Communication: your top 3 questions answered



We asked you to send us your questions about communicating on eharmony – it turned out a lot of you had very similar questions. We’ve picked three that best represent your most commonly asked questions:

I was wondering when you start the guided questions with someone and you haven’t heard back from them for 10 days or more, how do I approach further communication without coming over heavy and hassling? If you send an icebreaker and there is no reply after a while, do you send your questions or close the match? (Iain)

Iain’s question gets to the heart of communicating online straight away – walking that fine line between too relaxed and overbearing. When you start communicating with someone on eharmony and they don’t respond, or go quiet after a while, how do you know how to proceed? Well, Iain, the fact is (and we’re sure you already know this) there’s no way of knowing exactly what someone is thinking when they don’t respond to your communication.

Meet compatible matches

However, there are a few tips to remember when it comes to timing your communication online:

•    You can always nudge a match to remind them that you’re waiting for a response. You will find the ‘nudge’ link on the Match Details page of the match you wish to prompt. To give matches a fair amount of time to respond, you can only nudge them seven days after your initial communication.

•    Give your match two weeks to respond to your nudge. This is a fair amount of time for someone to return from a holiday or business trip. Waiting a fortnight can be frustrating but it’s better than closing a match before they’ve had a chance to respond to you.

•    If you’ve heard nothing after this time, close the match. This will allow you to focus on other matches that you are communicating with.

•    And finally, remember that on our side we do everything we can to prompt our users to respond to communication; from notifications on their match pages to emails that there is someone waiting for a response from them.

As for Icebreakers, while they are intended to get the conversation started, some users may require more substantial communication from you to decide whether or not they will respond.  If you’ve sent an Icebreaker, there’s no harm following it up with your first round of questions in Guided Communication.

Finally, we would encourage you to communicate with as many matches as possible – you never know who you’ll find that all important chemistry with!


Despite eharmony advice that matches may vary in their response time, isn’t it the case that if their responsiveness is well off the mark from your expectations (however unrealistic!) then is this  an important source of incompatibility? (Idara)

We acknowledge that it can be frustrating when a match doesn’t get back to you in the time you would expect – just as in real life when someone doesn’t call you when you hoped they would. Idara doesn’t specify whether she’s talking about first communication or an ongoing dialogue but we’ll cover both.

Firstly, as we all know, life can get in the way of everything else. Whether that’s a promotion at work meaning you have to work late, or some kind of family crisis, even those of us with the best of intentions can end up letting other elements of our lives fall by the wayside. As we mentioned to Iain above, it’s worth waiting for at least a couple of weeks to cover off this kind of eventuality.

Idara’s point about compatibility is interesting, and it is true that one of the dimensions we match people on is ‘Communication Style’. But compatibility is about  so much more than you and a match being prompt communicators, or both liking cheese, for example. It’s about matching you on the really important aspects of life, such as how you want to bring up your family and whether you share the same sense of humour. And, it’s about matching you on as many of these dimensions as possible.

However,  if the speed at which a match responds to you is paramount then there are some steps you can take to make this clear to matches:

•    Work it into your About Me profile. For example, under ‘What is the most important quality that you are looking for in another person?’, you could specify that you are looking for someone who is respectful and polite in the way they communicate with you.

•    If you are engaged in Guided Communication, at the ‘Must Have, Cant Stand’ exchange stage, you can specify certain traits that reflect how you prefer to communicate. For example, you could specify ‘Communicator – I must have someone who is good at talking and listening’ in your Must Haves.

•    If you have reached Open Communication, or are communicating via eharmony Mail, and are still frustrated by your match’s response rate, don’t feel afraid to raise this with them, in a non-confrontational way. They may be able to explain it to you.

•    Also, if you are expecting near-immediate responses from your matches, you may need to take a step back and rein in your own expectations – it’s ok to be eager to hear back from someone you think you may have a real connection with, but don’t overdo it.

Meet compatible matches

How come some matches have a request photo link rather than their photo just being shown like others? (I. Smith)

At eharmony, the only users who will see your photos are those you have been matched with. We are not a dating site that simply lets users scroll through lots of pictures and profiles – we prefer a more specific approach to helping you find your soul mate. eharmony members receive several compatible matches a day so that each member has ample opportunity to review their matches and decide who they wish to communicate with.

However, some matches still choose not to display their photos, for various reasons. If you look at the comments on some of the articles on our Relationship Advice site you’ll see that some users prefer to hide their photos, perhaps  because they are in the public eye. Maybe they are a teacher and don’t want to run the risk of their students finding them online. Whilst this is highly unlikely as eharmony only accepts single people over the age of 18, and we match users – users can’t be searched for – our users’ peace of mind is very important to us.

Other eharmony members prefer to engage in a dialogue with their matches before showing their photos – again, this is purely personal choice. If you feel you are communicating well with a match, then you may wish to ask them to upload a photo in Open Communication or eharmony Mail. Additionally, newer users may not have found the right photo to upload yet, so it is certainly worth waiting to see if they upload a photo later on.

If this article gave you the confidence to find your match, try eHarmony today!

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