“From client feedback, eharmony is one of the best dating sites out there, particularly for people who are interested in a long-term, committed relationship,” says Carla Manly, Ph.D., a psychologist in Santa Rosa, California and author of Date Smart. Dr. Manly is a fan of eharmony’s Compatibility Quiz, which is based on the premise that the more compatible you are with a match, the more apt you are to have a good relationship. “Compatibility is a solid premise for successful dating. Research shows that opposites may attract, but they don’t hold,” Manly says.
When dating, Dr. Manly recommends looking for someone with common interests and goals, but most importantly, common values, such as family, religion or work. “You may have a lot in common, such as you both really like tennis, but if you have a mismatch of core values, such as you value family, but he values work over family, it can create a lot of conflict,” she says.
Still, online dating through eharmony or any online dating site can amplify the tendency to take a consumerist approach to relationships. “Online dating can set us up for failure in intimacy as we become hyper-fixated on meeting our own needs versus connecting authentically with the other,” says Chanel Dokun, a relationship expert trained in marriage and family therapy and author of Life Starts Now. With so many options to choose from, there’s a tendency to want to keep looking for someone potentially even better. “We’re constantly measuring and asking ourselves, ‘does this person tick all the boxes?’ Nobody fully ticks all of our boxes,” says Dokun.
Still, “online dating platforms like eharmony can be beneficial in providing us access to more prospective partners than we might be able to find locally, and they facilitate connections with like-hearted individuals who we might never have considered through other dating means,” says Dokun. For online dating success, she recommends allowing your eharmony compatible matches to be themselves, flaws and all, and to go in with an open mind as you spend time online with them, and then, eventually, in person.
That strategy worked for Dokun. In December 2009, she signed up for eharmony and met her now-husband. “He was one of the first guys I matched with,” she says. “We did have a lot in common,” she says. The couple got engaged after five months and married two years later. 10 years and two kids later, they’re going strong. “He felt like family from the first day. He was exactly who I had seen online.”