Dating Site Review: eHarmony

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By Matt Matcherson

Many of the better dating sites include some advanced personality matching, but none of them come close to eHarmony’s commitment to matching. You’ve heard the ads by Dr. Neil Clark Warren...”There’s a reason why singles who meet on are falling in love and getting married.”

Many of the better dating sites include some advanced personality matching, but none of them come close to eHarmony’s commitment to matching. You’ve heard the ads by Dr. Neil Clark Warren...”There’s a reason why singles who meet on are falling in love and getting married.”

So how did Dr. Neil Clark Warren become an expert icebreaker? A singles and married couples counselor, his articles have appeared in numerous journals and magazines and he has appeared on radio and TV’s Oprah, CNBC, CNNFN and Focus on the Family. A University of Chicago trained Psychologist, Dr. Warren has learned from counseling thousands. Doing hundreds of “divorce autopsies” have helped him see why relationships fail and how to find and build stronger more satisfying relationships.

His conclusion after 20 years of analyzing failed marriages? "In almost every case, these were two persons who should never have married each other! They really didn't belong together. They thought they did, but they were not well matched."

It’s all about compatibility.

Looking at successful marriages Dr. Warren developed a set of principles that appear in successful relationships and developed a predictive model of compatibility that has become eHarmony’s Compatibility Matching System TM.

The marketing of eHarmony is hypnotic. You are constantly fed positive buzz as you are lead deeper and deeper into the agreement. Just an observation. Signing up with them picks up where their ad marketing left off and by the time you get to the bottom line you would gladly pay a little more for some ginsu knives. It isn’t an unpleasant sell at all, valid points about relationships run throughout. All this up front convincing is necessary to get someone to complete the lengthy relationship questionnaire. So it makes sense that they gently run you through all the thinking behind their process. My analytical side does resist, however, when told that something is scientific, well-researched etc. when the proof that is offered amounts to anecdotal success stories and the Doctors resume of counseling and Oprah appearances. Most I’m sure aren’t interested in reading stats and how studies were setup, but for me if you say it’s scientific...I want the option of seeing the science right then! For example, I could explain part of eHarmony’s success being due to the dedicated person it must take to finish a profile. But this is quibbling over why it is successful. The program has a lot of merit and I recommend it to anyone who is ready to find someone compatible.

The in-depth questionnaire is a lot of work, but fun work; and the resulting profile is entertaining and informative beyond it’s matchmaking function. Looking at my profile from a signup I did a couple years ago it seems an accurate snapshot of who I am; although I think I made myself out to be a lot kinder than I really am.

500 hundred questions help profile the 29 personality dimensions that are used in the matching system.

What are these 29 personality dimensions?

Character & Constitution:

Good Characer, Dominance vs. Submissiveness, Curiosity, Industry, Vitality & Security, Intellect, Appearance, Sexual Passion, Artistic Passion, Adaptability


Obstreperousness, Sense of Humor, Sociability, Energy, Ambition

Emotional Makeup & Skills:

Emotional Health, Anger Management, Quality of Self Conception, Mood Management, Communication, Conflict Resolution, Kindness, Autonomy vs. Closeness

Family & Values:

Feelings about Children, Family Background, Education, Spirituality, Traditionalism, Values Orientation

Obstreperousness...and you thought you wouldn’t see a new word today! Anyway the resulting profile is a fun read (everybody loves to read about themselves!) and eliminates “99.7%” of people who are not right for you. For me this meant a list of 5 or 6 women to E-mail. I’m destroying their sales pitch by revealing this before you start, but if you are serious about whittling it down to compatibility this is a unique way to do it. “eHarmony isn't about dating. Our goal is to help you find your soul mate.”

After you have your matches you can optionally follow eHarmony’s “Guided Communication” process. This leads you through breaking the ice, learning the important things about each other, and then moving along in a real and safe manner. Upon completion of the Guided Communication, you move on to open communication; or if you both choose you may go to open communication at any time. For someone with a history of being misled or falling too fast, the guided communication is a good tool for establishing early boundaries.

This is no “look at the cute pictures and start chatting” site, but a real attempt to help people fall in love with the right person.

The letters of success read like fairy tales; if you believe there is someone out there exactly right for you, this may be the place to find them.

Get your free eHarmony Personality Profile.

Matt Matcherson is a writer musician and humorist. Sometimes he even writes funny music. His site Match Tales brings dating stories, site reviews and free dating support forums to the web.