Why are People Rejected by eHarmony?

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Have you been rejected by eHarmony? You’re not alone if so: eHarmony claims that as many as 20% of the applicants are rejected. There are several issues which eHarmony explained to the Washington Post as reasons a person can be rejected. As you’ll see, many of these reasons won’t apply to you. Regardless of the reason for your personal experience don’t look at it as a failure of your own. As I’ll discuss, eHarmony is inadequate in some cases for matching people and that’s no one’s fault.

Reasons People Are Rejected According to eHarmony

  1. The number one reason is because the applicant is married. Close to 30 percent of all the applicants answer “yes” to being married on the questionnaire. This is surprising because you would think if someone were married and signing up (presumably to cheat) that they would lie about it. Apparently not. At the same time, I know several couples who have wanted to try eHarmony just to see if they would be matched with their husband or wife. Maybe these people account for some of the rejections? Seems hard to believe so many people would answer this way otherwise.
  2. Almost as many applicants are rejected because they are below age 21, the minimum age for using the service.
  3. If you are younger than 60 and have been married 4 or more times you’ll get rejected
  4. Being gay or lesbian will get you rejected. eHarmony was actually sued over this and as part of the settlement has opened a new service called CompatiblePartners.
  5. Answering the questions in a way that eHarmony considers inconsistent will get you rejected. Many of the questions are repeated throughout and if you answer similar questions in different ways, it can get you rejected.
  6. If you answer the questions in such a way that eHarmony is unsure how to match you, you will also get rejected.
  7. eHarmony will also reject you if they feel your profile answers suggest you have depression
3 Months for the Price of 1

Most of these reasons seem acceptable to me since the service aims to bring people who are serious about relationships together towards the goal of marriage. There are services specifically for black people, specifically for Christian singles, specifically for people looking to cheat, specifically for women looking for rich men and so on. If these services are acceptable, I find eHarmony’s acceptable as well. They are trying to provide their members with the best possibility of finding a successful relationship and they are actually willing to lose money by rejecting potential subscribers to achieve that goal. It may be offensive but they do seem to be making choices that, in the end, cost them money for the benefit of their users.

What Should You Do If You’ve Been Rejected?

  • First of all, don’t feel too bad. According to eHarmony, 20 percent of all applicants are rejected. Many people who are surprised by their rejection feel as if they fall into #6 of the reasons described above. They feel bad because it means either eHarmony doesn’t know how to match them or the service found their answers inconsistent (and when you’re answering as honestly as possible, this can be offensive). First, I think eHarmony shows character by not trying to match personalities when they don’t know how. Think about it: if they just made another personality category called “chaotic” and dumped all the people who fall into #6 into this category, they could make a lot more money. They don’t though. It may hurt but at least they’re staying honest. Second, just because eHarmony doesn’t know how to match you doesn’t mean there’s no match out there for you! It just means their system is incomplete. The service is deficient, not you.
  • If you’re under 21 keep in mind that eHarmony is geared towards creating marriages. If you’re young and desperate for marriage, eHarmony is probably doing you a favor by trying to slow you down.
  • Some services, such as Chemistry.com, are much more open to the people they are willing to match (I’m pretty sure Chemistry doesn’t reject anyone at all). If you’re hoping to using a matched dating service eHarmony isn’t your only choice.
  • If you didn’t take the questionnaire seriously, filling it in haphazardly, I’d recommend filling it out again but this time with more honesty. I didn’t meet my wife with eHarmony but I did use the service extensively and thought it was very good. Be warned though: if you were honest and then take the quiz honestly again, there’s a good chance you’ll just be rejected again.

Finally, you’re not alone if you’ve been rejected. There are many great people who have been rejected by eHarmony because of no fault of their own. If the system is incomplete (and a rejection rate of 20% sounds pretty incomplete to me), it’s not your fault. Need some company in your misery? Here are a few other people who have suffered rejection with apparently no cause.

And these are just the people generous enough to share their personal experiences. There are many, many great people who don’t fit into the mold that eHarmony can work with…but they’re still great people!

Try Chemistry! Three months for the price of one!


About the Author:

Brad initially struggled with online dating but over time became quite successful using it. He met his wife using online dating and has been giving advice and helping people improve their results since 2007. He has written a Free Online Dating Guide to help others find success with online dating. You can learn more about his personal experience using online dating and running this website here.


  1. Scott  September 27, 2009

    I’m a gay man and have found your online dating guide very helpful. I don’t know if you’ll be happy or chagrined by that. But honestly a lot of this information is still very applicable to those seeking a committed same-sex relationship. People are people all the same.

    Personally I wouldn’t use the site CompatiblePartners. This is because I spent 15+ years (from the time I was around 10 to my late 20s) trying NOT to be gay. At a point you have to accept who you are, rather than listening to an outsider who says they know more about you than you yourself do.. I just wouldn’t trust someone who claimed to know more about me than I do, and have them fix me up on successful dates. Plus I have doubts about the size of their user base.

    For gay men looking for a relationship, I’d recommend http://lovetastic.com . It does not have the personality test stuff but has many “getting to know” kinds of questions in the profiles. It’s a site focused on finding other people who are interested in a relationship rather than the overt sexuality on many gay sites. It’s also written in Rails, is beautifully simple, and takes its relationship-approach very seriously (and actively removes accounts that violate their guidelines).

    I’ve noticed trends towards people there wanting more than superficial things. for example, same-sex people wanting to get married (not it’s not just to prove a point). There are articles such as http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/01/08/BAG6RNEKBM1.DTL in the San Francisco Chronicle that talk about the trend toward taking relationships more seriously. I think these trends will only get bigger over time and are very healthy in the long run.

  2. Brad  September 27, 2009

    Scott – I’m glad to hear the guide has been helpful. A little surprised but definitely not chagrined!

    I was actually wondering about the size of the user-base at CompatiblePartners. It seemed to me that if a company were intentionally excluding me but then made a service so that I could be included, I might not be inclined to use that service! Especially considering it took a lawsuit to get to that point.

    Thanks a lot for your thoughts.

  3. Michael  July 2, 2011

    Many years ago, a year after the breakup of a very long relationship, I decided to try out this new website I had heard of. It had been designed by Doctor Earl Clark Warren, a pastor and a psychologist. Their stated mission of using scientific matching algorithms to find compatible couples appealed strongly to the engineer in me. So, emotionally adrift and yet still hopeful, I logged into eHarmony.com, created my profile, and undertook the two-hour-long introductory questionnaire. I was ready to start a new life after this arduous process.

    But then, a curious thing happened. After submitting the survey, I was presented with a screen that had a curious message for me: “We are sorry but based on the results of your profile we do not believe you can benefit from eHarmony.com’s services at this time.” Puzzled, I went away, returning a week later. After all “at this time” indicated the problem was only temporary. But no, I was given the same response.

    So I, being the indefatigable sort, shrugged and went on with my life. A year later, I decided to try it again. I created another e-mail account, built another eHarmony.com profile, and took their questionnaire again. And once again I was told that eHarmony could not help me at this time.

    Now I was profoundly intrigued. I began using that most democratic of research tools, Google. What I found was astounding. After Googling phrases such as “rejected by eHarmony,” I found that a significant fraction of eHarmony applicants were turned down flat. The reasons listed were: being married (no), being divorced four or more times (no), or having some major mental problems (three strikes, you’re out). Neither one was true with me. So I dug further. I found an eHarmony forum, where users could discuss their experiences. I was not the first rejectee to come on there and ask about that. The responses of the eHarmony members were startling. The consensus was, if you had been rejected, then there must have been a good reason for this, and we’re glad you were excluded.

    Such elitist attitudes were pretty darn annoying to me, but since they were profoundly unscientific, I told myself not to care about them. As an experiment, I created a third e-mail account and a third eHarmony.com profile. This time, when I took the survey, I answered each question completely randomly. At the end, I hit “submit,” and what do you know, I was presented with a list of potential matches. In disgust, I deleted my profile and logged off.

    Then, a few months later, I finally found what I was looking for. On an obscure video sharing website (this was long before the advent of YouTube), I found a video of Doctor Neil Clark Warren being interviewed about his creation on a local television talk show. Towards the end of the interview was the question I was looking for. Why, the host asked, does your website reject some people?

    “Doctor” Warren hemmed and hawed for a minute, but finally leaned towards the host and, with a conspiratorial tone, said, “Well, you know, some people just are not cut out for marriage.”

    So now let us fast forward to 2011. Here I sit at my computer on the eve of my fifth wedding anniversary to my wonderful wife. I gaze over at our beautiful baby daughter, and I can sincerely say this from my heart:

    Screw you, “Doctor” Neil Clark Warren. You were wrong. I am cut out for marriage. I win. You lose.

  4. Catherine  August 30, 2012

    I am not cut out for marriage. I never was. I never will be. But because my sister was, and they had a free weekend, I did sign up and was accepted. I never even checked my responses. Then about five years later I did it again and was accepted. But I let that go too. If you are not cut out for marriage, you probably know it already. You will probably do what I did, sign up for eharmony and then say…wait a sec..umm..never mind!LOL

  5. Chris  November 3, 2012

    I took the questionaire twice, a little over a year apart. I did answer the same way both times, yet ‘incompatible’ both times. It probably didn’t help that I said I had HPV, but that wasn’t flagged as a disqualifier for my rejection. I just visit eH’s facebook page and warn folks about signing up. Heck, I should direct them here instead!

  6. Roger  February 6, 2013

    I was rejected by eharmony too and did not find it so palatable. It is downright insulting to waste 90 minutes filling out their survey and then be told they are going to refuse to let you proceed without giving you any explanation.

  7. Thea  May 13, 2015

    It’s ok for you to say how great eHarmony is, if you haven’t been rejected by them. I tried to renew my account, but in the Compatible Partners section. After I filled out my name and password, I got the following offensive message.

    We’re sorry —
    we are unable to find
    great matches for you

    This does not reflect on you personally or your chances of
    finding a happy relationship. Thank you for trying eHarmony;
    we wish you the best in finding a great relationship.

    That is offensive, patronizing and unacceptable. What? Is my disability the problem, or what? The help file, which is the only contact option I can find, couldn’t find a result when I searched for that message.
    Oh, it doesn’t reflect on me, eh? Who the blazes does it reflect on? 20 percent is a fairly small number of rejectees, and I resent being rejected. You can say hurrah for eHarmony all you want, but I find their behavior unconscionable. I haven’t had an account with them for at least two years. Now when I try to sign up, I get that? There’s no excuse for that. What do they mean, they can’t find great matches? What’s their problem, anyway?
    Depression isn’t a good excuse either. A person with depression needs love like any other. As for chemistry.com, I’m not into spurious dating services, that accept married people looking to cheat, and casual sex and stuff. I’m not into friends with benefits. I want a serious relationship, and since good old E. calls itself scientific, promises to take out the guess work, while the other dating sites let anyone in, and are thus less safe, I’m supposed to be happy with a lesser quality service? Get out of here!

  8. Nicky  November 28, 2015

    Hi Brad,
    just FYI I was recently rejected by Chemistry.com, so they do reject some folks. How many I have no idea but I doubt I am the only one. I was told by them I would have to take them to court to find out why I was rejected.

  9. Brian  March 30, 2016

    How is (potentially) having depression a acceptable reason for rejection? If people knew all the above, everyone would just answer like some CCD boyscout.


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