Last week I wrapped up the research and canceled the membership. Overall, I was extremely unsatisfied with the search process and quality of the results eHarmony offers and the main reason for it is the primary eHarmony’s feature – their matching system.
See, the idea behind the system that eHarmony offers is to match you only with people who align well with gazillion of test questions you’ve been asked. There’s whole another can of problems with test themselves, but we’ll get there in a moment. However, the whole process of answering questions, looking through supplied matches and making contact has been carefully crafted into bureaucracy beyond any wildest imagination. The solid and sound idea of scientific matching eroded into a chain of automatic canned responses similar to your average customer service phone. eHarmony have successfully diminished any kind of personal touch into choosing which canned response to use.
In all practicality the idea of putting a ladder of half a dozen steps (send your preferences, wait for her preferences, send next bunch of questions, wait for response, wait for her questions, and on and on) might work to protect you from a unnecessary attention, but any maniac would be much more determined to get to you then the person that just wants to find a relationship. For more active types this means abandoning the service, while for more passive it would probably mean settling for less. In either case people who use the service loose.
Now in regards to questions – they are neither helping nor telling anything useful about the person. From my experience, if the person writes some messed up entry on “how do you see your first date” question, it would tell me more about her than a bunch of multiple choice questions. Ever since the school we’ve been taught to pick the right answer on the test, but this isn’t a test, this is something totally different. Why even use multiple choice in such cases is beyond me.
I remember the initial idea behind an extensive questionnaire was to fend off maniacs and sleazes and keep the good guys in. Well, good guys just don’t have a load of time to sift through useless profiles without any sign of personality. Add lack of the photographs to lack of individuality and you would even be able to tell if the person behind profile is real.
Overall, the service seems to be a complete, utter and definite waste of time and money.