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Online Dating: Top 5 Tips for Using eHarmony

Transforming your expectations of what eHarmony is and how it works could transform your outlook and your outcome from the service.


Transforming your expectations of what eHarmony is and how it works could transform your outlook and your outcome from the service. The couples in the commercials are real, there are 236 members a day on average getting married…but what did it take to get there?

eHarmony is, in my opinion, one of the ultimate ways to “get yourself out there.” My favorite metaphor of eHarmony likens the service to a party that you get invited to every day – a party where only people who are compatible with you get invited. Some days, you aren’t interested in getting to know any of the guests and would rather stand alone by the virtual punch bowl and leave early. Other days, you want to fill your dance card with the names of all your matches, and maybe get a number or two if things go well.

It takes some effort on your part to make it work. You make yourself open and presentable. It might take enduring a cycle of hope and disappointment. Perseverance, like the law of sowing and reaping, always gets rewarded.


You went into eHarmony really hoping to find your perfect counterpart. Instead, when you click on your My Matches page, you feel like you’ve entered a fun house! Maybe you’re getting repeatedly ignored and rejected. Maybe you think “I’m compatible with these people?!” Your matches seem to be reflecting a distorted image of yourself back at you. Instead of just looking for the right partner, you also start searching for an accurate reflection of yourself.

Actually, the mirrors your matches provide may not always be lying to you. What a great chance to take a good, honest look at yourself. If you can spot a pattern in your “failure to communicate,” (or how you feel about it) you then can figure out whether or not it’s something you can change about yourself. If it’s something you can change, such as a need for character growth or an alteration in your hygiene practices, you can start working on changing it. If it’s something unchangeable, like a physical trait or disability, you can focus on learning how to accept yourself and what you have to offer a partner as you are.


Compatibility can be scientifically measured through the Relationship Questionnaire. Chemistry, however, is more of an art than a science. It’s subjective.

Common perception dictates that good looks are essentially measureable by height, weight and body proportion. But what about all the exceptions? Hollywood has always been populated with heartthrobs under 5’8” and divas who wear size a 12 or larger. So-called “flaws” are often the trademarks of bombshells – moles are called “beauty marks,” for instance. Their appeal is always more about “a certain something” or a confident attitude.

No one really fits the elusive mold. If you are self-conscious about your “special features,” or feel you don’t measure up to some societal standard, it may very well be that your “off” traits are what make you art and not a cookie cutter.

Whether you are a Monet or a Picasso, embrace the art in you, and there is a match who will, too – and find you irresistible.


Embrace the art in yourself, and don’t forget to be open to the “art” in your matches. The best match for you probably won’t fill every itemized detail on your preconceived list of ideals. Most eHarmony couples that I’ve spoken with say they compromised in some area. Some took a chance and communicated without seeing a photo; some reluctantly widened their settings like distance, age or denomination to find the love of their life.

You don’t want to rule out the right one by being too restrictive. At the same time, you don’t want to break high standards that could break your heart (or someone else’s). The Must Haves and Can’t Stands are meant to be your absolute requirements. No compromising. If you really want to find long-term happiness, it is wise to take the time and energy to really think through the Must Haves and the Can’t Stands. Did you choose the right ones for you? How do you define them? What would they look like for you if you encountered them in a potential partner?

Your Must Haves and Can’t Stands will help you stick to your guns when that tempting match comes along who just doesn’t hold water.


It might not be easy right away to apply the Must Haves and Can’t Stands in order to discern “when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em.” Even if you’ve dated or had relationships before, being on eHarmony can still change you in many ways – how you perceive yourself, what you are looking for in a partner, how you approach your search.

In previous generations, there were customs, structures, and “givens” (assumptions) in place to help people find a life partner. There was less confusion.

We have the challenge and the benefit of living in a time and society where we’re not always sure of the rules. We don’t always know ourselves, let alone what we want in a partner or how to get to know a potential partner. It might take lots of experiences, trial and error. This means that we risk getting hurt and hurting others in the process.

Grant yourself and your matches the freedom to make mistakes and grow from them. Letting go more easily will make you feel lighter along the way.