The Trouble With Online Dating

I’m going to tell you something that you already know: dating is a frustrating process of trial and error. For a lot of people, it’s a seemingly never-ending dance of missed connections, nights you’ll never get back again and wondering just what’s wrong with you and why everybody else seems to have it so much easier.

Even for people like me who enjoy the whole dance and the chase and the thrill of the new, there will be points when you really just want to take a step back from it for a while and catch your breath and let your ego recover from the beatings that tend to come with it.

"Hey man, i want to get laid as badly as you do, but do you think maybe we could spend a night NOT getting rejected over and over again?"

“Hey man, i want to get laid as badly as you do, but do you think maybe we could spend a night NOT getting rejected over and over again?”

Online dating is often touted as the solution to dating frustration. Screen your dates in advance! You only have to deal with people who meet your standards! Take all the time you need to craft the perfect dating message

Of course, in practice… it’s a different story. In fact, for many people, online dating is such a trial that they give up early on. But just as when you’re trying to meet your future snugglebunny the old-fashioned way1, it’s important to understand the potential headaches that come with those marathon OKCupid sessions. Many of the things that drive people away from online dating can be headed off at the pass with some preparation.

Get Out of The Offline Dating Mindset

The first step to overcoming your frustration with online dating is to adjust your mindset and expectations accordingly. Online dating takes a different attitude and skill-set than, say, making cold approaches at a bar or flirting with someone you met at a house party.

To start with, you have to rethink the way that you present yourself.

Studies show that between 75% to  93% of communication is non-verbal. When we meet somebody in person, we have hundreds of thousands of verbal and non-verbal clues to give us an intuitive grasp of who we’re talking to and whether or not we’re into them long before we go up and introduce ourselves. Everything from how they stand to how they talk, who they talk to,  how they act around their friends, how they smell, even the pitch and timbre of their voice indicate whether or not we’re likely to have an initial attraction to them that would prompt us to make that all-important first approach. We’re able to process all of these signals so rapidly that we’re often unaware of it; to our conscious mind, we’re just eliding over the ones who we read as “nope, not interested” while we narrow our focus on the people who do it for us.

All of this subconscious presentation and filtering is lost in online dating; all we have are our words and our photos, so we have to consider how to craft as attractive a snapshot of ourselves as possible. In online forums and gaming – where many people meet their partners – how we express ourselves and our personality acts as the initial attractors. Similarly, we try to divine as much of that information as possible from the dating profile photo and username even before we start in on the dating profile. This is why you have to take care to understand exactly what your profile is saying to the women who view it. It takes very little to accidentally give the impression that you’re bitter and resentful and as we all know, there’s nothing that makes panties evaporate faster than complaining about how often you get stuck in the Friend Zone.

You have to treat your dating profile as an advertisement; you are, after all, selling yourself to others. This means that you have to consider your market, what you’re looking for and what makes you, specifically, attractive to others. OKCupid, for example, is structured more heavily towards casual dating and hooking up. Match.com, on the other hand, leans towards more conventional relationships while eHarmony is specifically marketed towards (straight) people who are looking to get married ASAP while Plenty of Fish is the dating equivalent of a long weekend in Innsmouth.

"I like sunsets, sushi, long walks on the beach and eviscerating outsiders in the name of Dagon."

“I like sunsets, sushi, long walks on the beach and eviscerating outsiders in the name of Dagon.”

You also have to consider where and how to present your best self. If you’re the sort of person who’s clever and witty, then you want to look more towards a site like OKCupid that lets you display your humor like the tail of an Oscar Wilde-loving peacock. At the same time, you’re less likely to  have success when dealing with dating/hook-up apps like Grindr or Tinder. You’re going strictly by photos; you only have a chance to wow them with your wit after they’ve decided you look fuckable.

Play The Numbers Game

Speaking of the offline dating mindset: you’re going to have to accept that online dating is even more of a numbers game than dating in IRL or meatspace or whatever the cool kids are calling “the world” these days. This means sending out more cold e-mails, dealing with more rejections and more dates that go nowhere.

Sorry. It’s part of the price of entry, and it’s better that adjust your expectations accordingly instead of dealing with the slow burn of “WHY WON’T THE MAGICAL BOX PROVIDE ME WITH SEX?”

"FUCK YOU, INBOX!"

“FUCK YOU, INBOX!”

Remember what I said earlier about how we mentally filter people into “attractive” and “not attractive” when we meet them in person? The lack of non-verbal cues that attract us to others don’t carry across in online dating and, as a result, you’ll occasionally come across people who seem great on paper but who don’t turn you on in person. We can get as righteous as we’d like about “getting to know somebody’s soul” or the purity of meeting people without our hangups about looks, but without that physical component, it’s impossible to guarantee that you’re going to be attracted to somebody in person. This is why so many people get first dates that go nowhere; you may have had great intellectual or emotional chemistry, but physically, it just wasn’t going to work.

And the answer to this is, simply: date more. And that’s where the benefit of the numbers game comes in.

Many people treat online dating as though they were talking to somebody in a bar. In the physical world, unless you’re Jack Harkness, flirting with several different people simultaneously is a major faux-pas and likely to leave you going home alone – possibly wearing several drinks. We often carry this mindset over into online dating and start to give one person – usually the first one to respond – all of our attention, ignoring everybody else until that first conversation has run it’s course.

This is a mistake – and one that makes online dating considerably more inefficient and tedious. One of the advantages of online dating is that you are capable of carrying on several asynchronous conversations, fielding responses from persons X and Y while also sending out an introductory message to person Z. You can and should cast your net far and wide. Focusing on one single person – even if you’re at the “meeting in person” stage – puts far too much importance on them and makes it sting worse if it doesn’t work out the way you’d hope. You want to be using a shotgun, not a spear.

Show, Don’t Tell

Of course, before you can get those dates, you have to make your profile stand out the right way. Most people who have trouble making  online dating work for them make the cardinal mistake that gets drilled into anyone who’s ever taken a basic creative writing course: they’re too busy telling about themselves instead of showing. Some of the oldest and most boring cliches of online dating are the people who just say that they’re some attractive quality… without anything to back it up. Saying that you’re funny or spontaneous or romantic is the dating site equivalent of “I listen to a little bit of everything except country and rap.” It’s so generic as to mean nothing. Everyone has heard it a thousand times before they saw your profile and they didn’t believe it any of those times either.

In the great chain of credibility, being told something is the least believable. Having a second party tell vouch for you is more believable, but being able to show that quality is instant credibility. I could say I’m Dr. NerdLove, Millionaire and that I own a mansion and a yacht and most folks would brush me off.

Seems legit.

Seems legit.

On the other hand, if your friend tells you about the incredibly lavish party they went to at NerdLove Manor (aka: the Gatsby Gambit) last weekend, you’re more inclined to believe that yes, I am a millionaire with a mansion and a yacht. And if I happen to sail past your house – which is quite the feat when you live in the middle of a land-locked city, let me tell you – then you’re far more likely to believe.

This is why you want to demonstrate those qualities, to the best of your ability.  And since you’re dealing with dating profiles, that means using your words… and your pictures.

Take humor for example. Everyone claims to be funny in their profile and most of them are as dull as dry toast when you meet them in person. If you want people to believe that you’re a laugh riot, you have to show them. If you have a sharp wit or a way with words, work that into your profile. Don’t call attention to it, just work it into your “About Me” section or “What I’m Looking For”. If your brand of humor trends to the physical or being silly, then post that picture of you as the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man from last Halloween or doing something wacky. Telling somebody you’re adventurous is similarly unhelpful. Better to talk about your recent trip to Ankor Wat or – even better – have a photo of you in front of Ta Prohm. Don’t say that you’re athletic, mention that you take part in an amateur soccer league or have a cool photo of you and some of your teammates after your latest scrimmage.

Remember: the web is a visual medium. Photos that back up what you say in your profile will give you more appeal – and credibility – than just saying something.

Speaking of:

Appearances Count

I’ve gone on about the importance of dating profile photos before. These are going to be the corner stone of your time in online dating. People are going to look at your photos long before they bother going through the rest of your profile. If your photos look like somebody accidentally snapped your photo while trying to find Bigfoot, they’re never going to bother with the rest of your profile.

"Wait, I'm confused. Is that his face or a goiter?"

“Wait, I’m confused. Is that his face or a goiter?”

I’m a big proponent of putting your time and effort in the areas that will give you the most return for your investment and in online dating, that’s your main profile photo.

If you can manage it, I strongly recommend having a professionally done headshot for your profile. Failing that, have a talented friend take a few for you. You want something that’s going to entice people to click through to your profile when they’re searching for matches or when your email shows up in their inbox and the more they have to squint, tilt or otherwise try to interpret what they’re looking at, the more likely they are to just move on to the next person on the list. Just remember that you want something that shows a little of your personality, not something that looks like Picture Day in junior high.

You want your main photo to stand out from the crowd. A simple background puts the emphasis on you and makes you pop. A splash of color – a brightly colored shirt, for example – will also catch the eye, especially when compared to the mirror-selfies and the washed out party snaps that seem to populate every dating site ever. Let the rest of your photos be candids, but be sure only to pick the ones that you look good in. I’ve lost track of how many people I’ve seen who’ve posted awkwardly angled “cool” shots that ended up giving a great view of their nose hair and derp face.

Also: when in doubt, leave the flash off and opt for indirect lighting. Direct lighting, especially overhead lighting is nobody’s friend.

He Who Hesitates Is Lost

The number one complaint I get from guys who’re frustrated with online dating are the conversations that start strong and then suddenly she pulls the fade-out. Those long emails back and forth get shorter and shorter until you’re just getting one or two sentences back… at best. Then… silence. Meanwhile, you’re left wondering just what the hell happened and whether or not you should message them again.2

Almost every time I’ve seen this happen, it’s been because the guy took too long to get to the point. They get so caught up in trying to impress their digital coquette that they forget to, y’know, actually ask them on a date.

"Oh. Right. That."

“Oh. Right. That.”

The point of online dating is, y’know, the date. I can understand wanting to make sure there’s some chemistry or not wanting to seem too eager (or desperate), but the longer you take to getting around to actually asking her out, the more likely that either a) she’s going to assume you’re not interested and move on or b) somebody else is going to ask her out first and that guy is going to get the lion’s share of her attention. You can’t just assume that she’s going to be the one to suggest a date; you’re going to have to be willing to be proactive here.

The longer your conversation goes on over email, especially a dating site’s email system, the more emotional momentum you’re bleeding and the greater the likelihood that you’re never going to actually see them in person. You always want to be moving up the communication intimacy ladder. Email on a dating site is about as low-investment as you can get. If you’ve had three to four quality emails back and forth, you should be trying to set up a date. At the very least you want to take it off site – ideally to text or actual phone-calls, but at least to some form of instant messaging. Constantly just swapping messages back and forth gets you nowhere and ultimately just wastes your time. It’s online dating not online pen-paling, after all.

At the same time, sometimes things are just never going to go anywhere. Not getting a response to your latest email is a response: they’re not interested. It’s better to give them up for lost and look elsewhere. Similarly, if you get the sense that their interest is fading or that they’re just being polite by responding – cut them loose and move on to somebody else. There’s no profit in riding that bomb all the way down; it only makes you feel worse about yourself and takes up time needlessly.  You should have better things to do than get hung up with a relative stranger, including messaging other, more likely potential dates.

Remember: dating is supposed to be fun. In the end these are fairly simple adjustments to make that help eliminate the majority of frustrations with online dating. And the fewer headaches you have to deal with, the more you can actually enjoy being single.

  1. via arranged marriage! None more traditional! []
  2. Spoiler alert: no, you shouldn’t. []

Comments

  1. While I do agree with what you write here, I recently discovered that online dating isn't really my thing. I recently just managed to learn some very important nonverbal communication skills and I realized just how much they are important in human interactions. While I do think that online dating is a great way to weed out a lot of incompatible partners and have an easier time finding people who share your interests and values – in the end it doesn't mean much if there is no physical/real world compatibility. I'd rather take my chances in "meat space" for now.

  2. I agree that your goal should be to meet sooner rather than later. Enough back and forths to tell that the person seems funny and cool, shares some of your interests and is fun to talk to (which process should take…1-2 days? 3-4 e-mails?), then, "Hey, wanna grab a drink at ABC location?"

    I don't agree that texting or calling is somehow better than using the site's messaging service at the early stage. Due to previous experiences, I'm suspicious if a guy is in a super big hurry to get my private contact information. It makes sense if you've been talking a lot, but if you've barely said hello, I'm thinking, "Um, yeah, what good reason is there not to just talk to me here, dude?" For one thing, OKCupid (and I assume other dating sites) will block people from sending "inappropriate" pictures (i.e., dick pics), and e-mail will not. Often that's precisely why a guy wants to take communication off the dating site – he wants to make you uncomfortable and use you as wank-off material.

    Now, I don't assume all guys are creeps just because a few are, but still, I'd just really rather not regret giving someone my number. Also, you shouldn't get too invested in anyone you haven't met in person, and keeping communication on the dating site can help ensure you don't.

    • I’d agree with this, Fuzzilla. I never had terrible experiences with online dating, but the one guy who asked for my phone number immediately (who I never ended up going on a real date with) was weirdly demanding of my time and once even asked if he could come with me to my shrink’s office (I had never met the dude), and got pissy when I said no. Weeeeirdness.

    • Gentleman Johnny says:

      Yeah but its easy enough to do the reverse and leave the option in the other person's hands. "Hey, I'm going to be away from my laptop most of the day. You can text me at 702-4-GENIUS." You're going to want to do this if you set up a date anyway, right?

      • That's a good way to do that, especially if the message has some other content in it. Someone who's comfortable can reply with her number. Someone who's not can skip over it.

        There are actually people who set up dates without exchanging numbers. I always have to end up giving dates driving directions, so I can't imagine how that would end up working, but I suppose it's doable when meeting in an obvious location and with the assumption that people will be reasonably on time.

        • That's usually what I did. I would ask for the guy's number but usually didn't give mine. First date would be for drinks at a bar, or we would meet at the train station, so no need for driving directions. If things went well we could exchange numbers after the first date.

          That said, I'd like to think that I can usually tell when someone is a generally okay guy, and for almost all guys I went on first dates with I wouldn't have minded giving my number. The last guy I met through OKC asked my number, and somehow it took several phonecalls to set up the date, which meant that we talked every day from that point on. That was two months or so ago and things are still going well :-)

      • Fair enough. Two OKC guys recently said, "Here's my number, do what you will with it." One of them I called. We've now been dating for a month and I'm so far deliriously happy. I'd been messaging with him maybe a week and a half at that point (wanted to meet sooner, but schedules didn't allow).

        The other guy kept saying, "It would really be much easier to text." I was kind of on the fence about how interested I was (although I was willing to meet and actively trying to set up a date/time). I kept using the site to communicate and set up a date/time because I was iffy on giving him my number. He kept whining about it and trying to convince me to text instead, and it really pissed me off that he kept asking me a question I had already answered. I was like, "WTF, I haven't even met this guy and he's pissing me off…" He eventually just stopped responding to me because I wouldn't text. How interested could he have really been if he lost interest over something so small? How much time and energy does it take to say, "Meet me at Joe Schmoe's Bar at 7"? I didn't want to waste my afternoon texting with a stranger over something that should be simple and take 5 minutes.

        I suppose you could say I was just more interested in/attracted to the first guy, and that would be correct. The takeaway is – Listening skills and respecting my comfort level are part of why I was more interested.

        • It's great that you met someone you're really into! And I also commend you for following your instincts with that other dude.

        • Dr_NerdLove says:

          A thing about the second guy: dudes who get *that* pushy about getting your number and texting are, more often than not, looking for sexting partners.

          • OtherRoooToo says:

            This is … a good tip.

            (Why do so many of the things I haven't even yet considered turn out to be yet another negative to dodge? Le sigh.)

        • I get annoyed when women don't agree to give numbers and figure "how interested can the be if she won't even give a number". Plus I don't understand what the big deal is? If you don't walk to talk to them anymore block their number or tell them you are not interested. I also generally find that the women who give me the biggest hassle early on tend to be the least attractive, most uncomfortable with men and sex, least trusting and most likely to not work out.

          And I don't think its a small thing if you are setting up a date. What exactly is he supposed to do if you don't show up? You could be late and he has no way of figuring that out or communicating with you in case he is late or needs to change locations.

          This is exactly why I hate online dating. I could get 10x further in a club in a vastly shorter time.

          • If we had actually set up a date I would've given him my number to text if he was running late or couldn't find the bar or whatever. After a while it was like he wouldn't communicate with me at all unless it was through his preferred method of texting. I just thought, "Meh. Too bad. I don't wanna. I'm just not that interested." The thing that pissed me off the most was repeatedly being asked a question I had already answered – that just feels so disrespectful to me and makes me stabby.

            Eh, whatever. No regrets. Had I not listened to my gut and worried too much about seeming "fussy" or weird to someone I wasn't that interested in, I would've grown fatigued and turned my profile off and not met the awesome-kind-sexy love bomb that is currently rocking my world.

          • Then why are you bothering with online dating? Clearly it isn't for you.

          • For the same reason the people by stuff from TV infomercials because I am a sucker and stupid stupid fool. But that ends now!

          • Good for you, dude! I stopped trying to meet people at big parties because it's the worst possible social environment for me; my philosophy is that I've got a limited amount of energy, and I should play to my strengths. Turns out I'm a lot happier now, and I also have more friends. Win-win!

          • Yeah. I opted out as well. I just am not wired to be able to get a good read of someone through writing. I need to meet a guy in person to know if I want to know him better. That isn't to say the medium is bad or anything. It just didn't suit my personality.

          • Of course the women who were careful about their boundaries with you were all ugly and fat (though apparently not too ugly and fat for you to pursue them in the first place). So charming.

          • OtherRoooToo says:

            "I get annoyed when women don't agree to give numbers and figure "how interested can the be if she won't even give a number". Plus I don't understand what the big deal is?"

            The biggest deal – and there are others – is that we as women have safety considerations that men don't.
            That's … kind of Elementary Meeting People for Dating & Relationships 101.

            (If you're still like "What is she talking about?" you may want to look up Schrödinger's Rapist or Elevatorgate – so well known that they generated over a thousand comments and sparked discussion for over a year, respectively. Granted, a large part of that discussion was (mostly socially-undereducated) guys (or those who really didn't give a d*mn/refused to put a woman's safety considerations before their own preferences for contact / closeness /sexual activity) asking saying "I don't understand what the big deal is" and women explaining it to them over and over again, but … :-/)

            "If you don't walk to talk to them anymore block their number or tell them you are not interested."

            This tells me you really don't get it and/ or have never had to deal with a stalker.

            If you're currently unsatisfied with your dating life and are interested in women? Seriously. Those links may shed a lot of light. Empathy is a very attractive trait. A complete demonstrated lack thereof? Not so much.

    • CaseyXavier says:

      Yeah I agree with this. Unless we've already progressed to a point where we're both comfortable enough to meet up, I'd be really really put off if a guy started pushing for my number. It'd be a red flag for a lot of people.

    • I just used Burnerapp and similar to get temporary, untraceable numbers when I online dated. If it can keep the cartels and AQ semi-anonymous, I figured it was good enough for this purpose.

      If I had ever hit it off with someone I would have given them my "new" number eventually, but never had it get to that point.

  3. This does a really good job of making the whole idea of online dating sound way less appealing than I actually thought it was. You're right, dating SHOULD be fun, but by the sounds of it, it's more like some kind of weird-ass emotional transaction. Think I'll give that whole hoo-ha a big, fat miss.

    • I see it as a fun writing exercise. Your messages shouldn't be "Oh god, how do I convince this person to talk to me," they should be "hey, I thought of a funny joke or snarky comment based on something in your profile."

      I don't think the "I see you like X. I also like X" messages work. Even if she does respond, the conversation is going to be boring. Make it fun. "You think X is the best ever? Here are 5 silly joking reasons why Y is the best ever!"

      Another strategy I recommend: send throwaway messages to girls when you can't think of what to say/don't think they will respond. Nothing mean or sexual, obviously, but something silly and dumb that you don't really expect to get a response out of. Like, "I like that purple hat you have in picture 3. I am actually a hat salesman. I would like to buy your hat."

      This has 3 benefits:
      1. Due to the fact that they'll often get responses no matter what, ladies don't always put as much effort into their profiles as guys do. So, there are a lot of cool, fun ladies out there that have really generic profiles. This is a good way to bring out their interesting side, if they have one.

      2. Ladies get so many boring identical messages, a weird non sequiter will often stand out.

      3. After sending a bunch of messages where you're actually putting effort in, I think it's cathartic to just say whatever you want (again, nothing mean or sexual). It helps to keep you in the mindset that this isn't life and death, this is just a goofy thing you're doing, so you can have fun with it. Find the girl with the lowest match percentage, and message her! Maybe you'll learn something.

      That ended up way longer than I thought, but I've actually had some success with online dating, so I thought I'd share.

      • Gentleman Johnny says:

        I like these ideas, although I pretty much say whatever I want already. I'm pretty up front like that and if its going to scare people off, better it happen before I pay for dinner.

      • Have you ever actually gotten a reply from someone who had the lowest match percentage you can find, and what was the conversation like if you did?

        My low matches are generally the sort of people who I actively disapprove of, so I've generally assumed they're just being pushy and thoughtless and hit the block button.

        • Yeah. The weirdest I get are the guys who are ultra religious and "homosexuality is a sin!" types. Yet they write me, a bi girl. It's not like it's obscure information. It's right there under my name, guys.

          • Stardrake says:

            That or “I will cure her of her bisexuality!” To be fair, someone who’s ultraconservative and super-religious should also be looking for an exclusive marriage, and it really shouldn’t matter if someone swings both ways if they’re genuinely comitted to a single partner. So from their perspective, if the relationship is successful, it’s a double win.

            Mind you, anyone who’s overtly ‘homosexuality is a sin’ these days proooobably isn’t going to be able to have a successful relationship with anyone who’s comfortable enough with their bisexuality to publicly announce it.

      • I agree with this, I also think that when trying to contact somebody you should think more like letter writing than texting. I think you'll get more successes that way or at the very least get more people to check out your profile.

      • "ladies don't always put as much effort into their profiles as guys do. So, there are a lot of cool, fun ladies out there that have really generic profiles."

        I don't think you've waded through very many guys' profiles, Max. There are countless fellas who cannot say more about themselves than the fact that they "love life", are "equally comfortable in a tux as jeans and a t-shirt", "don't sweat the small stuff" and "love to laugh" It doesn't get much more generic than that.

        • Gentleman Johnny says:

          And in both cases, they get the results they built a profile for: people who are messaging them based on looks. Maybe its because I'm in Vegas but attractive people aren't difficult to find. Attractive and interesting people are much rarer.

        • I'd agree that there are a lot of guys of that variety. Quite a few don't even bother with the usual cliches and just write two sentences in "about me" to be done with things.

          I'd agree people get what they ask for in most cases, and suspect a lot of those users would be more comfortable using something like Tinder, where they could find a cute and probably fairly mainstream seeming person and do the rest without having to deal with writing essays. That's not for me at all, since I really care what my dates are interested in and how they think and express themselves, but I think it works for some people.

        • There are also different profile cultures in different profile sights. OKCupid encourages detailed profiles while JDate does not for some reason.

        • For this reason, I should try internet dating again now I'm in a bigger city with a (presumably) larger dating pool. I love being given a bunch of text boxes to fill up, and am probably looking for someone who thinks similarly. Someone who seems nice but who isn't into wordplay or words in general probably wouldn't work out, and it was a little depressing to reply to someone with a joke recently only to have them say "I don't understand". Not that this is for everyone, and I've disliked sites that prioritise physical attributes over profiles whereas some people presumably go for that, but eh.

        • OtherRoooToo says:

          Don't forget "I live life to the fullest."

    • Gentleman Johnny says:

      I stand by the "numbers game" description. There's a lot of not-unpleasant but not incredible "hey, cool weeping angel shirt. You've been to Comicon?" messaging with no guaranteed reply but every so often you get to talk to someone about drive-in movies and human sacrifice and even if you don't get a date, that can be fun. Obviously, your conversational topics may vary slightly but the overall idea stands.

  4. The main problem with online dating is that you know the person less and have no real life interaction unlike traditional dating. Previously, people would know the people they date from daily interactions at work or somewhere even if it was pretty brief. You had some sense of what these people were like simply because you interacted in person. Online dating is the ultimate blind date because you don't even have a referral from a friend. Naturally, real life meetings tend to be more miss than hit.

    • I agree totally. Meeting people through existing social networks means that they've been filtered for similar values and interests by the people you know best. It's much less work screening somebody you meet through a friend than starting at zero with someone online. Not to mention that beginning as an acquaintance and allowing attraction to build through a slow burn is a much more satisfying way to build a relationship, IMO.

      • Online dating is just like regular dating only more so. Everything that a lot of people hate about traditional dating is more amplified with online dating. Just as regular dating tends to favor extroverts and people who like being out in public and having an obviously good time more than introverts; online dating favors that even more because when you finally meet you need to make a better first impression. With regular dating, you already made your first impression. Thats why you were on the date.

        Online dating also suffers from the paradox of choice. With regular dating, you were more or less limited from people you knew in regular life in someway. Online dating puts more potential partners within reach, meaning that people are going to make fewer choices.

  5. Another issue is that we are poor judges of the tone of our online writing. Sarcasm just doesn't translate online, for instance. I've received many "funny" messages that I perceived as vaguely insulting or condescending. Not a good first impression. Ramit Sethi recommends reading your writing out loud before you hit send, which I've found helpful.

    I read "Data, A Love Story" recently, and would recommend it to anyone who dates online. It's a memoir written by a straight woman, but I think it everyone could gain insight from it, in terms of how she optimized her profile and filtered perspective dates to find the guy she later married.

  6. CaseyXavier says:

    I agree with having a really good main profile photo, but really really disagree with the professionally-taken, headshot against a simple background thing. I've recently been asked to moderate pictures on OKC (yeah idk how that happened), and pro pictures send people lunging for Google Image Search because they think it's a fake profile. Pro headshots make me think LinkedIn, not dating site, and may not come across as genuine in the latter.

    IMO a good main profile photo will show your face and smile clearly, be well lit and flattering etc., but look casual and in natural surroundings (by natural I mean like everyday life, not necessarily in a park or forest or summat, heh).

    • The biggest thing you want your photo to do is draw click traffic. While the OKC rules should be followed (you should be in it, you should be reasonably recognizable), another face in a sea of faces won’t make you stand out. If you’re smart, you’ll find a way to make them click just to see what the rest of the photo is like.

    • chinchilla says:

      I don't even have a pro photo for linked in. Woops.

  7. John Mears says:

    Question, Doc:

    I’m only 5’2. Should I be up front about my height (possibly ruining my chances) or just leave it blank?

    • Dr_NerdLove says:

      They're going to see you in person eventually, and they're going to react far more strongly than if they knew in advance you were 5'2"… and in many cases, that's not going to be pleasant. Better to be up front about it and filter out the people for whom your height is going to be a deal-breaker.

      Also, a lot of people filter by a range of height, which may well include yours; leaving it blank means you're not going to show up in their searches at all.

    • Every dating site I can think of has a field for height. As a rule you should answer honestly.

      There’s no need to mention it specifically in your profile. That sends the message that you’re defensive about it, which is way more unattractive than height is.

    • You have my sympathy but things are not as bad as they seem. I am also a guy shorter than most women and this is what I have personally observed. Height is either an absolute nonnegotiable necessity or it is something that she doesn't even notice. You are better off being honest sense there is nothing on this earth that will change the mind of a women that refuses to date those of us that are lacking in the height department. The rest of your potential dates will probably not even notice what you put down as your height. Leaving anything blank makes you look lazy at best, dishonest at worse.

  8. I think online dating sucks for men. The response rate for men is in the order of 10% if you are lucky to online messages. My response rate is actually more like 5%. And there is a massive imbalance between the number of message you send and the number you receive. I would say typical ratios are 10 to 1. Plus even after you start communicating, women will disappear or stop talking for whatever reason..especially when you ask for a number. Then you have to actually arrange a date and very often you find out the person is significantly different than their online persona. For men this means you have wasted a lot of time. For women no so much because women send far fewer messages than men.

    In addition a large number of profiles are inactive but you never know that so you waste your time sending messages to no one.

    The real guys who should be online are extremely good-looking shy guys. They will be treated like women.

    • The following pic tell you all you will ever need to know about online dating if you are a man: http://jonmillward.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/20

      • Johmichaels says:

        You should read the article this image comes from. It actually points out that getting more messages doesn't make dating easier. If you get 100+ messages a day but most read "U have nice tits" not only will you be unable to read them all, you're also less likely to bother paying attention to the few messages that make a an effort, giving up on the online dating world completely. Whereas for males, we only get a few messages per day but we are more able to respond to them, and more importantly, these are more likely to be from people we would want to have a conversation. With.

        You can have a look at okcupid metrics site for more info- they did an article on profile pic styles and found that number of members contacting is not a reputable judge of success of pic, a better measure would be how many conversations (messages back an forth) came from a particular image. And came up with rules suitable for males and females.

      • Gentleman Johnny says:
    • Hmm interesting. Because most of my female friends have left online dating because sure they get messages but they are either gross messages, or messages accusing them of not really being geeky, or messages telling them they are fat etc etc and so forth. It was so demoralising that they left. I don't think just because women get more messages it's any easier. It's just a different frustration.

      And I know above you said that you don't understand why women are hesitant to give out numbers and I am sure if I explain it you likely still won't accept it. But considering all the dick pics my friends have been sent, as well as the harassing stalking messages that go on and on, well yup women are wary to hand out their numbers. They can block someone far easier on a dating site who starts behaving badly. I really don't think you fully understand what women go through with online dating. It might not be the same kind of frustrations as you do, but I would highly recommend going to tumblr and search the Okcupid tag. You'll notice that the women post about being harassed and called horrible names and the dudes post about non-responses. And it can make me shake my head because if the guys would only do as I do and search that Okcupid tag they might learn WHY women don't respond. Time and time again a woman will politely respond that she isn't interested and she then gets called a "c***" in response. Not responding simply becomes the safest method to avoid harassment.

      At any rate, it sounds like you do much better in person, why do you even bother with online dating then?

      • "At any rate, it sounds like you do much better in person, why do you even bother with online dating then?"

        My first idea was to just try everything. Which I did. Online dating was part of that. Second I have tried to repeatedly give online dating a chance. Why? Mostly because people keep talking about it. You have articles like this one, friends who try it etc. Third because the sites are pretty good at making a sucker of me. Match sends me emails regularly telling me 10 women have checked out my profile or that some women have expressed interest. I block these emails now because I know Match is evil evil evil.

        On Zoosk with my free profile I would get unsolicited messages and when I winked women would always respond back. So I was like great! Zoosk is probably a friendlier site. I didn't know that most women on Zoosk have setup an automated response to all winks. So I wasn't really getting messages back…I was getting automated responses. I think Zoosk is purposely setup this way to lure unsuspecting me in. Plus Zoosk has the Mega Flirt feature which allows people to send an canned message to a large number of people. This is why I would get a respectable number of unsolicited messages from women. None of these women respond back. So basically on Zoosk you end up thinking you are popular but the truth is that its all just canned and automated responses from uninterested women.

        And Match annoyed the hell out of me. They would send me daily matches with around 10 fairly attractive, often Caucasian women. I would click on their profiles only to find out that they only date White guys. This was pretty typical on Match…I was ethnically excluded from probably more than 50% of profiles. I always wished their was a setting so I didn't have to see these type of profiles at all.

        And the worst is that I think dating websites succeed from your failure. They don't want you to find a successful relationship but they do want to keep you around. So they are designed to give the promise and hope of something but actual deliver nothing. Match is evil evil evil. I got more interest from women on Match after my subscription ended than I did when I had a subscription.

        Zoosk is the last online dating website I will ever try.

        "I really don't think you fully understand what women go through with online dating."

        I can accept everything you say but than the logical response is to have women do more work. Women should be sending way more messages and men should be sending way less.

        • FWIW, I agree with that. I tell all my female friends that the smart thing to do is to be the one making the approach.

        • I honestly gave up on it for a lot of the same reasons. The biggest is simply that, I gave Online Dating a try in the first place precisely because I'm outcome oriented when it comes to dating. pre-requisitional dating, EG dating before a committed relationship is formed, is just worry, expense, and a constant best behavior as you are trying to impress a person enough to decide you are worth being in a relationship with. Since that's what I want, a relationship, not dating, not hooking up, but an actual relationship that will hopefully become long term. simply put, I just don't find dating "fun", never have and never will. I'd rather go out on my own, spend my money on me, and then at least I already know that I dislike myself and don't want to see me again.. it's less damaging. Apparently according to basically everyone, I am incorrect to feel this way, but it doesn't change the fact that this is how I feel about it. Dating is only fun when it's after the relationship has been formed and you are no longer having to put on a persona in order to keep them interested. I get it, I really do, some people simply gain enjoyment from meeting new people.. I am not one of those people. I don't want to have to date 100 women in order to get a relationship, and I couldn't do it financially even if I wanted to.

          Online dating was supposed to alleviate this somewhat by allowing you to skip a lot of experimentation by being able to read and message people who were allegedly more predisposed to being your "type". That of course lead to the BIGGEST reason why I can't use online dating. Geographically I'm such a square peg in a round hole that it eliminates practically everyone. The last time I had an OKCupid page, the vast majority of people had something in the range of a 60% match with me.. so after messaging everyone with a 75% and up.. and getting 2 responses.. which lead no where? I was out of people to message. The turn over rate wasn't high enough, and the few women who did message me were so totally out of the realm of possibilities of suitable that it was nearly laughable, though I applaud their self esteem!

          The other issue is, because I live in such an economically depressed area, everyone seems to work a miserable part time job, and so that leads to a LOT of women who are looking for a partner who can facilitate an out, and I don't blame them. The last thing they want is to get stuck with someone who is just as broke as they are, or worse someone who doesn't have the desire to change that. So it leads to a LOT of women who are otherwise good matches listing something like "under, 20,000" for their own income.. but then saying they are looking for someone who makes over 50,000$ a year or who owns a house.

          Peoples motivations are really laid bare on online dating.. one woman was extremely upfront about it, "My favorite sex position is the one that ends in you paying my car note"….

          • CaseyXavier says:

            I'm not interested in telling you 'you are incorrect to feel this way', and I can understand wanting to skip past the arduous task of the dating phase. Logistically, though, I don't get how that's supposed to work. How will you both decide to enter a committed relationship together if you don't at least go on a date first? Compatibility on paper, and even being friends with someone, doesn't tell you very much about how you'd be as a couple. Most people don't jump straight into the committed relationship phase without even going on a date, so that will hinder you that much more (if not completely) if that is your requirement.

          • hobbesian says:

            well there is some obvious variability to this of course.. but it's also the reason that 100% of my girlfriends have started out as friends or more specifically, women/girls who I spent a LOT of time hanging out around. It eliminated the problematic part of dating for me. If we went out as friends, I didn't mind occasionally paying for them because I would do the same for any of my friends. I guess my point is that I'm still getting something out of the deal, I'm getting to spend time with a friend.* The issue I have with dating is that I'm expected to do 100% of the work, and foot 100% of the bill. I realize that this is not always the case, but at least in my part of the world it is still very much expected. So paying to take 1 woman out on 1 date will cost around 100$ by the time you factor in gas, food, activities, etc. "Free" dates are great, but require you to live someplace where there is actually stuff to do for free.

            So to me, dating is basically just a great way to throw money away because there is no guarantee it will work out.

            I mean, I'm already basically completely hindered anyway since I don't and won't approach women, I was given a number last night but I tried to add her on facebook and she's not accepted.. I could have called her I suppose and I suppose it might have lead to a date (not that I can afford to go on a date right now) but that would have required me to actually call her and talk to her on the phone or risk being rejected now that she's sober. So I picked the easy way and this way if she says no it's not a big deal.

            Honestly I think I'm just never going to get what I want.

            I want the talent equivalent of relationships, much like talent at certain things, you just have it or you don't. I just want the relationship, I don't want to do any of the work to get one, primarily because, well, why bother when it's just going to potentially end? No reason to invest the time or money or effort without a guarantee of it being permanent. The only problem is, even though I acknowledge that I won't be able to get what I want, it doesn't keep me from being lonely or wanting it.

          • Robjection says:

            Slight nitpick here, but a relationship isn't something that's going to potentially end. It's something that's guaranteed to end at some point, unless (among other things) all parties involved unlock the secret to immortality.

            Carry on.

          • hobbesian says:

            That's a totally different issue, and you know that wasn't what I meant. Death is not something that I'm factoring in here, only willful action on the part of one partner or another. And lets be honest, It would never be me.. I've been very upfront about the fact I'd rather be in a bad relationship, than not be in a relationship at all. The only thing that could get me to dump someone would be if they were cheating on me.

          • CaseyXavier says:

            Hmm… two thoughts.

            1) You already know, based on your previous experiences, that entering into a committed relationship is no guarantee that it will be permanent, even if you start out being really good friends. So I don't quite understand what you mean and how that's supposed to happen.

            2) If you won't put in the effort to get a relationship, what would make a woman think you would put in the effort to maintain one?

            OK make that three thoughts, I guess!

            3) If I have it right, you a) won't approach women, b) you don't want to go on dates, c) you don't want to do any work to get a relationship, d) you want a commitment right away, e) you want it to be a permanent commitment right off the bat, and (if I remember correctly, may be getting you confused with someone else) f) you also don't want to settle down yet because you want the romance and experience of er… dating? first? I'm getting confused. This doesn't sound possible, even though many of the site's visitors would really like to help you.

            Also, with the woman whose number you were given, what is the trajectory you're imagining? It sounds like you were hoping to go on a date, which sounds contradictory to what you said earlier.

          • hobbesian says:

            I think you are slightly confusing me with Leesq..

            I don't really want the experience of dating, I just want to be with someone who is closer to my own maturity level than my chronological age. I get along GREAT with people who are like 22-25, but people who are closer to thirty tend to have maintained the momentum they built up in the first place and are a lot further along in life than I am. Keeping in mind, I've always been a "late bloomer" and I've gotten knocked back to the starting point 3 times now. in a lot of ways I'm closer to a 20-21 year old than I am to what my DL says my age is.

            Nah, not a date, just was hoping for an ego/morale boost really.

          • OtherRoooToo says:

            "Nah, not a date, just was hoping for an ego/morale boost really."

            I have run into more than one man like this recently.

            The question I continue to ask in situations like this is "If that is what you expect a woman to provide you with … what are you prepared to offer her in return for it?"

            You get companionship and an ego boost from spending time with her. What does she get from spending time with you?

            Because time is a scarce currency for everyone these days. And if she's spending time with you, there are a thousand other things she could be doing with that time that she's choosing to forego. So how does she benefit from doing that?

            (I should have added "What does she get from you – that she wants?" Because frequently these guys just assume that the woman in question wants the same thing they want, often without even bothering to ask that woman, in order to – at minimum – check their assumptions. )

            It does not seem to occur to people — I've run into men, mostly, that do it (though I am sure there are women out there – somewhere – who do it too, though I've never met any, especially since we are encouraged by society to provide endless nurturing and patience in relationships and punished when we do not or cannot) — that relationships are supposed to be mutually, reciprocally beneficial experiences … you know, just like friendships .. not one-way streets.

            Do you guys ever consider that?

          • hobbesian says:

            uhh you took that waaaaay too far.

            All I wanted was a friend add on facebook! Thats how shitty my self esteem is these days, I get like SUPER excited when people add me on facebook.

          • OtherRoooToo says:

            "uhh you took that waaaaay too far. "

            Actually, I didn't.

            I was
            a) responding to the precise words you wrote and
            b) detailing my own experience, which is a situation where I don't think you get to judge "where I take" something.

            Nice job trying to dodge the final question, though.

          • I think hobbesian was just being unclear there, any chance you can cut him a little slack? I think he's actually pretty good on the "I have to bring something to the table" front generally speaking, even if he often believes it in a way that makes him sad.

          • OtherRoooToo says:

            I had to stop and think for a minute why that — "any chance you can cut him a little slack?" — just felt like … a bit of a slap.

            I think it’s because I feel like I’m being exhorted to give *him* a break, when his response doesn’t exactly read like he was giving *me* one.

            (He's not the only one – and his is not the only gender – really struggling with dating here.)

          • Sorry it felt like a slap! Because I like you both and see your points, I was trying to intervene in a situation that was escalating because of a misunderstanding, (rather than because hobbesian is a jerk in the way you describe – which is something I know from other conversations). Let me know if there's a better way I can do that in the future.

          • OtherRoooToo says:

            "because hobbesian is a jerk in the way you describe"

            I think he makes that point much better than I can do it myself.

            As to your principal point, I've just been discussing with someone how, when I'm communicating in a straightforward way online and people don't know my gender, my words aren't taken as anything other than how they're meant.

            By contrast, if I communicate that way and people *do* know I'm a woman, I do get much more pushback if I don't "soften my approach".

            (You know

            It's almost funny, because I don't reach out to hobbesian generally, because I know how he's likely to react. He'd just said something in this particular instance that I've heard so many times from so many other men recently that I used his remarks to develop some variations on the theme, as it were.

            And given the facts that you do know my gender and I do generally greatly respect your opinion, irrespective of what I think of the Tone Argument generally (and the answer is "not much") I will think twice in this space WRT my delivery as well as my content in future.

            (I do think it's telling in this context that, outside of the occasional nasty outlier, men — and hobbesian's second response to me, again, proves the point better than I can do by myself — don't really have to put in that same level of proportionate effort to manage their communications, either here on this site with a mixed-gender audience or in relationship generally … which is kind of a meta-example of what I feel like I've been talking about all day. So since by virtue of all that I think the point is made, I'll sit down now.)

          • You know, I thought deeply about whether I was reacting to your tone, and I decided that I actually didn't mind the tone. (And I apologize if I made it sound like I did.) It was that you were using a moment when hobbesian found a way to communicate something important about himself in order to talk about something that guys in general do, and that you did it in a way that ignores his specific and particular experience. I know that using specifics to connect to generalities happens a lot on here, and I usually don't mind it, but I thought this was a real breakthrough for hobbesian and it made me sad to see that moment getting turned into something else. I hope that is helpful for you in your future judgment calls, and for the record, I will respect you no matter what you choose.

            Also to be clear: my intent was to say that hobbesian is not generally a jerk in the way you describe, except when his jerkbrain is out of control. I actually think the thing he struggles with the most is feeling like he has nothing to offer and therefore never being able to find a partner again. Which, yeah, makes me really sad for him.

            Finally, I hope it helps to know that I've made suggestions to hobbesian about managing his communication, too, both in this thread and elsewhere. Maybe guys don't have to manage their communication in general, but damned if I'll let a friend of mine shoot himself in the foot when he doesn't have to. :P

          • hobbesian says:

            ahh.. thanks.

            And yes, I realize I often come across as a jerk on here. A lot of that is just in the way I deal with confrontation. I tend to get easily frustrated when lots of people are taking positions opposite of mine and I often can't respond to each of them in the way I would like to before more people tend to pile on. Doesn't help that I was raised in a definite "Shout louder, get your way!" type of family.

            I also often have a hard time articulating my feelings properly.

            when you combine the two it just results in a lot of argueing.

          • OtherRoooToo says:

            “Also to be clear: my intent was to say that hobbesian is not generally a jerk in the way you describe, except when his jerkbrain is out of control. I actually think the thing he struggles with the most is feeling like he has nothing to offer and therefore never being able to find a partner again. Which, yeah, makes me really sad for him. “

            And again, I think my wider point is how much attention you’ve – and your attention is kind of synecdochic here; I’m talking also about the attention of the board, and of the wider culture – paid to his concerns (about relationship) as opposed to mine, even though, which I also repeat, there are just as many women who feel like he feels (and/or can identify with the feelings he articulates) as there are men, struggling with those same types of concerns.

            And I feel like those womens’ problems and complaints are ignored and brushed aside in favor of the larger percentage of attention that’s paid to the plights of the men.

            I mean, at this point I’m measuring in terms of comparative pixels devoted. Just reading down the thread. Just reading down the length of your comment, and how much attention you devoted to (over?) explaining his concerns to me – when, actually, I got them without your having to explain them (especially since I lurked for a long time before commenting, and have observed how much digital ink he himself has devoted to them) – as compared to any actual focus on the concerns I iterated, on my own behalf as well as those concerns I (at least know anecdotally I) share with other women.

            (In other words, in the latter case, pretty much … none?)

            If I haven’t yet made it clear, what I’m getting at is that men and their relationship concerns are getting a disproportionate amount of attention, and women and their relationship concerns relative to these same men are getting dismissed and ignored. And I don’t think anyone who observes the current state of relationships can convincingly say that pattern of attention doesn’t contribute to the problems those relationships are exhibiting. What goes on on this board is just a microcosm, but I think the large part of my point is that it’s certainly rather vividly representative of the problem.

          • FormerlyShyGuy says:

            "And I feel like those womens’ problems and complaints are ignored and brushed aside in favor of the larger percentage of attention that’s paid to the plights of the men. "

            I don't agree that this is accurate but for the sake of argument is that not understandable in this particular space?

            This blog was created to relay DNLs experiences and knowledge to men where there was a lack of advice that is effective, and respectful to women.

          • Actually, I have a specific friendship with hobbesian; among other things, we've been having extended private conversations, so I have information here you don't. If I had to choose, I'd say that I have a significantly closer relationship with hobbesian than I do with you, because you and I just haven't talked directly all that much.

            While I agree with you about the larger point, the post I'm responding to is a pretty good example of you doing the thing that I thought was hurtful in the first place: taking something that's specific to a particular person's experience and turning in into some kind of generalized point. Except this time you're hurting MY feelings, because you're rendering a friendship that is very meaningful to me invisible.

          • OtherRoooToo says:

            Self-admitted by the man himself:

            "And yes, I realize I often come across as a jerk on here. A lot of that is just in the way I deal with confrontation. I tend to get easily frustrated when lots of people are taking positions opposite of mine and I often can't respond to each of them in the way I would like to before more people tend to pile on. Doesn't help that I was raised in a definite "Shout louder, get your way!" type of family.

            I also often have a hard time articulating my feelings properly. "

            So I maintain that "jerk-esque", especially in the face of a person's own admission, would have been a reasonable interpretation, not just by me, but by anybody reading, of how the remarks were coming across.

            And this

            "because you're rendering a friendship that is very meaningful to me invisible."

            Not only was that unintentional — and if we're going to talk about invisibility (which we're not, because … what matters to me or other women who might feel like I do is apparently quite irrelevant here) — but there's absolutely no way I would have known that, would I have?

            But now that I know mind-reading is required …

            *smh*

            As I said, I'm bowing out here. I am familiar with the social convention that maintains it … doesn't really serve anyone in the interaction to hang about where one is unwanted.

          • hobbesian says:

            Dodge the question? You're lucky I even responded to you at all. I don't owe you a response, and it is entirely up to me to pick what I respond to.

          • CaseyXavier says:

            My bad, sorry! Your age thing shouldn't be a big deal, a lot of (if not most) women are open to dating older guys. After reading kleenestar's comments and yours I get what you mean a little better now, I'd probably have taken the 'ego boost' thing the wrong way, heh. If friendship is all you're looking for (to start) an FB invite is probably the best way to approach things rather than a call.

            I'm just still confused about the 'guarantee it will be permanent' thing as I'm not sure that even your very close female friends can offer you that.

          • hobbesian says:

            no one can offer it, and the rational part of me knows it is too much to ask for. The irrational emotional part of me is what is looking for a guarantee what happened to me the last two times doesn't happen again.. cause I honestly don't know if I'll be able to give it another shot if it backfires so spectacularly again.

          • Johmichaels says:

            This may not be well received because I'm bringing up solutions, and honestly I think you're a bit problem focused right now, but you don't need to pay for all dates, and you don't need to organise all dates. Many women are even offended if you suggest you paying their share, and many women like a man asking "what would you like to do?" (Second date with my now wife was entirely her idea, with me happy to follow along).

            You seem to be resigned to things the way they are, and that's fine if it's what you want. There is nothing wrong with not wanting to date, and taking a time of dating to improve your own health and identity can drastically improve your dating chances in the future.

            But if you're not happy, and it doesn't sound like you are,mcomplaining about how difficult change is isn't going to make you happy. And coming up with excuses, which is everyone's normal reaction to change because change is scary, is something that needs to be challenged. You say you shouldn't invest in dating because if a relationship doesn't work out, it will be a waste or money? That's a self defeating prophecy right there. Do you apply for work, even though you realise that working hard on an application could potentially be a waste of time if you are unsuccessful? Do you study, even though you are aware if you do not pass a course it will have been a waste of time and money! Do you see films, even though if you don't like it, or the film breaks down it will have been a aste of time and money?

            These excuses are annoyingly emptying to follow, but they can pretty much stop you doing anything, good or bad. I find a good way to look at change is to make sure you always gain from the experience. Okay, I may not have a relationship from this date,but I will definitely improve my conversation skills, learn what's going on, and at least have a fun night with a person I may not otherwise have known.

            But I think before all that, you need to ask yourself why you want a relationship. That desire is coming clear in everything you write, to the point that it appears which woman would form a part of that relationship is irrelevant. Finding out why you want a relationship is the first step in actually getting one, as most women want to be wanted for who they are, not because someone has an idea of a relationship and wants to shove them in, whether they fit or. Not.

            After asking yourself that, you can follow to the pair of this question-why do you not like being single? You've said previously any relationship is better tha no relationship- why is that? Being single has a lot of benefits over a relationship, not least of all that being a happy single person makes someone much more attractive than a single person who desperately needs a partner for whatever reason. If there is some problem you hope that a partner will solve for you, I'm sorry but that's not going to happen, and you would benefit from working on your own problems, then finding someone to join you.

          • I have to say, I'm 100% on board with the "get to know women as friends, let relationship develop" approach. Now when you say you don't want to date, I think I understand what you mean. You don't want to go on dates with strangers or try to build romantic relationships with people you don't know. You want to already have something worth having with that person before you invest in trying to make it romantic. Dude, that makes SO MUCH SENSE to me, and it's very much my own dating experience.

            I think you do have a talent at relationships, which is that you're good at taking women you're friends with and building romantic relationships with them. The problem is that most people are INCREDIBLY CRAPPY at doing that precise thing, so you're getting a lot of advice pointing you away from your strength and toward your weaknesses. That isn't the fault of the advice-givers – they're playing the odds, and hell, it took me this long to figure out what might be going on with you so it's no shame to them that they didn't know. But what it says to me is that if you want more dating success, you want to be figuring out how to make more female friends, not to immediately date but to expand your dating pool in the future.

            It sounds like you'd be a lot more willing to invest time and effort in building a relationship with a female friend than with a total stranger, since that's a win-win – it's work you enjoy, and even if it doesn't go well, you've still made a better connection with a wonderful friend.

            Does that make any sense?

          • hobbesian says:

            yeah that basically seems really spot on to what I was trying to say.

          • I just spent the weekend with a group of partnered women; literally every single one had married a guy they were friends with, except for the pair who, as they put it, "arranged their own arranged marriage." To me what you want seems 100% totally the norm.

            If you want to get better advice about this topic, I would suggest you not say "I hate dating," since you really only mean you hate specific types of dating. I would say something like, "I prefer to grow my romantic relationships out of friendships, how can I do that better?" I think you will get much more useful advice and have fewer really frustrating arguments. :D

          • I totally understood you, probably because I am kind of the same. It takes me a long time to warm up to people, so anyone I'd end up romantically involved with would become a friend first. "Whirlwind romance" for me is 2ish months from meeting to relationship and it mostly went that fast because we met at the house of a cousin whose judgment I trust. He and I value similar qualities, so if a person is in his house the odds of us clicking are high and the person is probably trustworthy.

          • OtherRoooToo says:

            ", I'm 100% on board with the "get to know women as friends, let relationship develop" approach"

            I offered a man that recently. It didn't go well.

            He got very angry, and used the "I don't WANT to be friends" approach in response.

            Recently, after that blew up in both our faces, I saw that he'd posted a "friends first" ad on a site I knew. I thought "Well, gosh – I wonder where he got that idea?" o.O

            I will also admit – and I hope other men are reading here too and taking from it what positive relating hints they can – that I felt both cheated and hurt that he would offer other women something he wouldn't even give me a chance with, after having destroyed the potential for *our* relationship because he didn't want to do that when I first suggested it.

            I'd go even further and also say – as I saw the identical ad posted in "romantic" and "strictly platonic" sections – that he's being completely dishonest with at least half those women, because if he's looking for the same thing with them that he was looking for with me, then he's approaching them under a certain set of rather unabashed pretenses because he's not really looking for something "strictly platonic" at all.

            The latter is such textbook NiceGuy® behavior as it's been described countless other times in the blogosphere that I'd be embarrassed to the point of blushing if I didn't have memories – some of them written tome, mind – of behavior (and declarations that he was looking for a serious relationship with someone like me) that was 180 degrees from how he ended up behaving.

            (So no, guys – I won't be blaming myself for this one, so I'd appreciate it if no one else tried to either – it takes time to see & observe how people are going to behave with you, and we women do not have some magical intuition that predicts how you will behave right off the bat … unless you're sending us those red-flag messages on dating sites, LOLsigh. We have to see how words & actions match over time, at least over a few months, which I feel was certainly one of the other lessons here. I had some tiny indications that arguably could have been lime-colored flags … halfway between green and yellow … but I tried to set those aside under the other rod & cane we women are beaten with in Western society — the "Give him a chaaaance!" one. I don't enjoy the Kobayashi Maru scenario any more than James T. Kirk did as a cadet.)

            If men run around treating women like this and making all the women they initially interact with feel like this, I would posit that after awhile, they're not going to have anyone left to date.

            I'm just saying.

          • Hmm, what I meant was more "get to know women who you would want to befriend, then look within that group for dates." Sounds like basically the opposite of your jerk dude's idea, which is "pretend to be friends in order to get a date." When the friendship is genuine, I've seen this work beautifully.

          • hobbesian says:

            I've met most of my previous partners through mutual friend groups. It means they are at least already semi-vetted. If we both like spending time with the same people, we will probably like spending time around each other also. The problem was that for those times, I was spending time around shitty people to start with. I'm trying to fix that, but trying to start over from scratch is REALLY hard when basically everyone your age is a freaking workaholic if they aren't a party monster.

          • OtherRoooToo says:

            “When the friendship is genuine, I've seen this work beautifully.”

            Which is, again, why I proposed it to him in the first place.

            I thought we had enough nerditude and other cultural things in common (in addition to finding him attractive even though his current affect wouldn’t arguably fit into the ”conventionally so” box) that I thought we had a foundation we could build on.

            He didn’t read as a jerk right out of the box, which was why I gave him a chaaAAAAANCE trying to do it his way, as we as women are so frequently exhorted to do.

          • Wait, sorry, I don't understand why you are arguing with me here. Or maybe you don't mean to be arguing? I'm not saying that this guy wasn't an ass – he was. I'm saying that for some people, being friends first is a great way to date. I happen to be one of them. That doesn't mean there aren't lying assholes out there who would like to exploit my preferences.

          • OtherRoooToo says:

            I'm not saying any of that.

            (I am actually a little hurt that you'd just classify him as a "jerk" when there were things that attracted me to him enough to give him a chance in the first place, and get to know him well enough to find out that there were jerky things about him that … either he need(ed) to decide were important enough WRT the way he interacted to people that they needed to change, or I need(ed) to go. But there is something about the way I'm communicating here where … you're consistently not understanding what I'm trying to write, which means, I nee to communicate differently or just … let it go, and at this point I think I'm going to choose the latter.)

            And I'm not "arguing" with you.

            (And apropos of our discussion in the other thread – and elsewhere, though I think there's some sort of implicit prohibition about mentioning that here – I'm not only a little chagrined, but also a little … suspicious … that you continually seem to be reading my statements as such.)

          • Total stranger, who doesn't know why he's reading this whole thread, weighing in: Your posts read quite confrontational, and, I think, defensive and a little bit aggressive at the same time. I was surprised that it surprised you that Kleenestar thought you were arguing, so I assume the confrontational tone of writing isn't intentional, but it does come through as such. Wouldn't have otherwise written, but there it is anyway.

          • CaseyXavier says:

            I think that was really good advice for hobbesian's needs/wants, thanks for that perspective because I couldn't see it until this comment.

          • @hobbesian: Hmm very interesting. This is of course a common human problem. I enjoyed the way you expressed it.

            Basically you are depressed or apathetic. But what interesting is the nature of your thoughts. I guess I would say there are two basic ways of thinking:

            Negative approach – you are always looking for why things won't work. You measure the cost of everything. The energy required, the trouble it will take, the difficulties involved, the pointlessness of the exercise. Everything seems like a waste of time. You only want to do something if you are sure things will work out. You avoid anything that could possibly lead to failure. You think everything is really hard, difficult and the nothing seems to be worth the effort involved. Houllebecq has whole books written on this way of looking at the world.

            Positive approach – you think anything could work. You are eager to try everything. You see possibilities of success in anything you try. You enjoy trying things even if they don't work. You are eager to try out everything. Even thinking about all the possibilities for success make you feel good and makes everything appear easy.

            I think both ways but at different times. Depressives tend to be negative. Manics tend to be overly positive. Manics are will to waste enormous time and energy on a lot of things which are unlikely to work. Depressives are unwilling to waste any energy and time unless they are sure things will work. Manics are often unrealistic. Depressive are realistic but they never end up doing anything so although the waste less time on pointless solutions, they are also less likely to try things they haven't done before…they are less innovative.

            I would say a lot of exercise is a good way to deal with this problem.

          • raindancing says:

            This is coming from a super-cautious woman, but back when I was dating, I would have been uncomfortable with the facebook request. When I give someone my phone number, I'm saying I'm comfortable with that level of communication. Facebook is a whole 'nuther level.

            Of course, it really would depend on how much interaction we'd had at that point, and whether you were a stranger or a friend of a friend.

            It's possible a woman might interpret the fact that she invited you to call her, and you chose to disregard that and contact her in a different way, as pushing on her boundaries.

          • hobbesian says:

            see the thing is, all I asked was if she was on facebook and if I could add her. we had quite a few mutual acquaintances. She chose to include the number, I didn't ask for it.

            it's weird because to me I'd rather a stranger have my facebook info than my number. my phone plan charges me to block numbers, and nothing will stop them from just calling from a different phone or texting from pinger or something. Facebook though I can block myself at no cost..

          • raindancing says:

            I see. I wouldn't think that would come across as boundary-testing then.

          • hobbesian says:

            she did eventually add me, but I don't think she's very active on it. Thing is she was just a really neat person to talk to and I'd like to talk with her more.. I'm sure I'll see her around since as I said we do have quite a few mutual acquaintances.

          • So the story might easily be that she just doesn't use facebook much, and added you late because of that. Might even have been a bit hurt that you didn't call, since culturally, a women expressing interest and giving out a phone number is seen as a more vulnerable position than if a man does so.

          • It's interesting to me where people draw those lines. It is harder to block people from my phone, but my mom sees what's posted on my wall. I have Facebook friends I've never actually met, but no one gets added until I at least have a good read on whether they can behave appropriately. The only one who's inconvenienced if I give out my number is me, so that's not such a big deal to me.

    • See my post above about making it fun for you. Then it's like, if she responds, great, if she doesn't, oh well.

    • johmichaels says:

      Inactivate profiles are easy to distinguish. Most sites will say when someone was last online-if it's more than a month don't bother messaging. They're not online.

      As a guy who is fairly shy, but not too good looking online dating can be great, as long as you don't expect a magic box where sex falls out-it requires skills, learning from mistakes, and actual improvement over time. Going over the same failing techniques over and over again is not going to work online, just as it wouldn't offline.

    • progshell says:

      I closed down my OKCupid profile about two months ago for very similar reasons. Due to the objective numbers of men and women online, women have the advantage and men the disadvantage (if we want to get perfectly tumblr about it non-binary and trans* people would have it the worst though). I just got tired of playing a game, and it is a game, where the odds were so fully biased against me. For example, in my time on OKC girls would often specify things in the "message me if" section that, if gender-flipped, would be seen as totally inappropriate and creepy. It's perfectly reasonable for a girl to specify that she'd like to date tall guys or guys with great hair while any man posting that he wants really any specific physical trait in a woman would be roundly ridiculed on the OKCupid tag on tumblr. I just have absolutely no interest in playing that sort of game biased as it is against me.

      For what it's worth, after I shut down my account I went to a Halloween party dressed as Jack Torrance and met the girl I've been hooking up with since then. All I can say is real life got me laid without having to go on a date (btw I come down on the "dating is not fun" side) or spend any money. All online dating did was convince me I was ugly, boring and worthless.

      • Worth pointing out that not all gender-flips should be equal. It's like how the word "cracker" is less offensive than the n-word, because white people were never disadvantaged by racial discrimination in the way that black people were (and are). Centuries of inequality mean that women get a pass on some things that men can't do. But sure, if you find someone's demands unreasonable, don't message them and move on.

    • Internet dating may suck for men, but from talking to my sister it seems far worse for women. Sure, you get messages, but most of them are one-line demands for sex, rude or abusive, or just weird. I've received very few messages on OKC (none in my geographic or age range, either) and never had any replies to my messages, but at least all the messages I got were polite and interesting. It is a little offputting when someone just stops messaging for no apparent reason, but if you're playing the numbers game I suppose you just shrug and move on, or if it weirds you out too much, quit online dating and try something else.

      I agree that women should be encouraged to be more open and assertive, but as individuals we're not going to crush gender roles globally, so to some extent we have to go to war with the army we have and accept that our breaks are what they are.

      • progshell says:

        Man, what I wouldn't give to be inundated with one-line demands for sex…

        (Yeah, I get that I'm missing the point, but from where I'm standing that sounds pretty great.)

  9. Johmichaels says:

    So you're angry that women say "I only want to date tall guys" instead of being like men and not saying it, but still only dating tall guys?

    Seriously though, continue complaining about how unfair it is for men while dating….but just don't expect much to change though. The world of tumblr is filled with men who seem to think they are owed a sex partner without any work or effort, and get very annoyed with women who dare to disagree.

    • To take Assman's side a bit:

      Lots of girls will take the amount of attention they receive and get an inflated idea what they can pull on the dating market. Combined with the idea that they can find their ideal mate if only they figure out how to filter out everybody else (which is ridiculous if you give it a moment's thought, but so few people do), it leads to some rather nasty entitled behavior.

      I can't feel too bad if people with unrealistic expectations fail to have them met, but they do contribute to the message that guys need to be romance leads or they should GTFO. Dudes are exposed to "advice" in that vein too often, and it means more deprogramming work before they can have a healthy/realistic idea how things really work.

      • Evidence?

        Because from my side of things all I see are women who have been called fat, or sent overtly sexualised comments, or told they aren't really who they claim to be, or all of the above, who quit online dating and only feel worse about themselves. Show me the entitled women out there please. The women for whom being asked for sexual favours as a first message, being treated like an object, being negged over and over and over again, being questioned about how real her geek creds are, is empowering.

        • First things first, whenever a girl says she gets nothing but gross stuff ask for a look at her inbox. The gross stuff exists, but she’s mentally editing out the massive amounts of inoffensive but boring. The truly offensive stuff is a very slim minority.

          (Not that anyone should feel like they should settle for inoffensively boring. Just that what’s stated is different from reality. With maybe a side note that if the only thing you say is “don’t be gross”, you have a lot of people thinking that being inoffensively boring will set them apart when in reality it does the exact opposite.)

          It’d be trivial to point out girls who have an inflated sense of what they bring to the table, but I’d end up using specific profiles and picking on specific people feels like a faux pas. Do your own search, see how often you see girls who think a cute picture, a cliche filled profile and a list of demands are all they need. That’s not actually a way to find someone who’s worth getting into a relationship with.

          • Well I've also been shown their inboxes, and I can tell you it isn't the "slim minority". I take it from personal experience you've seen the inboxes of these ladies?

            And have you seen the number of dudes who do the exact same thing as the supposed entitled women on dating sites? Probably not as you aren't looking at their profiles. I think we can safely say there is a portion of the population that is rather entitled in general. But go on, believe what you want to, so much easier to think you are hard done by and that women are the enemy and to blame for your failures at online dating than to maybe think we are all in this together, all have our own different kinds of shit to deal with, and that the good ones are harder to find for sure but are maybe worth the effort. On both sides.

          • I need to say something else. I find it rather disgusting that you are implying that women who are harassed online are really just blowing it out of proportion, that they are ignoring all the good or even harmless but boring messages, and just being overly dramatic about the "slim minority" of messages. The fact that I have had numerous friends quit because it was so painful to be online, so insulting, so hurtful and demeaning, well clearly they were just being shallow women and not paying attention to the majority of good messages they were getting. They don't know their own situation, they are blinded by their own irrationality.

            It's really damn offensive of you to suggest that they are just blowing things out of proportion. That they really could have a lovely dating life if only they weren't so blind to the reality of their situation which is a blessed one full of prospects. Shows how much you respect women and their powers of reasoning. Just. Wow.

          • "clearly they were just being shallow women and not paying attention to the majority of good messages they were getting."

            If you want to ignore the part where I called that "settling" and explicitly said that nobody should, knock yourself out.

            "They don't know their own situation, they are blinded by their own irrationality."

            youarenotsosmart.com

            People are irrational. Women, as I'm sure you're aware, are people. In this case, humans have a long history of disproportionately remembering extreme cases.

            Since you seem wedded to your narrative, though, I have a handy case study. A guy who sends messages of the sort that messages that compose most of your average girls' inbox, and a female telling him why it's a bad message even though he isn't asking for a quick blowie. My goal is for that to be the usual level of advice given, instead of focusing too much on the extreme bad cases.
            http://www.okcupid.com/forum?tid=4623395596121370

          • But that's all good advice. The guy in question doesn't have a good profile picture. I don't think the fact that a woman is in it is the real problem. I've seen amazing pictures of guys with their family members or friends. It's just a bad picture. It's boring, doesn't show his face, and isn't nearly as flattering as some others in his profile.

            His message could also use some work. The first and third paragraphs are just complete filler. He asks one question, which is fine enough, but either being more brief or more substantive would be a better strategy. Way too many emoticons for my taste. It's not a terrible message, but he's not really coming across that well to me, either – and I work with a much more limited dating pool than the women he's likely writing (given that he's written 30 of them and that his profile is fairly generic and focused on dating younger women, I'm going to say there's good odds that he's writing really desirable women in their mid-twenties rather than zeroing in on women likely to like him as much as he likes them).

          • It's good advice because it assumes his message is the standard quality of blah that most women get, and focuses on how a normal guy can improve what he's doing instead of fixating on the extreme cases of bad. The dude is a textook case of why "be legible, don't be gross" isn't enough. And why thinking it is enough gets you nowhere.

            Which is kind of what I was going for. There's a lot of bad advice out there, and a significant chunk of it comes from women who don't really know what they want*. I don't care what people do in their dating lives, I just want the advice environment to be healthier.

            *(Not because they're women, but because they're humans instead of vulcans.)

          • I don't think the usual advice is "don't be gross" either. Though I'm going to say that if he were messaging women who merely refrained from being illegible and gross, he'd have some replies. He almost certainly wants more, just from looking at that age range, so it's only sensible he'd be expected to offer more.

          • So you're saying not one of your female friends received a single email that wasn't offensive and had zero dating prospects whatsoever? I'm not buying it.

            Maybe the reason so many guys are so rude and inconsiderate is because what goes around comes around. You can't scorn and treat with contempt every single person who reaches out and sends a nice and respectful email, or otherwise leave people hanging at any and every opportunity and then wonder why all of the sudden no one is nice and respectful anymore especially when you want to insist that no one (male OR FEMALE) is entitled to anything.

          • Johmichaels says:

            So, when men become rude and insulting it's the fault of the women? How dare they not respond to all messages (which as all posters have stated are much higher in number than messages males receive). Every woman is required by law to respond to every man who posts to her, whether that be sexist, whether it be a one word sentence, and never say anything rude (The definition of rude online including not responding, responding and politely refusing the offer, responding late, responding…..pretty much any response which isn't "Do me now!" Can earn women a tirade of abuse online).

            Or, y'know, men could take responsibility for their actions. They wouldn't send abusive messages to their bosses, to their coworkers, to their friends if they hadn't responded to a message on time, and if they did no one online would say they earned the right to do it, but apparently a woman doesn't have such rights.

            I've had one critical message in the entire time I was online dating. One, and that was a woman rightly guessing I was sending a generic message. Nothing compared to what my female friends received online, or what I see regularly online. Maybe it's because generally I try to be polite with women and not go on tirades to "punish them" for some reason (Seriously, getting angry at a woman online is not going to get you anymore laid. Seriously, no benefit whatsoever, unless you like hurting women).

            Sure, a woman won't receive only sexist comments on her dating profile, she'll also have one word messages, or generic messages that say nothing. And maybe, just maybe, in50+ messages there will be a message from a guy who read her profile, and wrote a message that reflects this, and is exactly the sort of guy she would want to go. But if she's getting the vast majority of messages being offensive, abusive or hurtful, you're going to blame her for not bothering to read every single one in the hope that the next guy isn't going to try and hurt her?

            I mean, if you went to a bar, and twenty women started abusing you loudly, insulting and maybe even threatenng – are you going to stick around to check if there are any women there worth meeting, while still receiving the abuse? No, of course you wouldn't, but for some reason we expect women to put up with that shit.

          • Yeah I'll blame her for not putting forth the effort necessary to be successful at online dating. Just like everyone blames us for not putting forth the effort to be successful at online dating.

          • Johmichaels says:

            Not everyone blames us, as in men, everyone blames you, as in you. Just as there are many sites pointing out the creepy guys of okcupid, most of those sites also take time to point out the genuine success stories of online dating.

            Anyway, what exactly are you arguing here? You started out saying women are to blame if they receive abusive or offensive comments, because other women don't reply back, but now you're saying women are to blame for not getting dates but not attempting to contact guys themselves.

            All very interesting arguments, but neither are going to get you any closer to getting a date, sex, or a relationship. Or are going on online dating not to meet people (the whole point of online dating) but to punish women for behaving in ways you disagree with?

          • Didn't say that did I? I said it wasn't a "slim minority" that were the gross messages. They did get a few nice nice messages and even attempted a few dates (those ended up being with guys who wanted commitment right after date one so that didn't work . . .). I'm saying that the overwhelming harassment was enough to force these women off the site despite their maybe being some good messages. It was too hard for them. Just as it seems to be too hard for some guys to consistently message women and maybe hear back 1 in every 50 or so. Both sides are experiencing the same odds but in different ways. And both are getting discouraged. That was all I was trying to say.

            As to the rest of your comment about how it's all women's faults that they are treated how they are, uh no. Just . . . no.

          • OtherRoooToo says:

            "The truly offensive stuff is a very slim minority."

            That's … a fallacy.

            I'm also going to guess it's untested. I'd challenge you to put up a faux female profile on a site that permits it and see what types of responses you get. That "slim minority" is much, MUCH bigger than you declare it to be here, with such (unsupported) authority.

          • Especially if you are darker, bigger, mother, older, or not conventionally (or unconventionally) attractive. I think the most depressing/horrifying thing I have seen was an older, bigger, black single mom's inbox. It was ugly….really, really ugly. I don't think she even had 1 bland/boring message. It was wall-to-wall hate mail.

          • OtherRoooToo says:

            That's … I wish it was as surprising as it is horrifying.
            But to me, it's not.
            :-(

          • FormerlyShyGuy says:

            Crazy that people forgot what they were taught in kindergarden, if you don't have anything nice to say don't say it at all.

          • Actually it goes the opposite way. Girls who complain about getting nothing but hate mail never show their inboxes. Girls who do show their inboxes tend to be pretty light on it.
            http://i.imgur.com/3YyagWG.png

            I've made a she-sock to see what it's like. I'll do it again and post screencaps if you really want me to, but will you actually change your stance if the evidence disagrees with you?

          • I'd be totally curious to see you do a she sock of a bigger or browner or older single mom or some combination of above. I had always figured most people had similar nasty:bland:ok ratios to mine and the few other women whose in boxes I had seen (3:5:2 for the curious).

            I saw the inbox of the woman I mentioned above because she was crying in the bathroom at work during lunch. I guess the negative got to her and she needed a vent. She handed me her phone and what I saw floored me. I asked her if she wanted me to decon it and when I was done ditching the ugly messages there was nothing left. It had never occurred to me that it could get that bad. I wonder if it was a fluke or if that is common for her demographic..

            Her profile was kind of sweet, if a little trite and Christian heavy. She isn't either attractive or unattractive, like most people. On the bigger side, 2 kids, never married, nice solid middle class job. I honestly couldn't see what would inspire the hate.

          • OtherRoooToo says:

            "but will you actually change your stance if the evidence disagrees with you?"

            Not really, no.

            Why?

            First reason? Lies, damn lies, statistics. I work with government contracts, so I've seen "statistics" and "studies" manipulated to show just about any conclusion the presenter of said stats/"studies" wants its audience to reach.

            Second reason? It's happened to me personally.

            Nobody other than isdzan in her very moving example said anything about "nothing but hatemail" – that's your hyperbole – and I'm completely uninterested in anyone trying to use "statistics" as a bludgeon to brush aside and disregard what I've already communicated is my own personal experience.

            Even if that person technically might be "right" about the (manipulated) conclusion they're looking to reach, they're also showing me just by doing such a thing that what they're *really* looking to do is dismiss my feelings — not to speak of the feelings of every *other* woman who has *already articulated* that she has had that experience — and I'm completely uninterested in much anyone has to say who is looking to treat me like that.

            Sorry not sorry.

            You're missing the point, dude. This is not about your "evidence". This is about women who have said "This is how it is for us, and this is how we feel about how it is", and you saying in response to all of us "There is evidence against you, and so you're ridiculous." That's completely dismissive and invalidating, and women – at least I, and the women I know – aren't real interested in being in relationship (or even acquaintance) with people who behave like that.

            We get enough of that in every day life — and that kind of dismissiveness isn't really *that* different from those guys we've been spending so much time telling you about (and other men who think the way you seem to think about this) who push themselves into our inboxes. It's just disregard of our feelings of a different kind.

          • "see how often you see girls who think a cute picture, a cliche filled profile and a list of demands are all they need"

            That really sucks that you encounter so many profiles like that! We women run into many, many profiles of guys with a cute (or not) picture, a cliche-heavy profile, and a list of demands–one of the main ones being that he only wants to date woman somewhat or much younger than him.

          • No, no. Guys think that bland listings of their accomplishments are what they should sell themselves on, as well as the obligatory list of cliches.

            Which I guess gets back to my main point. The more you say "it's an ocean of wang pics out there", the more you have guys assuming that anything better than a wang pic will set them apart. Stop assuming the truly obnoxious cases will listen to advice (I'm pretty sure the guy spamming pics of his junk knows it's bad form, he just doesn't care), stop talking so much about bare minimum standards (it implies that's all you have to do to be good), and instead of talking about how to meet the bare minimums, spend that airtime talking about how to stand out from the mediocrity.

          • I guess that's the evo psych prediction of how men should behave when they're lazy, but in reality, there are a lot of guys who post shirtless selfies and who write a couple cliched sentences about looking for a good woman and call it good. I just received a message from a guy with a profile like that a few minutes ago.

      • Here's the thing, though: the research says the opposite. There's a substantial body of psychological research showing that American men, on average, have an inflated idea of their abilities at just about everything. If you want someone to give you an accurate self-assessment, ask a typical woman or a depressed man.

    • OtherRoooToo says:

      "the world of tumblr is filled with men who seem to think they are owed a sex partner without any work or effort, and get very annoyed with women who dare to disagree."

      And it is the "without any effort" part that really does change the minds of many women.

      (Also, wasn't there just a whole thread's subtopic worth of comments about this? The LW was talking about his "girlfriend" like she was some prestigious refrigerator — listing the "qualities" he found "desirable" in her without any effort whatsoever to find out what she was like as a person or what she cared about. Why would a woman find that attractive behavior? How can a man think that a woman would find that attractive? And why would a man think that a woman would continue to invest her time and energy in a man who didn't behave attractively — and by that I mean, specifically, behave like he didn't give a d*mn about her at all as a person??)

      Really, guys – really! I can at least attest to this personally, as well as having heard my women friends say it literally dozens of times recently. (Do the rates go up through the holidays, or something …?).

  10. MCSpanner says:

    Online dating is even more good-looks essential as "regular" dating is. I've been a member of 3 of them over the course of the last 4 or 5 years and I genuinely do not understand when people argue that a good profile is just as important. All 3 were structured so that you learn nothing about the person until after you've clicked the photo – immediately putting you into a "too ugly" or "I can live with that/attractive" category before the person has even learned a single thing about you.

    If you've failed at the usual dating methods because of your looks, don't expect that to change just because you're now a still image on someone's computer screen rather than a living being in their current environment.

    • I'd agree it gives even more of an advantage to people who are attractive. People who look good on paper in other ways (impressive careers, good at expressing themselves in writing) have an advantage too.

      I'd say that online dating is most helpful for people who have limited social groups, approach anxiety, trouble recognizing when others are interested in them or expressing their own interest, or who are looking for fairly specific traits in a partner.

  11. von Kalifornen says:

    Is it bad that I kind of wish I could have an Even More Traditional arranged marriage?

    • progSHELL says:

      …kinda yeah…

    • Nope, I don't think it's bad. It's a totally valid way of finding someone to spend your life with, assuming you're willing to buy in to the associated values.

      • And accept whoever is picked for you.

        • Actually arranged marriage these days isn't necessarily someone being picked for you and that's it. It's more like a series of people being chosen, that then you get to "date" with a view of choosing one of them to marry. There is a lot more choice involved than some stereotypes would have you think. I have a few friends who have had arranged marriages (who are very happy now) and it was interesting to hear about the process. They had a lot of say, and didn't have to marry anyone they didn't want to. Now that's not to say that the system can't be abused, but I think there is a lot of misconception surrounding what modern arranged marriages are like.

          • raindancing says:

            I knew an Indian woman who said hers went like this: her parents approached her one day when she was 21, and said that they hadn't planned on bringing marriage up until she was 27, but they noticed that she got along really well with H, and would she like them to talk to his parents? She said yes, and she and H were very happy together.

            I also knew a guy in high school who went back to India for a goodbye trip when he was 16, to see all of his relatives who lived there one last time, because once he turned 17 the contract that his grandparents had made with another family would become enforceable and if he went to India he could be forced to marry someone that he had never met.

          • The people I know who have them (Turkomen, Bosnian, Saudi, Sudanese) had caring degrees of choice ranging from picking from a group preselected by family to no choice at all. All of them, though, had to accept that the prescreening would be done by someone else, which may or may not use the same criteria as you would prefer, which may or may not be a good thing.

            I'd say it is 50% happy, 25% indifferent and 25% miserable among the people I know, so probably about the same as any other marriage arrangement.

  12. It's been a couple of years since I last ventured into online dating. I lasted roughly a year–six months as a paid user on Match, then six months on OKCupid–before deleting my profile and resigning myself to more warmer approaches, largely due to the same frustrations that most people encounter.

    In the time since–after devouring article after article on the subject, many of which from this very site–I can most definitely identify things that were preventing me from showcasing the best, truest version of myself. Now, I feel better equipped to write a proper profile and interact with people on the site more efficiently. But as much as I would like to rejoin OKCupid or find another site, I fear that I won't fare that much better, given the state of things.

    The most pressing issues are that I am currently between jobs–and therefore can't date as much as I'd prefer–and that I just don't have quality, recently-taken pictures of myself. The photos, I suppose, are easy enough to acquire, but I feel that no matter how charming or witty my profile/messages are, it won't matter as soon as people find out that I can only (barely) manage a date every other week or so.

    • That doesn't seem like the worst limitation (EDIT: in the sense of 'i think you can work with this,' not in the sense of 'other people have it worse so shaddup'). A lot of people go on dates with many people and might be totally cool with every other week or so anyway. But if the limitation is financial, you could also make a go of thinking up cheap or free date activities and/or trying to date people who don't expect you to pay every time.

      • Evvery other week seems reasonable, especially if you figure in time to find some folks you want to date who also want to date you, some scheduling conflicts (as always happens with adults), etc. The bigger issue would be if you find someone to date and you want to see them more often and you have run out of free/cheaper date ideas.

        Free/cheap dates are usually the most fun or interesting because they are usually more novel activities. Free night at the museum, movies in the park, city walking tours, book readings, lectures, concerts in parks, picnics, farmers markets, art shows/craft fairs, etc. can usually be done for under $10 per person (would have been $5 but picnics can be more expensive)

        • Now that you mention it, going on new and interesting dates with the same person while remaining within my means is, more accurately, my chief concern (if in fact, being unemployed doesn't disqualify me from dating successfully online) . A museum or the like is fine for a single, first date, but if we wish to continue seeing each other, how many free events can we possibly go to before she realizes that I'm not someone worth… *ahem* … investing in.

          • Johmichaels says:

            It gets easier the more dates you are on. The more a woman gets to know you, the more she will trust you, and the more she will be happy to have a smaller date at your place or her place.

          • This hypothetical woman is going to know that you're between jobs on the first date, or possibly the second. Someone who chooses to keep seeing you will at least be theoretically okay with that.

            Isdzan's recommendation to become the expert on cheap and free things in your community is a good one. Additionally, you will eventually get to know a woman well enough that hanging out at your place or her place and watching a movie on TV becomes one of your possible date options. In that vein, it's worth it to learn to cook. It's a not a good first date, but it's a good date for women who know you will enough to want to hang out at your place, and it's generally a useful relationship and life skill.

          • This is presuming that women will agree to date me even under these circumstances, of which, I am still dubious, due to my prior dating experience and what I have read from pretty much every article published outside of this website that discusses such matters. I expect most, if not all women to see the section on OKCupid, which displays my income and will certainly–and understandably–be left blank, as a giant red flag.

            I mean, have any woman who frequent this site dated someone for an extended period of time, someone whom they met online, who was essentially broke for most if not the entirety of that relationship?

            I don't mean to be difficult, but personally, my experience doesn't offer a stark contrast to the idea that one doesn't required ample funds in order to have a prosperous dating life. All of the women I've dated expected me not just to contribute, but *provide* monetarily.

            The last thing I want is to open up the proverbial can of worms about women and money, I would just appreciate some reassurance.

          • One thing you might do is try to figure out ways to signal in your profile that you bring non-monetary contributions to the relationship – things like being great at thinking of fun free things to do, being supportive, being a good cook, and so forth. Show that it's just that you happen to be an awesome person who's unemployed but looking after themselves, not that you're sitting waiting for a someone to come and fix your life for you. That will make you more likely to catch the attention of women who don't expect money to be part of what you bring to the table, but do want to know that they're not going to be the only one bringing stuff.

          • Johmichaels says:

            I met my wife on the day I quit a full time job. I didn't get any income out of welfare for the next twelve months, and no regular income for 18 months. And she wasn't the only woman I dated while I was unemployed with no income,

            It's not impossible, but it is possible. What really helped is we were both in a similar financial situation (both students), so we're really happy to go from "going out" dates to "staying in" dates for financial reasons.

            As for whether it is expected that men provide monetarily, well I can't talk for all experiences, but most women I dated were quite offended if I tried to pay for them. It might be that if you're finding women want you to provide financially during dates….it might just be a case of them, rather than you, that are the issue here, and by continuing on dating you may find many more women happy to share costs of dates.

          • I can't speak to online dating specifically, but I am a woman and my now-husband was pretty damn broke for the first three years we were dating. We had lots of arguments about it, since he felt like he should be taking me out, but eventually he just agreed to let me pay for everything on the understanding that we had a "from each according to their abilities" arrangement. A couple of years later I went to grad school and he got his chance to be the financial hero.

            For this to work, you'll want to find ways of selecting women who aren't deeply attached to gender roles around dating. You'll also want to show that you're a non-financial contributor to the relationship, especially if you're looking for something long-term. We can help you work on both of these things if you want.

          • Also: I think you'll do better if you get your own head straight about this. If you're conflicted and guilty or think you're less attractive because you don't have money, that will come across at some level. You don't have money right now – okay. That's a fact. But it doesn't have to define you romantically or personally. It just means that's your particular challenge, and other people might have other things they have to overcome.

    • Johmichaels says:

      Every other week is fine, especially considering you're just starting dating. I'd suggest limiting the number of people you contact, just because you don't want to end up having to turn down a potential second date because you've already got a first date planned with someone else but can't afford it, but otherwise it's fine.

      Remember, a first date is just a first date. There is no guarantee of an ongoing relationship, and you shouldn't be expecting one at this time. Just have a night out, get to know someone, see where it goes. She may not like you, and (something nerdy guys often overlook-it really surprised me when it happened!) you may not like her, but you can still build up your confidence, have a fun night out, and know a little bit more for your next date.

      Remember also, you're not the only person out there with limited finances. A lot of people are out of work right now, a lot more are studying or otherwise limited in their finances. They would be more than willing to organise a free or cheap date (especially a second date if they enjoyed the first) if it meant spending more time with someone they liked,

  13. "If you can manage it, I strongly recommend having a professionally done headshot for your profile."

    No. Nononononono.

    You should use a decent camera: http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/dont-be-ugly-by

    But yguys should absolutely not go for the "glamour shot": http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/the-4-big-myths

    The TL;DR version: don't look at the camera, and don't smile,

  14. Wow, I don't appreciate the fact that saying "I love all music except country and rap" is a dealbreaker. I love all good music INCLUDING country and rap, why the hell is not being a genre fascist looked down upon in the online dating world? If it's good, it's good. If it's not, it's not. Who give a shit about genres? They blend together all the time anyways. Seriously if people are going to judge you based on something silly like your music tastes, however "bland" they may be, then I will never even bother trying online dating.

    • There's nothing wrong with liking lots of kinds of music, just as there's nothing wrong with BEING nice or romantic or any of the other traits the Doc mentioned in that paragraph. The point isn't that liking many genres is bland; the point is that saying you like all different genres of music actually doesn't tell me anything about your musical tastes, any more than someone saying, "I am nice," "I am romantic," or, "I am funny," tells me anything about your personality. It's the statement that's generic and bland, not the actual trait.

      If you want to get across that you like many kinds of music, you could name a few favourite bands from different genres, or talk about songs you tend to play over and over, or about some great live music event you once saw. Talking about specific things you like not only helps give the people reading your profile more information; it also tends to bring out enthusiasm in the person writing that just saying, "I like music!" doesn't. And enthusiasm is attractive!

      But none of this is actually about dealbreakers. It's about how to make your profile better reflect who you really are.

    • It's fine to like lots of kinds of music. The problem with the statement is that it's vague to the point of being useless, negative, and generally means, "I like Top 40 pop and mainstream rock, and think that means my musical tastes are diverse. I've listened to very little rap or country, and am judging both genres based primarily on their fans."

      If your musical tastes are actually diverse, give some examples of favorites. That'll get the point across more easily, plus it avoids the trap of having to self-assess the breadth of your tastes and lets the reader make the judgement.

  15. I quite lik reading through a post that will mae people think.
    Also, thanks for allowig me to comment!

  16. Because you can't practically date someone without them. But actually most PUAs or for that matter any guy who has gone after women IRL realizes that phone numbers are worthless. Most women IRL give out their phone numbers like its nothing. Phone numbers are completely useless unless you are pretty sure the woman is interested.

    But in online dating its weirdly very different. Women never want to give out their numbers and in my experience the moment they do a date is all but guaranteed.

    I have been in many situations where I am having a good conversation online, we have agreed that we will go out on a date and the moment I ask for a number the girls stops all communication. Its really weird. To me its obviously testing something from the woman's point of view…because that is usually the moment when their behavior completely changes.

  17. I agree that women should be more proactive for their own sakes. I was, and now I'm the annoying chick who can't shut up about, "Oh my God, my new boyfriend's so awesome and cute and amazing and gorgeous and wonderful…"

    However, "assman" is a dude, and focusing any energy at all (whether you be male or female) on what you think other people "should" do is about as productive as banging your head against a wall and then saying, "What? Where's my revolution?" Life gets so much easier when you focus your energies on the only person whose behavior you have control over: Yourself. Also when you accept not having control over others. Que sera, sera.

  18. "It's not something that will change quickly, or even in our lifetimes."

    I'll take that as a challenge :b

  19. Its isn't discouraging…its pretty incredible though. A few question that you can just feel free to ignore: What race are you? What age are you? How attractive would you say you are? How attractive are the girls you go after? What type of messages do you typically send? How good is your profile? Too many questions…you should write a post on this.

    I consider a 50% response rate to be highly usual. And a 30% date rate to be almost incredible. You are obviously doing something very smart.

  20. Pretty sure it was Gandalf.

  21. Hence my decision to stop online dating once my Zoosk subscription runs out. I am not particularly concerned about women's behavior online. I just consider it a losing game for men. So why play?

  22. But then…why advocate what you think women "should" do at all? Why the "I'll take that as a challenge"?

  23. Unless it's changed, Tinder uses your Facebook profile picture.

  24. Ah, that makes sense. Tinder would be a more interesting place if everyone was that consious of the image they were projecting. In practice, most users are either on autopilot or are trying very hard to convey that they are 19 years old and are fond of taking selfies.

  25. Johmichaels says:

    Not the only outlier, back when i was on okcupid, I'd get a response at least 50% of the time. Now, I wasn't on the site long, because I soon started a relationship with a woman I met there who I later married, or it might be because I only messages people who had interesting profiles that included something I'd want to talk to them about, rather than everyone who looked hawt, with messages directly related to their profile, but the goal isn't to get responses from every woman on the site, but to get responses from the people you would want to meet in reality.

    Instead of complaining about how unfair it is that some people do well with dating, online or otherwise, compared to you, maybe take a look at what they're doing, what you're not doing, and seeing if your chances don't improve somewhat.

  26. Dr_NerdLove says:

    Watch it.

    Only warning.

  27. Are you seriously suggesting that GJ is a rapist for no reason other than the fact that he has more success in online dating than seems the norm to you? Wow. Just wow.

  28. You seem to have difficulty having online discussions without insulting people. I'm sure this is entirely unrelated to your lack of success with online dating.

  29. Robjection says:

    "And even if it is true (which I doubt), you're clearly an outlier"

    It's funny how often people jump to the outlier claim whenever any evidence contrary to their own beliefs rears its head, as if there's no possibility whatsoever that maybe they're the outlier.

    I'm gonna have to work that onto my List of Protips somehow.

  30. My impression is that online dating is far creepier for women than men, and creeps can be more dangerous to women than men, and so women have to be more careful. Like the article says, you can block people in online dating sites, less so with other ways of communicating. Like people have said, personally I give my number in case one of us is running late, and leave it up to the other person to reciprocate if they want, with the proviso that obviously if I'm running late and I don't have a number I can't warn them.

  31. When this came up on the forums, you ran into several people who reported high response rates. I'll add another: I asked a friend who I know does well with online dating, and he said about a third of the women he writes respond. Another friend said it was more like one out of ten. Both guys are decent looking, employed, and so on, but not extraordinarily appealing in any unusual way. If I had to guess, I'd say that the difference is partly that the first guy is your typical activist/political type, tends to date women just like him, and is mostly writing to women who are inclined to find him their type, while the second dates a variety of women who meet basic kinda cute, kinda smart thresholds and is more hit or miss in terms of whether the women involved are looking for someone like him.

    In any case, some of the traits that lead to high response rates can't be changed (location, vital statistics) and others are under people's control (message and profile content), but there is more to online dating than a bleak dystopia of sending hundreds of messages to get a single response. There are people who it works for, just as there are ones who it doesn't.

  32. Seriously. Not only is that insinuation unbelievably offensive and mean-spirited, it's irrational and ridiculous. People cannot somehow *make* anyone else reply to them on the internet. And if he were giving off any sort of coercive vibes (which, based on his interactions here, I highly doubt), that would tend to decrease his reply rate, not increase it.

  33. Seriously. How does a roofie help get someone to answer a message or to send one? Logic is obviously not everyone's strong suit, I suppose.

  34. Oh, so you make extraordinary claims, don't offer extraordinary evidence, and now you say that I haven't provided you with metrics.

    So let me be generous. Here's a metric: methodology.

    Describe step-by-step, exactly, what you did to get the results you claim to have got. With all the bloody details. And if I can reproduce the 50%/30% claim — sure, you can rub my face in it.

    If not — well. Call it 'charisma', call it 'voodoo', call it 'Rod of Greater Boning' — it's all fairy tale BS otherwise.

  35. This. You might be able to find a woman through photos and general information, but it's a lot harder ("okay, so her firstname is this, and she works in this field, and she looks like this… time to browse corporate intranets, I guess?"). With a phone number, you're just a google away.
    With the amount of creeps or just plain jerks out there (believe me, they're plenty), most women want to keep people at arm's length until they're sure. IRL, you can get a good "read" on the other person; not so much online.
    That's why I'm stingy, at least. But I'm also in possession of a smartphone, so I almost never text anyway. Sticking to OKCupid is almost as easy.

  36. Hard to know, I'm not sure there are any concrete facts. I will say that from the stories my friends have told me none of the posts on tumblr surprise me. I think it's rather common.

  37. Girls get way more attention than guys do.

  38. Girls get way more attention than guys do. That sets up a skewed dynamic even if one can't land a date without the other.

    Of course, it gets interesting when the girls start wondering why they can't leverage all that attention into a proper relationship. That's where they really learn to either sink or swim.

  39. progshell says:

    I don't have data to back this up, but the simple reason that there are more straight men online than straight women necessitates that there is a greater demand for straight women than there is for straight men, simply as a function of their respective supply levels. Therefore fewer men, as a percentage, will end up "winning" at online dating than women.

    Furthermore, simply being a man in online dating tends to implicate one, by association, with every abusive asshole that has messaged that person before. Thus, you're already behind the eight ball…

  40. OtherRoooToo says:

    "How can the odds be biased against men towards women? "

    They're not.

    But the people who are arguing that it is – as many literal reams of evidence that have been typed here and elsewhere on the Internetz to the contrary – are never, ever going to believe that.

    To paraphrase what someone else with sense wrote upthread, it doesn't matter if you get 1000 responses a day if 997 of those soul-destroyers say "Nice tits" and the other three are d*ck pics.

    But someone whose entire view of the proceedings is a tunnel-visioned "WOMEN GET MORE RESPONSES HURF DURRRRF" is never, ever, going to see that.

  41. I can't think of any guys who wouldn't want more women to write them. Therefore, there's nothing you can say to give an explicit go ahead.

    The best thing you can do is the best thing anybody can do. Litter your profile with hooks that someone can easily start a conversation about. People who want to write a message will have an easier time doing so. People who don't can't really be helped.

  42. There are some women who just aren't willing to do that, and a lot of them probably aren't even doing searches and looking at new profiles. I think there are a couple of things that might encourage women who sometimes send messages to send more of them, or to send them to a particular guy.

    A light comment that the guy is impressed when a woman sends the first message might encourage a woman to go ahead instead of waiting for the guy to message her. It's tricky to get the right tone, but I've seen it done well. Easier to pull off is a casual note at the end of the "message me if" section indicating an openness to casual conversation even if it doesn't lead anywhere. Some guys see making the first move as a promise and an indication that's not the case makes it easier to say hello.

  43. OtherRoooToo says:

    "Would anyone have a suggestion for something a guy could put in his profile to encourage women to step up to approaching that doesn't sound desperate, whiny er entitled? "

    Nope.

    Because enough of us *do* approach — but no men whining/roaring "Women Don't Approach WAAAH!!" bother to factor that into their, um, "analysis" — that we're tired of being beat over the head that we're not doing enough … and the women who are fearful of ever approaching are fearful of it in large part because they don't want to be branded as "too forward" or, worse, "sluts" (all too frequently, by those same men. It has much more serious and long-lasting social ramifications for women).

    I do think, however, that if the "good men" — because, yet again, men don't listen to women on these topics, they listen to *other men* — turned to their fellow men and called out the infliction of the Madonna/Whore complex on these women these men allegedly want to date when they saw it — and did this consistently? Every time they heard or saw the M/W complex rear its ugly head?

    … I'd bet you money you'd see a sharp uptake in the number of women approaching men.

    And I'm not a betting woman. And I know you're a Vegas guy. :-) I'd still put money on that.

    (Men will still have to take some initiative to get the relationship to actually work, once past the approach – I don't know a woman who appreciates a lazy man – but that's another whole topic.)

    (Shorter Rooo: Berating us more — and that's as "mild" as telling us (yet again) what you think we "should" do — won't do it. Encouraging us by being supportive and non-judgmental has much better odds.)

    ETA: Or, what raindancing said.

    As a man, you have to *mean* it though – that you *are* actually open to said casual conversation, and won't pout, whine, or harass the woman if the encounters don't develop past that.
    Because honestly? Most women can see right through that. And attraction is an unpredictable beast.

  44. Hooks are certainly good, but there are guys who don't want more women to write them (or rather, ones who might be flattered but who wouldn't want to date a woman who did that or who will treat one who makes the first move very differently). There are some hints that make a guy seem more approachable, just as there are with women's profiles.

    Edit: Oh, and on that point, not having too many "don'ts" in the "message me if" section is helpful too. At least personally, I get tired of receiving messages from poor matches, so I'm disinclined to write someone if I don't meet all the requirements on a list. I figure if he decides to make a exception, it makes more sense for him to make the first move than for me to annoy him.

  45. Johmichaels says:

    I'm not too sure about that. I think all guys think they want an assertive woman to contact them, but have a sneaking suspicion we'd have no idea what to do if we ever found one.

  46. raindancing says:

    I think the suggestion of saying you're open to casual conversation is a good one. I know I'm not alone in having made the first mini-move, only to have it interpreted as some sort of promise of further involvement (usually of sex in the very near future).

  47. I agree – I think that some kind of note about enjoying chatting to new people would take the pressure off for a woman thinking about writing that first message (and would have the added benefit of making the guy look like a friendly, easygoing person, as well!).

    The other thing I can think of would be some form of prompt to guide that first message – these aren't great examples, but something like, "Message me if you have a guess about which character the writers of X show are going to kill off next," or, "One of the things I wrote under 'The Most Private Thing I'm Willing To Admit' is a lie – message me if you think you can guess which one." Something specific, but something that could lead to a conversation. (And I know I'm not the only geek who has trouble resisting weighing in if "asked" my opinion about a favourite show. :))

  48. Do you have an actual list? If so, I would love to read them!

  49. Robjection says:

    The list is purely in my head atm so a lot of it is swimming around in my subconscious. I should get started on putting it to paper (or Word document at least).

  50. Robjection says:

    Reminds me of these collaborative fetish-fuel-story-writing things I've seen where the first author puts in the rules "no gay stuff, but lesbian stuff is fine". The less said about these, the better.

  51. I'm going to quibble on a very narrow point. I've gone on a date with someone whose only mutual interest (aside from being a stereotypical Young Professional Person) was cooking. But he didn't ask me for my favorite recipe. He noticed that I was trying to be better about cooking and that I liked Indian food, and gave me a heads up on a place that sold ingredients that are otherwise hard to find in our area. That's a way to take a broad interest and make it into something far more specific, or at least more engaging.

  52. Gentleman Horndog says:

    Now I want to know what The Hypnotoad's response rate is like.

    ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD.

  53. You know, I've always liked amphibians, and he does have pretty eyes.

    *dazed stumbling*

  54. progshell says:

    Uh yeah… that was more of an unfinished thought than anything… I think that I was trying to say something about women not being willing to give men like me the benefit of the doubt because they've been burned by doing that before…something like that anyway.

    (I feel like Private Joker trying to explain why he has both a peace button and "Born to Kill" on his helmet)

  55. progshell says:

    …eh…nothing I've read has been able to convince me otherwise…

  56. progshell says:

    I get where you're coming from and if I was literally anyone else you would have gotten the answer you're looking for, but the answer is honestly no. There is no women I ever saw online that I wouldn't have NSA sex with. You see, I learned long ago that I can't afford to have standards. It's just been my luck that all the girls I've been with (both of them) are good people who are also cute…

  57. Johmichaels says:

    Instead of asking "Why don't women give me the benefit of the doubt" perhaps it's time to ask "why should they?"

    Firstly, salways remember you're greatest fear in dating is rejection, whereas a woman's is being raped and/or murdered by a date. This isn't an unrealistic fear. Too many women I know have been raped, assaulted, or grabbed in an attempt to force a woman to have sex, and it's enough to justify a caution about dating. Take a look at the Louie ck routine about dating- he points out the real fear from a male point of view. We, males, are the greatest cause of death of impairment to women in the western world.

    Now, I know you aren't a guy like that…but that doesn't give you any reason to be dateable. You don't get points by not being a rapist, that should be the basis of being a freaky human being. Just like being nice isn't special, being not a murderer isn't anything to be proud of.

    So, what makes you special? And there is something that makes you special, a skill or interest that makes you different and worth knowing. If you don't know, your friends do. Have a talk with them.

    Once you find out what your thing is, find women who have a similar thing. You might find your chances improving.

    Anyway, the general rule, that I find DNL mentions a lot, is that if you don't like the way things are going, you can either accept things as they are, or change them. Complaining about why other people aren't changing will not achieve anything-no one else will change for you, and you will get no closer to a relationship.

  58. hobbesian says:

    obviously it's about the duality of man. .

  59. Johmichaels says:

    Then if you have no standards with online Dwight then don't have standards. Contact only women who want casual hookups, go after older women, those who wouldn't have a time for a relationship (single mothers, doctors), those who are not putting up photos, or look into sex clubs. He'll, give transgendered women some love, they have it tough out there.

    Seriously, there are many says for a guy to get NSA sex relatively easily, without paying for it. But the problem is when people say they wouldn't turn anyone down. They usually mean they wouldn't turn anyone down within a specific criteria range.

  60. progshell says:

    yeah… I have no illusions as to why women aren't inclined to give me the benefit of the doubt, I'm just not good enough to risk getting murdered. I'm not one of those characters who think women need to change to convenience me. I just choose not to participate in Online Dating because I found it didn't yield results.

    And, as I said before, quitting online dating did kind of get me closer to a relationship…

  61. progshell says:

    Okay, yeah. I'd gladly go after women who want casual hookups (those people will not be into me), older women (I'm not exactly the kind of guy that a 30 or 40 year old women wants to have a fling with), single mothers and doctors (if they're down…), not putting up photos (sounds like a great way to get catfished), or sex clubs (again, I'd be down but I hear the one thing they're not hurting for is another straight single guy). Even trans women and even gay trans men actually kind of do it for me. It's all contingent on these women finding me attractive which is unlikely.

    I feel like you are trying to catch me in a lie or something like that, but seriously all of those options are totally great and I'd go for them no problem.

  62. Johmichaels says:

    No, not trying to catch you In a lie. You've said before you've had more success with offline dating than online, which means you don't need these online resources.

    It does sound,though, that you're rejecting things because of how you think they are rather than how they actually are. You think a woman 30 years older than you wouldn't be interested, but how do you know that? You think all women who want casual hookups would not be interested- you'd be surprised the sort of people who want casual hookups I think you'll find. You don't want people without photos because you'll be catfished- but if you're up for a casual fling, without any financial involvement with a quick direct contact time, what's the risk (especially considering the original catfish had not shortage of profile pics).

    Physically attractiveness isn't the be all and end all in dating, it helps, sure, but it seems your bigger problem is fear of rejection leading to preventative rejection ie I know you won't be interested so I won't try. And that's going to hold you back a lot more than looks would.

    I really like you've found the dating style that works for you, but it does seem in what you write here that what you need isn't so much good looks,but to figure out that you are a good person (and in the unlikely case you're not, figure out what you can do to become a good person). Don't blame your looks, they're not as important as you think yet hey are (as DNL says,mgo into any Walmart and see fat men in happy relationships-they're not all outliers). When I talked about what makes you special, what aspect of you would make a person ant to be with you, you interpreted that as "I'm not attractive enough to date".

    There is something about you that would make someone want to date you. Like you said, you've had success with offline dating, there's a reason for this. But it's not the most healthy thing for you to not see yourself as at all dateable, to have you describing yourself mostly in negatives, when your own dating experience shows there's more to you than that.

  63. Johmichaels says:

    You are good enough, but you don't seem to know why. Like I said, talk to your friends about what makes you different, he'll talk to the girls you've gotten close to offline. They seem something special in you, but you can't seem to notice it yet. And having your self worth be dependent upon the interactions of other people is an unhealthy way to live.

  64. chinchilla says:

    Annnnd this thread just shows why Gentleman Horndog does just fine in OLD and Nerdator does not.

    (also I do not know where to put this comment, the nesting confuses me)

  65. Gentleman Horndog says:

    *BWAAAAAAAWAAAAAAAWAAAAAAAAWAAAAAAAAAAA*
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AOfbnGkuGc

  66. chinchilla says:

    Nah bro, just amused.

  67. chinchilla says:

    You poor thing.

  68. Gentleman Horndog says:

    Try imagining that the vast majority of demands for sex leave you with the impression that the sex is going to really SUCK. That they convince you that you're going to have no fun at all — that you're going to just wind up feeling used, and that the only way you're going to get off is if you masturbate after they leave.

    Now toss in an element of physical risk — that there's a decidedly non-zero chance that if you choose poorly enough, you could get your ass kicked. Maybe even killed.

    I get where your head is at; mine's been there, too. But seriously, "All My Sexual Options Are Too Shitty To Bother With" is functionally not at all better than "I Have No Sexual Options".

  69. OtherRoooToo says:

    Then you haven't read anything any of the women — in any of the hundreds of thousands of threads posted on this topic, on this site, on the Internetz — have said.

    Either that, or you haven't understood it.

    ETA: Or – in the tradition of men listening to men but not to women on these topics, not to mention that he beat me to it – what Gentleman Horndog said.

  70. That's clearly not enough. Oh and before you mention it, the nice guys of okcupid Tumblr can fuck itself, that isn't a representative sample of most men.
    'I will say that every woman I've met online has been pleasantly surprised to get an articulate, not insulting message that shows someone actually read their profile.'
    You're still assuming not insulting will get a response, it's not.

  71. Robjection says:

    That's going in my Youtuberepeat playlist.

  72. Robjection says:

    I don't know quite how these things work, but I would imagine "not insulting" is one of those necessary but not sufficient things, so "not insulting" won't by itself get a response, but "insulting" will most likely produce no response.

  73. Not insulting is a good place to start if you want a response.

    Articulate and shows that they've read the woman's profile is a really good way to get a response. Those were the messages I responded to, when I was online dating.

  74. What chinchilla said. The reason GJ does well in OLD is in part due to his personality, which is fun to talk to (online, I don't know him in real life) and interesting while being respectful.
    You get whiny and insulting.

  75. MCSpanner says:

    Again, most sites are structured to display photos next to the link to open the message and with the amount of messages female members receive, due to the ratio between them and their male counterparts, the choice on which to open again involves meeting the attraction approval.

    At least offline, it takes a special kind of ignorance to completely blank someone who is standing in front of you and isn't just a case of clicking the back button on your browser and waiting however long it takes before they realise you're not interested in them.

  76. OtherRoooToo says:

    "If you're approaching people, good looks play less of a factor. "

    Not if you're a girl.

    I do more than my share of approaching (contrary to the "Women Never Approach!!" battlecry of the Commenters Who Shall Not Be Named, for reasons I already alluded to I'd sometimes rather try to select than "be chosen" – and as a result my response rate is pretty good, too) — but I'll never forget the time someone asked me out over the phone because he enjoyed our banter and I guess he put his version of Heidi Klum/Halle Berry/Sofia Vergara in because of my voice's timbre – it's kind of Jessica Rabbit-esque, even for the teenager I was at the time — and I will never forget the visible look of disappointment on his face when he first saw me, even though he was a perfect gentleman on the rest of the date (though from what I hear from some of my other friends, and also from other women on sites like this, that's far less common, and men can be just savages).

    It hasn't happened since then – I've done a fair amount of inner-improvement work that, from the reaction, I guess has manifested outerly somewhat (I tote my own Pilates equipment now, LOL) – but even if you're a woman with at least half a foot in the "conventionally attractive" box, a man can still get that look on his face if it's a blind date of sorts if you're a brunette and they're wanting a blonde (even if they haven't said so, which is another whole mini-rant) or vice versa.

    I feel like I have an advantage meeting in person because I show up better in real life than in two dimensions (which reminds me, I owe you a text; I haven't forgotten) , but everybody is different.

  77. I never said it was Spanky, some of the posts here are implying it (while probably not meaning to).

  78. Gentleman Horndog says:

    For some reason, I am unable to watch anything else.

  79. I am also guessing that GJ is pretty comfortable and good at interacting with women period. Online, offline, and everything in between. He'd have to be to have refereed roller derby and being involved with a burlesque troop. It really isn't surpring to me that he is more successful than men that don't regularly socialize with groups of women in shared interests.

  80. Gentleman Horndog says:

    I'll corroborate, at least to a degree. While I can't claim 50%, my own response rate is deep in the Worth My Time range. And while not being whiny and insulting isn't the ONLY piece of the puzzle, it's a damned fine starting place.

    Convince people you're worth writing to, and they'll write to you — and you can go from there.

  81. Apparently, you don't know what 'methodology' means, or when you are not the person whom the comment is addressed to.

  82. Well, let's see the virtuoso speak.

  83. MCSpanner says:

    Anyone who has been remotely successful at dating, in any of the forms it can come in, has to not be in the "hideously ugly" to "wouldn't look at twice if they were the only person in the room with me" range. I'd say it is step 0.5 in the guide to dating as it isn't something you can alter too dramatically.

  84. Gentleman Horndog says:

    When you demanded a methodology, that means either you don't know what the word means yourself, or honestly think Johnny may be using some easy-to-implement step-by-step process that's guaranteed to get you a 50% response rate when writing to women on dating sites.

    Or are just being a sarcastic twit.

    There's nothing extraordinary about Johnny's claim. That you cannot imagine it being true says nothing about him, and quite a bit about you.

  85. Apparently, you don't know what 'methodology' means either. What you suggest would be like handing a baby a flat-pack kit from Ikea. The baby isn't likely to be able to build you a table, but that doesn't mean the problem is with the instructions.

  86. Apparently, my not knowing and it is just in your head. I'm so sorry to not have asked for what you would have wanted.

    I asked for a clearly described and reproducible procedure that was used to obtain the claimed figures.

  87. 'honestly think Johnny may be using some easy-to-implement step-by-step process that's guaranteed to get you a 50% response rate when writing to women on dating sites.'

    It doesn't have to be easy to implement. But it has to be well-structured and clear. And it's not just 50%, it's 30% date rate.

    And it is extraordinary: I hate to break it to you, but my own experience is the only one I'm aware of.

  88. 'Not' the only one that I'm aware of.

    Spare me the psychiatrist allusion.

  89. OtherRoooToo says:

    It's really much simpler than you're trying to make it.

    He's charming, and makes people – women – want to spend time with him in person.

    You … to put it as tactfully as I can, seem based on your communications here (and elsewhere that I've seen) to be completely and irrevocably dedicated to a … um … demonstrably different approach.

  90. So, basically you want Searle's Chinese room, but for dating?

  91. You'd be surprised.

  92. This is an unnecessary convolution for a simple, valid and common request.

  93. Women can find a profile of some one who interests them and send a first message too. It's not like weeding through messages is their only option.

  94. No, it's me pointing out how ridiculous it is for you to assume that this is a problem that is solvable with a clearly defined procedure that will work equally well for anyone, regardless of their skill or expertise.

    Goodness, does anyone manage to tolerate having a conversation with you for more than five minutes?

  95. You read my theory incorrectly. I suspect the first of my friends is more successful because he's writing women who are predisposed to be interested in him, not because he's writing ones he's interested in (I'm assuming both of the guys I'm mentioning are interested in the women they message). Knowing your market is valuable, and I suspect is responsible for a good bit of the variance in online dating results.

  96. MCSpanner says:

    Don't forget getting more numbers than others in the genetic lottery. That is the cake, everything else you've listed is a variety of deal sealing toppings.

  97. OtherRoooToo says:

    "Of course, as I think about it, the real work began before I ever logged into OKC."

    And there it is.
    :-)

  98. What makes you so sure that the genetic lottery isn't the topping and all the things that makes him an interesting human being the cake?

  99. "Don't forget getting more numbers than others in the genetic lottery."

    I saw his profile and I have to respectfully disagree :b.

    This strategy is interesting. Basically it seems like Johnny is good at polarizing his target audience so they either really love him or don't. Its given me some good ideas. Thanks Gentlemen Johnny.

  100. MCSpanner says:

    Because if that was the case everyone's new years resolution would involve reading more self-help books rather than a short-lived gym membership.

  101. Just because some people think that looks are the most important thing, doesn't mean they are right.

    Quite frankly I've noticed a pattern, that the people who insist here on this site that looks are the be all and end all are also the ones full of the most self pity and who have some of the most stubborn personalities. They are often unwilling to yield a point, concede that someone else might be right, or ever even consider that there might be other points of view. Further I have yet to see one of them display any kind of sense of humour.

    All of which are terribly unattractive personality traits that I can't imagine many people would want to date. Yet almost all these posters insist it's just looks holding them back. It's very telling, and shockingly predictable.

  102. MCSpanner says:

    And some people are born with limbs missing and/or debilitating illnesses. Who is the closer to getting the jackpot?

  103. MCSpanner says:

    *Only* the latter of my two options, thankfully.

    We'll agree to disagree, I don't think either of us are going to move from our positions so we'd only be wasting our own time and that of everyone reading this exchange.

  104. Johmichaels says:

    True, but you know what? Most people are permanently in that range. Most people. Are just normal looking, or can easily make themselves normal looking. I'm not talking about drastic things like weight loss or surgery, but wearing the right clothes, dressing up for an occasion, getting someone to help on the photo can do wonders.

    A lot of you guys are talking about looks in a way that if sounds like you're having pitchforks and flaming torches waved at you every time you leave the house. Realistically though, you're not an ogre, you're a normal looking person who may benefit from taking slightly better care of themselves.

  105. OtherRoooToo says:

    I feel like that little I'm-not-a-policeman-I'm-a-princess girl from Kindergarten Cop when I read something like that, LOLsigh — all I can muster up is "Oh, all right."

  106. Gentleman Horndog says:

    Yeah, I've noticed that too.

    It reeks of excuse-making. If they can't get laid because they were just born too ugly to fuck, then they're not responsible for it. Hell, they're victims, noble martyrs unjustly screwed-over by fate. Nothing they can do about it.

    Now, changing the way you interact with people … that's possible. Not easy. But possible. Unfortunately, that means acknowledging that the way you HAVE been choosing to interact with them is a problem, and that's a hell of a shot to the ego. Means your situation is your responsibility. Means you COULD have done something about it, but for whatever reason didn't. That's a bitter pill.

    It's much easier, and emotionally safer, to rail against what you can't control than take responsibility for what you can.

  107. CaseyXavier says:

    And not necessarily just looks, but money, status, dishonesty. Anything that is "out of their control" is what's causing their lack of success. Like GH says… excuse-making. It (and the other traits you mention) are unattractive in dates, much less partners.

  108. OtherRoooToo says:

    "No one said "don't be gross" was sufficient. "

    A friend and I – another lady who knows this site well, BTW – were discussing recently that the bar for "nice man" has sunk to a true low.

    IDK whether to LOL or sob.

  109. MCSpanner says:

    Not at all, it is a level of looks that means you just blend into any social situation – I'm not being mistaken for the Elephant Man.

  110. I honestly feel that the reason most men think that their looks are so important is because THEY think the looks of women are so important. They judge women based on how they look, so surely women do the same. So even while they are accusing us of being shallow, it's really the fact that THEY are that is causing this insecure belief system. And while I'm not about to say that looks don't matter at all, I don't understand why these men aren't aware of the numerous studies that prove that men are more visually based and women are more intellectually based. That is we tend to find what's between the ears for more attractive than what's on the surface. I know I have never been attracted to a man without knowing his personality. Honestly. Even really typically good looking ones do nothing for me (I must admit a bias, I assume often if they are good looking they know it and are arrogant jerks) until I know them personally.

  111. MCSpanner says:

    "And while I'm not about to say that looks don't matter at all, I don't understand why these men aren't aware of the numerous studies that prove that men are more visually based and women are more intellectually based."

    Because for every study that comes to that conclusion someone is having an experience that signals the exact opposite. Such is life.

  112. OtherRoooToo says:

    "That is we tend to find what's between the ears for more attractive than what's on the surface. I know I have never been attracted to a man without knowing his personality."

    I think that's generally true — and a man who's physically very attractive can turn me right off by saying something odious — but I try not to put this out as a blanket statement anymore, as too many men seem to be using it as a rationale to put no effort whatsoever into their physical presentation — sloppy clothes, sloppy grooming, the works — and use as their excuse for so doing "Well, women aren't into looks 11!ELEVEN!"

    An example: I'm an ex-smoker of many years and a smoker I was out with recently knew that, because I'd told him, and he acknowledged that he remembered that I'd told him … and yet we went out on a date where … let's just say if I were a smoker going out on a date with an ex-smoker, where close physical contact might be a possibility, but I'd been smoking before the date, I'd make darn sure the ex-smoker I was out with couldn't tell.

    (Ugh. Still remembering that. I'd been looking forward to a goodbye kiss, too. At least before other things also went wrong. But that's a whole other discussion.)

    Now, some smokers like this, of the "Women aren't into the physical!" variety will yell that "Ex-smokers won't give me a chaaAAAAANCE!!" Well, we will … but if you're going to give no consideration to our preferences whatsoever? You probably won't get a second one.

    It's not even so much about the physical as it is about consideration for what the other person might appreciate. I don't date men who will only date women who wear only stilettos, but I've been known to try to find out what the gentleman I'm dating's favorite color is and put some of it into my outfit if I'm going to meet him & we're going somewhere special. It's about consideration. About showing that you care about the other person's feelings (as well as your own presentation – I mean, I'm not going to say "Do you go to work like that?" in this era of business casual in all its permutations, but it feels like the same kind of thing to me.) It keeps coming back to that.

  113. MCSpanner says:

    I can't "get laid" because I clearly don't offer any potential suitor anything in exchange.

    Personally I don't think my looks are solely or even significantly to blame, but when you see good looking people who would get negative results on an IQ test you can't help think that being better looking would improve my chances, however little that might be. My self-confidence took a battering in the first few years of high school and it never recovered.

    These days I'm bothered by the fact I didn't grow up to be a professional footballer than that a woman doesn't want to see me naked.

  114. MCSpanner says:

    "Which counts neither for nor against you in an online dating situation. "
    What? On a website that after logging in provides you with a 8 by 8 grid of photos that you need to click on to view that particular person's profile…which is then a row of however many other photos that person has uploaded to the website that you have to scroll down…past an enlarged version of the original photo you clicked on…before you get to read that person's personal statement.

    Not only does my response not contain "you're so hawt! Take me now!" it doesn't contain any words or punctuation at all.

  115. MCSpanner says:

    So, if I am indeed average I do blend into the background when it comes to the female doing the approaching (accompanied by however many people you want to suggest – it doesn't particularly change things) online as I do offline – just like I said?

  116. MCSpanner says:

    On second thoughts, don't bother replying. This is a pointless exchange between one guy who is successful at online dating and another who has been viewed 4 times total over 5 years and 4 different profiles and only ever received the automated website welcome message.

  117. MCSpanner says:

    If you can suggest a dating site that doesn't accompany your message with a miniature version of your profile picture (again resulting in the choice between good and bad looking before and indeed after opening it) I'll be more than willing to give them a go.

    And there we draw the line.

    ———————————————

  118. OtherRoooToo says:

    I call 'em like I see 'em.
    :-)

  119. MCSpanner says:

    Profiles are long gone, but I know what I was doing wrong in terms of profile, I was mentioning Muscular Dystrophy once too often for the 4 people I passed the looks test with.

  120. Dr_NerdLove says:

    Alternately, you may want to use the old theater-nerd trick get some cheap vodka and a spray bottle. Spraying a light misting of vodka on your clothes kills all the odors.

  121. OtherRoooToo says:

    I'm actually the one who doesn't smoke.

    I might have told that story a little bit backwards, since I was trying to explain why I thought it was offensive that someone who was a smoker, knows I'm an ex-smoker, and was taking me out on a date would smoke prior to the date and … I guess not even care that I would detect it? When he was maybe hoping for a kiss and I was certainly looking forward to one? … without sounding too terribly pejorative.

  122. MCSpanner says:

    It didn't exactly make too much of a difference, 4 people (2 on one profile, 1 each on another two) read it.

    I just figured the fact I'll one day be unable to walk would be the sort of thing a potential suitor would probably want to know before they get too involved.

  123. Yeah, it's a good point that even if one person approaches, that person doing all the legwork sucks and if I don't get much sign that the other person is interested I tend to drop it (possibly one thing that tripped me up in the past, as I'm not great at flirting).

    I agree that I have plenty of anecdotal evidence that women do approach, which is awesome, but I also have anecdotal evidence of people who believed that they couldn't, and it'd be nice to live in a world where if you approach someone and they get weird to be able to go "oh, they must be a prick" rather than thinking you did something wrong. We live in a liberal society, and I'd like to shove bigotry as far possible into the dark recesses of the unacceptable, even if at the moment this seems like a tall order.

    And yes, it seems a great idea not to lecture potential matches on your profile. Negativity is massively offputting, and it's normally not too hard to phrase the same thing positively (i.e. "I like X" rather than "I don't like Y"). Bitterness doubly so.

  124. CaseyXavier says:

    The vast majority of people are average-looking. And most people who can't figure out what they're doing wrong are often doing at least one or more of these:

    a) poor photos (I'm confident you look just fine, but you don't have good photos)
    b) poor messages
    c) poor profiles

    Yours is likely (a) and/or (b), assuming you are only messaging women who have a decent match percentage. This is not a diss or an insult. I'm just saying that there is nothing wrong with you, and these are fixable mistakes. The profile could be poor as well but if you're not getting views then a/b are the hurdles here.

  125. Johmichaels says:

    Let's be clear, you don't want a step by step guide. You want people more successful than you at dating to disappear, because then you can keep complaining about women rejecting all guys.

    Multiple people and DNL have pointed out ways to improve your chances with dating. You aren't interested in any of them because this would mean that it is you who needs to improve, and prevent you from blaming all women who commit the terrible sin of not wanting to have sex with you.

    Yes, I'm sure you have friends who have no success with online dating- I'd go as far as to say the vast majority of your friends have no success. Probably because firstly when you see someone who has more success than you you accuse them of lying or being a rapist, and secondly after ruling out those generally pleasant people you make sure to focus your attention on guys who like to use the term Nice Guy and how women just like arseholes.

    How close am I? In the ballpark?

  126. MCSpanner says:

    d) you're 25 and nobody has ever been interested in you offline so why should they be on it?

  127. Johmichaels says:

    So you're getting angry that guys are having success dating online, calling them liars, rapists, etc and that's not you complaining?

    As for how many women I contracted, it was 4 years ago, so I honestly don't remember exactly. But I can easily remember around fifteen women I had nice long conversations, dates, etc with, and only a handful, def less than find I didn't hear anything back from. If really helped though that I didn't spend all my time counting those who didn't write back. Tended to be more enjoyable that way.

  128. That is an extremely tough situation. Lots of people are unwilling to entertain dating people with physical disabilities, chronic illness etc.

    My cousin has been in a wheelchair since 14 because of a car accident. She hasn't ever dated anyone, not for lack of trying, and her condition is stable. I can see that your situation would be doubly hard. You'd have to find someone who accepts the present you and all the potential future yous as the condition progresses. Not an easy path.

    Wish I had advice but I don't.

  129. Oh man, that sucks and I am sorry to hear that. I can imagine that online dating might be a particularly hard way to go about dating in that case.

  130. Johmichaels says:

    What you choose to reveal on your profile is up to you, but remember this: a first date is not a relationship, a first date a just a first date. The other person will nt reveal every aspect of their personality and life on their first date, so why should you? In fact, if you go into a first date going in detail about what the future holds fir you, you are going to have more people learn about your disability than they will about your personality.

    Yes, people should know before they get too involved, but let's be clear here, it's not like your mentioning your disability after multiple dates, when you're preparing to have the talk about whether the relationship is exclusive or not, you're talking about before you even meet a girl- that is by no means "too involved"

  131. CaseyXavier says:

    This isn't the genetics/disabilities olympics. You're just trying to score points off GJ now, not trying to engage in the conversation and offer your POV. The vast majority of people aren't anywhere as disadvantaged as in your comment, and they're doing fine on the dating scene. In fact on a purely objective scale, GJ would probably rate 'less than average' in terms of looks. He's just got so much else that's interesting and appealing about him to offer that women don't care.

  132. Johmichaels says:

    Yes, you have a lot of data. Ever noticed how guys who are bitter and entitled about dating tend to know each other, while those generally positive and going well with dating tend to enjoy each other's company?

    Seriously, I don't know anyone here from Adam but from the time I've been here I can tell the GJ is a pretty fun guy with a good sense of humour who I think would be pretty nice guy to have a drink with and therefore it's no surprise he's pretty good at dating. Whereas you are bitter, blame everyone else for your own problems, seem quick to insult people for being slightly different in opinion to you, and would be unpleasant to be around.

    I mean, have you even read any article here, or are you just here to declare any guy who is successful with women a rapist liar?

  133. MCSpanner says:

    In a bizarre way it has had a positive affect in that it has given my dating life a deadline and we're reaching the home stretch at the moment.

    Doesn't half make for a good excuse for being forever alone (and not in that I had casual sex with someone for 6 months but that doesn't count way) at 25 come family occasions too.

  134. CaseyXavier says:

    That's not what "people are doing wrong on online dating", it's an inference you're making (and not even a logical one) based on your lack of success. Like you said, people only have your photo and message to go by. Unless you're telling them, in your first message to them, that you're a 25-year-old virgin that has never had a woman express interest in them, then (d) is not a factor in why you're not getting views.

  135. Oh, dude. There are so many reasons a person can be 25 and not ever have had anyone show interest in them. I know it hurts – but please try not to take it to mean too much about who you are and how people will always react to you. The vast majority of reasons a person might not have gotten any interest are things that can change/be changed.

    Jumping to the ones that cannot be changed, like assuming you're too unattractive for a woman to ever be attracted to you, is shooting Future You in the foot. Maybe you're not presenting yourself at your best (in appearance or in personality), maybe you've got some rough patches in your social skills, maybe you're just not meeting the right people; if you consider those kinds of possibilities, you might be able to figure out the things that are lowering your chances and improve them! I'm sure the good folks in the forum would be happy to try and help you figure out what areas might be best to focus on.

  136. MCSpanner says:

    Not trying to offer my POV? I'm one of the people with a illness that will lead to me being UNABLE TO WALK before I'm 40.

  137. MCSpanner says:

    But if you're using the fact that it is the photos not the looks that is the problem as you suggest with option A, then how come people who have a 360 3D view of me haven't been interested?

  138. MCSpanner says:

    It was completely unintentional but I had to chuckle at the shooting Future Me in the foot reference with the future health I have waiting for me.

  139. hobbesian says:

    maybe thats the problem.. he can't get any responses cause Deckard just keeps "retiring" all his potential matches..

  140. CaseyXavier says:

    Online dating is very different from offline dating, and the differences are what makes OLD attractive and makes it work for some people. The offline world can be very limited in terms of who you meet and how many new people you meet. I don't claim to be able to speak to your life. But in my own, I have very few friends offline here (had many more in NZ) and a huge number online that I'm very close to. The reason is that my lifestyle doesn't lead to meeting a lot of new people, and then when I do meet new people that's no guarantee I'll even like them. Whereas being online, on forums and on OLD, made it VERY easy to find people whose interests and personalities matched mine. When I started OLD recently I was astounded to find out that very high matches, who were also interested in me, existed in such high numbers locally. I would never have met them (including my now-partner) as part of my everyday life.

    So the problem might be that offline, you're simply not meeting enough new people or not meeting people who are mutually interested, which doesn't mean they're not out there. However the online dating problem is very different; if they're not even getting as far as your profile, then the photos and message are the issue.

  141. I just laugh-coughed quinoa all over the counter. Bravo and wish I could + more than 1

  142. CaseyXavier says:

    Hey, I'm not referring to your disability, and I'm not trying to discount the diffficulty that you have. This thread started because you implied that GJ has a lot of success with OLD because he has good looks (more numbers in the genetic lottery). Then when he said that actually he has some physical disadvantages, you got all 'missing limbs' on him. That's just one-upping, not addressing what he said about the setbacks in his looks.

  143. It also does a really good job of removing ink stains.

  144. MCSpanner says:

    Just don't do it when the lit cigarette is nearby.

  145. MCSpanner says:

    Maybe dating, like walking eventually will be, is something I'm just not supposed to be able to do.

    As much as DNL refuses to talk about it, some people do go their whole life without dating. No reason why I'm not one of them.

  146. Robjection says:

    Depending on how many messages a woman (or indeed a man) gets, it might be an infeasible option to search other people's profiles.

  147. Johmichaels says:

    So women have to go through all their messages, replying to each one in a way that is not perceived as rude by anyone (as said before, any form of rejection can and has been seen as rude by some guys), then do a search to contact guys they like, leading to guys not accepting their contact so not replying (it happens), all without being disheartened at they online dating scene?

    Or you could make your messages stand out a little so people are more likely to want to read them. Which is more possible?

    Seriously, complaining bout how women are not doing enough to try no contact you is a waste of time. It's not going to make them want to contact you more and it's time you could have spent actually making a Better profile and attempting to contact women who interest you.

  148. MCSpanner says:

    He got more numbers in the genetic lottery than me – he won't spend (hopefully) half of his life confined to a wheelchair. I didn't once say he was better looking than me, I was always referring to the fact I have a rather large black cloud looming over me that will put a vast amount of people off.

  149. I'm really sorry you're in such a crappy situation.

  150. CaseyXavier says:

    That's understandable that you would have commented from that POV. I misunderstood because GJ wrote out what he was doing with OLD in response to someone else, so it appeared unrelated to your condition. In terms of the "genetic lottery", I don't think GJ can be said to be better than average-looking, which is an argument that gets brought up a lot (that people who have success in OLD are better-looking than most).

  151. CaseyXavier says:

    That could be true. Some people can and do go their whole life without dating and you could be one of them. But if you would like to try, there are definitely areas that you can work on with online dating. I'd recommend the profile review thread on the forums.

  152. MCSpanner says:

    Thanks but no thanks, already wasted more time with online dating than I'd care to remember.

  153. "Well, women aren't into looks"

    Where does this nutty idea come from????

    Sorry, I know I am only one woman and can't speak for 51% of the population, but I just want to register my utter and complete disagreement and disgust for this sexist tripe!

    Looks DO matter, at least to me. When I was single, if I could not imagine myself making out with a guy, on or offline, NOTHING was ever going to happen. EVER! And there were times when I met guys who were really cool, but I felt no attraction, and friends/family would suggest that I "give him a chance." FOR WHAT? For him to suddenly morph from what I considered a 2 to an 8? Was there a dating fairy who could make that happen?

    I realize this sounds harsh, but it is SUCH bullshit that women got this message over and over in so many ways…especially in a society in which we ladies can support ourselves and don't NEED a man to protect us. We've come a long way, baby! Why the hell should we settle?

  154. MordstihJ says:

    Looks do matter, but I think what a lot of people don't understand is that different people are into different types of looks. I have a type, and it's definitely neither male model nor movie star. *Some* rock stars have it, but for the most part it's a look I associate with regular guys.

  155. Here's how I'd put it. For all human beings, the "looks" of a stranger are very different than the "looks" of someone once you have a relationship (not necessarily romantic) with them. However, men and women approach this transformation in different ways because of gender training. Our society encourages men to be judgmental and entitled about women's appearance in a superficial way, while it encourages women to be patient, sweet, and accepting of men's flaws. This produces the effect above, though obviously not all men or all women buy into it.

    Speaking personally, I find the first type of looks largely irrelevant; I want to hang a pretty guy on my wall, not bang him. But believe me, I'm very pleased with the level of attraction I've got going with my husband. ;)

  156. Or it might not. Actually, I'm going to go out on a limb and say at no point is women emailing some one who interests them infeasible.

  157. As someone with a current issue with walking, I appreciate the dark humour.

  158. Robjection says:

    But you said that it was finding a profile of someone who interests them that was infeasible. That's a different thing.

    Also, there's something that these women have that could make certain things infeasible for them in online dating. It's called a life.

  159. hobbesian says:

    and you know they do it too!

    Hi there NSA!

  160. Johmichaels says:

    And then comes over to your house disguised as a pool boy.

    Why the porn industry hasn't taken advantage of the NSA spying for porn narrative I'll never know.

  161. "Doesn't half make for a good excuse for being forever alone "

    Actually its a pretty good excuse.

  162. raindancing says:

    I'm curious– did you expect to be extra courteous because he knew you're an *ex*-smoker, or would you expect that level of courtesy towards all nonsmokers?

    As a lifelong non-smoker, my experience is that 75% of smokers lack that kind of courtesy, and 10% are downright obnoxious about it (up to and including things like purposefully blowing smoke in the direction of someone actively having an asthma attack. That asshole sent me to the emergency room and cost me $700.) I'm always surprised when I come across a courteous smoker.

  163. CaseyXavier says:

    Haha, no offense meant! I haven't seen your profile photo, and might even find you pretty handsome/cute! Certainly I think your personality is really appealing, and didn't mean to come across as "well for such an ugly face he's got a lot of success". Just going by a probably metric that these guys are using when they complain about 'only good-looking guys can have success on OLD'.

  164. He gave some really good advice, I thought, about how to message people that were likely to be highly compatible based on more than automatch. I liked the looking at profile names as a screening method. It seems like his methods would be more efficient.

    Of course it does help that he has a lot of cool activities and experiences that he shares with the types of women he wants to meet. That has to be a bigger factor than any OLD techniques.

  165. I said women can find the profile of someone who interests them. You're the one who said it was infeasible. So there ya go.

  166. Johmichaels says:

    Time itself can't be wasted. The only thing you can waste are opportunities you could have taken advantage or with that time.

    What I mean by that is if the time you could be spending by dating, offline or online, improving your dating skills, or working on improving your self esteem (if it hasn't risen since high school it could benefit from being worked on), is instead going to be spent making a best single life ever making new friends, doing stuff you enjoy, doing things you find fulfilling, then yes, all this dating stuff is a waste of time.

    But if the time you could be spending improving your dating skills, Or dating online or offline is going to be spent instead by longing for a partner, feeling terrible that you don't have a partner, and hating your life, then how are you wasting time? Seriously, the worst case scenario in trying to improve your dating skills is that you waste time you would have instead wasted by doing nothing-time you would have wasted either way.

    Ask yourself: what do you want? If it's dating, a partner, relationship, etc, then you can do this. It's not going to be easy. No one started dating easily,definitely not most of the people posting here. But you can do this.

    If it's not to date but instead you want something else, then that's fine too. Do that thing, work hard at it, and the longings for a relationship will weaken. But wanting something, but not doing anything to improve your chances to get that thing is not healthy, not fulfilling, and ultimately I suspect, not what you really want for your life.

  167. It doesn't really surprise me. First, remember that a lot of adults have a genuinely hard time writing a comprehensible paragraph and are going to struggle with basic grammar and composition. After that, I think you run into a lot of people who haven't even thought about what sets them apart from other people or what about them might appeal to potential dates. Then you have people who are just lazy and who don't want to spend an hour or two fiddling with their profiles, even though they enjoy reading well-written profiles themselves.

    I think it's the same with messages – writing skills deficiencies, lack of insight, laziness.

  168. Johmichaels says:

    Two points

    One- if you see good looking people who would score low on an iq scale….the problem with this is you're seeing a tiny amount of a relationship, and judging the total based on this. It's difficult for people in relationships to know exactly why they are with that other person. For a person outside the relationship to be able to figure out, it's virtually impossible.

    So he's stupid but good looking- that's not every aspect of who he is. On intelligence lone, being incredibly stupid in one area doesn't mean he's not amazing in others. Even if he's dumb in all areas, doesn't mean he's not fun to be around. Again, looks are helpful, but they're not the only criteria chosen by anyone (especially as, as you've said, you're not unattractive, you just don't stand out. Join the club, brother. As a proudly generican, I can say plenty of women were happy to get to know me better)

    Second- what you need to work on is you. The central problem I see is you don't like yourself, don't see anything good about yourself (especially your looks, but other factors too), but hope someone will find something about you, that you can't find. That's what's holding you back. Not your looks, not your disability, you're being held back by your belief that no one should date you.

    That doesn't need to be that way. There is no law that says if you have been single up until a certain age you must reject yourself. You can get help to work on your self perception, to realise why you are a great person who deserves to be loved, and from there, if you start dating afresh, knowing why you are a great person will help you show others why you are a suitable romantic partner.

    You'll probably see this as a waste of time, but as I said before, it's only a waste of time if it's time you were going to spend doing something to improve your life, or mood. We're you?

  169. Johmichaels says:

    Sarcasm alert

    Now you're just being too fussy. Obviously, as a woman, you should be filtering all the "nice tits" comments to separate to good ones from the bad ones (on the basis of grammar and spelling) and judging each dick pic on its photographic merit, then replying to each positive guy with a positive message (The only positive message being allowed is "do me at a time and place of your convenience) then sending out a personalised rejection message to all the others (the only acceptable rejection has not yet been found, so in the mean time, it'll have to be either a message of "I've suddenly become a man" "wait, are you my son?" Or providing some sort of sexual favour at a time and place of his convenience)

    Jeez, women have it so easy.

    Sarcasm alert over

  170. No, they're not. Too bad there's nothing you can do about it.

  171. So you're saying women cannot find guys whose profiles interest them and contact them? That that is literally impossible and they cannot do it. Is that what you are saying?

  172. If the pool boy from the NSA fishes the Hypnotoad out of the jacuzzi, I think we may have found an exception to the proverb about there being nothing new under the sun.

  173. Well when I've sent the first messages I've gotten a mixture of conversations that lagged and eventually died out, interesting conversations that never managed to result in RL meetups due to scheduling, a fun first date that neither of us wanted to make a second, and flat out ignoring.
    Huh. It's almost as if men and women aren't that different in how they respond to messages in OLD. Shocking idea I know.

  174. Aaah, you've made yourself a cute little strawman. I hate to break it to you, matey, but your convenient (and, judging from your other comments, only) narrative is neither impressive, nor true.

  175. Robjection says:

    You're right, I am the one who brought up the idea of it being infeasible. Meanwhile, you said women can find the profile of someone who interests them and send a first message too. And they can, in the sense that the laws of physics and (most likely) the laws of where they live do not forbid them from performing this activity. Factor in how much time it might take for them to go through all the messages they receive (since, all else being equal – in the rare instance that all else is actually equal – it makes sense to prioritise those who messaged you over those who have yet to do so) and the amount of energy expended in this inbox-trawling process, not to mention the extra energy expended if one or more of those people appearing in the inbox actually seems worthy of a reply, and I would not be surprised if that was a woman's (self-determined) daily allotment of online dating time/energy used up.

    There is also the complication of how guys might react to a woman approaching them, but any descriptions of that are best left to women imo. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure one of our regular female commenters has had countless issues with this, although so far I haven't seen her comment on this article.

  176. Robjection says:

    It might be worth considering therefore what it is about the way you communicate here that gives people like Johmichaels that impression.

  177. Johmichaels says:

    So what did I get wrong? What did I get right? Are you actually looking for a step by step guide for guidance, and not because you want to condemn a guy as a liar and a rapist, who you already called a rapist?

    And apparently 12 people were impressed. Twelve people looked at my comment, saw your comments and said "that fits perfectly". It wasn't mean to impress you after all. But it does show that this is the image you put out. Maybe this is why yo are so bitter about women.

    But that would require some acknowledgement that maybe you are at fault,and need to improve, right? And that simply cannot be. So instead every factor that demonstrates you are at fault, not the world, is a lying outlier and a rapist, and keep on complaining as this is fails entirely to improve your romantic outlook one degree.

  178. Right women have it soo difficult- oops, I forgot, sarcasm alert.

  179. Johmichaels says:

    GJ pretty much said hat I was going to say but I think it's worth pointing out you still don't acknowledge that complaining about how women are not doing enough to contact you is not going to lead to any greater chances at them contacting you.

    Is that incorrect? Are there women flooding over to you saying "I hear you're angry that I didn't contact you, and also that I don't respond to messages so I deserve to be called a whore….are you doing anything Friday night?" Please, tell me I'm wrong.

  180. Johmichaels says:

    Good point, and that would be a really good line to use in a profile.

  181. Johmichaels says:

    Seriously, have you ever spoken to a woman about this? A real life woman, a friend or family member, someone who you otherwise like who is a woman, talk to the about dating experiences. Or are you just believing women can have whoever they want and get angry at them based on your own personal biases?

    It seems you're spending your time angry that you actually have to work at finding a relationship, risking rejection, and angry that women only have to risk harassment, abuse, constant obscene messages rape and abuse. How's that working out for you? This isn't a question, how successful have you been at dating with that attitude? How happy are you with your social and dating life with that attitude?

    Because if you aren't happy, there's only one thing you can change-you. But that would mean accepting that you are to blame, at least in part, for your own misfortune, not the women I the world engaged in a matriarchal conspiracy to keep you single. Good luck with that.

  182. Johmichaels says:

    God damn it your so poor with insight you're virtually blind.

    Let's go through your challenge step by step.

    GJ tells you step by step exactly what he did to have a good experience dating online. You replicate this and if you do not have a similarly good experience he must be lying.

    Isn't there one other conclusion you're ignoring?

    I'll let you think about it for a while, but in the meantime, I'm going to to become the fastest runner in the world.what I'll do is run exactly like Usain Bolt, copying his style exactly, right down to the clothes and shoes he wears. I won't focus on improving my diet, or training, because it don't need to change.

    If I am able to, by copying Usain bolt's technique alone, be the fastest man in the world, then I know his technique works. But if I am unable to be the fastest man in the world, then it doesn't mean I have a problem, it just shows that bolt was obviously lying or faking his racing records.

    Did you see what I did there?

  183. MCSpanner says:

    Well, I said I wasn't unattractive but I suppose from a technical viewpoint I am as nobody has been attracted to me (yet, for any pedants out there)

    I don't reject myself as a person, just from a dating viewpoint. I did the same thing with my dreams of playing football professionally (something I was considerably more emotionally invested in than any person I've met yet) and my life has continued.
    I know a lot of people would have gone completely into their shell on diagnosis where, for the most part, my life has remained unchanged for now.

    I guess nobody is going to convince me that as a near 26 year old unattractive-bland guy with no romantic experience what so ever and the prospect of sharing a normal relationship with or even as a carer – that I have as much chance as anyone else. I just can't buy it, sorry.

    Now, if someone can find an over-the-counter treatment to deal with the occasional spell of loneliness I'd be set to focus on stuff I'm actually good at doing.

  184. MCSpanner says:

    I posted a reply to this but it appears to be stuck in the moderation queue.

  185. MCSpanner says:

    Give me something that will fix the occasional patch of loneliness and I'll limp off to the wheelchair on the horizon considerably happier than I am now.

  186. I do think you have a good shot as anybody else, but let's pretend you don't. Now what? Let's just say that you have a harder shot at dating than most and we acknowledge this. Now what? Do you not work on what you can work on? Do you not attempt to improve your own attitude, to maybe learn new hobbies, meet new people, change up your fashion etc etc? Or do you just revel in the "It's so much harder for me!" and do nothing?

    Some things are harder for some people. And those people make a choice, do nothing, or work harder. Certain actors who had maybe a little talent become famous as a teenager and are set for life. Others work themselves to the bone every day, for decades, before finally getting a small but significant role in a movie.

    You have to decide what you want. If you truly believe it's harder for you, well, now what?

  187. Johmichaels says:

    Well, honestly if you talked to a psychologist you could be prescribed something, but I don't think that's what you want.

    So, realising that loneliness cannot be cured by any magic potion, let's look at something else. Now, firstly, comparing dating to football is a unfair comparison. Most people do not become footballers, most do find dates.

    But if you really don't want to work on improving your dating life, let's talk about those other things you'd like to do. The stuff you are good at doing. What are they?

  188. MCSpanner says:

    Then I stop wasting my time and focus on stuff I can actually do while I can still do them.

  189. So the hard work isn't worth it for you? Cool.

    Okay, then quit. But leave this site, don't comment, don't vent. Stop wasting time here and get on living your life.

  190. That is really wonderful that you feel that kind of attraction for your hubby. I feel blessed to have found and married a man to whom I am very attracted as well. I met him on the online version of the 99-cent store known as Plenty of Fish. I had been on other sites for a long time, and am glad I was patient with online dating.

    As a divorced mom with a full-time job living in the 'burbs, I can confidently say that if I hadn't stuck with online dating, not only is there no way I would have met my husband; there's no way I would have met more than 10% of the men I met. Pickings are MIGHTY SLIM in these here parts, and in my job, all the guys are a) married or b) gay or c) crazy or d) physically repellant or e) various permutations of a, b, c, and d. God bless online dating!!!!!!

  191. Also, I completely agree with both your points –about the looks of strangers vs. people you know, and about gender training. Well-stated!

  192. I totally hear you — different looks for different people…AND as an individual woman, I find many "types" of looks attractive. A key component to attraction is not just a person's physical looks, but the signals they send out through their style and grooming. A guy with a crew cut, for example, is not likely to turn me on because he is signalling "conservative/military/authoritarian". A guy who looks like he walked out of a Brooks Brothers catalog would also send me running.

    Rock stars…do you think we could clone Bryan Ferry circa 1981? (SIGH!)

  193. I'm not complaining women aren't doing enough to contact me. I'm just saying they have no right to complain guys' first messages aren't good enough or that the guys who interest them don't write to them when they can't be bothered to write a message themselves, and I think they don't do this because they are afraid of being rejected by somebody they like and having to realize it's not as easy or as great as they thought it was.

    I have no idea why you think that I think women should knock down my door and suddenly respond favorably because I'm unhappy with how things are going. Talk about seeing what you want to see.

  194. hobbesian says:

    yeah I've noticed that people seem to really hate it when you point out facts… it seems to upset them for some reason. No one can explain why though, it just does.

    "I'm broke" Stop being so negative!
    "I suck at this game" Stop being so negative!
    "I'm HIV positive" Stop being so negative!
    "I don't like bacon" Stop being so Negative!

    It almost seems sometimes as if anything which is an objective fact is a completely unwanted thing in most conversation.

  195. ModrsithJ says:

    yeah, I guess you could say it's not so much about a guy's looks as it is about his Look, if that makes sense.

  196. No woman would ever understand even if I did. They would probably just act like I'm stupid and pathetic for thinking or feeling the things I do and not even care, though pretend to anyway, while making a mental note to distance themselves from me.

    It's honestly really difficult for me to believe women can't get whoever they want when almost every single one I know, and I know a lot, has a mate. More than a few are ugly like morbidly obese or missing teeth and one even had a stroke, and of course there are the pretty and/or nice ones 2 of which turned me down when I did have a better attitude and was doing my best and really thought I had a good chance and then got boyfriends a day or two after. Now there's nothing I regret more than approaching and trying as hard as I did for so long, both offline and online. I've been rejected so many times that I honestly don't believe anyone will ever like me no matter what I do. Nothing is ever good enough and it hurts all the same if not more so each time I am reminded of this.

  197. You've listed a range of factual statements, and I think that in a couple of those cases, there are ways to talk about things without coming across as negative.

    Let's say you suck at a game. Why are you playing it? Is it fun even though you're not so talented at it (in which case, who cares if you suck)? Are you new at it and gradually improving? Or maybe neither of those is the case, and it's time to play a different game.

    When it comes to bacon, is it always necessary to declare you dislike something? If no one's asking you to eat bacon, sometimes it might be worth letting the bacon-lovers have their conversation and bringing up how much you love cheese when it starts running out of steam.

  198. hobbesian says:

    This is exactly my point!

    how does pointing out a fact = Bemoaning?

  199. hobbesian says:

    are museums free where you are?

    Here they range from 18.50 up to about 35$ depending on the museum.. not to mention all being 50+ miles away.

    Those things would also, by the way, be factual statements.

  200. hobbesian says:

    The point is that any denunciation of it in any way (and here, bacon is simply a stand in) sets you apart from the group. Group is discussing how awesome bacon is, you say 'i don't eat bacon" everything comes to a complete grinding halt. "I don't play league of legends", "I don't like Neil Gaiman", I don't etc… It's not as if you are *trying* to end the conversation, but when people start looking for you to be the missing wall of the echo chamber and you disapoint them it results in repercussions. It's not as if you have said "I dislike bacon and think you are all flibberty gibbets for liking it! " it's simply a statement of fact, that *I* don't like something and thus you should not look to me for comment. it isn't being made as a statement of negativity, just facticity.

  201. I think I've seen some of those discussions, at least here online, and I think some of the problem is the phrasing and some of it is the relevance.

    There are lots of shades of difference between, "Neil Gaiman sucks," and "You know, Neil Gaiman has never really worked for me. I think it's because he relies too heavily on such and such plot devices, and those have never been my favorite. I prefer this other author who's similar to Gaiman because I think she avoids falling into that trap so frequently." The second is something that even the Gaiman lovers can reply to and discuss. The first is very difficult to reply to and does tend to sink a conversation among people who enjoy something.

    I know there are cases where it's impossible to come up with a statement of dislike that's a little more moderate and explained, but in some of those situations, I might wait until the topic changed to a subject I did feel like discussing.

  202. I think this may be an issue of technique.

    I actually don't eat bacon for religious reasons, but when I mention it it doesn't stop the conversation; it's much more likely to start a discussion about food and religion, or about things people are allergic to, or about the first time people ate their now-favorite foods.

    If you don't like the reactions you get when you say things like that, it might be worth trying to identify how I'm doing it in a way that comes off as engaging, since I don't seem to be shutting people down.

  203. hobbesian says:

    blaming external factors means I have no say or responsibility, exactly the point.

  204. Johmichaels says:

    Before we start, i can't give you anything. You're going to have to go get it.

    So let's focus your goal a little. You want to fix the occasional patch of loneliness- that doesn't sound like you want a relationship, it sounds more like you want company. Is that ongoing to be sexual company, a prospective partner, friends, or something else? Or is your fix for loneliness something that could distract yourself from the loneliness when it comes up?

  205. hobbesian says:

    you can do whatever you like I suppose, but I wouldn't recomend waiting around for me to change my view on this. I take responsibility for myself, but I'm not taking responsibility for societies failures, I'm not taking responsibility for other peoples failures, and I'm not going to take responsibility for random happenstance.

  206. hobbesian says:

    you're not the first who has suggested this issue is technique in nature.. I just don't know how to change my technique? It's one of those cases where I'm "just being myself" and that seems to make people unhappy.

  207. Just coming at this from the other end of things, what sort of response do you think would work for you if you said you didn't like something or that it sucked, and the other participants in the conversation did like that thing? What direction would you want the conversation to go in?

  208. Johmichaels says:

    You are totally missing the point. I'm not asking you to try and teach women how hard life is for you, I'm trying to see if you have ever tried talking to women about their perspective. It becomes abundantly clear you haven't, and you're not about to because that would otherwise damage your perspective that you, and other males like you have it the worst out of everyone in the world.

    And that "not listening to women and blaming them for everything" is not getting you any closer to a partner, and just making loneliness a political statement. Maybe starting your own charity would be a better idea.

  209. It sounds like you don't like women very much. Why would you want to date one? Be glad you're not forced to spend time with these horrible creatures you describe.

  210. hobbesian says:

    just to shrug their shoulders, say something like "To each their own" and move on.. don't shift the course of the conversation towards proselytizing to me about whatever I just said I didn't like. They seem to feel that, no matter how eloquently I explain why I dislike something, it's the exact same as me saying it's crap and I hate it and want to bury every copy in the desert next to ET for the Atari..

    The biggest most notorious example in my life is the new Doctor Who.. I absolutely cannot stand either of tenannt or smith.. and I can't stand the bulk of the companions.. yet the way people respond to me when I say something like 'You know, I've not really keen on the New Doctors, I always liked the older show myself, but I'm glad the new show brought in new fans" you'd think I'd just kicked their dog. I'm sorry, I just don't *get* what is so amazing about either of those two guys..

  211. What happens if several members of the conversation would like to continue talking about Doctor Who or Neil Gaiman or whatnot? Is the main bit of what you're seeking to have others acknowledge the opposing opinion and not try to convert you, or would you like to divert the conversation to other topics?

    (As for the behavior of people who disagree with you, I'd say it's annoying when people try to convince you to like something when it's clear you've sampled it and found it not to your taste. I'd say some of that's geekish obtuseness, and that some of it might be a desire to convey what they like about the show and have their opinion understood that's manifesting in a negative, annoying way.)

  212. hobbesian says:

    I don't need the subject to change, I just need my view to be accepted as I accept theirs.

    A lot of the time it just feels like people are taking my not liking something they like as a judgement against them.. which maybe sometimes that's true if say they are talking about what was in the latest episode of TMZ… but I'm not going to get made at them or judge them for only likeing the part of a 50 year old tv show that has good production values..

  213. I think then it maybe is a technique issue. I have sometimes seen you make statements that edge a little closer to, "X sucks," and have interpreted them as either being annoyed by the conversation or as judging people who hold contrary opinions. On the other side of things, geeks being geeks, certain kinds of long discussions might edge the conversation toward argument of the work's merits, which it sounds like you'd also rather avoid.

    Do people have any suggestions for how to convey disinterest in something in an, "It's cool you like this thing, but it's not something enjoy much," way that lets the conversation move on?

  214. lol, just the picturing how I would go about that (asking females about their perspective on dating) is funny enough I just might do it. I could use the laugh.

  215. I don't understand why the concept of talking to people about their experiences is so hilarious to you. It's a pretty standard way of relating to fellow human beings.

  216. There's a forum side to the site where many women will talk about their lives. Including their love lives. You'd be amazed what you can pick up just being within (virtual) earshot and paying attention.

  217. Johmichaels says:

    Well, good luck with that. Learning about people's experiences is a great way about putting things into perspective. Suddenly your problems, which seem enormous when they're the only ones you notice, don't seem so big anymore when you realise other people have problems (and feelings too!).

    And, generally, as you start treating people like people, with their own feelings, experiences and perspectives completely separate from your own, instead of characters who either block or allow your romantic intentions, you might find out you'll be more successful starting something with them.

    Just a thought. And remember Women are People, just as Men are People. Often guys forget this,

  218. Bringing up a related thing that you like better works quite often.

  219. kathrynmblair says:

    Did you mean me (Kath on the forums)? If so, I'm not a matchmaker, were you thinking of Marie?

  220. Johmichaels says:

    I'll repeat myself, you complaining that women aren't doing enough to date you is not helping you actually have any contact with a woman (physical, romantic or otherwise) at all, whereas actually trying harder to contact women and taking some initiative would, Right or wrong?

  221. I'm in way too much pain to try anymore. Do you understand that?

  222. hobbesian says:

    So what exactly are you addressing? The way I'm saying I have no money?

    How do you frame "I have no money and thus cannot do X" in any way other than that?

    There are no free dates here, ergo if I have no money I cannot date.

  223. hobbesian says:

    I've tried that but very often people don't know about any of the related things.. like say if we are talking about BBC shows if I bring up anything except Sherlock no one has the slightest clue… And then we get right back into the same issue which is they are fans of Cumberbatch, not Sherlock.

  224. hobbesian says:

    I'm not looking for a concession, I'm simply looking for what you want me to do?

    Are you arguing that Powerlessness is a state of mind, rather than a state of being? or are you suggesting I should bluff about how much power I actually have?

    when you talk about stuff like this sometimes it is just really confusing. How do I empower myself? I mean this isn't DBZ here, I cannot just shout and groan for 2 hours and suddenly have OVER 9000! power rating..

    can we continue this someplace with more room?

  225. hobbesian says:

    I know you've said what you want to see, you're a good friend and are always supportive,

    You're also right I suppose, I'm not going to, because I don't understand what you're suggesting I do. I didn't the last 1000 times you explained it, and I still don't.

    Could we go over this again, in a forum thread, and be very specific? I want to learn what you're offering to teach, I just think I'm hitting a wall that is keeping me from doing so.

  226. Then, I think the way to try and move it on would be to talk about actors you like that they might also like (category: actors with great voices, maybe?) or have a debate on who else might play an interesting take on Holmes' character

  227. MCSpanner says:

    I thought comparing dating to football was a good comparison as becoming a footballer was probably the thing I worked most towards achieving. Based on everyone's comments on this and other articles on the site I'll have to work just as hard to get someone to pay attention to me.

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  3. […] Welcome to online dating, where everybody’s confused and the answers don’t actually mean anything. I think there’re a couple of issues at play here. The first is the difference in how people use online dating. […]

  4. […] Welcome to online dating, where everybody’s confused and the answers don’t actually mean anything. I think there’re a couple of issues at play here. The first is the difference in how people use online dating. […]

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