A search for the phrase “eHarmony is based upon a complex matching system” (an excerpt of eHarmony’s rejection notice) in Technorati, a blog search engine, gives 50 hits in the last 45 days — This means that, once a day, someone is blogging that eH rejected them — that they flunked a personality test. At the same time, searching for “eHarmony reject” in Google gives 39,000 hits.
There really is something irksome about being promised “someone who will love you for who you are” and then getting a boilerplate rejection notice.
“Unable to match you at this time” — so what does this mean?
What irritates us about the boilerplate reason, which has been unchanged since 2000 when eH launched, is that it loves to be vague. We at eHarmony Blog hate vagueness, so, for you, we did some research.
Here is the most complete checklist of reasons why eHarmony rejected you:
Reason #1. You said you are separated or married on page 1. 30% of eHarmony rejects fall into this category, according to a May 2007 article in the Washington Post.
Reason #2. You said you are below 20 on page 1. 27% percent fall into this category.
Reason #3. You said you were married more than twice on page 1.1 “EHarmony also rejects anyone younger than 60 who’s been married more than four times,” according to the Washington Post article.
The cursed test still lets you go through all questions even if it knows on page 1 that it will reject you. And, look, it even has the irony to say, “If we find that we will not be able to match a user using these profiles, we feel it is only fair to inform them early in the process.”
Reason #4. Your answers don’t tally, i.e., (a) you clicked randomly or (b) for example, you put “1″ under Aloof on page 1, but checked “Outgoing” on page 6. 9% of rejects fall into this category.
Reason #5. You scored low on the following traits — eHarmony calls them dimensions:
- Self-Concept (how you perceive yourself)
- Emotional Status (feeling happy, fulfilled and hopeful)
- Character (honesty and trustworthiness)
- Obstreperousness (the black hole dimension)
- Character (honesty and trustworthiness)2
- Emotion Management: Anger (expressing negative emotions constructively)
- Conflict Resolution (resolving issues).
- Family Background (happy childhood and supportiveness of your parents)
If you remember, there are entire SECTIONS in the test exactly to ask if you have ill feelings in the last month, how you handle arguments and how good your relationship is with your parents. If a registrant just left an abusive relationship and she revealed her feelings in the test, well, instead of saying, “Sorry but you’re not emotionally ready to get married. We’d like to tell you what you need to work on, but we’re not your therapist,” eH rejects the registrant.
So what do I do next?
We want to tell you to open another yahoo or hotmail account today and retake the test, but we can’t. Instead we offer a gentle suggestion. May we suggest that you take a break first from seeking committed relationships. We mean, enjoy being single again (or for now).
[added after RG's comment below] Or we could be wrong. It’s possible that eHarmony is not for you. There’s nothing wrong with you; it’s just that the eH system was designed for a certain profile of people and match them for marriage — it isn’t ready for someone like you yet.
DO NOT read this as a judgement that there is no one out there for you. You know best what is best for you. DO NOT let the above generalisations discourage you from desiring and working towards a lifetime loving commitment with another person. If the above reasons do not apply, then we invite you to retake the test, now or after a few weeks or months. [/added]
Without sounding “holier than thou”, try this idea for size: If you’ve joined an matrimonial matchmaking site, would you want matches who are emotionally ready to be married? Would you like to be matched to someone who reveals psychological or emotional problems?
What do you think?
Check out our May 2007 poll: Do you agree with eHarmony rejecting people?