eHarmony vs. Tinder – Serious Relationships or Hookups?

Sometimes when we’re doing dating app comparisons, it’s a real challenge because both apps are good for people with similar relationship goals—sort of like comparing Pepsi and Coke. Is that the case when it comes to eHarmony vs Tinder? Not even close. Each of these dating apps serves such a wildly different purpose and relationship goal. This is more of a, say, Pepsi vs Vodka match up. With that in mind, let’s get into it.

eHarmony vs Tinder custom image
Starting Price Per Month$35.90 $9.99 + Add-ons
How You Meet PeopleDaily Curated MatchesSwiping
Owned ByPrivately OwnedMatch Group
Year Founded20002012
Membership Size10 million +75 million +
Type of RelationshipSerious DatingCasual Dating
Target DemographicAllYounger
App Store Rating4.1 out of 54.2 out of 5
Google Play Rating3.1 out of 53.6 out of 5
TrustPilot Rating3.1 out of 51.2 out of 5
Free Trial LinkTry eharmonyTry Tinder

Both Apps Approach Matchmaking Wildly Differently

There are three main areas we need to look at when comparing eHarmony and Tinder—the goal of each app, the matchmaking processes, and the price differences.

Tinder is best for casual relationships, but terrible for serious ones.

The biggest difference between eHarmony and Tinder is the types of relationships they’re designed to create. Tinder is designed to help people make fast, location-based connections with other singles who are looking for casual dating or random hookups. eHarmony, on the other hand, is designed to help people make calculated connections with other singles who are looking for committed and lasting relationships.

Period. Hard stop. Yes, we have heard some rare anecdotal stories of people finding real love on Tinder, but in no way, shape, or form should you approach that app looking for that type of a relationship. If you want a real relationship that could lead to commitment of some sort, try eHarmony. If you’re looking for casual dating or random hookups, go with Tinder or consider some other casual dating options that might be better.

eharmony uses more traditional matchmaking where Tinder is swipe-based

The second difference about these two dating apps is how they go about matchmaking, which you’ll see goes hand-in-hand with the types of relationships they’re known for. Tinder is a swipe-style dating app where you indicate your interest on a bunch of singles within your matching parameters. If one of those singles also swipes to indicate they’re interested in you, a mutual match is made, you both are notified, and a chat opens up. Your matching pool is also determined by your exact location using the location services on your phone.

eHarmony, on the other hand, uses a compatibility algorithm to curate best matches for you. No mutual match is needed in order to send a message, and your matches aren’t determined by your physical location, but by the home location that you put in on your dating profile.

Because of this, the sign up time on eHarmony is considerably longer than it is on Tinder. Tinder you can be up and running in about 5 minutes whereas eHarmony is probably going to take you 30-45 minutes.

Pricing varies based on different pricing models.

Pricing wise, the initial cost of an eHarmony membership is going to be more than a Tinder membership. However, an eHarmony membership comes with all of the available features, whereas Tinder is filled with a la carte addons that can add up quickly. But, Tinder does come with a little bit of free functionality, so if budget is non-existent, you can at least get some utility there.

Quality wise, both of these apps are great at what they do. The question of eHarmony vs Tinder really isn’t about overall quality, but it’s more about what your personal relationship goals are.

The winner depends on the type of relationship you’re looking for

While picking a winner here might be a moot point because it’s like comparing apples to oranges, we still want to do that. For us, the winner is going to be eHarmony, based solely on the concerns we have with swipe-style dating and what it may be doing to your brain. But, if you’re not looking for a committed relationship or dating that could lead to that, eHarmony will never be a good fit for you.

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Author: Matt Seymour, MSF

Matthew J. Seymour is a dating industry expert with over a decade of experience coaching singles, reviewing dating apps, and analyzing trends within the industry. Matt is a published author with his most recent work “Get More Dates: How to Master Online Dating Apps” that hit shelves in 2023. With a Masters of Science in Finance (MSF) degree from the University of Florida and extensive knowledge of the innerworkings of the online dating industry, Matt frequently serves in an advisory role to some of the largest dating apps on the market. In Matt’s current role with Healthy Framework, he leads the interview team that regularly interviews key dating industry leaders, and leverages his financial knowledge and dating app experience to review and share what singles need to know to get the most out of dating online.