Is match.com peddling divorce fantasy?

Dalrock has posted twice this week (here and here) on a match.com series discussing a suburban woman’s post-divorce dating life.

The events of the serial are wildly improbable:

  • The rugged handyman she is dating turns out to be a millionaire who was hiding his wealth
  • Her ex-husband, after boffing half the town, begs her to take him back

The story is not labeled as fiction, but Dalrock has uncovered evidence that the author writes relationship/romance fiction under two other names. In any case, match.com – a site that makes money facilitating dating - is posting material the author admits has induced women to leave their husbands, after which they (conveniently) will jump into online dating. For a site that claims it produces more marriages than any other dating site, it sounds like a sick conflict of interest…Dalrock has done a lot of research on divorce statistics so I am inclined to take heed at his alarm, and I recommend you read his posts for full coverage.

One would think that a dating site would want to bank on the sanctity of relationships and not against it. As to why match.com would do this, I can think of several reasons:

  1. Bait: they have market research showing an untapped (there’s a pun for ya) cohort of middle-aged single women they want to bring into their business.
  2. Customer flattery: by pumping success stories in one of the most barren dating environments in the SMP, match.com encourages already-signed-up customers to continue using their product.
  3. Fluff: the content managers at match.com just thought it’d be a swell idea to have a series on the dating lives of middle-aged divorcees, possibly motivated by first- or second-hand experience or the public awareness of the EPL and cougar phenomena.
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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Is match.com peddling divorce fantasy?

  1. Oh my word.

    A rugged millionaire handyman?

    Now that does sound like every woman’s fantasy. I’m surprised that he didn’t have a 10 inch tongue and the ability to breathe through his ears as well.

    I think that match need a disclaimer like: “As individuals differ, so results may vary.”

  2. Thanks Badger! I owe you one.

    BTW, I added you to my blogroll about a week or so ago. From the wordpress stats I’m not throwing a lot of traffic your way though. I’ll see what I can do to remedy that.

  3. slwerner

    I wasn’t entirely clear from Dalrock‘s original post if this handsome rich handy-man, who was apparently working for food, was someone she supposedly met through match.com, or someone she had work on her house for some of that food?

    Given that her “testimonial” was really just an ad for the dating service, I’d have to suspect that her claim was that she had met him through the service?

    If so, given that she had supposedly been previously “matched” to a doctor, it seems improbable (at best) that she would also be matched to a guy who’d have put on his profile: “unemployed – will work for food”. It’s even harder to buy the idea that any woman would agree to date such a guy. It’s even doubtful that a guy claiming to be a down-and-out handy-man would even be accepted by Match.com, or any other dating service.

    I had initially thought that she might have started out honestly about her post-marital dating “struggles” (the failures of which did ring more true for a woman her age). but, then, in trying to rationalize why she would publish those “real” accounts before launching off into the BS part, I considered that A) she realized the truth wasn’t going to be persuasive, or B) that recounting those early failures was a simply ploy to convince other woman, who were no doubt experiencing similar failures in their Match.com experience, to stick with Match.com – with the fabricated hope that they too would eventually meet such a perfect guy. I could understand the former, from a logical perspective (realizing that the truth was too ugly for it’s intended purpose),; but the latter possibility strikes me as much worse in terms of intentional deceptiveness.

  4. slwerner,

    Thanks for the detailed comment.

    It’s even doubtful that a guy claiming to be a down-and-out handy-man would even be accepted by Match.com, or any other dating service.

    Match.com doesn’t “vet” or “screen” anybody – there are no minimum requirements except for paying up, you just set up a profile and start reading your messages from cougars. It’s just a social media site that facilitates dating, not a dating “service” in the traditional (escort, lozl) sense of the word.

    If so, given that she had supposedly been previously “matched” to a doctor, it seems improbable (at best) that she would also be matched to a guy who’d have put on his profile: “unemployed – will work for food”

    You can search for career matches but the system will also suggest people to you who don’t fit your stated criteria (and why not since many women don’t know what they really want anyway). Middle-aged divorcees have to cast a wide net, they don’t have that many quality men to pick from; the whole reason for this contorted “story” is to imply the reverse is true.

    It’s even harder to buy the idea that any woman would agree to date such a guy.

    Again if you’re a divorced mid-40′s housewife and your pickings are thin, a hunky guy who works with his hands isn’t a bad bet.

    I’ll ping the Private Man and ask what kinds of women he’s been matched with in his online dating experience.

  5. slwerner

    Badger,

    I guess I don’t really know 40-something divorcee’s all that well. I had the impression that most were still rather “picky”, imagining that they are also still quite the “catch” themselves. Perhaps as the reality begins to set in…

    I’m also not very familiar with any of these on-line dating sites (obviously). No vetting, eh? Seems rather risky to me. Maybe the desperation level is just getting to “that” point any more. I’m sure glad I’m not looking to meet/date women. What a F’ing mine-field the SMP has become!

    I would have though that matches were based on the expressed interest of participants, Thus my presumption that if she’d previously been matched to a doctor, she must have had some criteria that limited her matches to those that were, um, well employed, and, in that, case, a guy who wasn’t employed would be screened out.

  6. I’m matched with 40-something women without kids because that is what I most search for.

    It’s been my experience that as single women get old and stay single, they fill their lives with activities (job, family, friends, activities, etc.) so much that they can get the ol’ rationalization hamster spinning quite fast with the “I’m busy and comfortable being single” mentality.

    Also, their standards for men don’t necessarily decrease, those standards often increase. Note the ongoing discussion on my blog with Yvette. She won’t last long in the manosphere.

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