Admittedly, this is a biased post but having tried various online platforms over the course of several years with mixed results, I eventually shut it down and never looked back. I was recently reminded why.
I briefly dated a girl who was very active on Plenty of Fish and equally unhappy with her results. Being an attractive girl, in a cosmopolitan city and receiving messages from more than 100 guys per week, I could not believe that there weren’t any good options for her. Yet that is what she claimed.
One night, when we were out, she received a message from a new guy and just for fun, decided to share it with me. She looked repulsed as she handed me her phone and said: “You see what I have to deal with?” She claimed that his message was lame, that he wasn’t good looking and that he was too short. His message was a brief compliment on her smile, he wasn’t batting out of his league looks-wise and he was 5’10” (2-3” taller than her). Perhaps unspectacular on first impression, but certainly underserving of that reaction. Plus she didn’t even read his profile. After I systematically challenged each of her arguments, she finally blurted out: “well he doesn’t meet my checklist!” Perfect place to start:
Online, Women are Often Too Concerned with Their “Check List”
This is based purely on anecdotal evidence but having had this conversation with many women, I have yet to meet one who doesn’t have a “checklist”. You can’t blame her. If she is receiving messages from hundreds of guys, she needs some kind of system to screen them. The downside for you is that if you don’t meet some random item on her list, she is on to the next. Something that in real life, she may have easily overlooked had she only had a chance to interact with you. I have a very charismatic friend who regularly dated women taller than him; on more than one occasion these women confessed that had they met online, he wouldn’t get a chance.
The Odds Are Stacked Against You in Online Dating
I once read an article of an experiment by a guy who wanted to observe online dating from the female perspective. So he set up two fake Lavalife profiles (when Lavalife was still a thing). One of a very attractive woman and another of a somewhat unkempt woman with below average looks. The results from the first profile were predictable. But the second profile also received over 50 messages in a single week. For most guys, one message initiated by a woman is cause enough to jump for joy. If you consider that the first thing a woman sees from you is a small blip amidst potentially hundreds of other blips in her inbox, well then it’s kind of tough to differentiate yourself.
Looks Matter a Lot More in Online Dating
While women are often more lenient than guys when it comes to looks, they tend to place greater emphasis on them online. No surprise in an environment where the number of men is high and the only thing to go off are pictures and self-indulgent profile write-ups. The challenge for men is that if they are not as good looking, photogenic or simply don’t have a lot of pictures to use in the first place, they are at a greater disadvantage online than in the real world.
It Is Poor Time Management
Contrary to popular belief, I found online dating very time consuming. Reading profiles, writing messages and setting up dates is much more drawn out than simply approaching a girl and inviting her out. And what happens after you have spent hours setting up a date only to realize in the first five minutes that you are not physically attracted or that your personalities don’t jive?
In the real world, these things are established in real time; you know instantaneously if you are physically attracted and after a short conversation, you can establish whether this is someone who you might want to hang with. Even if she is not into you, you can find out right away and move on instead of reading profiles, crafting messages and waiting for responses.
There is No Personal Growth in Online Dating
I concede that, despite these obstacles, for those who understand how the game works and know how to play it, online dating can deliver great results. But hiding behind a computer to get dates, does not make you any better with women or help you in other areas of your life. On the other hand, learning how to approach and attract women in the real world has the added benefit of growing your confidence, developing better social skills and actually teaching you something about the opposite sex.