I recently had a conversation with a reader where he reveals frustration with getting new eHarmony matches. He said that he had been receiving a dozen matches a day for over a month and then suddenly he didn’t get a match for 5 days. Understandably, he wanted to know where all his matches went!
How the eHarmony Matching Process Appears to Work
A lot about eHarmony is “hidden” from people like you and me but I have been either using their service or talking about it for many years now and I think I have an idea of where they are coming from when they give you matches. To me, it comes down to this:
They take this so far as to not accept people to their service that they feel they can’t match well. I know this is a sore spot for some people but I actually appreciate this approach: eHarmony could make money off of the people they feel they can’t match well and then just dump all those people into one bucket where they’re matched against each other. In a sense, they could make a lot more money if they did this sort of thing. Instead, they stay honest and don’t accept those people at all.
When your matches dwindle down to a trickle, I think something similar is happening. Let’s imagine this scenario for a moment. I’m going to make this up as I don’t really know what happens but I think this is a reasonable theory:
- When you sign up at eHarmony, they identify possibly hundreds of people that you match well with. Some you match amazingly well with while others are just good matches.
- eHarmony starts providing you these matches over time. Possibly from the best matches to the just-good matches, possibly at random.
- During this time, new people are also signing up for eHarmony and they will likely appear in your matches as well.
- Eventually, you run through this entire list of good matches. What now? Well, now you’re only matches with new members who are signing up with you discussed in the bullet above.
The final bullet above points out why many people go from several matches a day (or even dozens) to just a few a week.
A Second Theory on Matching
I remember reading somewhere that eHarmony provides you with all the matches they have for you as soon as they have them. This might have even been from eHarmony themselves when I was using their service…I really can’t remember. Regardless, I don’t think this is the case. Or if it is the case, it doesn’t make sense to me.
Take my reader from above: he claims to have been receiving a dozen matches a day for over a month. Let’s assume that worked out to 360 matches. Assuming he’s being honest, that means that either there are hundreds of people in his area signing up every day or that all of this matches are being distributed to him over time. I suspect it’s the second for two reasons:
- Getting 360 matches the day you sign up would be overwhelming. Also, what if you’re willing to be matched with anyone in the world? That could be a HUGE number of matches to get at once.
- What happened in his area that caused so many people to suddenly stop signing up on the same day? And he’s not the only one who has seen this phenomenon: lots of people wonder why they stop receiving matches, including myself when I was originally using the service.
So while it’s possible that eHarmony is giving you everyone they can at once, I doubt it.
Don’t Be Too Quick to Reject Your Current Matches
All this having been said, I think the way matches are delivered is less important than what you do with those matches once you receive them.
The discussion above points something out related to this: according to my reader, after a month he had 360 matches. I feel that having that many matches is amazing and I’m afraid he’s not looking at all the opportunity he’s already been provided with. I am left to wonder if he’s making the most of the matches he’s being given.
With that in mind, I’d like to recommend some thoughts on making the most of your eHarmony matches:
- Be willing to start communication with a lot of your matches. Don’t start communication with one person and then wait around and see if they’ll get back to you. If you’re paying for the service, get your money’s worth and contact everyone who catches your eye.
- I feel that women should be willing to start the communication process, not just wait around for guys to do so. If you’re a woman and like a guy’s profile, start the communication process with him. I talk about this in detail in this post.
- Be open to contacting people without photos. I feel like this a great rule for dating online in general but even better with eHarmony: they’ve found someone that you match well with. Just because they’re shy about putting a photo online doesn’t mean you should just skip them.
- Avoid being too strict on who you’re willing to start communication with. I’ve talk to a lot of singles over the years and there have been plenty of people who have amazingly specific requirements that they want to have in a mate. They won’t start communication with someone lacking just one of their requirements. Don’t let this be you. Be open to communicating with others. After all…it’s just some online communication! It’s not even a date yet. Don’t be crazy-strict at this point in online dating
Now you can ignore these suggestions and that’s fine. I’m sure plenty of people have had success without these thoughts in mind. But be aware that if you’ve received hundreds of matches only to find yourself complaining when you stop receiving dozens a day, you have perhaps not been open enough about who you’ll talk to.
And perhaps your experience was more like mine where you never received a dozen matches on a single day…well, all the more reason to be open to starting communication with the matches you do have.
A Final Saving Grace on Low Matches
One good thing that eHarmony has going for it is that they have free weekend events where non-subscribers can use the service for free. On these weekends, you should see the amount of matches you receive once again spike.
Again, I hope no one sees this as an excuse to reject their current matches quickly just because a free weekend is on the way. Still, it is a benefit worth keeping in mind.