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Match.com v eHarmony – which site is best?
Match or eHarmony, eHarmony or Match? In the short history of online dating, this is the age-old question.
Amongst subscription based online dating websites eHarmony and Match are the true heavyweights – the most popular sites out there, attracting the most visitors and signed up members.
But us online daters know that a good dating website doesn’t usually come cheap. We don’t expect the very best sites to be free – after all, they have invested a lot of time and money to make their sites as good as they are and we don’t mind paying a little extra for a quality experience. But at the same time it’s also clear that not many of us can afford to have a profile on both eHarmony and Match.com.
So which site do we prefer?
We often get asked here at the Online Dating Help towers which site we prefer and what would we recommend to future online daters out there: Match or eHarmony? There is no easy answer as it really depends on what kind of online dating experience you are looking for and what is it that you like or dislike when you are wandering around in the internet dating world.
One thing is for sure about both of these sites – match and eHarmony are trusted worldwide brands so you don’t have to worry about being ripped off. The fake profiles that are so prevalent on other dating sites are largely absent on Match and eHarmony. Reason being that the profiles and photos here are manually checked for approval before appearing on each site. We also found there was less timewasters than most other sites with more members looking for genuine connections.
Both sites have dedicated a lot of time to work out a system that lets you find compatible matches for you. So that’s what both sites share. But how do they differ?
First, let’s talk about creating a profile
With eHarmony there’s a fair amount of questions and boxes to tick, you get to come up with a lot of stuff yourself as well as fill in a variety of multiple choice questions. eHarmony prides itself in taking into account 29 different dimensions and character traits in its online profile creating questionnaire, and it’s all been based on extensive scientific research. There is a lot of emphasis on your thoughts, feelings and ideas on various subjects and the things that are important to you.
In Match the approach is pretty much the same, only with perhaps a little more focus on your interests and descriptions as opposed to analysing your soul. The Match.com approach is a little more hands-on and forthright. There is more room for facts rather than feelings, for direct opinions rather than musing thoughts.
So, the verdict: if you’re a straightforward fact-based person, choose Match. If you want to talk more about your ideas and feelings, go for eHarmony.
How eHarmony works
Now, once you’ve created your profile, let’s see what’s on offer. The search feature is where the major differences between the two sites occur.
eHarmony doesn’t have a regular search. That means you won’t have much browsing to do – you can’t go through hundreds of profiles every day, comparing, choosing and picking out the favourites. eHarmony actually does all of that for you, based on what you said in your personality test and profile – which is why it is so important to answer those initial questions honestly to give a true reflection of who you are in the first place.
You don’t actually get to see most of the other users’ profiles. Every day eHarmony will send you a bunch of matches that the system has carefully selected and picked for you, thus saving you the trouble and time. It is great for that surprise element to see who’s going to turn up in your matches list each day and we were impressed that the matches didn’t appear to be randomly selected but often seemed to fit into the kind of people we might be interested in.
If you like the idea of a matchmaker working on your behalf to bring eligible matches to you then you’ll probably be a good fit with eHarmony. However, if you don’t really know what it is that you’re looking for or if you like to do some window-shopping along the way, you might find eHarmony’s approach a little restricting.
How Match.com works
Match on the other hand has a huge and extensive search feature attached to its dating system. It is easy to use and you have loads of options where you can either narrow your search down to very specific details or just perform it with one simple quick click to see who’s nearest you and when they were last online. You can search for people according to what you are looking for as well as turn it around and try to find people who are out there looking for someone like you.
You can save your search criteria and thus keep performing the same search every time you feel like it, you can remove profiles from the search results that you don’t consider to be useful for you, etc. You have a vast array of options and you can spend your time as you like and spend hours doing it. Rest assured, you will get a lot of results, no matter where you live in UK but obviously the bigger cities are where you’ll be most spoilt for choice.
So, in a nutshell: if you don’t have a lot of time to spare and you’re clear on what you want, choose eHarmony. If on the other hand, you’re out there to look around, get a feel for the whole internet dating thing, perhaps flirt a little here and there – Match is definitely the better place for you.
Winking, icebreakers and good old email
Once you’ve found who you’re looking for, you’ll want to establish some contact with your match. So what are the best ways of doing that and how will either website help you? eHarmony for one is all about helping you to establish that contact. There are several little features that aid you in contacting your match – everything from an icebreaker question to establishing guided communication to sending an email.
We agree, maybe it sounds a little bit like they’re trying to babysit you too much but at the same time, we found that narrowing the choices down can save you a considerable amount of time. It happens too often that you start emailing with someone and then discover after a few weeks that your ideas differ greatly and you don’t actually share as much as you might have first thought.
But by that time it seems rude and insensitive to just cut him/her off, so you just keep struggling on. Well, with eHarmony’s guided communication you won’t have that problem – there’s a good chance that after the few first steps whether the fundamental characteristics match or not.
Match is pretty basic when it comes to helping you with your communication. Sure, there’s ‘winking’ – which effectively lets the other person know that you like what you see – but other than that there’s just plain old-fashioned email (that takes place within the Match website). Again, this is more proof that Match is a much more hands-on site, where you get to do all the work yourself, but also get to have all the fun associated with it.
Therefore – if your time is limited and/or you’ve always found it a little difficult to strike up a conversation, eHarmony is the right place for you. If on the other hand you’re an explorer type, go for Match instead.
So, there you go – these are the main points, pros and cons of those two extremely popular websites. If you’re still unsure, why don’t you sign up to either (or both) of them and get a feel for yourself. However, as most paid sites Match and eHarmony don’t have a lot of options for unpaid members – you can create your profile and that’s pretty much it, you can look but can’t communicate. But even creating yours and getting a glimpse of your first matches might help to point you in the right direction.
Whichever one you choose, we wish you the best of luck. Have fun!