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I’m a hyper competitive person. I just don’t see the point of doing something if I’m not the best at it. I’ll turn anything into a competition — I’ve even been known to race my family at finishing a jigsaw puzzle. A good competition is just plain fun for me.
That’s why I’m so pumped to stack up two major players in the online dating industry and have one come out on top. In the matchup between eharmony and OkCupid, there can only be one ultimate winner. Our dating experts have broken down everything you need to know about these two dating platforms, comparing them by reviews, cost, user base, features, and successes.
By the end of the article, one of these dating sites will be the winner, and the other will get a participation trophy. Let’s get to it!
It should be no surprise to hear that eharmony and OkCupid have some pretty stellar reviews out there. I mean, they’ve been around forever, so they’ve got to be good at what they do, right? We’ve compiled the most trusted reviews out there to sum up everything you need to know about what eharmony and OkCupid are doing so well. Which dating site is more beloved by users and reviewers? Guess you’ll have to read on to find out.
In terms of dating sites, eharmony is one of the old-timers. It’s been around for about 20 years. Dr. Neil Clark Warren, a clinical psychologist, created the company that would eventually become eharmony in 1995, and the actual site launched in August 2000. Why did it take so long? Because they were perfecting an intelligent algorithm-based matching system that used psychological principles to inspire lasting connections.
As a serious dating site, eharmony is on a mission to facilitate marriages, not just dates, and that’s what it has been doing for the last two decades. Overall, we give eharmony 4.5 out of 5.0 stars.
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From its time-tested matching system to its global user base, eharmony has set itself apart from its competition by putting quality first and never compromising on its mission to introduce singles who are deeply compatible with one another.
OkCupid was founded by four self-described math nerds in 2004. They wanted to quantify human relationships, so they built a platform that asked a range of personal, funny, and unusual questions, including “In a certain light, wouldn’t nuclear war be exciting?” Over the years, OkCupid has used people’s answers to the questions and behavior on the site to get online romance down to a science, right down to the best words to use in a first message.
Our dating experts have rated OkCupid a solid 4.4/5.0 due to its affordable, astute, and effective interface. Since it launched in 2004, OkCupid has facilitated millions of conversations and collected a boggling amount of data on the patterns of romance. It’s currently responsible for 91 million love connections per year.
OkCupid users are a little less enthused than we are by the dating site/app. It has an average rating of 4.3 on iTunes and 4.1 on Google Play, but, as T-Swift says, “haters gonna hate.” It seems the most common issue among one-star reviewers is the lack of quality in the responses they receive. Few reviews took issue with OkCupid’s features or interface, so we’re willing to give them a pass on that.
We have to give this one to eharmony. It was close, though, as you can see by our ratings. While OkCupid is user-friendly and fun, eharmony has the dependability that only comes from years of steady work and detail-oriented focus. Both dating sites can get users on the way to romance, but eharmony has an overall better reputation among singles looking for the real deal.
Let’s talk dollars and cents. After all, the dating site or app’s cost is one of the most important factors in determining if it’s worth your time. How do eharmony and OkCupid stack up in terms of pricing packages and paid features? It’s a pretty tight match.
It doesn’t cost anything to sign up to eharmony, take its world-renowned questionnaire, and browse the site for matches. Joining this longstanding online dating network is 100% free. But there is a catch.
You can view your matches, favorite profiles you like, or send a smile to someone, but writing a message to another eharmony member will cost a monthly fee. Unless it’s a Free Communication Weekend, eharmony members must upgrade to a standard or premium plan to send messages on the site.
Other premium features include viewing photos, seeing who’s favorited you, seeing profile views, and browsing in incognito mode. Rates for paid memberships vary depending on how long you’re willing to commit to the site. The longer you decide to stay on, the lower your monthly fee will be, so the 12-month plan (priced at $17.95/mo for standard and $28.95/mo for premium) is the best deal in the long run.
OkCupid has made a solemn pledge to be forever free. Since it launched, the dating site has offered singles the chance to create a profile, send messages, and arrange dates, all without paying a cent. The company does have to make money somehow, of course, so it makes A-List features available (i.e. seeing who’s liked you and viewed your profile) for a monthly fee. Premium A-List members pay a little more to be seen by more attractive matches on the site.
I joined OkCupid when I was in grad school because I was poor and felt I had nothing to lose (except my privacy and sanity) by signing up. It doesn’t cost anything, so there’s no harm in creating a profile and seeing what date prospects are out there. If you don’t like it, you can always delete your OkC profile and consider upping your investment in a premium dating site or app.
You can’t beat free. OkCupid wins this round hands down. To be honest, this was a bit of a freebie. OkCupid is one of the rare dating platforms that refuses to charge its users to communicate, and that makes it a go-to choice for budget-conscious daters.
Of course, eharmony can make an argument that its in-depth matching system is worth the price, but we’ll come to that in later sections.
Our next match-up is on the user base maintained by these two online dating giants. Millions of singles around the world trust eharmony and OkCupid with their love lives. Both networks have some pretty impressive stats to their name, so this is going to be a nail-biter.
Since its launch, over 33 million men and women have signed up to eharmony in hopes of meeting their match. The dating site used to be for straight singles only, but now it’s open to gay and lesbian singles as well. The company even launched a sister site called Compatible Partners that uses the same match technology to facilitate same-sex relationships.
According to its internal statistics, eharmony has members in every state in the U.S. as well as in 195 countries around the world. As its reputation grows on a global scale, it will surely expand its reach and help millions more individuals find love.
OkCupid is open to people of all shapes and sizes. It doesn’t matter if you’re straight, gay, lesbian, bi, queer, asexual, or anywhere else on the spectrum — this dating site has 13 orientation options and 22 gender options available for users to choose from. This dating platform supports a diverse user base and sees approximately 55 million monthly visitors who identify every which way.
Other impressive stats: OkCupid members exchange over 7.3 messages a day on the site and app. Speaking of the app, it’s downloaded by over 1 million new members every week, and it facilitates 50,000 dates per week as well. If you’re looking for sheer volume, OkCupid has you covered.
More people isn’t always a recipe for dating success. While OkCupid is more inclusive and widespread, eharmony is more targeted, and that means commitment-minded straight singles will likely have better results on eharmony than on OkCupid. Over the years, eharmony has cultivated a reputation based on the quality of its members and the efficiency of its match system.
However, if you don’t know what you’re looking for and just want to meet a whole bunch of different people, OkCupid is going to hook you up.
Online dating is basically matchmaking with a computer/smartphone, so it’s important to look at how these modern matchmakers pair up members and facilitate connections. While eharmony and OkCupid are pretty similar in this regard, there is one glaring difference that sets them apart.
If you know anything about eharmony, you know its claim to fame is its proprietary match algorithm, which uses psychological tenets to identify users who have compatibility. The system relies on an 80-question Compatibility Quiz (it used to be 450 questions) that asks singles to assess their values, temperament, lifestyle, family goals, and other important factors. It takes about 15-20 minutes to complete.
Users can choose to take the Compatibility Quiz once they’ve set up a profile on eharmony. They’ll answer questions like “how would your friends describe you?” and “How do you react when something upsets you?”
After you’ve answered these questions honestly, the site recommends Matches and rates the percentage of compatibility between two profiles in terms of emotional intimacy, motivations, communication styles, agreeableness, intellect, and other important personal attributes. This makes it easy to see your similarities and differences with a potential love interest.
The only downside is that the questionnaire requires a certain amount of honesty and self-awareness. Someone who wants to appear smarter, calmer, or more adventurous than they truly are, for instance, can throw the match percentage out of whack.
Much like eharmony, OkCupid relies on a lengthy questionnaire to help it determine which users are compatible with one another. The difference is that OkCupid only requires users to answer about 10 questions, and the rest are optional. Some users stick with the basics and move on to swiping and chatting, while others spend hours filling in answers to question after question. I’ve seen users with thousands of questions answered on their profiles. That’s great for the match algorithm because more information only improves OkCupid’s matching methods.
But it’s also sometimes a little bizarre what determines compatibility. Not sure if “do you like the taste of beer” really is a big dealbreaker IRL, but OkCupid has found liking the taste of beer correlates with being more likely to sleep with someone on a first date in its questionnaire. Um, okay, Cupid.
You can browse through these questions yourself or view a personality summary that assesses how the person differs from the norm. Every profile you view in the search results or DoubleTake will have a compatibility percentage that’s calculated using these questions as well as other profile stats.
We like OkCupid because it puts singles in the driver’s seat. Yes, it calculates compatibility and recommends matches, but it also has extensive search tools so you can skip the questions, dive in, and find someone on your own. On eharmony, you don’t have the freedom to search by keyword, interests, or even compatibility. The dating site decides where to direct your attention, and all you can do is set match preferences for age, location, religion, and other basic information.
OkCupid has the matches, but it pairs its recommendations with customizable search filters that are guaranteed to help the savvy dater find the type of person they’re on the hunt for.
Last but not least, you have to look at a dating platform’s success rate if you’re going to judge its effectiveness. For obvious reasons. Both eharmony and OkCupid have been around for years and years, so they’ve collected a fair number of glowing testimonials from couples who fell in love thanks to these online dating staples.
eharmony is bursting with success stories from couples who lived around the corner or around the world from each other but managed to find love thanks to the dating site.
“Our success story is a testament to eharmony’s formula for compatibility and love.” — Jarod and Jody, a married couple who met on eharmony
Not only does it have stories — it has the stats to back up its matching tools. A 2008 study found that eharmony is responsible for facilitating about 4.77% of all marriages from coast to coast in the U.S. And a follow-up study found that couples who met on the dating site were 66.6% less likely to get divorced. These encouraging stats speak to the high-quality relationships produced by eharmony’s proven system, and that’s why we’ve given it our seal of approval for relationship seekers.
I don’t even know how to begin counting how many conversations OkCupid has facilitated over the years. One Reddit user reported starting over 200 message threads in 500 days on OkCupid. So, multiply that by 50 million, and you’ll get an idea of just how many sheer words have been exchanged on OkCupid in less than two years.
Of course, you’re not on a dating site to send hundreds of messages to total strangers. You’re there to go on dates with total strangers. And OkCupid has seen quite a bit of that as well.
“You can find real, lasting love here — just be honest. Just be you.” — Tobin and Jennifer, a couple who met on OkCupid
You can read through its success stories online. The site organizes them by mutual matches, long-distance relationships, second chances, almost gave up, blinded by science, weddings, and OkBabies.
“We instantly knew we wanted to spend the rest of our days together (as cliché as that sounds),” said Jessica, who met the love of her life on OkCupid in November 2011. “Seven months later, we are as happy as can be. We have our own little home and are trying for our first child. I’m so glad OkCupid allowed me to find my best friend!”
While both sites have quite a few tear-jerking testimonials, eharmony has hard data to convince our experts that it works. This dating site isn’t just a short-term I-need-something-to-do-on-Saturday platform — it’s a long-term solution to your love problems.
The eharmony team has used psychology to strengthen relationships and inspire deep connections, and that’s a pretty amazing accomplishment.
OkCupid put up a good fight with its free features and diverse user base, but, ultimately, we prefer eharmony’s transparent psychology-based matching system to OkCupid’s endless rabbit hole of questions. eharmony wins this competition. When you log into eharmony, you know exactly what you’re signing up for, and the interface walks you through the next steps, so you never feel lost or overwhelmed.
You can clearly see how your answers to particular match questions translate to your compatibility ratings on eharmony, and these ratings inspire confidence in the site’s date recommendations. Even though eharmony isn’t free, its user-friendly tools and expert knowledge base make joining worth your while. Plus, you can send Icebreakers and Smiles to gauge another person’s interest and see if it’s worth upgrading to get into a conversation.
“eharmony took the stress out of dating,” said Lori, who met Bruce on the dating site and got married a year later. “My personality profile was spot on. eharmony created a perfect match when they put Bruce and I together.”