that potential match is gone forever.  “What If” is located directly next to the “Communicating With” filter.

Guided Communications – Making Initial Communication Easier

Many people are rather shy when it comes to initiating a new conversations with a stranger. This is no different in the online dating world.  Additionally, they may be hesitant to expose their email or phone number prior to gaining a more in-depth understanding of the person they are communicating with. That is where eHarmony’s Guided Communication comes in. This is a great ice breaker and a protector of privacy because the process is a stepped one of gradually-increasing communication freedom.  The Guided Communications section begins with 5 multiple choice questions available from a list of 57 questions. They consist of questions like: “When in a relationship, are you a jealous person?” or “Do you enjoy debating the issues of the day with your partner?” After this first-step of Guided Communication is completed, the system will ask for a list of “must have” and “can’t stands.” These are qualities about a person that are important to the member.  After this process, the ability to communicate takes on a more open format in the form of long-answer questions.  Not until all of the previous steps are accomplished does the system allow full email communication access to the matched member.  Anywhere along the process, if the member has an objection or concern where they feel uncomfortable continuing, they can break-off and prevent further communication. While this method of connecting can get monotonous to use on each and every connection, it can be bypassed if desired if both parties agree.  The Guided Communication feature is optional for members but is a great way for newbies and those desiring to be careful, to step into the brave world of online Christian dating.

Some Complaints – Nobody is Perfect

One of the main complaints we have heard from eHarmony members is the lack of knowing whether a person they are matched with is still a paying member or not. This is important because if they are not still a paying member for some time, they may not always be able to communicate in some circumstances.  This is an issue because there is no way to tell whether an otherwise perfect and promising looking match is going to be able to respond to a communication attempt.  Most dating sites are structured this way, so it is difficult to give eHarmony too much trouble about this issue.  The good thing is if a person signs up for the eHarmony Premier Membership they will be able to communicate with even non-paying members.

How to Setup an eHarmony Account

For those unfamiliar with eHarmony, we want to assist them in understand and preparing for setting up their first eHarmony account. The initial account setup and personality assessment must be accomplished all in the first sitting. Unfortunately, other than for the long-format essay questions, it is not possible to come back and pick-up where the member left off while taking the personality assessment.  It may take up to an hour for a very careful and introspective profile to be filled-out.

  • Add Your Basic Information – First things first, the user adds their name and whether they are looking for a man or woman along with their home zip code. At this point the user will be shown the total number of eHarmony members of the proper gender that are available in the area.  If the member is in a large metropolitan area the number of potential matches will typically be in the tens of thousands.
  • Some Additional Info – Here is where things begin to get more detailed, asking the user some basic questions such as gender, age, marital status, number of children and so forth. They are then asked if they have ever used online dating previously and if they have known anyone who has found their mate on eHarmony.
  • Begin Personality Profile Assessment – This is where the rubber meets the road. The assessment process is free with no commitment required to take the personality test. The process is partly a screening test to ensure there are only serious applicants looking for life-mates in the eHarmony database.  It is said that one in five people are sent emails informing them that they do not fall within the scope of the eHarmony matching system after the completion of the personality profile. Members should be prepared to be honest and put themselves into the shoes of friends and family as to how these close people would describe them.  Descriptive adjectives will then be presented to the user asking them on a scale of one to seven to rate the adjective word or phrase as it pertains to them.  Some of the words the member may be asked to consider rating include: romantic, affectionate, passionate, spiritual, perceptive, articulate, intelligent, rational, creative, sweet, quiet, modest, good listener, respectful, kind, outgoing, energetic, physically fit, funny, optimistic, happy, easy-going, spontaneous, ambitious, warm, caring, hardworking, dependable, loyal, genuine, generous, thoughtful and more. Then the member will be asked about feelings and statements of identity, interests and skills. eHarmony members can then assign preference priorities to such areas as religion and denomination, sexual activity, alcohol, smoking and so forth. These questions consist of three possible choices: not at all, somewhat important, and very important.  The way these questions are answered is crucially important to finding like-minded individuals and the type, quality and level of compatibility of matches received.  This whole process may seem like a time-consuming and humbling hassle but it is critical to finding the right someone who may spend the rest of the member’s life with them.  It is best to grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy the experience.
  • About Me Profile Questions – Here is where eHarmony members will be able to add personal details that the member’s matches are able to fully view when considering whether to initiate or respond to a communication request. Writing details about a person’s identity is difficult at best. To top this off, many people are not proficient at writing.  Those who take the time and effort to accomplish this section will reap great rewards in the quality, character and likeminded nature of their matches.  When filling out this section eHarmony users should utilize all the tools available to them such as grammar checkers, speech to text engines and even the use of friends and family members to help type or compose text if need be. This is where matches are first exposed to the details and the inner workings of the individual they are considering a relationship with.  If any of these questions are left blank eHarmony will not include that question in the member’s profile. It is best to answer as many of these questions as possible as a blank slate usually means the person who is otherwise matched well with the member will move on to the next match that may offer more details about themselves. eHarmony questions in this section include the following: “What are you most passionate about?” “What are your most important life beliefs, goals or pursuits?”  “What are the three things for which you are the most thankful?” “Other than your parents, who has been the most influential person in your life, and why?”  “What are the four things your friends say about you?” “What are three of your best life skills?”  “What are some of the most important qualities that you are looking for in a potential romantic partner?” “Other than your appearance, what is the first thing that people notice about you?” “What is the one thing that people don’t notice about you right away that you wish they would?’  “How do you spend your leisure time typically?”  “What are the five things that you can’t live without?” “Describe the last book that you read and enjoyed. What was it about? What did you like most about it?”  “Describe one thing about yourself that only your best friends know.” “Is there any additional information you would like your matches to know about you?”
  • Photos – Here is where eHarmony members get to show potential matches what they look like in a variety of settings. Everyone wants to look their best but almost everyone has at least one or more features they are insecure about. Sometimes we compensate by wanting to highlight or emphasis features we are proud of.  It’s tempting to want to post silly selfies or photos that emphasis a physical attribute a person is proud of such as muscular arms or cleavage. This is typically not a good idea as it could possibly give the impression of excessive pride, exhibitionism or showmanship that may only turn off an otherwise fantastic prospect.  Natural photos taken at various locations and situations will help show the true-self rather than give a match reason for concern. Also, a quick series of photos taken at the same venue wearing the same outfit are not as effective as photos taken in various locations wearing different outfits. Never include a photo with a previous boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • eHarmony Plans – After all the time-consuming personality profile work is done, eHarmony will offer the new member one of their paid plan options. Parting with hard-earned money is always a difficult decision; we all want the best deal for our money. But it’s important to remember through the payment phase that eHarmony is a business with programmers, accountants, secretaries, servers, brick and mortar infrastructure and lots of other overhead. They need to make a profit to continue doing what they do better than anyone else.  While the eHarmony Free Plan offers matching without payment, these members will only be able to read their match’s profile but not view any of their match’s photos.  Additionally, Free Plan members cannot communicate with their matches.  So, things are limited with an eHarmony free membership.  It is more of a teaser to get eHarmony members to sign-up for a paid account.  However, eHarmony does offer free communication weekends from time to time that allows open communication with matches but still no profile photo views. The eHarmony Basic Plan allows viewing of match photos along with full send and receive communication capabilities.  Additionally, the ability to see who has viewed the Basic Plan member’s profile and when their matches last logged in is part of the plan.  An advanced service plan called eHarmony Total Connect offers all of the services of the Basic Plan plus it incorporates a service called RelyID that matches the identity of a match and gives assurance that the person they are communicating with is who they say they are.  Total connect also provides a means of making phone calls to matches without exposing the member’s phone number. An extended profile area is also part of the Total Connect experience.  The eHarmony’s Premier Plan offers everything Total Connect does plus an additional 12 months of subscription time if the person still has not found the love of their life. Premier Plan members can also request eHarmony Secure Check for up to 3 matches that confirms a member’s name and age as well as looks at any possible criminal background. There are additional perks to this ultimate eHarmony plan including advanced assistance from an eHarmony Premier team member to analyze and further customize a member’s profile to improve their chances of finding that special person.
  • eHarmony Pricing, Discounts and Coupons – Standard eHarmony pricing may seem rather expensive for first time online daters at $59.95 per month. The good thing is there are deep discounts for buying in bulk.  The discounts are structured dependent on the amount of time commitment, all the way down to as low as $10/month for a 24-month membership.  It is rather difficult to give a complete structured price list of costs as there are many different pricing plans depending on whether a person is a first-time client or a client with a previous history of eHarmony membership. If the company is attempting to lure a person back, they will offer deeply discounted options through direct email communication.  Keep an eye on this website for discount coupons and promotions for eHarmony memberships.