Why is eHarmony So Expensive? Exploring Premium Dating Services

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About a quarter of the way through the 21st century, online sites and apps are definitely the most popular ways for people to find romantic partners today.

But with a wide range of websites and apps available, choosing the right platform to find your perfect match can be a daunting task. 

One platform that’s consistently stood out is eHarmony, whose unique and comprehensive matchmaking algorithm makes it a great place to turn for people who are sick of the churn of hook up apps, and want to find a committed, serious relationship. 

In fact, I can personally attest to eHarmony’s effectiveness – signing up for an eHarmony membership led me to meeting my now-wife Michelle back in 2014. 

Married couple
My wife Michelle and I matched on eHarmony (waaaay) back in 2014

But for all its advantages, eHarmony also has one (pretty big) drawback: the price. 

People often wonder why an eHarmony subscription comes with a higher price tag compared to other online dating services, many of which are completely free. 

The main reason behind eHarmony’s pricing structure is the level of investment that goes into researching and developing its complex algorithm. 

With a focus on long-term relationships, eHarmony uses a personality test that takes into account various aspects of an individual’s personality, values, and preferences to create the most suitable matches. 

This meticulous process requires extensive resources, which are partially reflected in the subscription cost.

Moreover, eHarmony is committed to offering a quality experience to its users. 

By charging a premium for its services, the platform can maintain a higher degree of seriousness among its members, filtering out fake profiles and those who may not be as invested in finding a meaningful relationship. 

This, in turn, contributes to its overall effectiveness and success rate, making it an appealing option for serious people who are genuinely seeking love and connection.

To give you (a lot!) more insight into how much eHarmony costs, in this post I’ll break down each of the factors that contributes to higher eHarmony prices, so you can decide whether or not it’s worth your hard-earned dollars.

Why does eHarmony cost so much?

Business Model

Business model
[image: Slidebean / Unsplash]

eHarmony operates on a monthly subscription business model, which contributes to its higher pricing. 

By offering a paid service, the company can allocate more resources towards improving user experience and, in turn, enhancing the success rates of its matchmaking services. 

The business model also ensures that eHarmony attracts users who are serious about finding a long-term relationship. 

People who are only looking for a hookup or a fling tend to prefer setting up a free account with one of the other apps, while people who are committed to finding true love don’t mind paying a little more upfront.

So the steeper subscription price significantly increases the overall quality of matches, which is one reason why eHarm frequently ranks as one of the best dating sites.


Ad for eharmony
All those fancy ads add up

While the quality of the matches is quite high, it’s also worth noting that marketing expenses play a significant role in eHarmony’s pricing structure. 

You know those cinematic commercials with smiling, happy people dancing to famous songs that everyone’s heard before? 

They ain’t cheap. 

To maintain its position as one of the world’s leading dating websites, the company invests heavily in advertising, public relations, and promotional campaigns. 

These marketing efforts are necessary to attract a sufficient number of users and achieve a critical mass that enables seamless user interaction and effective matchmaking.

Investment in Technology

Computer code
[image: Luca Bravo / Unsplash]

Another reason for eHarmony’s high price point is the company’s investment in advanced technology. 

The platform is legitimately committed to helping users find real love, and takes a scientific approach to helping you find a lasting, long term relationship.

It uses a sophisticated and unique matching algorithm that factors in psychological principles and extensive research to ensure that matches are accurate and compatible, both online and in real life. 

By constantly updating and improving its matchmaking algorithm, eHarmony ensures that each paying member has access to the best possible matches, increasing the likelihood of finding the right person.


Smartphone with security symbol
[image: Franck / Unsplash]

Lastly, eHarmony invests in robust security measures to safeguard user data. 

Online dating platforms often house sensitive personal information, and ensuring the protection of this data is crucial for maintaining user trust. 

Additionally, the platform takes measures to minimize the risk of fraudulent accounts and activities to create a safer environment for users. 

This focus on security ultimately contributes to the higher cost of eHarmony’s services, but also provides the kind of peace of mind you can’t get from a typical mobile dating app. 

Membership Options

Premium Membership

eHarmony offers a Premium Subscription plan that provides users with an enhanced experience on the platform. 

With this plan, users can access all of eHarmony’s premium features and benefits, including:

  • Sending and receiving unlimited messages
  • Viewing all of their match’s photos
  • Accessing detailed insight into their personality profile

The cost of the Premium subscription plans usually varies depending on the duration of the subscription. 

Longer plans have lower monthly rates, making them more cost-effective for users looking for long-term relationships. Here’s a breakdown of the pricing:

Subscription DurationMonthly Cost
6 months$49.90
12 months$29.90
24 months$17.90

It’s also worth noting that you can sometimes find eHarmony discounts and promotions, which will help bring the total cost down.

Try eHarmony Premium

Basic Membership

For those looking to test the waters, eHarmony also offers a Basic Membership plan. Basic Membership includes limited features, such as:

  • Receiving daily match suggestions
  • Access to the “What If?” feature, which allows users to explore additional potential matches

This plan comes at a lower price point compared to the Premium Membership. The subscription costs for the Basic Membership are as follows:

Subscription DurationMonthly Cost
6 months$29.90
12 months$19.90

If you’re not sure whether the Basic or Premium plans is right for you, then it might be worth reading the small print before deciding. 

Take a look at eHarmony’s terms and conditions before committing to a Basic Membership plan, as certain features and benefits may not be available to basic members.

(The Basic Membership is described in detail on page 3 of this PDF, while the Premium Membership terms are described on page 4.)

Try eHarmony Basic

Free Trial

eHarmony also provides new users with a temporary free membership option, which might be the best option if you’re really hesitant, and want to test the waters before dipping into your bank account.

This trial period gives you the first month free, which allows potential members to explore the platform and get a feel for its features before committing to a paid subscription. 

During the trial, you can:

  • Create a profile and take the personality assessment
  • Receive compatible matches based on their preferences
  • Send winks and pre-set messages to their matches

But the Free Trial has limitations, and you won’t be able to access certain features available to paid members, such as sending and receiving personalized messages or viewing all match photos.

In summary, eHarmony offers a range of membership options catering to different user needs and budgets. 

Whether opting for the comprehensive Premium Membership, the more affordable Basic Membership, or simply trying out the platform with a Free Trial, users can choose the plan that best suits their preferences.

Try The Free Trial

Quality and Features

Compatibility Quiz

Screenshot of eHarmony compatibility quiz

eHarmony’s Compatibility Quiz is one of the key features that sets this online dating platform apart from others. 

This comprehensive quiz, consisting of multiple-choice questions, is designed to gain insights into users’ personalities, preferences, and values, enabling a deeper understanding of individual compatibility factors. 

By implementing an in-depth analysis of users’ responses, eHarmony can deliver highly personalized matches, increasing the chances of finding a successful date and long-term relationship.

In fact, Forbes interviewed Dr. Carla Manly, a psychologist and author of Date Smart for their full eHarmony review, and Manly specifically called out the quiz as a key differentiator. 

(Why Forbes, a business website, would bother writing reviews of the best online dating sites is a question for another day.) 

Matchmaking Algorithm

As mentioned above, eHarmony’s cutting-edge matchmaking algorithm is based on scientific research and years of data analysis, allowing it to go well beyond the basic information found on most free sites. 

This proprietary system incorporates various dimensions of compatibility, taking into account personality, values, communication style, and more, all of which can have a huge impact on your love life. 

This rigorous method ensures that the matches generated are highly compatible with users, reducing the need to sift through less relevant profiles. 

The efficiency and precision of eHarmony’s matchmaking algorithm contribute to the high cost, reflecting the value it brings to users in their search for a suitable date.

User Experience

Woman using phone and computer for online dating
[image: Jenny Ueberberg / Unsplash]

With its user-friendly interface and intuitive design, eHarmony focuses on providing an exceptional user experience. 

The platform is consistently updated and refined to keep up with evolving technology and user preferences, ensuring that it remains a top choice among online dating platforms. 

The attention to detail and dedication to creating a seamless experience for users is another reason why eHarmony is more expensive than other platforms. 

The investment in high-quality features and continuous improvement justify the higher price, as the platform aims to cater to users who are serious about finding genuine connections and lasting relationships.

Trust and Safety

When it comes to online dating, trust and safety are crucial factors for the users. 

eHarmony takes these aspects very seriously, which contributes to the platform’s higher pricing. The company goes to great lengths to create a secure environment where individuals can feel confident connecting with potential partners.

One reason behind eHarmony’s higher costs is their rigorous user verification process, ensuring that all members are genuine. 

This includes identity checks and profile reviews to weed out fake accounts and maintain a high-quality user base. While this may make the sign-up process longer, it provides a safer experience for those seeking a genuine connection.

In addition to user verification, eHarmony also places a significant emphasis on platform security, as discussed above.  

By employing advanced encryption technologies and following stringent data protection practices, eHarmony ensures the privacy and security of its users’ sensitive information. 

These proactive measures help to build trust and create an environment where people feel safe disclosing personal details.

Lastly, eHarmony invests in ongoing research and development, focused on enhancing user experience and maintaining a secure platform. 

This includes updating algorithms to better match potential partners and conducting regular system audits to prevent security breaches. The investment in research and development further justifies eHarmony’s pricing.

In summary, eHarmony’s higher costs are a reflection of its commitment to providing a trusted, secure, and comfortable experience for users seeking meaningful connections. 

By ensuring user trust and safety, eHarmony stands out among dating sites as a reliable choice for those in search of a long-term partner.

Date Success Rates

Happy couple
[image: Jonathan Borba / Unsplash]

One of the primary reasons behind eHarmony’s higher price is its proven success in helping you find the love of your life. 

(And as mentioned, my wife and I are quite happy to count ourselves among their many successes.)

eHarmony focuses on fostering long-term relationships and committed partnerships among its users, rather than providing a platform for casual dating experiences.

eHarmony’s unique matching system connects users with compatible matches, which increases the chances of forming a successful, lasting connection. The algorithm used by the platform takes into account different factors, such as:

  • Personal values
  • Interests
  • Communication styles

This thorough approach to matching results in a higher success rate for long-term relationships, as it emphasizes suitable partner compatibility. 

Users appreciate the quality of matches they receive through the platform and the effort that eHarmony puts into streamlining the overall dating experience.

Moreover, the cost of eHarmony encourages serious users to invest in the pursuit of a committed relationship. 

By having a higher pricing structure, eHarmony filters out those who might not be as committed to finding a long-term partner. 

People who aren’t serious and just want a fling are a lot less likely to provide credit card info or shell out a lot of money, so the cost of the platform helps ensure that the users you interact with share a common goal of forming a meaningful, lasting relationship.

For a lot of people (Michelle and I very much included), that alone is worth paying for. 

In conclusion, eHarmony’s expensive pricing can be attributed to its commitment to creating successful long-term relationships for its users. 

The emphasis on compatibility and filtering out casual daters contributes to higher success rates, making it a valuable platform for those seeking committed partnerships.

Competition Comparison


Tinder logo

Tinder is one of the most popular dating apps, known for its simplicity and its focus on casual dating. 

Its revenue primarily comes from advertisements and premium memberships. 

The basic version of Tinder is a free service, but users can upgrade to Tinder Plus or Tinder Gold for additional features, such as unlimited swipes and location change, for a monthly fee. 

Though Tinder appeals to a wide audience, and can certainly be fun, its focus on superficial swiping may not suit those looking for more serious relationships.


Match.com logo

As one of the pioneers in the industry, Match.com has been one of the most popular mainstream dating apps for a long time now.

Although their basic membership is free, premium members enjoy benefits such as message read receipts and profile view boosts. 

Match.com targets a more mature demographic looking for long-term relationships, sharing some similarities with eHarmony. 

But eHarmony’s personality-based matching may justify its higher price point. 

I actually put together an in-depth summary of the differences between eharmony and Match.com, which you can check out if you’re not sure which one to go with. 

Elite Singles

Elite Singles logo

Elite Singles is a dating platform designed for professionals seeking committed relationships. 

The website offers a detailed personality assessment and sends its users carefully curated matches. 

Although the subscription pricing for Elite Singles is comparable to eHarmony, one may argue that eHarmony’s larger user base could provide a larger selection of potential matches.


Bumble logo

Bumble is another popular dating app, distinguishing itself by giving women the power to initiate conversations with their matches. 

While basic usage is free, users can opt for Bumble Boost or Bumble Premium for additional features. 

Similar to Tinder, Bumble doesn’t thoroughly assess its users’ profiles, meaning that eHarmony’s thorough compatibility matching may justify its higher pricing for those seeking long-lasting connections.


Zoosk logo

Zoosk combines the gamification of dating apps like Tinder with a compatibility assessment. 

While it offers a free version, users can opt for premium subscriptions that provide additional features, such as message read receipts and profile boosts. 

Although Zoosk attempts to blend some features from both casual and serious dating platforms, eHarmony’s comprehensive compatibility measures may still cater more effectively to those seeking meaningful relationships.

eHarmony Benefits and Value

eHarmony’s higher price point is often attributed to the numerous benefits and the value that it offers to those seeking love, happiness, and wellbeing in a committed relationship. 

One of the most notable advantages is that eHarmony is designed to cater to individuals who are genuinely interested in serious relationships. 

This focus on commitment creates a community of like-minded individuals, increasing the likelihood of finding a compatible, long-term partner.

The platform’s algorithm is designed to connect users based on a comprehensive analysis of their personalities and preferences. 

This intricate matching process ensures a higher level of compatibility between partners, laying the foundation for a successful and fulfilling relationship.

Additionally, the time and effort required to complete eHarmony’s detailed questionnaires act as a barrier, filtering out those who might not be as serious about finding a meaningful, long-lasting relationship.

The higher cost of eHarmony can be justified by the value it provides in terms of compatibility, community, security, and support.

Moreover, eHarmony’s paid membership structure helps in maintaining a higher quality of user profiles. 

The investment involved discourages scammers and fake accounts, resulting in a more secure and trustworthy environment for users.

This increased security contributes to the overall wellbeing of eHarmony’s members as they navigate their journey towards finding love and happiness.

Finally, eHarmony’s customer support and expert advice offer valuable guidance and resources throughout the dating process. 

These insights can greatly enhance the members’ quality of life and foster personal growth, leading to more satisfying and long-lasting relationships.

When you add it all up, the higher cost of eHarmony can be justified by the value it provides in terms of compatibility, community, security, and support, ultimately helping its members find a life partner who shares their values and contributes to their overall happiness and wellbeing.

Potential Drawbacks

Kind of Pricey

Eharmony’s membership plans can be a significant investment for some users. 

Obviously, one of the main concerns for potential members may be the cost, as it tends to be more expensive than other dating sites. 

A 6-month subscription is certainly cheaper than signing up for a full year, but it could still place a strain on individuals with a limited budget.

No Refunds

Another potential drawback is the lack of a refund option if the service does not meet the user’s expectations.

So if you do opt for a 6-month membership and you don’t meet a potential candidate in that time, it’s unlikely that you’ll get much money back, if at all. 

Customer Service is Good, But Not Perfect

Additionally, some users have reported negative experiences with the customer service provided by eHarmony. 

These experiences may range from lack of responsiveness to difficulties in resolving issues. 

It’s pretty essential for online dating platforms to provide prompt and effective customer support, but this feedback suggests that eHarmony’s customer service may not always meet these expectations.

So… Is eHarmony worth it?

No dating site is perfect, but eHarmony’s strong track record, advanced algorithm and high priority on security justify the price for most people, and allow it to offer a unique experience that stands out from the other major dating apps that are popular in the United States. 

With that said, it’s definitely a good idea to do some research before signing up for a paid plan. 

If you’re hesitant about giving your credit or debit card information, it’s probably a good idea to start out with the free trial option, which allows new members to set up an eHarmony profile and get comfortable with the platform before they decide to invest real money (not to mention their free time) in using it to find a potential partner. 

But if you’ve used a lot of the free apps in the past and you’re looking for a dating site – and a mate – that’s a little more serious, it’s probably worth signing up for a basic or premium membership. 

Try eHarmony

More Resources ↓

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About Dave Bowden

Dave Bowden

Irreverent Gent founder Dave Bowden is a style blogger whose advice on how to look good and live well has been featured in some of the world’s most trusted publications, including New York Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Business Insider and more.

When not obsessing over style and self-improvement, he can usually be found spending time with his wonderful wife and sons, indulging in a hoppy craft beer, or sobbing over the woeful state of Toronto's sports teams.

Check out Dave's Style Story to find out how a chance encounter with his friend's step-dad taught him the value of looking good and living well. (Don't worry—it's less creepy than it sounds!)