Which eHarmony Matches Should I Be Contacting?

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With many online dating services, the biggest benefit the service offers is in the quantity of members you are given the opportunity to contact. However, eHarmony concerns itself with providing you with what it calculates as the best quality matches (see my article on How eHarmony Works for more on this).

what eharmony matches to contact

Having had some recent conversations with readers on having success with eHarmony, I wanted to discuss how I recommend who you should be contacting. This article is really meant for those people who are struggling to have success with eHarmony: if you’re already finding your way to first dates using eHarmony, then I’d say keep doing what you’re doing.

For others who are having trouble finding success with eHarmony, I feel that a more open approach to contacting (and responding to) people can help get the ball rolling.

Who Should I Contact (or Respond to) on eHarmony?

None of what I’m going to suggest is earth-shattering so let me explain why I offer this advice: as with anything, using a service like eHarmony takes some “getting used to”. In the beginning, you might feel uncomfortable on moving things to the next stage, you might be unsure of what questions to select to send to them or you might have no idea what to do once you reach open communication.

Because of that, I recommend an approach that will hopefully enable my readers to gain comfort using the service more quickly by exposing themselves to more opportunities. The unique approach of eHarmony, limited but high-quality matches, can be wonderful but it can also limit the amount of experience you’re getting, especially if you’re being too selective in the beginning.

An Approach to Being More Open
In the beginning when I used eHarmony, I only contacted a very select group of women and was having no real success (I wasn’t even having first dates!). Later, when I was having success, part of that success was because of a more open approach to who I contacted. The new approach helped me realize what was really important to me since I was meeting more women and it also helped me get more comfortable.

Here’s the approach I ended up taking and what I recommend today:

  1. If I was attracted to them physically and I thought they had an interesting profile I would contact them (pretty obvious)
  2. If I was attracted to them but didn’t find their profile interesting, I’d still contact them. This is not all that difficult to do and I imagine most of us already do this!
  3. If I wasn’t attracted to them but I did find their profile interesting, I would usually contact them. This was harder than #2 since attractiveness can make us forgive a lot that’s lacking in other areas. Still, I went out of my way to be open and met women of all types, not just those that caught my eye.
  4. If I wasn’t attracted to them and I didn’t find their profile interesting, I would occasionally contacted them. The one exception was that if I had zero dates on the horizon, I would be more inclined to contact them.

I suspect most people follow #1 and #2 but are far less inclined to consider #3 and #4.

Eventually, as you have success, you can become stricter on whom you are contacting. However, to enable yourself to have more experience using the service (and hopefully more success down the road because of that), I recommend being as open as you can about who you communicate with.

What About Matches with No Photos?
Keep in mind that the people using eHarmony can be quite different than those on other dating services. Many are looking for long-term relationships. Many others are new to online dating and use eHarmony because it helps guide them through the process. Many others will likely value the idea of a personality matching system and for that reason may withhold their photos because they don’t want to be select for their looks. eHarmony is also one of the few services that support allowing your photos to become visible only after certain stages.

For all those reasons, I think a missing photo is not a good reason to skip contacting someone. More than with other services, I don’t believe a missing photo means there won’t be attraction. I think in many cases a missing photo is more about who the people using the service are and not about how attractive those people are.


And if you hate this advice, but at the same time you aren’t having success with eHarmony today, remember this: contacting some of these people is more about improving your ability and comfort in using eHarmony. Don’t judge every person you contact (or respond to) under the microscope of “Can I marry this person?” It’s a little early for that kind of thinking if you’re still struggling to find first dates using the service.

It’s also great to have a more open approach because when you give more people a chance, you might surprise yourself with what is really important to you!



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. Marlon  November 22, 2012

    I am on match and eharmony. I decided to try eharmony after not having a whole lot of success with match. For some reason, I am getting more responses from eharmony than I did with match.

    I have two questions. One, it’s happened to me that some ladies will get me to the “eharmony mail” stage but then disappear. Also, some will approve my messages and then say nothing. lol. What could this be? Why approve mail and then say nothing? I assume they can see my initial email.

    Second question, should I send guided communication or skip to mail? Which one is more effective?

  2. Brad  December 1, 2012

    Marlon – my only thought to your first question is to review the first email you’re sending out. Could they somehow be sending the wrong message? Because I agree with you, I’m not sure why a person would go through the guided process but then disappear at the emailing portion. Not that I would never expect that to happen…but I wouldn’t expect it to be a repeated problem.

    For your second question, I think a lot of people sign up for eHarmony because of the guided communication. Because of that, I’d recommend going through it. I think some women would respond to skipping guided communication but if also feels like taking a risk to me.

    • Marlon  December 9, 2012

      I followed your advice and have continued to do guided communication instead. I’m having great success with it. Skipping is risky. At this point, not one person who accepted the eharmony mail has responded. So I’m sticking to guided for now. The good news is that I’ve met a really really nice lady and I’m going to continue dating her until we become exclusive. If we do, that is. Thanks for your advice and guide. It has helped a lot.

    • A  May 6, 2013

      I disagree. I’ve had no luck with the guided communication. I have had quite a few dates on eH by skipping right to email. My suspicion and reason for going right to email is that my ‘5 questions’ communication looks just like every other guy’s same communication, and I end up lost in the inbox because I am not standing out from others (remember that women get an insane amount of emails and communication requests, even on eH). This hypothesis of mine has been confirmed by every woman I have met through eH and my ‘boldness’ to ask to go right to email was what stood out to them.

    • Brian  April 17, 2016


      I found response rates much higher when I skipped guided communication. One issue I had when it was used by women was that often there was no multichoice answer I agreed with and wonder whether women had a similar issue.

      The other issue I had when I initiated this way and a woman had a well written profile then often the questions were answered in her profile, completley uninteresting to me, or downright intrusive at this early stage.

  3. John  December 4, 2012

    If they went through the guided process but then disappeared on the mailing portion, it is because the initial contacting probably occured during a free weekend. On a free weekend you can do guided but cant do open communication (unless you subscribe). SO while communicting with someone during a free weekend exposes you to more people, just realize that there is a good chance nothing will come of it since communication will stop once it is no longer free for them at that point.

  4. Brad  December 8, 2012

    John, there are actually a few different ways free weekends can go and depending on the type you may be able to do open communication.


    I do agree though that there are cases where what you describe is true.

  5. Brian  April 17, 2016

    There is a scenario #5 Brad,

    The profile has nothing at all in it, or single phrase responses in it leaving only photos.


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