Relationship Advice

Are you a Disappointing Match?


Every eHarmony match has the potential to be someone truly special, but sometimes they can just be truly disappointing. Maybe you’ve received a Disappointing Match, and you know how frustrating that can be. But can you be sure you’re not a Disappointing Match too? We’ve put together a guide to the 4 main behaviours of a Disappointing Match (DM). It doesn’t take much to become an amazing match, and it really will help you get the best from your time with us.

1. The DM’s profile is empty, or very sparse
It’s great when you discover you have a new match, but if their About Me page is completely lacking in detail, then that feeling of excitement is quickly dashed. A bad About Me page can take many forms, here are some of the worst types:
•    Completely bare
•    Full of generic responses
•    One word answers in each box

We know that filling out your profile can be a pretty daunting prospect.  All those boxes, all requiring you to talk about yourself; we Brits are really not very good at putting modesty aside. If you know this is you, and you want to avoid becoming a DM, check out these articles for some great tips:

- How to make your eHarmony profile stand out

- What NOT to say in your About Me profile

- Alternatively, submit your profile for feedback from our community

2. The DM has no photos, or identical photos
We’ve talked about this on eHarmony Advice many times, but still there are many users who don’t upload a photo. Yes, even active paying users. The fact is – and we’re sorry if you’ve heard this before – users with photos receive NINE TIMES more communication than users without photos.

Our Matching System is based on what really matters deep down, and in an ideal world we’d say ‘trust the system, looks don’t matter’.  After all, we’ve shown that compatible couples have longer, happier relationships. But we know that in the real world everyone wants to see what their matches look like, that chemistry is important, and that’s why we give you a gallery of 12 photos to play with.

Posting five almost identical photos is almost as annoying as not posting a photo at all. Your matches go to your gallery to discover more about you and your interests. Posting a gallery of samey photos says one of the following:

•    ‘I only have one photo of myself’
•    ‘I only have one photo of myself that I like’
•    ‘I only have one pose I do in photos’
•    ‘I couldn’t be bothered to find more photos’

- Not sure what kind of photos to post? Check out our article on ‘The five profile photos you NEED

3. The DM only communicates with a few of their matches
Every match you receive is a compatible match. This means they have been selected by our Compatible Matching System to match you on key dimensions of compatibility; or in other words, you will have the basis for a happy, long-lasting relationship already in place.

As much as we hope they would, not every match will put up a whole gallery of photos, or fill out every aspect of their profile. And even if they do, there’s only one way to truly get to know someone – by communicating with them. The DM doesn’t think this. The DM thinks they should judge someone on their photo alone, even if they’d be horrified if someone did the same to them. Our Guided Communication system makes it easy to make that initial contact, but it’s just as simple to send a match a quick note using eHarmony Mail. Don’t be a DM, communicate with as many of your matches as possible!

We’re not saying get in touch with every match without even looking at their profile, but just remember that the person you fall in love with might not match the image you have in your head. If something in their profile piques your interest, go for it, and remember that our Compatibility Matching System has worked for hundreds of thousands of other couples across the world, so give it a chance to help you find someone special.

One final note: if you receive communication but aren’t interested in the match, go to the trouble of closing the match.  It only takes a few seconds and saves the other person a lot of wondering.

- Not sure where to start when communicating? We can help with our article,  ‘Making the first move, our top tips’

4. The DM can’t wait
We prompt every new member to upload photos and complete their About Me profile as soon as possible after joining. But sometimes life gets in the way, and that doesn’t happen. Some new members need time to find the right photos or run their profile past a trusted friend.

The DM doesn’t appreciate this. They close out any match that doesn’t have a photo instantly, without giving that match even a few days to finish their profile. The DM might also close a match without giving them any time to reply to a communication, but the fact is that life often gets in the way of things. They might have sat down to reply to you only to have to attend to one of their children, or maybe they’ve gone on holiday for a week.

The overall message is don’t be a Disappointing Match; it’ll allow you, and your matches, to have a much better experience. Give everyone a second look as you never know where it’ll take you!

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39 thoughts on “Are you a Disappointing Match?

  1. a very interesting article

  2. Just wondered why I have began to recieve matches which I cannot seem to either archieve or then close when I dont think theya match for me, cant be nice for the guys either to have me clicking to try and close. Nothing at bottom of page as usual and nothng at top right hand corner either

  3. sorry should have read NOT a match for me

  4. i recieved loads of matches up untill i posted a photo! now nobodys interested and they commented that looks arent everything’yeah right’ why cant people just be honest as because of this my self esteem is now limited

  5. the article is basically advising patience on the part of the ‘DM’ when it comes to getting responses and being proactive on the contact match front….. yeah we’ve all herd this before..however the ‘match process’ seems to keep throwing up possible connections which are complete wild cards… i think that they may need to re-evaluate their algorithms.
    rachael… do not be put off by people who can’t accept that its the person inside that counts…like a good book thats be read many times.. its cover may be a bit worn but the contents are still as great as ever

  6. This is the worst dating site I have ever used. Apparently hundreds of matches but in 4 months no communication or replies.On other sites since(especially free ones) I have had brilliant results and many options.
    I bitterly regret the £100 I wasted on here, and will warn everyone I know to stay away!

  7. eHarmony Post author

    June 3, 2011 at 9:30 AM

    Hi Linda,

    We’re really sorry to hear you haven’t had a good experience with us and we’d really like to help out. Please call our Customer Care team who will be able to help you get the best from your eHarmony account. You can call them for free on 0800 028 0308.

    Best wishes,
    eHarmony Advice

  8. Just like Linda,I too have had very poor results with this particular dating site.. Though no great beauty I am all round okay, described as warm, kind, intelligent and I am full of enthusiasm for meeting people and willing to put in 100%. What is it you guys don’t like about my profile?
    Good luck to the rest of you but I’m advising my lovely girlfriends to use other sites..

  9. What a waste of time! Do matches even get our attempts at communication? I certainly do not believe that there can be so many rude people on a dating website. I’ve really made an effort to communicate but do not even get a ‘thank you but I’m not interested’ in return. I’ve given up now and please don’t ask me to call your customer services. Eharmony, how can so many people be experiencing the same problem with communication? This system is flawed, fix it!

  10. how do you know if someone has just joined? I take your point about giving people time to get their profile right but how can you tell if someone is a new member or someone who has been on for a while but still hasn’t completed their profile?

  11. I have to agree with many of the comments made here. I have tried eHarmony on and off over the last two years. When o first joined I had some success as well as quality matches that seemed truly compatible. Since I signed up again early in 2011 I have experienced a relatively poor service and have now switched my allegiances to another site. I’m not sure what has changed with the formula eHarmony is now adopting but I am now receiving matches sporadically, if at all and as soon as my subscription ends I will be walking away from eHarmony for good.

  12. I would like to agree with some of what these people are saying. I have join this site now going three months now and with the money that i have payed for to come on this site i would say it it too expensive.only couple of weeks i have now getting some attention.if not successful after this with my match i would have to try other site reason for this too much money for what you are guys need to drop the price for what people are guys must only match people who star sign are compatable that also help I am a sagittarius and my perfect star sign would be a leo are a aries.start doing it that way and see if something good come out of this and please drop your price that too will help.

  13. I’m sorry, but I really do have to agree. I truly believed the publicity that I saw for Eharmony and so agreed to pay the hefty fee’s for a year’s membership. Since I’ve joined (about four months ago!) I’ve had at least five matches per day, must have sent emails or questions to an average of two/three matches per day. I’ve taken your advise and not judged on photos but just sent to those who seemed nice and I’ve received four replies!! Four! And two of those just wanted my number and to meet up in the first email. I really am willing to give this 100% and I’m keeping an open mind, but to be honest, right now, I just feel like a mug! I’m not a bad looking gal and I consider myself to be one of the good ones, there are seven photos and plenty of information, so why is it that NO ONE is replying to me…
    Please can tell me what I’m doing wrong when as far as I’m concerned, I’m doing everything you’re advising.

  14. eHarmony Post author

    June 8, 2011 at 10:26 AM

    Hi Laura,

    Thanks for posting here. First off I have to say that you have a great attitude, which is really a huge part of online dating. It also sounds like you’re communicating with lots of your matches, which is again, a great thing to do. I have a few suggestions/questions for you, which may help:

    - How are you communicating with your matches? Have you tried experimenting with both Guided Communication and eHarmony Mail? Some eHarmony users have their own personal favourites, and might prefer to be contacted with in a certain way.
    - Have you reviewed your photos? We always say it shouldn’t just be about the photos – and we wish everyone had your great approach to not judging on looks alone – but many people do. Letting a friend review your photos can be a great start. Other people can offer a great, honest perspective on which photos truly make us look good (and which don’t!) You can also see our photo tips here:
    - It might be worth reviewing your profile. Firstly, have you completed it fully? Many people can be put off by an incomplete profile. Also, have you really made your answers individual, and a true reflection of you? Lots of people fall into the trap of putting really generic answers, such as: ‘What are you most thankful for? My friends and family’ We know this is true, but it’s also the answer that lots of other people will put and doesn’t really say anything about you. You can find our profile tips here:
    - Also you can submit your profile (anonymously if you wish) for feedback on the Advice site:

    And finally, you can always call out Customer Care team (for free, on 0800 028 0308) who will be more than happy to review your profile and answer and questions you may have.

    Hope this helps!
    eHarmony Advice

  15. I have to agree with some of the comments made. I have my doubts about how the e-harmony matching system works and how it’s supposed to be any different from any other site. As an experiment I spent a few months communicating with EVERY match that they sent me, there were about 200 in total. I had two replies! Also neither of those two actually made it as far as meeting up for a date.

    If the claims about compatibility matching are true why did I only get a 1% reply rate? Being cynical I can only assume that it’s in the company’s interests to keep us on here as long as possible as we’re all paying to be here.

  16. Phew! i thought it was just me who got sucked in by the advertising campaign, paid for a years membership (not cheap) and not had one single response to any message or other corespondance. i was starting to wonder what was wrong with me, i’m solvent with a good job, i’m far from ugly and have been described as pretty with a lovely smile! probably like most people in todays world i just don’t get chance to meet men. i have read all the advice on these pages to no avail. i have however advised every single friend i have not to use this site as i feel it is a rip off. i will not renew the membership and any chance i get i will let people know how poor this site is.

  17. Hate to turn this article into an “all pile on” game, but I also have to agree with a lot of the previous posters. For what are supposed to be compatable matches the returns rate on communications is shockingly low. After it all is it all boiling down to looks and hobbys.

  18. I’m actually relieved in a way to see all the complaints here. I have also signed up for eHarmony for a year after trying it out for one of the “free communication weekends” and finding the site interesting and the matches compatible.
    However, after a few months I stopped receiving any matches. I now get 1 every 3 weeks if I’m lucky, even though I have said my matches could be from several different countries!!
    As referred by others before:
    - very few matches
    - no way of knowing if someone is a paying member
    - few people respond to first communication
    - exchanged e-mails with 2 people in 8 months (a tiny percentage of the total people I’ve initiated contact with)
    Definitely not worth my money. It doesn’t really matter to have a really nice site with the good concept of compatibility if it doesn’t serve its purpose.

  19. I also agree with many of these comments. Success rates in terms of correspondence is far lower than other sites I have tried, i know for a fact that at least one person didn’t receive my correspondence via the phone app and therefore have no faith in the system. The general user friendliness of the site is poor. I too feel very disappointed.

  20. I agree with all the above. I’ve been a member since October 2009 but my subscription runs out… oo, tomorrow, actually. I realised I was paying 34 quid a month (I got renewed on the monthly rate when the annual one wore out) for a couple of matches – at £17 a match that’s a bit steep.

    It is of course in EH’s interest to keep us all paying out as long as possible – the reason for such a low resonse rate is that they keep matching us paying members with dead profiles of long-gone members or those who only joined for the free weekend. On one of the free sites (OKCupid) a comparison was made with EH’s reported turnover (i.e. all the subs) vs the claimed membership, and even assuming every member was on an annual membership, the ratio was still only one in 10 of the claimed membership is active.

    I’m not a looker, but I am smart, funny and interesting (other people’s comments ;) but I’ve had had 4 dates from my time here, and 7 from free sites – and the free sites were more compatible by a mile.

    I do not regret finally turning my back on eharmony, and like many others will be actively recommending people not to join it.

    Good luck to everyone who like me was suckered into an annual membership – cancel it now (you will still be able to use the site for as long as you’ve paid for) or like me you will be stung for a big renewal in a few months’ time.

  21. I am also agreed with comments. I sent out icebreakers or even emails, but seems nobody bothered to answer. Even to be kind with me or just close my match – but no, I receive only 4 emails back – 1 icebreaker, 1 first communication step and 2 kind answers – Thank you and Thanks.

    I am kind person, but …

  22. Why am I being sent absolutely no matches at all? What the hell am I paying for? Can I have my money back please?

  23. eHarmony Post author

    July 14, 2011 at 2:39 PM

    Hi Amanda,

    Thanks for your comment. It’s very unusual that you have no matches – if someone is unable to receive matches we don’t give them the option to subscribe.

    If you call our Customer Care team – for free on 0800 028 0308 – they will be able to look at your account, and work out any issues. Also, they will be able to refund you if necessary.

    Best wishes,
    eHarmony Advice

  24. The page on screen has words and boxes that do not line-up. unable to locate the reply icon for the received email—therfore, unable to reply to match–she is waiting for my reply!!!!
    Email box and send icon do not seem to on this site.. your help teem are no help.

  25. eHarmony Post author

    August 17, 2011 at 1:14 PM

    Hi Alf,

    I’m sorry you’re having these issues with our site. It sounds like this is a known problem we have with compatibility with the browser Internet Explorer 9. If you are using this browser, then please downgrade, or use a different browser such as Firefox or Chrome. This should enable you to respond to your match. If you would like help changing your browser, please call our Customer Care team on 0800 028 0308, and they will be able to walk you through this process.

    I can only apologise that you’ve experienced these problems and please be assured that our tech teams are working hard to rectify this issue. Please also mention to the customer care team that this issue has been ongoing and they should extend your membership for any time lost.

    Hope this helps.

    Best wishes,
    eHarmony Advice

  26. I`m afraid i too have been having issues with the matching system.
    Most of my ‘matches’ (and i mean almost every single one) is not compatible with me at all.
    I know myself and my needs etc very well. i have spent much time learning about myself and i look down my matches every day and they are just people who are COMPLETELY incompatible with the type of person i am.
    I send icebreakers to almost all of them anyway, because I always hope to be proven wrong, but it has been pointless. it is a shame, because i know there are other people like me out there who are probably also on this site, so howcome the system never matches us?
    to say i am siddapointed in the service is an understatement beyond words.

  27. eHarmony Post author

    September 26, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    Hi Glynn,

    Thanks for your comments. I’m sorry you don’t feel like you have anything in common with your matches, but deep compatibility with your matches may not be immediately obvious. We use our science and relationship experience to find singles that match you on the inside, and you use your communication skills and sense of personal chemistry to determine if these people interest and excite you.

    Our goal is to only provide you with matches who are deeply compatible in all the ways which are vital to long term relationship success. (That doesn’t necessarily mean matches that like exactly the same music as you, or the same kind of films that you like.) Then, it’s up to you you need to do is determine which of those matches best suits your individual preferences.

    If you’d like to discuss anything more about your matches, please call our Customer Care team (for free) on 0800 028 0308. They know eHarmony inside out and should be able to answer any questions you have,

    Best wishes,
    eHarmony Advice

  28. Glynn, I fully agree with you. I too know what I want from a partner and relationship and so have been very specific in my setting adjustments. Most of my matches seem to have very little in common with me, and the few that do probably feel the same about me. I don’t care if I receive just one match per week or even per fortnight just as long as there is some common interest. For example, I want to meet someone who knows that they want children in the future – not ‘maybe’, and most of my matches fit the ‘maybe’ billing. I have been on this site for a while now which is costly, sent lots of winks, waited patiently but nothing, even with a decent set of photos and a complete profile – nothing! Also please eharmony stop sending me matches that where last online more than three weeks ago. Quite clearly these people are no longer seeking a partner, or at least give us the option to sort received matches in preference of when they were last on-line. Does eharmony actually work like they say it does on the adverts?

  29. I have been this for one week and Was at first gettting lots of matches and viewing of my profile now Iam getting no viewings!i ssem to messaging all the time and getting nothing back.What has happened? I am just not getting the right matches

  30. My main problem with the site is that, contrary to what E-Harmony state, matches are sent which are in no way compatible with stated preferences and settings. I get about 8 matches a day sent to me, and these appear to be, on the whole, completely random. I also feel irritated when I receive an email from e-harm telling me that some new chap has joined, and why don’t I be the first person to communicate with him. Why on earth do they think that I’ll want to contact someone just because they’ve recently joined and happen to be male? That’s not my idea of matching people scientifically. Also, the vast majority of matches sent my way, the ones that have a photo, that is, are not chosen with the remotest reference to physical preferences. Of course looks aren’t everything, but they do matter, and it’s pointless to send matches completely off the stated radar of a member’s preferences.
    I think that the American method of matching based upon the set questions is flawed, particularly when it comes to us Brits, but if e-harm is going to stick with it, they could at least point out to members that simply listing every type of sport you can think of, is not the best way to present yourself in terms of your greatest passion. Also, asking people to choose however many words their friends would use to describe them is useless. Obviously, a lot of people are going to put what they think matches want to hear.
    Overall, I haven’t been impressed and will not be renewing my membership at the end of my month’s trial.I expect a better standard of matching for the money charged.

  31. eHarmony Post author

    October 11, 2011 at 10:12 AM

    Hi Jenny,

    Thanks for your comments. There are three different ways we use to either match you with someone, or show you what you have in common.

    - Firstly, we take into account your personal preferences. You can set these yourself and are based on age, location, smoking etc. If you find you are receiving matches outside of your settings then you may need to indicate that certain settings are ‘very important’ to you. You can do this using the slider next to each setting (you will find more info here: You mention looks, and we do factor in height, but that is the only setting we have on ‘looks’ as, unlike other sites, we don’t think someone’s eye colour should be a factor in whether you get to know them.

    - Next we use your answers to the Relationship Questionnaire to match you with other members on compatibility. These are the values and characteristics that we have found to predict whether two people will have a happy, lasting relationship. They may not be immediately obvious when you look at a match’s profile – for example it’s not whether you both like Cheddar, or classical music, but more whether you both have a similar outlook on life. This deep compatibility will be more obvious in person, and we’d urge you to communicate with as many matches as possible to get chatting and hopefully discover that compatibility.

    - We will also show you the things you have in common with each match on the ‘Something To Talk About’ section of their profile. This is simply meant as a conversation starter – if you both like horror films for example, that might be something you could mention when you email them

    The email you refer to, suggesting you might want to chat to someone who has just joined the service, is a way to alert you to new members. Each of these members are still deeply compatible with you, they are NOT just new members. What we do know is that new members are very active, and so alerting you to the fact that they’re new means they’ll be logging in lots and will be even more likely to get in touch with you.

    Additionally, while eHarmony was originally founded in America, we do separate research in each country before we launch there. So we adapted our matching technology for the UK, just as we have for Australia and Brazil where we recently launched.

    I hope this helps clarify some things and please let me know if you have any more questions.

    Best wishes,
    eHarmony Advice

  32. Thank you for your response, Emily, but I’m afraid that I have to disagree with you about looks. And whilst I would never be so picky as to expect someone to have a particular eye colour, I would expect a match to at least be physically presentable. I’m sorry but there is no way I am going to be interested in someone I feel no physical attraction to, and I would expect that the men on the site feel similarly about the matches sent to them.
    I have already used the slider to give a clear indication of things important to me, but I still receive profiles of people with whom I am completely incompatible. I’m hard pressed to find what it is about most matches that led to them being sent my way, and I’m sure they must feel the same about me if they’ve been sent my details.
    I’m not interested in quantity of matches, only quality.

  33. Well said Jenny. I fully agree with you.

  34. I also am a disappointed subscriber. I receive a lot of “matches”, but have had only three who come anywhere near close to my requirements. I will not be rejoining.

  35. eHarmony Post author

    October 24, 2011 at 10:21 AM

    Hi Malcolm,

    Thanks for your comment. I’m sorry to hear you don’t feel your matches suit your requirements. There are quite a few ways to refine your requirements on eHarmony, and if you call our Australian Customer care team they will be able to help you with these settings. You can find details on contacting them here:

    Also, as an Australian subscriber, you will find more tips and advice on our Australian Advice site:

    Hope this helps!

    Best wishes,
    eHarmony Advice

  36. Wow thats terrible no responses how rude.
    Been on this site for 3weeks now.New to the internet dating and feel really disheartened. Emailing a guy for 3 weeks put so much effort into it now he’s just stopped yet his profile says he’s been active. Why is that is that was it something I said

  37. To all who have already posted on this topic,

    This is my third time back here and I am possibly the oldest here at the tender age of 57. Of all the matches I have received this time around, 90% of them have been immediately archived. They simply do do ‘match’ any of my criteria. Those who I have emailed and have accepted that form of communication have not even bothered to respond. So whilst I share your sentiments in many way with issues of eHarmony, I believe that the majority of the communication issues lie with the ill mannered people to whom we have corresponded with. The at is something none of us have any control over, however I would imagine those people will still be on sites such as this long after we have all found that special someone.
    Take heart, don’t ever subscribe to any site for any longer than the cheapest trial offer period they give. That way the financial impact is not as severe.

  38. Hi, I have been with eharmony for about a week now. I have to say, I am really pleased so far. I have been sent a number of matches who all match my criteria, 3 of them have made communication with me (I am yet to respond as I feel it is a little daunting but I will do it).
    I have filled out 100% of my profile and added 4 photographs. Have all of you done the same? If so, I’m sorry that it isn’t working out for you – but I do feel that the profile and the photos are the key. Good luck x

  39. When I first signed up with eHarmony it actually started out very well! I’d signed up for a month as a trial, sent out guided communications and got some responses. Within 3 weeks I even got a date!

    Since then… precious little. I signed on for another 6 months and have had no such luck since then. I’ve gotten plenty of matches, normally between 6 and 12 a week. I accept that I won’t be interested in all of them – some are too far away (distance is calculated as the crow flies not by actual road distance) and some I just won’t find interesting. It happens, not blaming eHarmony for that at all.

    But I’m sending out guided communications probably to at least 3-4 of my matches per week, and I’m lucky if I’ve got a 2% reply rate. In 6 months I can count the responses I’ve had on both hands, and can count the number of people I’ve gotten as far as open communication on just one hand!

    Again, I don’t blame eHarmony for this as I’ve had even worse on Match (a year spent on it and only 4 people even replied to my messages – no dates at all!!) and other sites, and my luck at trying dating in real life was even worse.

    I’ve come to the conclusion now that whatever women want, it is NOT me. I have a full profile, half a dozen photos that are all different, and I think I’ve given a good account of myself on my profile, so I’m not eHarmony’s definition of a Disappointing Match. Yet from the responses or lack thereof I’ve come to realise that I must be disappointing generally. Either bad looking or maybe just plain boring!

    I shall not be renewing my membership when it is up, and I will soon start looking at monasteries to consider joining as I just plain give up!

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