EliteSingles advertises itself as the go-to dating site for single, educated and busy professionals, claiming to generate at least 1,200 success stories each month from its 12.5 million users worldwide, all in a safe, secure and streamlined cyber setting.
While the EliteSingles’ intricate personality test is a great feature, when it comes to finding a potential match, there is a lot the site can potentially improve upon.
- Intended members: The online dating site and corresponding app are marketed towards professional, mature singles seeking long-term serious relationships.
- Intelligent matchmaking: Suggested matches are limited to 3-7 “partner proposals” daily based on compatibility results from the site’s in-depth personality test.
- Premium membership: A Premium membership is required to access most of the site’s features, including viewing other members’ complete profiles with photos, and sending and receiving messages.
A subsidiary of Spark Networks, EliteSingles launched in the UK, Canada and Australia in 2013, later expanding to the U.S. in 2015. Spark Networks is a leading global dating company, such as Zoosk, SilverSingles, Jdate and more. EliteSingles was created to cater to professional, educated singles who are marriage-minded but have busy schedules.
EliteSingles’ personality profile was developed from the “Big Five Model of Personality,” or big five traits, a prominent concept in modern psychology, and helps create matches among members. The questionnaire helps identify members’ five main personality dimensions. These results are then used to predict couples who may be particularly compatible.
The five broad personality traits include extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness and neuroticism. One critical review of the concept notes that the big five traits are one of the most important theories and widely accepted models to describe how personality traits are structured. Its development dates back to 1949, and since then, the big five traits have been extensively researched, becoming a prominent base in personality studies across different cultures and environments.
Keeping in mind the personality assessment and individual member preferences, EliteSingles claims to use “intelligent matchmaking” to help more educated singles find highly compatible partners from its nearly four million American users.
EliteSingles at a Glance
- Matchmaking algorithm: Focuses on member information derived from the site’s psychological personality assessment, which is based on the Big 5 personality traits model.
- Members: The site advertises that 85% of its four million U.S. members hold an above-average education. Its key demographic is single professionals ages 30-55.
- Success rate: EliteSingles claims it is responsible for at least 1,200 matches monthly out of 12.5 million users worldwide.
How It Works
You can start dating on EliteSingles in four steps:
- Sign up online. First, you must create a user profile. You’ll start by selecting which gender you wish to date. Then you’ll need to enter your email and select a password. Registration is free and gives you access to the next step.
- Take the personality test. This 84-question assessment will evaluate you in five main areas of personality psychology: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism.
- Complete your online profile. Once you finish your personality test, you’ll want to fill out the details on your personal dating profile. At this point, you can adjust your preferred settings when it comes to distance, smoking, religion, kids, height, etc. You’ll also be asked to answer “fun” prompts like “If I had one wish, I would ask for…” and can upload photos of yourself.
- Receive partner proposals. You will start getting match suggestions as soon as you complete your personality test. Then you’ll receive an additional 3-7 targeted matches daily after that. In order to actually communicate with anyone— beyond sending a “Like” or a “Smile”—or to see photos or messages from potential matches, you will need to upgrade to a Premium membership.
There are two membership categories for EliteSingles: Basic and Premium.
The basic membership is free and meant to be an introduction to the service to give potential subscribers a feel for what the EliteSingles community is like. With it, the company claims you have access to viewing personality test results, receiving partner suggestions, sending smiles and likes and uploading photos.
The Premium membership includes the following benefits:
- Unlimited communication via messaging
- The ability to leave comments on profiles and photos
- The ability to view your complete Personality Profile (a 20+ page PDF)
- View all member photos
- See all profile visitors
- Your profile is suggested to other Premium members more often
- Use Premium features within the mobile app for iOS and Android
- Receive “read receipts” for messages
- Select up to 20 extra “Have you met?” matches daily
The Premium membership has three tiers which can be paid for by credit card or PayPal. The pricing is as follows:
Premium Light – $44.95 for one month
Premium Classic – $22.95 per month for three months
Premium Comfort – $16.95 per month for six months
The Fine Print
Individuals who opt for a Premium membership only have three days to cancel in order to get a full refund. Also, if you sign up for a multi-month plan, you will be charged the entire amount up front, not in monthly installments. All memberships auto-renew at the end of each term (and there is no three-day grace period to cancel at that point—only new subscriptions have a refund option). Unless you cancel your contract, you will continue to be charged.
What Experts Say
“I love the idea that EliteSingles uses a personality profile test because getting matched with someone with legitimate potential saves you time and energy versus getting matched with random people based on general aspects like age and geography,” says Jaime Bronstein, licensed clinical social worker, relationship therapist and coach and host of “Love Talk Live” on LA Talk Radio. “When people are more seriously invested in a dating service, there is a better chance that matches with long-lasting potential and deep connections will be made.”
As for the concept of a more educated clientele, Bronstein says she thinks it’s a great idea to have dating apps that cater to more specific preferences. “There are apps for tall people and gluten-free people, so why not an app for highly educated people?” says Bronstein.
To get started, I provided my email to sign up, which gets you into the “Basic Membership” category. Once I created an account, I took the personality profile assessment. I took time with my answers and really thought about them, so I’d say the test probably took me about 45 minutes to complete.
Once I finished the personality test, I felt that the “free” membership became pretty much worthless. I began getting messages that I couldn’t read and matches I couldn’t see. To be honest, I’m not even sure why they offer the “free” version except to “hook” people into the Premium membership.
Basically, you have no idea if someone who has contacted you might be your match unless you pay to find out. I opted for a 6-month plan that was ultimately the cheapest monthly option. Be advised that memberships are paid in a lump sum and also taxed, which added $9 to my bill.
Now, back to the personality profile assessment. When you sign up for a Premium membership you get a more detailed PDF about your traits and I thought this lengthy, 23-page report really got me right!
After that, I decided to fill out my “dating ad,” which is the next logical step after completing the quiz and paying to join. Though the site starts a profile for you based on your responses from the assessment, Premium members are encouraged to spend time completing their personal bio. I also uploaded nine photos (you’re allowed up to 24).
However, while finishing this part, I kept having things like my multi-hyphenate career label and my smoking preference “Rejected” for some unknown reason after waiting for them to get out of the “In Review” phase. Plus, sometimes I’d be on the site, and it would freeze. So, I’d have to log out and log back in again. And I wasn’t the only one to notice these glitches on both the website and the app. Other reviews on TrustPilot complained about the same thing.
Now moving on to the actual matches. Apparently, the idea is that by only doling out 3-7 top matches daily, daters will be saved from endless scrolling and instead be presented with highly compatible potential partners so they can focus on getting to know these purportedly like-minded people.
The problem with that is that every match I was sent was not someone I was remotely interested in dating. It felt like the preferences I stated were pretty much ignored in the algorithm. I kept being matched with people who lived in different states who were easily 15 years outside of my preferred age range.
Even though I had set my options to the closest distance possible—which is “matches within 50 miles” on EliteSingles—I don’t think I got one proposed match in New York City where I live. Most of them appeared to be hours away. Other reviewers in different cities had similar complaints about unreasonable distances to matches.
And though they say you have the option of matching with an additional 20 “Wildcard” matches per day (which plays out like typical app swiping—yay or nay), that “Have you met?” part of the site was trying to get me to date users in Arizona and California.
I also thought it was odd that a site that advertises “having the most educated singles,” did not require proof of any education to join. So, that marketing seems to be based solely on self-reporting by members.
Also, many people don’t post photos. If you’re matched with a person who doesn’t have a picture with their profile, EliteSingles says “no problem,” you can just ask them for one by clicking the “photo request” button. But that gets awkward if they send a photo and then you’re not interested!
EliteSingles also alerts members when you’ve viewed their profile by sending them a direct email saying, “Kimberly seems to be interested in your profile.” And if you read a message someone sends you, EliteSingles immediately sends them a “read receipt.” There is no way to turn it off.
EliteSingles advertises these features as “positives” but personally I hated it. This is misleading because the only way to ascertain if you might match with someone is to look at their profile or read their message. Basically, this feature made me not want to look at anyone’s profile, fearing they’d get an email making it seem like I was into them even if I wasn’t.
Though I had signed up for six months, I decided to cancel my subscription after three days. I didn’t feel comfortable having my photo on the site, I wasn’t happy with any of the matches the algorithm was kicking up (and I tried changing my settings a couple of times to see if it made a difference—it did not), and I felt like I was getting better matches on other dating sites.
Fortunately, I made it under the “midnight of the third business day” cancellation clause and my money was quickly and easily refunded. And with that, I disappeared from EliteSingles evidently still single—by choice.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is EliteSingles?
An online dating site and app geared towards “educated” singles looking for long-term relationships. The typical demographic is said to be mature professionals (ages 30-55) with over 50% of all subscribers who complete the site’s personality profile saying they have at least a bachelor’s degree.
How much does EliteSingles cost?
As of October 2022, Premium memberships run anywhere from $44.95 for one month to $16.95 per month for a six-month commitment. All memberships must be paid-in-full upfront and will auto-renew unless canceled.
How do you cancel EliteSingles?
There is a three-day free trial period for Premium memberships. If you cancel within that time period, you just have to visit “My Account” and hit the cancellation/refund button. Otherwise, there are no refunds, per the terms of the membership agreement. However, you should still cancel if you wish to leave the site to avoid auto-renewal.