In our increasingly busy lifestyles, dating as it was once known is becoming more and more difficult to fit in to our schedules. In light of this lifestyle change, websites targeting singles have popped up over the last 15-20 years across the internet to help people find love. Although only in recent years has online dating taken off in Australia. As such lets have a look at two of the big players in this industry, eHarmony and Match.com, to find out what benefits each site offers and how they stack up.
These two sites try to accomplish the same goal which is helping you find a relationship. However, they help you accomplish this goal via very different methods. So based on your unique circumstances, one of these services will likely be a more favourable choice. If you are unfamiliar with these sites then we will explain in more detail about what they provide and how they help you find that special someone. Because if your serious about finding a life partner, they are set up to give you the best possible chance. So you can expect to find out what these websites have to offer, how much bang for you buck you get and ultimately how better suited these website are to you, depending on your personal circumstances.
eHarmony was established in 2008 to provide singles the opportunity to find long-term relationships via the internet. Right now they have a Coupon code available to all individuals looking to join, which gives new subscribers a monthly subscription cost of $15.95 per month for an entire year. This is a saving of $120 over the 12 months which isn't too bad. For this monthly cost, eHarmony provide you with access to a database containing more than one million Australian members, according to a spokesperson from eHarmony.
How it’s different
The company does all of the matching for you using their compatibility system, which has been built by them. The matching system has been created by numerous scientific studies conducted on relationships, compatibility and love, what they call the “29 dimensions of compatibility.” Results are driven by the answers you provide to roughly 400 questions about yourself. Although eHarmony doesn’t advertise the fact anymore, it is a Christian dating site which doesn’t allow certain profiles at all.
The member base of eHarmony is split between 51% males and 49% females with most members on the site being within their 20s or 30s. However this is also counterbalanced by a large number of older users also. eHarmony’s popularity can be measured by statistics I could find, released on the internet of 3,379,000 unique visitors per month to their website.
The key selling point for eHarmony is their tailored approach to helping subscribers find love online. For example a new user must fill out a detailed questionnaire which asks them to nominate important features about themselves, rate their appearance and also personality.
This site has additional features (that will cost a little extra), that you can sign up for within the site, they are:
- Virtual Valentines day
- Top 10 “Cant Stands”
- What if?
- Rely ID
- Secure Call
Match Rates / Reviews
Sarah Manson, a spokesperson from eHarmony stated in 2013; “Since we started in Australia five years ago we’ve had almost 11,000 marriages attributed to an eHarmony match – that’s almost two percent of Australia’s marriages in that same period.”
There are very mixed reviews across the internet from a wealth of different sources, much of them varied in their opinions. My understanding is that numerous people have been very disappointed with the service, common complaints such as long sign up process, not many matches, mis-leading profiles riddle the internet. However, on the opposite side, there are equal numbers of customers happy with the service and truly in love with the partners they have found on the website.
A key thing to remember, is that you will get out what you put in. These websites do not provide the magic key to finding love, they are a tool that if used correctly, can delivery fantastic results.
eHarmony have 3 types of subscriptions, you can sign up for 12 months, 6 months and 3 month terms.
- 12 Months – $25.95 per month
- 6 Months – $45.95 per month
- 3 Months - $59.95 per month
However if you include their Coupon Code when signing up, you will receive an additional $120 reduced from your annual bill, by simply entering our coupon.
Match.com was formed in 1995 and has grown to become one of the largest online dating sites in the world. It comes with an array of bells and whistles that most other dating sites do not have. It has a simplistic matching system which enables both parties to browse and match members profiles that they like. These potential matches and your match score is based on settings you determine within your profile.
How’s it different
The site does not have chat or instant messaging features, plus free members cannot look at other members profiles or reply to a paying members message, without signing up themselves. Your basic profile enables you to browse the site at a limited capacity but you wont venture too far without signing up. Match.com however does allow you to browse other members profiles and initiate your own matches, as opposed to eHarmony which generates the matches for you. Communication can occur more often on Match.com as opposed to eHarmony, but the quality of the conversations and matches you make can be considered lower quality.
Match.com has a very similar age demographic to eHarmony with a large percentage of members being within the age bracket of 20 to 37 years old. However, the fact that this site has a much simpler sign up process and requires you to input much less information to create your profile, means the amount of profiles is significantly larger within Match.com. Their popularity can be measured by released statistics I found on the internet, of 4,252,000 unique visitors per month to the website globally.
Match.com excels when it comes to extra features, they have so many that the list is too long to list all of them. Many of the features within the site are also free, but some do come at an additional cost such as matchTalk. We have selected a few for the benefit of this post. Most can be reviewed on YouTube:
- Match.com Platinum
- Speed matching
Match Rates / Reviews
“Last year alone, more than 500,000 singles found meaningful relationships through Match.com’s online personals and singles ads.” Match.com today now “serves more than 15 million singles in 240 countries.”
Match.com arguably has a bigger member base, but the quality of the members is something commonly disputed across the internet. Numerous review sites mention that there are a number of scammers that have profiles on the website, who prey on individuals looking for love. This has certainly caused a number of people to rise up and post their opinions on review websites, but it is testament to the saying 'a fool and his money are easily separated.'
Other review websites host armies of comments praising the website for its ease of use, practical and straightforward matching process and ultimately providing more control over who you meet. So each user will always have a different experience, but remember, if all fails online, there is always local pub or library as a next port of call.
Match.com also have a range of subscription terms you can sign up for, they consist of 1 month, 3 months or 6 months. Their pricing is below:
- 1 Month - $44.38
- 3 Months - $29.96 per month
- 6 Months - $24.41 per month
Within these packages you will receive the following features; Email read notification, First impressions and Highlighted profile. However, if you sign up for the 6 month package, you will receive an additional feature called the Match.com guarantee.
Which Company is the best?
These two heavyweights within the online dating industry both have very different strengths which should always be considered before you spend your hard earned cash. In order to determine the most suitable service for yourself, you need to consider your personal circumstances.
If you are brand new to online dating, or nervous about the whole experience and how to approach other members, eHarmony is more suitable for you. Communication within the site creates situations where you almost feel as if your getting to know the person before you actually begin speaking with them. The detailed matching process is helped by their lengthy questionnaire you must answer, when signing up to the site. Much of the guesswork is eradicated from the situation, so you can focus more on getting to know that person on a personal level. You will have less people to interact with because of the carefully created matching process, however this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because the quality of those matches are generally higher than Match.com.
If you happen to live within a low population area, then Match.com is more suitable purely due to the fact that you can choose who you would like to match with. It increases the chances of finding someone and also puts you at the helm, rather than waiting for a computerised algorithm to auto select people within the vicinity which match your questionnaire answers. Match.com's open communication system will allow you to meet exactly who you want, whereas eHarmony’s system will provide you with fewer match results.
Maybe you’re a shy person wanting to try out online dating, in this case eHarmony is the more suited website because its lengthy questionnaire process and detailed profile organisation, can help shy people feel more comfortable both about who they match with and knowing more about that person, before conversation begins.
If you’re the other end of the spectrum and want to have your fingers in as many pies as possible, then Match.com will most certainly be better suited to you. Not everybody is eager to settle down with one partner, but rather more interested in meeting other singles and having a healthy dating lifestyle. Match.com has the largest pool of singles within its database and a more open communication platform to communicate with as many as possible. eHarmony also has a very large number of singles, but their website is more set up to help you find that life partner, rather than to find numerous dates.
Lets say marriage is on the cards, you want to settle down, find that special someone and consider spending the rest of your lives together. Well eHarmony is much more adapt to your needs, because this is exactly what the website and the studies which helped create the questionnaire were designed for. This in turn attracts more singles looking for marriage which as a result, helps singles looking for marriage, find what they are looking for.
But of course any married man will tell you, marriage is not a cheap affair, so to boil these websites down to money, Match.com is certainly the least expensive option initially. But the two websites are comparable, if you consider some of the promotions that eHarmony features through out the year. Match.com offers a much larger selection of additional features for free, compared to eHarmony who only provides its service for the subscription price. But if you are seriously looking for love then the additional cost per month for eHarmony’s services should not really deter you from their website, because they are specifically designed with careful research, to help you find that life partner.
Whereas if money is the more important deciding factor and you want to look after the pennies, Match.com will initially give you less outgoings, but for less quality matches generally speaking.
I am always on the hunt for a great deal and even though Match.com is less expensive, I believe that their lower quality of matches hinders the websites performance somewhat. So based on the information presented above, if you are a less outgoing individual, or most certainly want to find a life partner, you should be more inclined to use eHarmony. If however, you want to have a healthy dating lifestyle, meet multiple people and use the website to boost your social life, Match.com is potentially the more suitable website for you to choose.
I also understand there is a lot of information to digest, so here are a few online dating tips I'd like to recommend, if you have decided to skip down to the bottom. Also please feel free to add any of your own tips, that you found useful during your online dating experience, all comments are welcome:
- Make sure you read all terms and conditions before you sign up, so you know where you stand from the start.
- Try to find friends or family which have used the site and understand their experience.
- Create a separate email address for your online dating accounts to avoid interruptions at work or SPAM.
- Never include your home address or personal contact details on your profile which is visible to everyone on the website.
- Try to be as honest as possible in your profile so your dates wont be expecting someone else, try to imagine the scenario the other way round. You would want to meet the person that they say they are.
- Do not rush into meeting with someone, take your time to gather as much information as possible about this person to feel secure when you do meet them. Also do not be pressured into meeting someone when you are not comfortable meeting them.
- Always select a public place to meet someone for the first time, its more comfortable for both parties and try to let a friend know where you will be also, just in case.
- Do not get picked up or dropped off by someone you dont know: Golden rule: do not get into a car with a stranger.