The eHarmony 29 dimensions of compatibility explained


29 dimensions of compatibility

Ever wondered how eHarmony determines compatibility? It’s all about dimensions. Take a look at the 29 dimensions of compatibility that eHarmony’s matching team takes into consideration when providing your matches 

How can you work out if two strangers would make a good couple? Perhaps you’ve played this game on the train or bus, or even tried to match-make single friends. Well, at eHarmony we’ve gone one step (or should that be 29 steps?) further, with our dimensions of compatibility.

By asking you a whole bunch of questions before we start to match you, we get to know you properly and discover the personality that makes you really unique. And this is where the dimensions of compatibility come in.

We’ve spent 35 years studying dating, and almost none of that was spent annoying couples by quizzing them while they try to enjoy a quiet romantic meal (sorry Steve and Janice). Our experts have carried out numerous studies of happy couples, including with Oxford University experts, and they have worked out 29 different personality factors that influence how well two people are suited to each other.

So when you sign up to eHarmony and tell us a bit about yourself we use all our wonderful research to find you matches who fill your heart with that excited, bubbling, joyful feeling of knowing you’re meeting someone special.

Our brains, your butterflies.

So now you know how we use our secret sauce it’s time to reveal the ingredients. Here are our 29 Dimensions of Compatibility in full and a short guide to each one:

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Emotional Temperament

  1. Self Concept

Self Concept refers to how you perceive yourself. It is important that your self-concept be accurate, positive and strong in order for you to be most successful in your relationships with other people.

  1. Emotional Status

Feeling happy, fulfilled and hopeful are crucial elements of this dimension. Conversely, being depressed, anxious and fearful form a more negative status.

  1. Emotional Energy

Emotional energy relates to how energetic your emotional temperament is. Although all of us have our ups and downs, people with a lot of emotional energy rarely need to “recharge” and are almost always happiest when they are actively doing something.

  1. Obstreperousness

Obstreperousness refers to a person’s tendency to find fault, to attribute blame to someone else, to make other people wrong, and to portray themselves as always right. The obstreperous person is someone who has a consistently critical attitude. The more pessimistic a person is, the more likely they are to be obstreperous.

  1. Passion: Romantic

Your level of Romantic Passion reflects the degree to which the romantic and emotional aspects of a relationship are an important part of your emotional temperament. The desire to share and experience warmth, affection and a sensual connection with a partner is important here.

Social Style

  1. Character

Character ultimately relates to how you behave when life gets difficult. When the going gets tough, people with high character are the ones you really want by your side!

  1. Kindness

The dimension of Kindness relates to the capacity of an individual to consistently treat other people with sensitivity and empathy.

  1. Dominance

A person who is consistently dominant needs to be in control. A person who is consistently submissive looks to be controlled. Relationships work best when both people can be dominant at different times and submissive at other times.

  1. Sociability

Some people are extremely eager to be involved with other people in a social context. Others find social involvement anxiety provoking and painful. There needs to be a careful assessment of shy people for any differences between interest and ability.

  1. Autonomy

The Autonomy dimension represents the degree to which you desire to maximise your time spent with a partner, versus your desire to pursue independent activities and interests.

  1. Adaptability

Adaptability is a personal characteristic, which allows an individual to change their way of being in order to better relate to another person or persons. If an individual can maintain their authenticity, the ideal is for their adaptability to be at a maximum level. This ability to adapt makes all other relationships more likely to be meaningful.

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Cognitive Mode

  1. Intellect

How interested are you in learning about and understanding the world around you?

  1. Curiosity

Perhaps the most important component of your cognitive style is your level of curiosity about the world. If a person has an intense need for stimulation, they are high on the curiosity dimension. If a person is easily satisfied with relatively limited information about anything, they are low in curiosity.

  1. Humour

Are you constantly finding humour in situations around you? Do your friends count on you to make them smile? Is humour something you enjoy, or a major component of your personality? These elements define humour, and comprise an important component of your cognitive style.

  1. Artistic Passion

The enjoyment of art and culture is an essential part of life for individuals who score highly on this dimension. This dimension also incorporates the desire to have creative outlets such as music and writing. How you view the importance of art and culture is an important aspect of your cognitive style.


  1. Physical Energy

The amount of enjoyment you take in pursuing physically challenging activities, whether you prefer physically active or physically passive forms of recreation, your feelings and level of physical activity are all strongly reflected in this dimension.

  1. Passion: Sexual

Sexual passion refers to the amount of interest and enjoyment a person associates with sex. Your basic attitudes and feelings regarding sexual passion are an important part of your core trait of physicality.

  1. Vitality and Security

Vitality refers to a person’s attitude towards their general state of physical health. Security refers to a person’s ability and desire to both earn a living and provide a safe and secure environment in which to potentially raise a family.

  1. Industry

A person who enjoys being ‘idle’ and relaxing is low on Industry, while someone who needs to be on the go constantly and always doing something is high on Industry. Persistence in achieving goals and taking great pleasure in doing high quality work also distinguishes people with high scores on Industry.

  1. Appearance

The core element assessed by this dimension is the extent to which you consider yourself to be a physically attractive person. This includes ratings of physical attributes such as fitness and athleticism

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Relationship Skills

  1. Communication Style

Communication summarises the important matter of how much and how well a person is able to verbalise his or her thoughts and feelings, ask questions of another person, and determine similarities and differences between them.

  1. Emotion Management: Anger

Being able to express both positive and negative emotions in an honest and constructive manner is an important part of this dimension. Taking anger out on other people, becoming easily upset and blaming others when things go wrong are all examples of poor anger management skills.

  1. Emotion Management: Mood

Every person has some variation of moods. When they manage their moods so that their emotional state remains within reasonable limits, they are good mood managers. However, when their moods vary considerably, they score much lower on the dimension of mood management.

  1. Conflict Resolution

This dimension measures how you prefer to resolve conflicts. Being able to understand another’s point of view, being respectful of other people during conflicts and dropping an issue once it is resolved all contribute to a strong score on this dimension.

Values and Beliefs

  1. Spirituality

The spirituality dimension measures the amount of importance you place in your spiritual expressions and beliefs.

  1. Family Goals

The Family Goal dimension is defined by your interest in parenting. The desire to have children and dedicate a significant part of your life to the rearing of children is the crucial component of this dimension.

  1. Traditionalism

This dimension is heavily related to the importance placed on morality, personal values and religious beliefs.

  1. Ambition

Ambition indicates how important it is for you to be recognizsd as personally successful. This dimension reflects how much emphasis you place on succeeding in your career and in your financial life. It also measures how important it is for you to find and take on new challenges.

  1. Altruism

While all of us have values and beliefs that we apply to situations in a reactive manner, the Altruism dimension speaks to how proactive you are in applying what you think is right and putting back into the community in which you live.

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