eHarmony vs Chemistry – Everything You Need To Know

By: Michele Baird
Updated: July 22, 2021
Chemistry versus eHarmony header

In this article, I will be comparing two of the most popular dating sites that millions of singles flock to every day, eHarmony.com and Chemistry.com. 

These are two of the most widely-used dating websites worldwide. Millions of people from all walks of life find love and relationships on both of these websites; eHarmony.com has been online since 2000, while Chemistry.com went online in 2006. 

I have made a living writing about different dating websites and have delved into almost all of them. I’m going to make a head-to-head comparison of eHarmony.com and Chemistry.com and tell you which one is the better dating website, so you can get online and meet that special someone today. 

In this review, I’m going to compare eHarmony and Chemistry in all kinds of different ways. I will discuss and compare:

  • How the sites look
  • How the communication process works
  • Subscription packages and pricing
  • Other features on both sites

eHarmony vs. Chemistry at a Glance

For a detailed head-to-head comparison like this, I find it’s helpful to spend the first part of the article doing a broad overview of the two sites I’m comparing. 

What’s the Difference Between eHarmony and Chemistry?

Both eHarmony and Chemistry target a similar brand of singles - middle-class professionals looking for a committed relationship or even marriage and are willing to pay higher subscription fees.

They also place a lot of emphasis on deep compatibility. For example, each site requires its members to take detailed personality tests that break down their interests, dating history, philosophical views, and ideal partner. 

eHarmony and Chemistry each also require singles to pass through multiple stages of communication before they’re allowed to talk freely.

With Fine-Tuned Matching, eHarmony is the Better Site

While I’m reluctant to refer to either site as the “winner” in this review, I’m going to come right out and say that I think eHarmony is just simply better. eHarmony has been in the online dating space for over two decades, and they’ve got the matching part of the equation down to a science. 

Surveys consistently rank eHarmony as the website with the most successful matches. eHarmony was also the first major dating site to require identity verification for its subscribers. eHarmony makes online dating more accessible because you’re more likely to meet a good match. 

These Are Both Great Sites, With a Few Differences 

There are a couple of significant areas where eHarmony.com and Chemistry.com diverge.

The fundamental difference between these sites comes down to the nature of the subscription itself. Both sites allow you to browse members for free but require you to pay for other features. 

eHarmony has a more straightforward, more intuitive user interface. eHarmony’s user interface is much more minimalist, while Chemistry.com’s is a little busier with more widgets and other on-screen features.

Keep reading because, in the next section, I’m going to dive deeper into both these sites and compare the unique features available.    

eHarmony.com and Chemistry.com Compared 

This is a theme I’ll keep returning to, but when it comes to features, eHarmony.com and Chemistry.com share many of the same features, with a few significant differences. 

1. Site Navigation & User Interface 

There’s no denying that eHarmony.com and Chemistry.com are both beautiful websites. Both sites are responsive and dynamic, but in this category, eHarmony is the winner because of their clean lines, uncrowded screens, and their intuitive structure. 

It’s funny because, in some ways, I think eHarmony chose this design because it wanted to calm anxiety in its subscribers. Chemistry.com also looks excellent, even if you can tell that they’ve tried to position themselves as a “colorful and casual” player in online dating. 

For the most part, Chemistry.com’s website looks great, and I can see the appeal for users who don’t like eHarmony’s minimalist design. But there’s no denying that sometimes, the Chemistry.com website can be a little crowded, and at times difficult to navigate. 

Chemistry.com crowds its website with widgets and extra features like the “chemistry starter” games that users can play with potential matches. This became a problem for me when I tried to use Chemistry.com on my smartphone.  

2. Interacting With Potential Matches

For this section of the in-depth feature comparison, I’m going to spend some time discussing what the matching process on each site looks like.

eHarmony.com

With eHarmony, users will find themselves in a “walled garden” of sorts where they can only communicate with potential matches. While you’ll receive possible matches by e-mail every week, eHarmony doesn’t offer a way to log in and start browsing a vast pool of matches. 

Instead, when you see a potential match you’d like to communicate with, you can initiate contact or vice versa. After you’ve started communicating with a match, you’ll go through a four-step process that leads to the option to chat openly. 

During the matching process, either you or the match can end contact for any reason if you don’t think it’s a good match.

Chemistry.com  

When it comes to interacting with potential matches, Chemistry.com takes a more flexible approach. While Chemistry.com sends you matches based on how you answered the questions on the personality test during the sign-up process, in general, it’s a lot more casual. 

There’s a “flirt” feature, as well as an instant messaging feature that’s open to everyone, including free users. There’s also a chatroom, and subscribers can sign up to receive alerts whenever a potential match flirts with them or expresses interest.

Chemistry.com Makes It Easier To Communicate With Matches

With Chemistry.com, I should also point out that it doesn’t take so long to communicate with a potential match. Once the website matches you with another user, you can start interacting with that user right away.  

Users have the option of setting up four questions matches are required to answer before communication is allowed.

Significantly, Chemistry.com gives you the option to expand your profile and make it visible to the entire site, not just your potential matches.  

When it comes to declaring a winner on communication with potential matches, I would say that Chemistry.com makes it a lot easier, even if some people prefer eHarmony’s method. 

3. Size of Subscriber Base

This is another feature I look for because the more subscribers a dating website has, the greater your chance of landing on high-quality matches. When you compare eHarmony.com and Chemistry.com by the size of their respective subscriber bases, eHarmony wins hands down. 

In 2021, eHarmony claims over 29 million subscribers, with 16 million actives every week. Chemistry.com claims roughly 13 million subscribers for the same year. So as you can see, eHarmony.com has over twice as many subscribers as Chemistry.com. 

eHarmony also offers specialized matching and communication features for singles who are over 50 and want to see what eHarmony offers when finding love at a different stage in life. 

Globally, eHarmony claims members across the globe in over 200 countries, with matches routinely finding love even though they’re in different parts of the world. Chemistry.com does have some overseas users, but the majority of its subscribers are in the U.S.  

These Sites Attract Similar Subscribers, With A Few Big Differences

In my experience, both sites tend to go after thirty and forty-somethings with a bit of extra cash, as well as the time to go through rigorous screening processes and complete detailed psychological assessments. The users on these sites are looking for serious relationships. 

While both sites cater to thirty and forty-somethings, eHarmony also attracts a small number of users in their mid-to-late twenties, which is something I typically don’t see on Chemistry.com. 

eHarmony goes out of its way to cater to 50-plus singles, while Chemistry.com does not.

4. Subscription Packages & Pricing

When it comes to subscription price and how eHarmony.com and Chemistry.com structure their subscription packages, both websites are very similar because they are both expensive, and both offer some features for free while you have to pay for others. 

Both eHarmony.com and Chemistry.com offer a free trial to new subscribers, and both dating websites run frequent promotions and other discounts to both current subscribers and former members. 

Pricing Structure

In October 2021, eHarmony listed three different subscription packages available to members: 

  • A Premium Light Membership for six months at $55.90 per month
  • A Premium Plus Membership for 12 months at $35.90 per month
  • A Premium Extra Membership for 24 months at $25.90 per month

You can learn more about eHarmony memberships and pricing structure on this page.

For the same year, Chemistry.com listed a similar number of subscription packages:

  • A 1-month subscription package at $34.99 per month
  • A 3-month subscription package at $21.66 per month
  • A 6-month subscription package at $12.49 per month

Chemistry.com Beats eHarmony On Price, With Tradeoffs

As you can see, Chemistry.com is significantly cheaper than eHarmony.com, but the tradeoff is that you get far fewer subscribers, and what’s worse, the majority of singles on Chemistry.com are in the U.S. 

If you’re looking for love online and you want to cast a wider net and maybe start looking for potential matches overseas, Chemistry.com doesn’t give you very many options. 

5. Profile Setup

Both sites require users to complete detailed personality tests and psychological assessments. 

Psychologist Dr. Neil Clark Warren developed eHarmony’s famous matching system. 

Dr. Helen Fisher, an anthropologist, developed Chemistry.com’s matching system. So both sites use matching systems developed with the aid of scientific research.  

When it comes to comparing eHarmony.com and Chemistry.com by profile setup, it’s a tie. The fact is that signing up for either dating site not only costs a significant amount of money but setting up your profile takes time, with most users finishing their profiles over a period of days.

So the moral of this story is that while it might be time-consuming if you sign up for either one of these dating sites, be prepared to put in the time and complete the process to make sure you’re paired off with the best matches once you’ve finished the sign-up process.

6. Profile Information

In many of my reviews of dating sites, I run into men and women who want to date online but are concerned about their privacy and security. In this section, I will discuss what information each site makes visible in its member profiles. 

eHarmony

In your eHarmony profile, you’ll find all the information you included in your profile under the “About Me” tab. This is also where you’ll find your preferences for potential matches and the level of compatibility potential matches need to have before you’re open to chatting. 

The compatibility tab is where things get interesting because members rank on various metrics, including intellect, altruism, affection, conscientiousness, and physical intimacy.

There’s also an area for photos and other demographic information. 

Chemistry.com

If you set up a profile on Chemistry.com, you’ll see that you have the option of making your profile very detailed if you want to. But unlike eHarmony, which requires users to provide a great deal of information before they’re allowed to use the site, Chemistry.com is more casual. 

The result of all this is that if you’re on Chemistry.com, you’ll see quite a few profiles where a lot of the information has been left blank. 

7. Security & Privacy

In the world of online dating, it’s essential to take steps to protect your safety and your personal information. In this section of my comparison of eHarmony.com and Chemistry.com, I will look at the measures each website takes to keep its users safe and secure. 

eHarmony.com

As I said earlier, eHarmony was the first primary dating website to require identity verification to use the site. 

More recently, eHarmony has also started rejecting prospective users who exhibit certain behaviors during the sign-up process or provide false information.

While eHarmony doesn’t do background checks or any other screening, a visit to their website reveals frequent tips on safety. eHarmony also uses data encryption, firewalls, and password hashing to keep its site secure. 

Chemistry.com

While Chemistry.com does protect its website with the encryption provider Verisign, there’s very little in the way of security on the actual website. Chemistry.com’s website does contain all the usual boilerplate verbiage about safe online dating practices, but that’s about it. 

When it Comes to User Security, eHarmony Comes Out on Top 

While there have been increasing reports from eHarmony users whose accounts were shut down or suspended for suspicious behavior, on the other side of the coin, it appears that eHarmony takes its users’ safety more seriously than Chemistry.com. 

8. Special Features Available

While each of these sites interacts with subscribers differently, they both offer a wide array of unique special features to make the matching process fun, less stressful, and more accurate. Both of these sites also offer a wide variety of security and verification features.

eHarmony.com Special Features 

It’s no surprise that despite its limited communication methods, eHarmony has quite a few unique features, even though most of these special features are less about fun and more about safety. 

eHarmony users can flirt using the “Send a Smile” feature. There’s also a secure phone call feature built into the website that allows matches to talk on the phone anonymously.

eHarmony users can “favorite” matches and sign up for a “What If?” feature where they can chat with matches who don’t quite fit their profile.

Chemistry.com Special Features

Besides having a typical array of unique features, such as the ability to flirt with other users or favorite other users, Chemistry.com also features a chatroom and the ability to message other users for free. 

Chemistry.com users can also search users using various traits, such as location, height, ethnicity, and zodiac sign. Users can also favorite other users. There’s also a video date feature for users who are sheltering in place.     

Chemistry.com vs eHarmony : The Winner?

So it’s probably no surprise to any of you that in my head-to-head comparison between eHarmony.com and Chemistry.com, eHarmony is the clear winner. 

Which Dating Site is The Best Overall?

eHarmony is the better dating site because of its intuitive design, enhanced privacy features, and superior quality of matches, not to mention its vast pool of subscribers. 

Go With eHarmony if You Have the Time and Money

eHarmony is better-suited for men and women who have the money to invest in an expensive subscription and the time to go through a rigorous matching process. eHarmony takes work, but you can meet some truly great matches if you put in the time.

Go With Chemistry.com if You Want a More Casual Experience

Over the past couple of years, Chemistry.com has started positioning itself as a friendlier alternative to eHarmony, especially since eHarmony began rejecting certain users. 

If you’re still looking for a serious relationship, but you want a little more flexibility, go with Chemistry.com. Chemistry.com is also the better option for people who don’t want to pay a fortune for a subscription and don’t want to go through a rigorous sign-up process. 

Find Someone You’re Compatible With Now

If you’re ready to get out there and see who you’re compatible with, give eHarmony a try; when you date with eHarmony, you’ll have a safe and fun experience. 

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