Musings on Online Dating

One could write an entire blog about online dating. In fact, someone has. The Private Man has covered many details of online dating in great detail.

Online dating is not particularly different than dating full stop, and it is most like real dating in the most banal and frustrating aspects: constant rejection and flaking. It’s quite common that a dude will send out dozens of messages and get absolutely nothing in return.

In that respect, it’s worse than regular singles scene – you have zero feedback except being ignored. You don’t really know where you went wrong, and because you can’t see who they ARE responding like you can in a meat-market atmosphere you have no data to calibrate against.

There is one big win for online dating: unlike in-person pickup where you really have no idea where your target stands, everybody on the site actually wants to go on a date.

…or so I thought. Then I read TPM quoting the wise Workshy Joe who put forth this theory: “The real problem is that women are now using online dating sites as a gauge of their sexual market value rather than an actual way to meet men.”

PHOTO FURY

Don’t use too many photos. One source I read recommended at most five; I’d keep it under eight, and make sure each photo is different in terms of night/day, inside/outside, group/alone, and doing different things.

A fascinating OkCupid last year used empirical evidence to evaluate various (alleged) myths about online dating profile photos. I can’t do it justice here, so just read it.

Susan Walsh recently posted on a study indicating that when looking at photos of the opposite sex, women were most attracted to men who projected a visage of pride or of brooding shame while men found smiling women most attractive.

Upshot: women should cultivate an eager, happy or “flirty” appearance, while men should feature a photo looking away from the camera and not smiling, and both should be doing something interesting.

Early in The Game, Mystery tells Neil Strauss that the smile is a key trait of the alpha male. Does this contradict the photo studies? I don’t think so. 3-D interaction is much different than a photograph; smiling whilst moving around a nightclub or restaurant, making friends, cracking jokes, etc shows a natural comfort with the situation and conveys the tone of “amused mastery” that Roissy advocates. But a smile in a headshot photo, without context as to what you’re smiling about, looks goofy and beta. (The same goes for in-person interaction; if you are smiling when there’s nothing to smile about you look like a chump. You are the prize, so use the smile as a reward for women who are pleasing to you.)

PROFILE QUIRKS

Match.com has a user-interface defect that cuts off your tagline and profile text in mid-sentence, sometimes with maximal effect:

OkCupid markets themselves as a site for more intelligent people, and provides you the ability to back it up in your profile:

CLICHES

Online dating sites are rife with content-free profiles. One online advisor cribbed the top five:

  • “I love to laugh”
  • “I love to live life to the fullest”
  • “I’m up for anything” (Seriously? Pegging? Bondage? Riding down Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit shouting racial slurs out the window just to see what happens?)
  • “It’s really hard to write about yourself.”
  • “My friends talked me into this / I’m skeptical of this whole online dating thing / Some other concession for their presence on the site. “

Another guy posted a satiric profile essay (be sure to click the link for the pictures):

I’ve never done the online thing before but here I am so we’ll see how it goes. About me. I’m not your typical girl next door. I love to have a good time, go dancing with my friends, but also stay at home and curl up with a good book and a movie and someone special in my PJ’s while cooking a good meal at home in front of the fire. I enjoy going to the movies, going to the beach, spending time with my friends, outdoorsy stuff, and having fun. I also love to laugh! I believe in having fun and I think laughing is so much fun! My life is measured in smiles, and right now I’m up to a mile of smiles! I also love flowers, holding hands, puppies, and the fun girly things that girls are supposed to love. That doesn’t make me a hopeless romantic, but I do love romance and I’m waiting for my white knight to sweep me off my feet. I don’t really go to bars and clubs any more even though I used to a lot because I finally graduated and now I have a job. I’m down to earth and I have a good head on my shoulders. I love to travel and the color pink!

I used to think I wanted someone to complete me, but now I know I’m complete by myself. I’m not looking for anything serious, friendship at first, but if something serious develops then we’ll see what happens ;) I want someone who is honest, loyal, fun, witty, sincere, trustworthy, and doesn’t want to play games. (If you’re a player, please look elsewhere because I won’t have sex with a guy unless he buys me dinner at least three times.) Honesty is my biggest thing…you only get ONE chance with me so please pay attention.

My match would be a serious guy with ambition, but also tall, ambitious, intelligent, confident, active, really handsome, sexy, humorous, well traveled, successful, and make me laugh. Also must be able to hold a good conversation. I want someone respectful, independent, has a great family because family is important, and who treats me like I’m special. Did I mention that I love to laugh? I do LOL!! Also, please be taller than six feet, I’m not attracted to shorties, and make over 100k, or at least 75k, that would be good too. Thanks guys, drop me a email, I’ll look forward to hearing from you LOL!

He comes clean: “I just wrote a 400 word profile and it said ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Believe it or not, I lifted parts of every one of those lines from actual profiles. Ladies, if your profile reads like this, you’re not marketing yourself properly. All you’re selling is your pretty face via pictures and we’re ignoring your profile because it’s total bullshit. If the pics are the only thing the guy can focus on, you’re only attracting on a sexual level. And you wonder why guys just wanna f*$# and run?”

GROUP REJECTION PARTY

The Private Man just posted this video of two young women perusing PlentyOfFish profiles and pointing out what is wrong with all the guys.

You don’t need to watch more than the first two or three minutes to get the idea, and to capture the lesson that applies to game, online dating, in-person dating and everything else in life: haters gonna hate. There are just simply going to be people who don’t care for what you are selling. Don’t listen to their criticisms; that they are not buying is the only information you need. Women who reject you for superficial reasons are doing you a favor by taking themselves out of your pool.

I truly believe one of the big reasons for dating failure is people being afraid they’ll be made fun of, and so instead of being unapologetically distinctive, they adopt a risk-averse motif designed to not offend anybody. As a result they are maximally pleasant but minimally attractive to everybody, instead of being distinctively attractive to a small subset of enthusiastic prospects. (These are the people who are absolutely dumbfounded when they are told that negs and qualifying work as attraction tactics.)

For dating success, men and women both need to get comfortable not being liked by everybody and with the idea that some chick (or dude) behind a computer screen might laugh at them on the comfort of their own home. Confident, successful people always have haters, and they show you are doing something right because haters are either rivals who are scared you will move in on their territory, or people jealous of your drive and accomplishment.

I mean, there are people who don’t find Giselle Bundchen attractive (incidentally, I am one of them.) That doesn’t mean she doesn’t make millions to be photographed or that her husband doesn’t want to put one in her end zone.

For what it’s worth, I’m not nearly as negative about these women as some other people are, because honestly we all judge partners we deem unfit harshly inside our own heads. What I do think is crass and without character is that they posted the video on the Internet with a disclaimer that reads “we know we are bitches.” In any case karma is coming and that right soon. They are young, reasonably thin and not busted, which brings a lot of male attention, but they are not particularly stunning and so are in for a big surprise when they hit their late 20’s and find that they can’t cop that attitude and expect to get the same flock of orbiters.

I also think this is a good example of how the female herd acts against the interests of its members. Viewing profiles alone, either of these women might find some of these guys endearing, quirky, or otherwise worth at least going on a date with. In a pair, they are playing an interlocking one-up game of rejection for sport, with a faint whiff of sick intrasexual competition trying to talk one another out of being interested in any of these men. It’s like the worst thing that could happen to either of them is that the other one gets a boyfriend and leaves her out in the cold.

A PROFILE I RECENTLY REJECTED

The woman is pretty, her top photo is of her shooting an AK. Quirkily interesting things on her profile. But she starts with an insulting disqualifier – “Ugh, so it’s come to this: I’m on a dating site.” And ends with this:

You should message me if:

  • You are single…no, I will not join your threesome.
  • You are a confirmed non-douchebag.
  • If my profile hasn’t scared you off.
  • You know what you want in life as opposed to bouncing around from one unrealistic pipe dream to the next.
  • Please don’t be a psycho

How charming. I don’t have a lot of time for women who fitness test before we’ve even met. Tough call but she didn’t get a message from me.

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29 Comments

Filed under beta guide, primary sources

29 responses to “Musings on Online Dating

  1. I remember Escarondito said he had seen a ton of profiles that say “Live, love, laugh.” That’s even worse than Eat, Pray, Love. If you can’t do any better than a Hallmark slogan, you need to go to a different card store and steal better lines.

    Badger, I think the woman on the right is gross, and certainly not thin. I don’t fault them for having a few laughs in privacy – I’m sure guys have done the same, particularly when women use the “taken from above to hide fat” angle on their pics. No harm, no foul. What is inexcusable is putting that mean-spiritedness online.

    I think online profiles should reflect the unique attributes and quirks of the person – that will repel many but draw in a few compatibles. And even though it sucks to get zero responses, one is not subjected to humiliating nuclear rejection. If there’s a place to take some risks, this is it – except of course the risk of being “too nice.” That’s no good.

  2. SayWhaat

    Haha, what a lame profile descrip–wait. That’s my profile! OMG.

    (Totally kidding. :P)

  3. If that was your profile you are the whitest desi I’ve ever seen.

  4. Any feel-good cliche is a bad idea – is she trying to attract women or men? I pass over profiles where women say their last read was EPL.

    Susan, maybe this week you could post some online dating tips for women…let me know if you need some help with it ya know.

  5. OffTheCuff

    Maybe I’m just from another planet, but I think most guys don’t do this sort of thing. Most guys don’t have orbiters to goof on this in private, let alone be nasty and publish it. (The ones that do tend to get expelled from their frat.)

    Maybe a few top alpha guys can get away with that behavior, but it’s really supply/demand thing. Most women and top men come from a position of abundance and go through like needing to reject people, and unfortunately many take delight in doing so.

  6. @OffTheCuff
    If those women have abundant admirers, they’re probably of the hit it and quit it variety. This may be a perfect example of middling women trading up to one night with alpha and thinking they’re all that.

    OMG, I totes luuuvvv your idea about a post for women! Let’s chat!

    [You've been drinking tonight, it's so obvious!]

  7. Hughman

    ” I truly believe one of the big reasons for dating failure is people being afraid they’ll be made fun of, and so instead of being unapologetically distinctive, they adopt a risk-averse motif designed to not offend anybody.”

    That, is key. I’ve had great success and fun online. But I only get responses from a certain group of girls: alpha female submissive sluts with an IQ around the 125 mark (I’m at 135). The ones that go about life busting balls, hoping to find a man to lead them and take care of them (I use sluts in both its normal meaning, and simply being sexually very open/active with their man)

  8. Hughman,

    So you are referring to professional fitness testers, for whom ball-busting is just a way of screening out guys who aren’t man enough for them?

  9. Hughman

    Pretty much. Some do it on purpose, others are just that way inclined. It’s no different to when you hear about CEOs who are subs in the bedroom. These girls are good looking, smart, future professionals. But they need a ‘real’ man.

    Most don’t directly bust balls. They simply assess you before replying and the language you use in the first few messages. To quote my current most regular flame ‘I was infatuated with from the first message’

    Chicks either want to fuck you, and you are simply then having to shut down their shields, or they don’t. By the 3rd message you should know if she wants you or not.

    I for sure overgame: I used to message HB6s to 8s (I considered myself at the 7 mark). The 6s never replied. Some sevens. Quite a few 8s. So I shifted my sights upwards, with great results.

  10. “It’s no different to when you hear about CEOs who are subs in the bedroom. ”

    Funny you mention that…on Friday I met a pro-domme at a poker house party.

    Mind giving some of your tips on messaging? It’s the most difficult part of online dating game in my view.

  11. The quote of mine that appears on theprivateman’s blog was perhaps a little too optimistic.

    The girls in that video weren’t even trying to attention whore or gauge their own attractiveness.

    They were treating it like a freak-show. There is only one solution to this madness for single men:

  12. Dating sites have this undercurrent of mercenary and meat market vibe. It is much better getting to know someone more naturally.

    As for such things being a good assessment of a female’s smv? No, just no. Men will readily have a fling with a girl but not commit to her. A much more realistic view is what kind of man will agree to a LTR and marriage with her.

  13. There is one fundamental flaw in my online dating system.

    It’s very time consuming.

    Even though I am a writer and words are my business, sending out 50 customized messages – if even brief – takes hours. I would imagine that for the word-impaired guys it would be even more time consuming.

    I do mix it up by practicing day/night Game. I find that a great deal of fun if even just for practice.

    My blog is getting lots of traffic today because of that video. I really want it to go viral.

  14. dannyfrom504

    Badger-

    i don’t even mess with online dating. i know a few girls on POF, and the whole online dating scene seems WAAAAAY to open for a woman to be openly catty and narcassitic. the video of fattie-pig-fattie, and half wit are a perfect example of why i don’t even bother. i think i’m much better at actual conversation then building a profile. profiles=mas puto.

    but i do admit….a pic of a girl with an AK (i has a WASR 7.62 model muh-self. lol) would at least pique my interest a little. but alas after reading what you posted was on her site. i’d tell her to pull a pvt pyle with said AK.

    stay up.

  15. Hope is right about this:

    “As for such things being a good assessment of a female’s smv? No, just no.”

    I think that the women most likely to go on POF in 2011 are the women who really want to be approached IRL but just aren’t experiencing that themselves.

    The hundreds of messages filling up their inboxes makes them feel that if they just keep waiting, Mr Right will introduce himself OFFLINE.

    The harpies laughing at all the guys in the video sure as hell don’t want to meet anyone from POF, but if a guy approached them in the street they might actually be impressed.

    Countless more women will join POF and give the guys just enough encouragement to string them along and then flake once they have been sufficiently validated.

    How many women use the service as it was intended?

    Very few these days, I would conjecture.

  16. Eumaois’ link is to a post on a strangely ass-themed blog:

    “Whenever I am bored or in a bad mood I go on okcupid and give really rude replies to the guys who send me messages. It feels really good.”

    Classy. The blogger’s avatar is that of a cat vomiting. Will leave the psychoanalysis to the crowd.

  17. Hope/Joe,

    Yes, a lot of women will join not to date but just for the validation of having men throw themselves at her. And possibly the plausible deniability of being able to say “I’m on POF/match/okcupid/etc but I just haven’t found the right guy yet” when asked why they are single which is of course a repeat of their in-real-life dating story.

    It doesn’t give any qualitative data about a woman’s SMV except that guys will hit on her on the Internet, and that is a pretty low standard.

  18. NMH

    I met my current gf on Match and she is a 7 with a great personality; however, I met 25 girls on Match before I met her, and she was the only one with LTR potential.

  19. Will S.

    I used to belong to a narrow-niche dating site, one that targeted singles of a specific faith community. I found that while there were people on there for the purpose of being introduced to people of the opposite sex (to look for someone compatible), there were many others who just were on there to make friends, and hang out together in cyberspace, in the chat rooms, or posting in forums, who had no interest in actually pursuing relationship possibilities. It was irritating. And the other guys were often twits who just wanted to show off their debating prowess, on matters theological and/or political – as if such pissing contests would impress any chicks there, in the slightest…

  20. danny,

    Funny you say that – when I first did online dating, it was a much more effective route for me. Now that I’m trying it again, I’m wondering if I’m at a point where my in-person game skills will yield better and more efficient results.

    I guess that’s another way of saying I was one of many guys using online dating as a shield for the weaknesses of the front end of my game.

    Will S.,

    That is annoying, and one of the things that originally made online dating a unique product – it only featured people who were serious about dating. I guess the stigma actually helped that, there was a social “barrier to entry” because it wasn’t cool to be on there. That doesn’t appear to be true anymore. At least OkCupid gives people the option to state what they are looking for, “friends/activity partners” as well as short- or long-term dating.

    NMH,

    “I met my current gf on Match and she is a 7 with a great personality; however, I met 25 girls on Match before I met her, and she was the only one with LTR potential.”

    Before I met my previous girlfriend online, I went on one or two dates with seven women over the course of six months. None of them stuck to any degree, until I met her and it grew very naturally into a long relationship. Online dating is just dating – it takes time and luck to find the right person, as well as a willingness to walk away from a suboptimal match so you are ready when the right thing comes along.

  21. Stephenie Rowling

    I meet my hubby on Sciconnect.
    I often advice to Latin people (that are really on diapers on this online dating) to join a site where there is a minimal pay, people that want to fool around had plenty of options of doing it for free, you don’t pay 30 dollars for three months on a niche market dating site to “feel better about yourself” IMO. Of course the sites that ask men a considerable amount of money but have women join for free is another one I advice to avoid, for the same reason the girls on the video are showing, a woman that pays for a dating site (say eharmony) is very likely not going to sit and being a bitch to the contacts, YMMV.

  22. dannyfrom504

    “I guess that’s another way of saying I was one of many guys using online dating as a shield for the weaknesses of the front end of my game.”

    that’s a brilliant way of looking at it. online dating is a great way to NOT have to actually step to a woman, which tbh, i’ve NEVER had a woman be a straight out asshole when i approached her. if they weren’t intersted, it was usaully expressed in a very friendly and matter of fact manner.

    one of my friends (asian girl, a solid 7, epic bewbies for an asian girl) showed me her POF site, and i shit you not……she had no less than 5-7 emails a day. went on 3…..THREE dates while on POF. hell, i had to follow her on one b/c i was kind of worried she was going to end up with her head in dude’s freezer. smh.

  23. “tbh, i’ve NEVER had a woman be a straight out asshole when i approached her. if they weren’t intersted, it was usaully expressed in a very friendly and matter of fact manner.”

    Unfortunately I can’t tell the same story, but I do think good passive game can lower your chances of getting blown out of a set. I’m as big a critic of pyrotechnic rejections as anybody, but beta-riffic guys who don’t read their IOIs and don’t scram when the hints come are going to set themselves up for a detonation, or a talking to by her buff whiteknighting friend. To hear women tell it, they only bust out the rage when a guy won’t take a hint. (Oneitis is a big cause of this blindness too.)

    That is not to say there aren’t cases of unwarranted blowouts but usually only very extroverted or confident (or spoiled) women are comfortable making a scene like that.

  24. Lovekraft

    Some profiles just scream “high maintenance” to where I get tired just reading them. What about just ‘being’, living a simple life?

    Considering that 3rd wave feminism has produced a generation of shallow, aimless women-children, going into online dating thinking one will find a true person is a longshot. There are vast numbers of women that IMO are just seeking an eg0 boost and have no intention of actually doing what their profile says.

  25. Lovekraft wrote:

    Some profiles just scream “high maintenance” to where I get tired just reading them. What about just ‘being’, living a simple life?

    That’s my view of it as well. In fact, this seems to be the number one problem with people in western civilization today. Especially women!

  26. danny,

    “one of my friends (asian girl, a solid 7, epic bewbies for an asian girl) showed me her POF site, and i shit you not……she had no less than 5-7 emails a day. went on 3…..THREE dates while on POF.”

    Mind telling us why so few dates? No quality men? Guys she was afraid of? Did she have choice addiction where the attention made her standards go way up? Couldn’t close the deal? (Also, how long was this time period?)

    WorkshyJoe,

    “That’s my view of it as well. In fact, this seems to be the number one problem with people in western civilization today. Especially women!”

    The thing is, modern society has made us comfortable enough that we can afford to tear down the institutions that got us here and act high-maintenance. The flipside of that is that with all those social safety nets removed, there is no law of society or nature that says women won’t end up as cat ladies (or that beta men won’t end up celibates.)

  27. Pingback: Lozl From Blog Meta-Humor | The Badger Hut

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