We’ll take a wild guess: You’re reading this because you’re ready to take dating apps seriously, but the apps you’ve tried aren’t ready to reciprocate. These platforms you’ve dabbled with, for one reason or another, aren’t presenting you with the caliber of dating options you feel you deserve and you’ve become discouraged, exhausted, and (probably) straight up bored with the swiping process. 

Some sources claim that this is because dating apps aren’t cutting it anymore, and that friend-of-a-friend set-ups and the classic meet-cute are making a comeback. 

But we think the root cause of this dissatisfaction may be something else entirely: People just aren’t looking in the right places. The reality is that different dating apps serve different needs. You wouldn’t go to a carpenter to fix your car battery, right?

This makes it crucial for love-seekers to become as educated as possible on the cyber settings they’re venturing into so as not to waste precious time and money. And that’s exactly why we’re here.

In this article, we’ll be doing a deep dive into two of the most popular platforms for more serious daters: EliteSingles and eharmony. With the help of our honest review of the app’s features, demographics, pricing structures, and success stories, you’ll be empowered with the knowledge to make the best decision for yourself and your dating journey. Let’s get right to it. 

Expert Reviews: eharmony and EliteSingles Rank Highly

As far as dating apps go, both Elite Singles and eharmony have earned their fair share of accolades and top spots among the dating app greats. Both stand out among other, more mainstream platforms like Tinder, Bumble, and Grindr, for example, thanks to their central focus on more serious matchmaking.

But how do the two compare to one another? And what would make one of these apps a better choice than the other for a love-seeker? That’s what we’re here to flesh out. 

Overall, our findings show that EliteSingles comes out slightly ahead of eharmony, a result that is also reflected in their Apple Store reviews (4.1 stars vs. 4.0 stars respectively). Both are solid choices, however, and the most successful route for you may come down to demographics, budget, or specific dating needs. 

User Base: What Types of Singles Do These Sites Attract?

When you visit the EliteSingles website, your eyes immediately dart to the brand’s tagline “Date Smarter/Where exceptional singles meet,” hanging out smack dab in the center of the page.

These words do a fantastic job of letting potential clients know exactly the kind of people they’re trying to attract. EliteSingles caters to educated, high-quality professionals who place high value in a person’s intellect, ambition, and, perhaps, moderate to substantial financial success.

Category Rating
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • Over 2 million monthly users
  • Premium members receive 20 wildcard matches a day
  • Search features include age, height, education, ethnicity, and lifestyle habits

You can expect that a majority of the singles you’ll encounter on the EliteSingles site hold at least a college degree, with many of them holding advanced degrees such as master’s or doctorate degrees. 

To contrast that, eharmony, which was also created to be a digital safe haven for serious daters, is a little less particular. For example, the platform does not specifically cater to the on-the-go, highly-educated professional, making the average user demographic a little more broad in scope.

Category Rating
★★★★★ 4.7/5.0
  • Over 2 million people have found love here
  • Users can filter their match recommendations by age or city
  • Compatibility Quiz identifies common interests, lifestyles, and goals

eharmony’s dating pool also provides more options in general, thanks to its dating pool of over 21.5 million members (versus EliteSingles’ 12.5 million). If you’re down with the belief that dating success is a numbers game, then this impressive user database is something to keep in mind.

Analysis of the demographics of both platforms show that eharmony users skew younger than those of EliteSingles. eharmony, on one hand, shows that the most substantial portion of their users falls between the ages of 18 and 24 (30%), with the segment of users 35-44 coming in a close second (20%).

Data presented by its counterpart, however, show that the largest chunk of users are over 45. In fact, 23.69% are within the 45-54 age range, 23.31% within the 55-64 age range, and 13% within the 65 and up age range.

Now, does this mean that a single college student or young professional won’t have any luck on EliteSingles? Certainly not, as 23% of its users still fall under the 18-34 category. It’s simply something to keep in mind as you weigh your options.

Lastly, we would be remiss not to point out an important demographic difference that may make or break your dating app decision. And it all comes down to a seemingly basic part of the signup process: selecting your gender.

While eharmony now provides a non-binary option for singles creating profiles, EliteSingles is only available for those who identify as a Man or a Woman. That said, if you are a gender non-comforming person looking for love, the choice between EliteSingles and eharmony will be made a simple one.

Cost Breakdown: How Much Can I Expect to Pay?

Regardless of the appeal that each of these apps may have, it’s possible that your decision comes down to budget. While some singles may feel that spending money on a dating platform feels silly or frivolous, others may feel that finding their wifey, hubby, or person is worth the financial investment.

As with anything in the dating world, it all comes down to personal preference. That said, let’s get down to brass tacks. 

Both Elite Singles and eharmony offer a free basic membership. This is standard among most of the world’s mainstream dating apps, as it allows new users the chance to get a feel for how the app works before deciding whether they’d like to level up to a paid package. 

EliteSingles’ Basic Membership allows you to:

  • View the results of your personality test.
  • Receive partner suggestions. 
  • Send “smiles” and “likes.”
  • Upload photos to your profile.

If love-hungry EliteSingles users are pleased with the platform but want to take their search for romance that much further, they have the option to sign up for the Premium Membership. 

With EliteSingles’ Premium Membership, you can:

  • Send unlimited messages to partners (matches).
  • Have your profile suggested to potential partners more frequently.
  • View your complete personality test results.
  • Use the “read receipts” option within conversations.
  • View all photos of members while swiping. 
  • See all members who have visited your profile.
  • Drop comments on member profiles/photos.
  • Select up to 20 “Have you met?” matches daily.

And if you’re hesitant about leveling up? No worries — EliteSingles gives you a couple of different payment options. 

If you’d only like to try the Premium Membership for a month to see how you fare, you can opt for Premium Light ($44.95 for one month). If you think you’ll need a little bit longer than one month to reap the benefits of these added features, you can shoot for the Premium Classic ($22.95 per month for three months). Or, if you’re feeling confident in this investment and want to go all-in, you can lock into Premium Comfort ($16.95 per month for 6 months).

membership options

eharmony offers a similar Basic Membership, but it’s a bit more limited compared to EliteSingles.

eharmony’s Basic Membership allows you to:

  • Complete a Compatibility Questionnaire.
  • Read basic profile information of matches (name, age, occupation).
  • View a blurry image of your match.
  • Send “Smiles.” 
  • Participate in an image-based ice-breaker.
  • Respond to and/or send a first message (but will need to pay after this).
  • Browse profiles anonymously. 
  • View who has recently viewed your profile. 

For users hoping to unlock more of the app’s features, a paid Premium Membership is the next best move. eharmony offers a paid membership system with three different options:

  • Premium Light — $65.90 per month for six months.
  • Premium Plus — $45.90 per month for 12 months (*their most purchased plan).
  • Premium Extra — $35.90 per month for 24 months.

Notably, eharmony’s pricing plans are more expensive and require a longer commitment. That said, we recommend that only serious love-seekers venture down this path (and, of course, properly weigh the pros and cons of a variety of options).  

Making a Match: How Do They Determine Compatibility?

Anyone who’s familiar with the digital dating space will tell you that more matches doesn’t necessarily mean more chances to find your person. Why? Because quality trumps quantity every time, and the processes that apps use to create matches will ultimately be more influential on your success. That said, taking a closer look at how EliteSingles and eharmony determine compatibility could be a pivotal part of your decision-making process. 

If you’ve ever dabbled in Psychology 101, you may be ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding the compatibility mechanisms of EliteSingles. Aiming to take matchmaking to a deeper, more scientific level, app founders David Khalil and Lukas Brosseder decided to use the personality profiles outlined in the “Big Five Model of Personality” to create a test required by all EliteSingles users.

This test was developed to measure what many psychologists consider to be the five most significant indicators of personality: extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism. By integrating these concepts into an in-depth questionnaire that users will complete during the sign-up process, the algorithm gathers crucial pieces to the compatibility puzzle.

A couple examples of statements users are asked to rate (on a scale from “Accurate” to “Inaccurate”) are:

  • “My moods change easily.”
  • “I am skilled in handling social situations.”
  • “I believe in the importance of art.”
  • “I take care of others before I take care of myself.”

With the help of an intelligent matchmaking algorithm, the results of the personality test are used to present EliteSingles members with three to five “partner proposals” daily. For those of you who are burnt out and overwhelmed with the seemingly endless swiping of more casual apps like Tinder, Bumble, or Zoosk, this could be a breath of fresh air for you.

personality tests on elitesingles and eharmony
Both apps use personality tests to make matches.

eharmony, on the other hand, also stands out among the rest in its approach to compatibility. Claiming to be one of the first dating platforms to do so, this decades-old app developed its own unique personality test to create matches for its users. Although it has not been formally validated by the scientific community, eharmony founders claim that they enlisted the help of leading psychologists in the conception of the test. 

The test is designed to extract information regarding dating goals, likes, dislikes, communication style, and personal passions to calculate a mutual compatibility score that ranges from 60 to 140. This score, of course, will change depending on the user you’re being matched with. 

Two examples of items from this 80-item questionnaire are:

“Why do you think you’re single?”

  1. I have very high expectations of the person I might spend the rest of my life with.
  2. I wasn’t ready before now.
  3. I’m too shy to meet people.
  4. I haven’t had the time to date.
  5. I just don’t socialize much.

“Let’s say you and your partner have been invited to a friend’s wedding. As you get ready for the party, which thoughts are you most likely to be thinking?”

  1. Are we going to look good together?
  2. Have we brought the right gift?
  3. Will there be too many people I don’t know?
  4. I notice that I really don’t like dressing up. 

Whether the questions are directly about relationships or more subtle, they’ve been curated to help the algorithm best connect you with someone who matches your relationship style and needs.

Success Stories: What Do Real Users Say?

As with most things we invest in in the modern age, we want reassurance that it actually works. This means reviews, ratings, receipts, the whole shabang. So what are people saying about EliteSingles and eharmony? Let’s go straight to the source.


Users on EliteSingles have given the app a rating of 4.1 out of 5 on the Apple Store and a 2.1 out of 5 on Google Play. This notable difference could point to issues with glitching in Android phones versus iPhones, but it’s impossible to definitively pinpoint. 

elitesingle success stories

Some EliteSingles client reviews express frustration with the basic free membership, citing that it is difficult to discover much about potential matches without needing to upgrade to a paid subscription. However, there have proven to be many happy endings using this platform, so it may be the case that the financial commitment is worth it. For example, there is the story of John and Cindy.

John, who matched with Cindy on EliteSingles and felt immediate chemistry, says that genuine connection and friendship compatibility is at the foundation of every successful long-term relationship. He boasts that Cindy is “a perfect mirror and a fantastic friend. Communication was clear up front.” Even though John and Cindy are doing long-distance, they’re still going strong! 


With over two decades-worth of experience under their belt, it’s easy to see how eharmony has developed a community of over 21 million members and an algorithm that, according to the platform, helps singles find love “every fourteen minutes.” 

Compared to EliteSingles, the app reflects similar customer satisfaction by smartphone users, with a 4.0 rating on the Apple Store and a 3.1 on Google Play. The most frequent complaints from customers involve the limited access to profiles once a match is created (you are only shown a blurry photo) and the relatively higher-end subscription pricing. 

eharmony success stories

However, a former eharmony client has a piece of advice for those concerned about the lack of photo accessibility: “One week after being on the app, a man with no picture but a wonderful profile and match score reached out to me. He sent me photos and encouraged me to Google his full name. I’m telling you, don’t overlook those pictureless profiles. There are some hidden gems just concerned for their privacy. We clicked like no man I’ve ever connected with before!”.

This same user claimed that the magic of eharmony didn’t stop there: “I’m definitely convinced eharmony’s algorithm works! I have several happily married friends who met through eharmony, so I’m very glad I listened to them and paid the extra investment to meet someone of character and quality that checks all the boxes of who I’ve been searching for.”

If you’re curious about other online dating success stories, you can read up on them here.

Final Verdict: EliteSingles Edges eharmony

When it comes to the battle of the E’s, we’ve got a pretty tough call to make. But based on the user information and reviews we’ve gathered, the top dating app choice for serious daters has got to be (drum roll, please) EliteSingles.

With its empirically-based personality test, intelligent matchmaking system, and comparable pricing options, this dating space designed for dedicated professionals comes out on top — but just slightly. eharmony still touts a significantly more robust user base and, not to mention, accessibility for gender non-comforming singles.

app store rating

It’s important to be reminded, however, that there are different strokes for different folks when it comes to the art of love. What may be a dealbreaker for you may not be a dealbreaker for somebody else, and visa versa. That said, success in the exciting yet often murky waters of internet dating will depend on many factors — all of which will vary based on the user at hand. 

Start by defining your dating goals, becoming as informed as possible on which apps are designed to best meet your needs, and go from there. Be prepared to invest time and money in the process — as you would with any other goal in life — and try not to get discouraged along the way. After you’ve marked all of these steps off of the list, just know: The rest is up to the dating gods. Good luck!

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