Dating Advice

Published on March 25th, 2014 | by Veryflirt

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Battle of the Dating Personality Tests

Can attraction and love really be reduced to a computer algorithm? Most people don’t think so, but with the booming popularity of online dating sites and ‘hook up’ mobile apps like Tinder, there is certainly a demand for matching people. The online dating industry seems to split at this time. One the one side are extremely simple and superficial apps like Tinder, where you simply swipe left or swipe right, to like or not-like a potential match based solely on their profile picture. On the other side are sites like eHarmony, Parship, PerfectMatch.com and Chemistry.com which use comprehensive personality tests to match users with each others.

It does seem to work. eHarmony is probably the world’s biggest matchmaking site and claims to be responsible for more than 5% of all yearly marriages in the US. With more than 19 million users, that comes out to quite a few marriages, but how does these sites actually determine who you’d match up with and who you don’t? We have taken an in depth look at some of the most popular sites:

eHarmony – The Original

eHarmony is the original online matchmaking service with  a personality test. The site is also one of the oldest dating sites on the internet and began as mostly a christian dating site, but now serves everyone. The personality test has been many years in the making according to founder Neil Clark Warren, himself a clinical psychologist and author of several books about relationships as well as having more than 35 years experience as a marriage counselor. In 1999 Warren decided to put his theories, that compatability on core values and beliefs were key to a successful relationship and marriage, to the test. The result became the hugely popular eHarmony. Read the full review of eHarmony here.

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The eHarmony personality test is fairly long and takes around 30 minutes to finish if you don’t hurry through the questions. Most of the questions are on the form of Agree-Disagree on a 6 point scale. You will be faced with a statement such as ‘I am a warm and emotional person’ and then you choose how much you agree and disagree about that statement. Other questions may ask you to choose 4 words which describe you best out of many more. The test is designed to not only test your personality, which many dating tests attempt to, but also more controversial things like your emotional health. It is in fact possible to “fail” the test, which is indeed somewhat controversial considering eHarmony runs a for profit business. If your answers reflect substance abuse and poor emotional health, eHarmony simply doesn’t think there are any matches for you.

Controversial as that may be, eHarmony recently did a study in which married couples who met through eHarmony were compared to married couples who met in other ways. According to the study, the eHarmony couples reported significantly more happiness and less issues in their marriages.

And that’s key to the eHarmony test. It is rather clear that eHarmony has a vision that long term relationship bliss is based on compatability, not on differences. As Dr. Buckwalter of eHarmony states: “It’s fairly common that differences can initially be appealing, but they’re not so cute after two years.

Most of the personality test on eHarmony is fairly standard personality typing typically found in personality tests such as MBTI based on Jungian archetypes, but what sets it apart is a strong – and probably unique – focus on things like stability, emotional health and even alchohol use. As the site is based on years of experience in marriage counseling, these factors probably are very important when matching people for the long term.

Parship – The Challenger

Parship is a mainly european dating site which grew out of Germany and currently isn’t in the US. You can read the review of the UK site here. Like eHarmony, Parship also has a psycologist as founder by the name of Hugo Schmale of University of Hamburg. Where things get interesting with Parship compared to eHarmony.com is that Parship has an entirely different way of looking on attraction and compatability. While eHarmony focuses a lot on compatability on the more down to earth factors, Parship is based on modern behavioral psychology, variants of the MBTI personality types and Jungian archetypes, but also on Freudian psychoanalysis theories. This makes for a very interesting and intriguing personality test.

The Parship personality test is made up of several different parts. Like eHarmony it takes a while to finish the test, probably at least 30 minutes and perhaps more. It doesn’t feel like a chore at all though, because the test is varied and interesting.

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Part of the test is similar to others, including eHarmony, which means answering a bunch of Agree-Disagree questions. These are part of the same MBTI testing that is standard in both psychology and human resource departments all over. The MBTI measures things like introversion vs extroversion, thinking vs feeling, judging vs perceiving and intuition vs sensing. The result is a 4 letter personality type, which is usually quite precise. However, Parship does not stop there, but continues to ask questions of a more personal nature on how you relate to others in general and in a relationship. This is meant to understand how you are in a relationship, such as your need for intimacy vs space or your desire for physical signs of affections vs verbal statements. This is actually one of the more interesting parts of the Parship tests and something which sets it apart from most others. Having a partner who has the same basic ways of showing affection and the same need for closeness is definitely something that helps in building a strong healthy relationship.

The last part of the test is a psychoanalysis inspired test, in which you are asked to choose between pictures on which feel the best or to describe dream like images and what they show. It is quite interesting and fun, but it is difficult to say how this goes into the matching algorithm.

Members are matched based no a whole range of criteria. What’s interesting is also that more masculine users are matched by more feminine and the opposite, Parship clearly being a believer in that opposites attract, unlike eHarmony.

All in all, Parship is definitely one to watch out for in the US, should they decide to eventually enter the market.

ProjectEvoLove.com – pure MBTI dating

We have mentioned MBTI or Myers Briggs Temperament Indicator several times in this article already. If you’re not familiar with Myers Briggs, then go have a look at PersonalityPage.com, which despite the archaic webdesign is a great site to test your type and read more about this fascinating theory that grew out of psychologist Jung’s studies on archetypes, which eventually developed into his theory about the different temperaments. Suffice to say, anyone who has ever taken an MBTI test is usually taken aback at how well it describes them. This isn’t cold reading or astrology with general platitudes, but a real working psychological theory, which is used by thousands and thousands of psychologists and human resource departments the world over.

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Why is a personality test used in coaching and business interesting for dating? The MBTI test doesn’t only tell you things about yourself, it also suggest that there are certain personality tests which are natural matches. In fact, following this line of thought, many believe that there is a very real reason for feeling an instant connection with a romantic partner and that is that you have complementary personality profiles in the MBTI universe. An introverted type for example will be complimented by an extroverted type, while a intuitive person will be complimented by a sensing person. In a way, this is a theory of finding your soulmate, the one who completes you.

ProjectEvoLove.com is a non-profit dating site and community based on these theories. Every member has their MBTI personality type shown on their profile and matching is based partially on this. It is a very interesting idea and certainly something we will follow up on, but as you can read in the review found here, at the moment the site doesn’t have a lot of activity, so not a lot of experiences to draw on. We have done our part to mention it here though and hopes that it gains some traction.

Other mentions

Almost every popular dating site has some kind of personality test, but most don’t really focus that much on it. Match.com, one of the biggest worldwide dating sites, for example has a basic test, but for the full experience, you will have to visit their sister site Chemistry.com. Other notables include PerfectMatch.com. We haven’t reviewed any of them yet, but will add them to this article once we have done so. If you know of any other dating sites based on personality tests or if you have any comments, feel free to let us know in the comment section below.


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