Online dating is great – it’s like window shopping for a date! – but there’s a slight shudder factor attached to the practice now that everyone and their mother (literally) has some sort of profile. The biggest advantage, obviously, is the potential to meet thousands of eligible singles who you likely wouldn’t have known existed otherwise. But whether those singles use their profile regularly or are even on it for the right reasons is another question – thus, the terrifying edge that can cause singles genuinely searching for the real thing to shy away from such a valuable tool.
When the dating pool is so deep, it’s important to narrow down your options to dating sites that are most likely to attract a very specific type of person and introduce you to people who have the same intentions that you do. Whether unspoken or not, eharmony (opens in a new tab) and Elitesingles (opens in a new tab) are two websites for serious relationships that make those kind of definitions clear.
After deciding that online dating is your best shot at meeting someone who’s in it for the long haul, eharmony probably immediately came to mind. (And considering its incessant ads boasting that a couple pairs off every 14 minutes on their site, it’s unsurprising that eharmony was top of mind.) Since its debut in 2000, it has reached over 200 countries worldwide and can steadily see around five million visitors per month. A 2017 study cited in the MIT Technology Review found that people who meet online are more likely to be compatible and have a higher chance of a healthy marriage if they decide to get hitched. If any dating site will make you believe that, it’s eharmony.
eharmony’s dedication to becoming a space that welcomes young people is remarkable, with a total app redesign that resonates with millennials and a refreshed, shortened questionnaire. What hasn’t changed is its marriage-minded approach. People know what eharmony is used for, and it’s unlikely that someone looking for a casual fling would even consider paying that monthly fee to scope out a friend with benefits.
If eharmony is for marriage-minded people, EliteSingles is for work-minded people who want to share their success with someone special – and someone who understand that work schedules can sometimes mean cancelled dates at the last minute. With 170,000 monthly active users in 2019, its user base is a fraction of eharmony’s. However, the her tipy site claims that an average of 2,000 couples pair off every month, and it could be a less-overwhelming entry point for hesitant singles who aren’t ready to be flooded with messages. Older users who are possibly looking at a second marriage may feel more comfortable with EliteSingles’ age demographics: 90% of users are over 30 and the App Store describes it as a place for users 30 to 50.
If eharmony commercials are as embedded into your memories as the latest local jingle, you’ll likely remember that guarantee. It’s still around: eharmony is so confident that you’ll find the one within three months that they’ll give you another three months for free if you don’t.
What you may not remember (whether from commercials or whether you signed up for eharmony years ago) is its streamlined modern user experience. Pretty much the whole site has undergone a much-needed overhaul in the past year or two. The design is clean with a calming turquoise color scheme and doesn’t overload users with notifications, winks, or faces popping up in every corner. Unlike the chaotic home pages of competing dating sites, eharmony avoids sensory overload to keep you focused on the potential match at hand and whether you can see a real, solid future with them.