At some point in life, almost everyone needs the company of that special someone that can make facing life's harshest moments a little jarring. Consequently, this search for mutually beneficial bonding has been at the center stage of the lives of many for most of history.
Hence, it is no surprise that the advent and growth of the internet has brought with it new ways for people to find love and meet that special someone. Since 1995, several dating websites and apps have popped on the scene, all promising the best digital system for discovering that seemingly elusive love affair.
With a seemingly endless list of established dating platforms to choose from and the rise of new swipe-powered platforms like Tinder and Bumble, taking the plunge in the web dating sphere may seem scary at first. It is often tough discerning which platforms match your needs, and most users would not want to spend a small fortune trying them all out.
That's why we are here.
Based on our tests, we can confirm that if you are looking for flings and relatively casual relationships, new-age platforms like Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge are where all the fun is at. However, when seeking longer-term committal pairings, you are often better off with the older platforms that have massive user bases and more profile-centric models. These platforms also generally tend to attract more earnest daters.
eHarmony vs. Match: The Basics
Scan any list of the top dating sites on the web, and you are sure to see both eHarmony and Match. These behemoths are some of the best options for finding a mate, especially if you are interested in long-term committed relationships.
However, which of these platforms is the best for you based on effectiveness, the features they offer, and their pricing plans?
First off, the similarities. Match is one of the pioneering members of the internet dating space, starting as far back as 1995 and maintaining a position at or near the top of service providers over the years. Similarly, eHarmony, though founded in 2000, quickly rose to become one of the most prominent dating sites and has remained there ever since.
Consequently, both platforms have some of the largest user bases, with Match boasting over 30 million members and a monthly visitor count of more than 13.5 million. In contrast, eHarmony boasts a user base of over 10 million members.
Both platforms are also some of the most popular options for people seeking serious relationships. Part of the reason why the platforms attract these audiences is that they both employ highly detailed profile systems that focus on the personality of their members and how these traits will affect any long term pair bonding with potential mates.
However, that is where the similarities end.
eHarmony and Match have very different approaches to how they handle the business of matchmaking between their users.
With eHarmony, you get a highly restrictive platform that aims to do all the matching and most of the mate selection for you. eHarmony is an entirely guided dating system that limits your options to a small list of potential connections that the platform's algorithm picks for you daily.
The eHarmony matching system was developed by Dr. Neil Clark Warren, eHarmony's founder, as a purportedly scientific approach to matching users with maximum viability for being compatible partners in long term relationships.
Consequently, eHarmony does not allow user-initiated search or lets you, message users, you aren't matched with, offering a significantly different system from what you will find on other dating platforms.
While this system does reduce the user's freedom of choice, it also significantly simplifies the matching process and helps you focus on what matters: getting to know your potential mate.
Match, on the other hand, takes a contrasting approach that offers you as much freedom as you require in both searching out and matching with other members. The Match system is significantly more casual and laid back than eHarmony, and is the preferred choice if you want more control over the overall experience.
Match packs several search filtering options and parameters for matching that further enhance your ability to seek out the exact partner you want from the see of site members. However, you may have to do significantly more work finding that connection than you would on eHarmony.
eHarmony vs. Match: Who are these Platforms for?
Both eHarmony and Match engineer their setup and marketing to target people that are interested in more committed relationships with a bias for long term unions. Hence, generally, both platforms attract similar audiences: people in search of serious love affairs, a significantly more earnest demographic than you will find on many of today's popular dating sites.
However, there are a few key differences of note between the user bases of both sites. When it comes to their focus on future-proof connection, eHarmony is significantly stricter than Match, and for many users, signing up for eHarmony is synonymous with “seeking marriage.”
On eHarmony, the overall interaction process is biased towards vulnerability and immediate consideration of the potential of each connection in a prospective long term future. If this setup sounds too strict and reserved for you, Match will most like offer the right speed for you. However, for many daters who are solely interested in jumping straight into something serious, eHarmony may be the perfect match.
Match, on the other hand, while still heavily focused on long term unions, is a lot more casual than eHarmony. Match offers you more options in search for potential matches with advanced searching capabilities, and the platform adds some fun to the mix with games and live events.
Furthermore, generally speaking, eHarmony tends to attract a slightly older demographic than you will find on Match.
Another factor worthy of note is that the eHarmony company is known to have conservative leanings, and a significant proportion of the site's user base is Christain. Hence, many of the platform's features have a “Christain tint” to it. For example, many of the user personality questions will ask you about god and religion even if you set your profile setting to atheist (there is no atheist option: the closest one is “irreligious.”)
Match, on the other hand, is a more inclusive platform that is significantly more receptive to people of any sexual orientation or religious leanings.
eHarmony vs. Match: Effectiveness
Despite their differing approaches to the matchmaking business, eHarmony and Match have similar success profiles as they are some of the most effective platforms at what they do.
Notwithstanding the many restrictions and the lack of search capability on eHarmony, the platform ranks number one amongst dating sites in its foremost goal: creating marriages. The eHarmony platform is responsible for 4% of all marriages in the United States, according to a company report. Despite its comparatively smaller user base, eHarmony is already behind over 600,000 weddings in the US and significantly more long-term relationships.
According to one report by eHarmony, their dating platform is also behind an astonishing 550 wedding ceremonies from around the country every 24 hours.
Match is no pushover, either. A 2015 report by Dating Advice details that Match enabled 517,000 love connections, with more than 92,000 leading to marriages and producing over a million babies.
With similarly encouraging statistics from both platforms, you can be confident about the efficacy of either to get to you to that elusive match. However, when it comes to facilitating marriages, eHarmony is the clear winner. No surprises there as every element of the eHarmony platform subtly nudges you into considering nuptials. However, to enjoy this platform, you will have to sacrifice some freedom of choice.
eHarmony vs. Match: Features
Design and Ease of Use
Both platforms feature simple, reasonably easy to use user interfaces that should not present any problems to the seasoned internet surfer. While Match utilizes a familiar “dating site setup” complete with features packed into all corners of the screen, eHarmony opts for a cleaner minimalist aesthetic that is quite pleasing on the eyes.
However, both platforms are relatively intuitive and easy to master.
Signing Up and Getting Started
Since both platforms are sites geared towards fostering long term relationships, it should not surprise you that they both have lengthy signup processes. Signing up for Match will take you about 15 to 20 minutes, while eHarmony's signup process is significantly longer, taking at least 40 minutes, and most likely up to an hour to complete.
With Match, you get a traditional signup process that includes all the personal questions you will expect on a typical dating site.
However, eHarmony goes a different route with a more detailed personality quiz with over 100 questions to analyze your temperament for their dating algorithm properly. While it is easy to understand the point of this exhaustive questionnaire, it is no doubt extremely tiring, and we felt like giving up so many times during our trial run. Plus, after this questionnaire, you still have to fill out your profile, which is another journey of its own.
Nevertheless, the lengthy signup process on eHarmony helps to significantly enhance the matching system, providing you with better matches and cutting down the time you need to know your potential mates.
Furthermore, the initiate questionnaire process is unskippable as you must complete it before you can do anything else on the eHarmony platform. On Match, however, you can skip any part of the initial setup process and return to it whenever you want.
While eHarmony lets you start using the platform immediately after signup, on Match, you will have to wait for the manual review process and the approval of your account, which can take up to 24 hours.
Members and Matching
On eHarmony, you get a few matches every day from the algorithm that the system perceives to be a potential quality partner for you based on your personality tests. Since there is no search feature, you are limited to only the matches the system provides.
Match, on the other hand, will give you a list of handpicked matches based on your profile and preferences as well, but the system lets you browse the entire catalog of members and reach out to anyone you want.
eHarmony is the best choice for the most targeted matches, while Match gives you all the freedom to tinker with who you match with.
Here is a comparison of the additional features offered by eHarmony and Match:
|Matching Based on User profile||Yes||Yes|
|Who Viewed my Profile||Yes||Yes|
|Winks and Flirts||Yes||Yes|
|Search by Profile Criteria||No||Yes|
|Search by Keyword Search||No||Yes|
|Search by Photos||No||Yes|
|Add to Favorites||Yes||Yes|
eHarmony vs. Match: Pricing
eHarmony is significantly more expensive than Match on all price tiers. Unless you are enamored with the eHarmony matching system, Match is the clear winner in terms of budget-friendliness.
|Plan||Duration||Price Per Month||Total Price|
|eHarmony Standard Lite||6 months||$69.95||$275.70|
|eHarmony Premium Plus||12 months||$22.97||$419.70|
|eHarmony Premium Extra||2 years||$17.97||$431.40|
|Plan||Duration||Price Per Month||Total Price|
|Match Month||6 months||$35.99||$35.99|
|Match 3 Months||12 months||$19.99||$59.97|
|Match 6 Months||2 years||$17.99||$107.94|
|Match 12 Months||$15.99||$191.88|
eHarmony vs. Match: Free Accounts and Premium Accounts
Both eHarmony and Match offer similar free accounts that are useless to the end-users. With these free accounts, you can sign up, set up your profile, upload pictures, and browse potential matches; however, you can not send messages with either.
Match offers a free three-day trial that unlocks all the site features, including messages to you. However, to activate the free trial, you will have to enter your credit information. eHarmony does not offer a free trial.
Premium accounts are where all the fun is on both platforms. A paid subscription on either platform will unlock similar features like unlimited messaging, read receipts, secure calls, extra matching abilities, and unlimited photo viewing. Both platforms offer almost identical packages, with the one significant difference being their pricing.