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Last updated on March 26, 2014 | by Aet Suvari


What makes eHarmony’s matches tick?

A big welcome to eHarmony UK! Their first ODH post explains some of the details and data behind their compatibility matching system as well as a fun infographic on the most compatible jobs.

Okay enough from us, over to eHarmony…

At eHarmony, we know how important it is for the online dating process to be enjoyable. Tired of pointless dates? Who isn’t. That’s why we’ve made our matching system as refined as possible to make sure you’re only ever matched with the people you’re best suited to.

Why eHarmony?

Our founder, Dr. Neil Clark Warren (a clinical psychologist with over 35 years of experience in counseling couples), conducted three years of research on thousands of married couples looking at what core personality traits and key values contribute to the most successful relationships.

This research resulted in some key dimensions of compatibility being identified and used to create algorithms which predict which singles will be highly compatible together.

Our assumptions were based on two very common practices in the behavioral sciences: Using correlation-based models to suggest causation, and generalizing from research samples to ‘real world’ users.

Since the launch of eHarmony in 2000, we’ve surveyed more than 50,000 married couples in more than 10 different countries, to make sure that we’re always improving out compatibility matching system year after year. We only match individuals that have the best chance at a successful relationship, based on scientific research into what combinations of personality, values and beliefs lead to the happiest couples.

So how does it work?

At eHarmony we only match people who have the best chance at a successful relationship based on our scientific research into what combinations of personality, values and beliefs lead to the happiest couples.

To go into detail, users are submitted to the compatibility system based on their combined selection criteria (i.e., what you say you want, and how important you say it is). Compatible pairings between profiles are created when the compatibility system returns an above-threshold score for two users (i.e., the two users are very likely to be successful if they choose to marry). Pairings are delivered as matches to users by the matching system based on a target number of matches and the probability of communication between the two users.

In more simple terms however; when you first join eHarmony, you’ll be asked to fill in a questionnaire about yourself, exploring all the different aspects of what makes you ‘you’ and what you’re hoping for in a relationship. This questionnaire is designed to uncover your core personality traits, these are things that make you who you are and don’t tend to change over time. This is then overlaid with your personal preferences, e.g. height, religion, hobbies, drinks/smokes, distance etc that can be deal breakers for you.

Once we’ve got to know you, we’ll send you new matches every day. No more searching and scrolling for profiles that you might have something in common with, you can feel comfortable talking with all the matches that catch your eye!

Does it actually work?

eHarmony is responsible for nearly 5% of marriages in the US – that’s 542 people getting married every single day as a result of eHarmony! Over here in the UK we’re responsible for 11,000 marriages and 72,000 relationships.

We even use our matching system and research data to find out how compatible other things are. For example, careers:

eHarmony UK desirable jobs infographic - compatibility dating

How can I get started?

Registering with eHarmony is simple. Just visit to get started and we’ll guide you through the questionnaire process. You can even download our free app if you’re on mobile. Register today and review your matches for free.

*2012 U.S. survey conducted for eHarmony by Harris Interactive®

Thanks eHarmony! If you’d like to find out eHarmony rated in our tests before you decide to sign up then head over to our eHarmony Review.

About the Author

has been reviewing and writing about the world of online dating since 2008 and the launch of Online Dating Help. A stickler for promoting ethical practices within the UK dating industry she champions the sites that get it right while highlighting those holding it back. You can follow her on Google+

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