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.”
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.)
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:
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.