If you’re a single guy, you’ve probably come to a bunch of conclusions about online dating.

  • Women are very picky.
  • Women are very flaky.
  • Women only care about looks, height, and money.
  • Women regularly lie about their age, weight and body type.
  • The solution to all of these problems is dating apps – reach out to dozens of attractive women at once, move to text immediately and schedule an inexpensive coffee date as quickly as possible to see if there’s in-person chemistry.

These are logical conclusions that are based in some measure of truth.

Some women are picky.

Some women are flaky.

Some women have impossibly high standards.

Some women are insecure about how you’ll judge them on their looks (and are they entirely wrong?)

But if you have drawn these conclusions – and are still stuck in swiping and texting hell instead of a happy relationship, I’d hope you’d be open to the possibility that maybe – just maybe – there’s something you can do different to get a different result with online dating.

I’ve been a dating coach for 15 years now – married for the past 10 – and while focus is in helping women make healthier relationship choices, I also dated 300 women before getting hitched. Thus, I am intimately familiar with your frustration about the dating process. Act like a nice guy – by spending time, money and energy – and get rejected. Act like an alpha male jerk and you’re not being authentic. With either extreme, you are not nor getting into a relationship with a high-quality woman with genuine self-esteem through online dating.

There has to be another way. And there is. But it requires you to zig when everyone else is zagging.

In a world where the easiest thing to do is swipe right and indiscriminately text women in order to procure dates with the minimal amount of effort, the way to go on better first dates is to invest more time in fewer women. Quit the apps. Quit texting. Start treating women like people.

(Say WHAAT?!!)

Think about it this way:

If you’re texting a dozen women at once from a dating app, how important is any one woman to you? How much do you have invested in her? Why would you go out of your way to treat her well when there’s always another woman on tap?

That’s right. You wouldn’t.

But then again, neither would she. Yes, this is a double-edged sword that is killing online dating for you right now.

For all you think it’s a great idea to have a wide texting harem, the most desirable women have even MORE options than you do.

As an impartial third-party observer, it would seem to me that it’s not that men or women are the problem. It’s the medium of dating apps themselves that CAUSE these problems.

Everyone is disposable, and then we complain about disposable we feel.

Everyone feels disappointed and rejected but nobody tries to do anything differently because, well, this is just the way things are done in 2019.

STOP. Your way isn’t working. It’s time to try another one that works – and has worked forever.

Think about what it feels like to meet someone in real life instead of through online dating.

You’re at a party. You’re grabbing a drink. A woman walks over to the bar. You make small talk and hit it off. 15 minutes later, you ask if she’d like to step outside to continue the conversation where it’s quieter. An hour later, you ask for her number before you leave. You follow up the next day to set up a date for the following weekend. This feels good, both to you and to a woman – far better than the endless treadmill of dating apps. So how can we use online dating in a more constructive way for both genders?

When I was single, I realized that my power lay in my ability to differentiate myself. Once, I went out with a woman on Match who only wrote back to 5 guys out of 500. Why me – when I wasn’t the tallest, richest, or best-looking guy out there?

Well, if every other guy was sending first emails that said, “Hey, you’re hot. Let’s meet. Here’s my #. Text me if you want to hang out on Friday,” what was the point of doing the same thing?

Instead, I would have an email conversation just like that 15 minute IRL talk at the bar. And after I made a unique connection online, I would leave Match and offer to go to Gmail to continue talking – just like stepping outside at that party. Finally, since every other guy was urgently pushing her to set up a date by text, I’d set up a time to talk to her on the phone when I was driving home from work. Old school. Are some women weirded out by this? Sure. Do many more find it delightful that a guy wants to get to know her before they meet? You bet.

So if 50 guys are texting their numbers, sending dick pics and demanding to meet ASAP…while one guy is emailing funny stuff on Match and Gmail before connecting on the phone, who is more likely to get that first date?

Who is more likely to have a better first date because he’s built up more trust and rapport?

Who has invested his time more wisely? (It’s not the one you think!)

Guy A: goes out for a one-hour blind date with a stranger he’s texted three times.

Guy B: spent the same one hour emailing and talking to a woman to make sure his first date feels like a second date. He gets to pick her up. He gets to drive her home. He gets a kiss goodnight (because he’s not at Starbucks).

If this all sounds terribly old fashioned, I would merely point out that just because something is old fashioned doesn’t mean it’s bad and just because everyone’s doing something doesn’t mean it’s good.

If you’re happy with a love life in which everyone (including you) feels disposable and your conversations take place in one sentence bursts a few times a day, by all means, keep doing what you’re doing.

But if you’ve ever wondered why online dating is so very frustrating, look no further than the way you’ve been doing it – dating apps and texting. Remove the dating apps. Remove the texting. Start connecting and watch as you meet someone else who appreciates the more personal approach.

Your friend,

Evan

Billed as a “personal trainer for smart, strong, successful women,” dating coach Evan Marc Katz has been helping singles since 2003. He is the author of four books, most recently, “Believe in Love,” and has been featured in hundreds of media outlets, including Today, the New York Times, and CNN. In the past three years, Evan’s blog got over 24 million readers and thousands of women have graduated from Love U, his six-month video course that helps women understand men and find love. Evan is very happily married and lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their two children.

Click here to learn more about Evan’s Finding the One Online course, which teaches you everything from choosing a site, creating a profile, posting photos, and writing emails that get responses from the people you want to meet.

The 11 Types of Men You Meet On Dating Websites

Trust Me, I’ve Met Them All

Sep 20, 2016 · 9 min read

Fun fact: I am a bit of a mystic. It’s is a topic of conversation I’m smart enough to leave out of dating profiles or first dates. I’m not Wiccan or anything, (not that there’s anything wrong with that) only moderately intrigued by astrology and the like. It’s a harmless curiosity that I find entertaining. Stop judging me.

Anywho, towards the end of my last soul-crushing, pseudo-relationship, I visited a tarot card reader. I went as a sort of cleansing ritual before the turn of the new year. She began our session began by handing me the cards and instructing me to split them once or twice. Then she spread the cards in rows across the table and began her interpretations. I can’t say for sure she was a gifted psychic. Still, her description of my ex as a “bad dog who was really sweet, but far too much work” was, to coin a phrase, spot on.

At least he didn’t spill any on the carpet.

Predicting the end of our love affair might have been a no-brainer. I was more impressed that something in the cards showed a lack of potential suitors to replace him. She could see that my pool of men on dating websites had been extraordinarily odd, unsuitable or virtually non-existent.

My forties have exiled me to a no-man’s land of online dating. I’m too old to appeal to most guys on OKCupid, Match, or Tinder and I’m far too young at heart to sign up for “Our Time.” I was about to close my Bumble account, but they suckered me into their new “boost” feature. For $10 a month they show me which guys have shown interest in my profile. The upside, it eliminates all the swipe rights that fall flat. The downside, most of those matches were in New York and extended as far as Texas and California. Did I mention that I live in Philadelphia?

Online dating can be like starring in a twisted mash-up of Groundhog Day and 50 First Dates. I was meeting the same types of guy over and over again. I thought I was going crazy until I stumbled across a blog by Suzanne Lachmann, Psy.D. on psychologytoday.com. Her survey concluded there were 11 primary categories of men drawn internet dating. Eleven seems to me a rather generous number, but here we go:

  1. The Flake- I no longer bother contacting any guy who cops out of his filling out a full profile. Instead he writes something like “if you have a question, just ask.” If a guy isn’t willing to work within the parameters, then he’s not serious about dating. You are most likely to end up in a situation like this:

HIM: So. . . I suppose we should get together some time soon.

ME: Sure, I’m down for meeting up. Maybe one day next week?

HIM: OK . . . what would you like to do?

ME: Whatever you’d like. Drinks, dinner or we can check around to see what’s happening around town. I’m usually free by 6:00pm.

HIM: Oh, OK. My schedule is kind of crazy. I’ll call you later and we can work out the details.

“Working out the details” is guy code for “I’m deleting my profile tomorrow and you’ll never hear from me again.”

2. The Player- With so many choices, how can he pick just one and why should he? You’ll never have his full attention and he’ll cancel on you as soon as a better opportunity comes along.

I met a guy on OKCupid who lived in the Washington, DC area, but often came to Philadelphia for work. Not the ideal situation, but he was giving me that sexy, Sendhil Ramamurthy vibe. Besides, used to live in DC and had some friends there I wanted to visit. After a few exchanges, we decide to move off OKCupid and exchanged emails every day for over a week. Then he sent this email:

“I am not sure this long distance thing is going to work out and I don’t want to waste your time either. I am not ready for committed relationship; let me know what you think.”

Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize our consistent emailing was too great of a commitment for you. I guess all that pressure to be in an exclusive relationship was weighing you down. Even before we got a chance to meet. My bad.

3. The Cougar Cub- So young and so confident he thinks he’s got everything an older man has to offer plus more- especially in the bedroom.

My experiences with younger men defy all logic. They’ve dispelled every myth I’ve heard about their relentless pursuit for hit-it-and-quit-it, guilt-free sex. Things always fell apart once they began to see me as a complex, nuanced, female human instead of Stifler’s mom from American Pie. I feared their heads might explode from the irreconcilable Madonna/whore complex that was boggling their minds.

4. The Lonely Bachelor — After his long-term relationship ended he is clueless on how to live life again as a single person. Maybe his divorce is almost final and he wants you to fill the empty spaces until he feels whole again. Some are so bitter it’s completely changed their concept of love or marriage. Others can’t wait to be in a relationship again with the first person to take notice. Oh joy!

5. The Cheater- He’s in a relationship, married or bi-curious and looking for a little something extra to spice up his life with or without the knowledge of his partner. For the most part, he’s content with his current situation and has no plans on leaving. There are specific dating sites for that sort of thing, but he doesn’t like to be “labeled.” so he’ll just lead you on until his girlfriend calls you on his cell phone one day.

6. The Perfectionist- He’s either just that shallow or he feels like he settled in his last relationship and now he’s out to find a woman that’s perfect in every way. His next girlfriend must be beautiful with a brick-house body and give him amazing sex every day. Is that so much to ask?

When I was on Match, I noticed one guy who looked at my profile several times without ever sending me a message. We matched on every point of our criteria right down to our favorite movies. In most cases, I wouldn’t suggest writing to someone who is obviously disinterested. Even when you sound so good on paper, it’s rarely worth the effort.

ME: I am curious why you don’t think we’d make a good match. I don’t mean to pressure you, but it seems like we have a lot in common and I’m not having much luck here. Any feedback would be helpful.

This was his reply, word for word, no editing, because I’m feeling petty:

HIM: Hi, you’re welcome. I find it disheartening, and frankly rude, for women to demand more than a simple “hi, write me” email, but then don’t have the courtesy for even a simple, “I read your profile and email but I’m not interested”. so, to your question, i’ll be honest. i saw your profile a few times on here. You look attractive and interesting. I like your view on religion and what you do. FOR ME, pictures 3, but especially 4, are a little to “real”. It looks like what I might expect to see after 5 years married, not 1st time dating. like someone’s aunt making them barbecue. I don’t know that any of that is fair, but I’m telling you my honest opinion. Take it for what it’s worth: the words of a complete, essentially anonymous stranger. I sincerely wish you the best of luck. Im at least gladdened by your question that there are people of good faith on here. 🙂 but yeah. lose pic #4. it does you no favors, in my opinion. no one’s every photo is good. 🙂 though it is a happy pic, which maybe why you used it. ps — ive been on your side of this discussion more than i care for. 🙂 bye.

Bye, boy. Ain’t nobody got time for that kind of fuckery.

7. The Sugar(Free)Daddy- His profile says he’s 45 but he looks no younger than 60. Of course he’s searching for a woman between the ages of 25 and 40. He deserves a young hottie because:

A) He makes a lot of money and will spoil you rotten

B) He’s a silver fox; i.e. Jeff Goldblum

C) He’s super charming and debonair

Answer: D) None of the above.

8. The Tight Scheduler- He’d love to meet you if he could only find the time. Maybe he’s a workaholic, a momma’s boy, or spends all his free time at the gym. What a bore. If he cared about his social life half as much as his abs, he would stop pretending to meet women on the internet.

9. The Fuckboi. His initial approach may be standard enough and then BAM! He writes something supremely perverted. He can go from zero to fuckboi in 60 seconds or less. Why waste time with niceties?

See straightwhiteboystexting.org

I mean, how you goin’ say you a vegan when your main meal is dick?

Once I made a lunch date with a guy I met on Zoosk and he called the night before to confirm our plans. Here’s how our conversation went:

HIM: How about Midtown Diner?

ME: Sounds great. Midtown Diner, 1pm.

HIM: Wow, so authoritative. I think I’m getting a boner.

ME: Really? It’s just lunch plans, no need to get so excited.

HIM: Sorry, sorta frisky tonight it seems. If it were earlier (it was 11:00pm) I’d ask if I could buy you a bourbon. Then you could get to know where I’m ticklish.

ME: Have you been drinking?

HIM: No, high. But I like that you could tell something was amiss. I have a boner again.

ME: You’re grossing me out. Just say goodnight.

10. The Hater- He prides himself on being super sarcastic and makes it so obvious that he doesn’t trust women anymore. He openly questions why he’s bothering with this whole online dating bullshit. All the women on here are fake, none of them actually read the profiles, and nobody is looking for a “real” man.

I consider the number of men who will check every box in the ethnicity category except black/African-American to be a national embarrassment. Are these men so offended by the mere thought of seeing a black woman show up in their matches that they need to banish us altogether? And don’t give me that “preference isn’t racism” rhetoric. I understand we all have preferences. It’s still a learned behavior in the exact same way we develop prejudices. If you’re OK with excluding an entire race as dateable, try digging a little deeper for the reasons why and tell me they’re not steeped in racism. Take your time. I’ll wait.

Then there are the black males who decide to take a personal affront to my acceptance of interracial dating. One of them wrote,

“Oh. I get it. You’ll be a fantasy for the white man. Plantation life all over again. Fuckin bitch.”

When I encounter a Hater, I block and report him without hesitation.

“Don’t try to win over the haters. You’re not the jackass whisperer.”

— Scott Stratten, author of Unmarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging.

11. The Contender- He’s out there but he’s a little too shy to approach women on his own. He wants to be in a relationship even if he seems a little hesitant at times. He will call you after you’ve messaged each other a few times and the vibe seems right. If he’s a good conversationalist and takes the initiative to set up a date, try to resist the urge to pick out your china. I know he’s a rare and precious find out in wild, but you don’t want to scare him away.

The truth is, as much as we complain about online dating, too few of us make a concerted effort to meet people by any other means. Singles events are always far outnumbered by females. I don’t watch sports, but I’ve joined Meetups for fitness, beer crawls, and I like to play pool (very poorly.) I almost never meet attractive men doing these things. They either don’t show up, the event gets cancelled from a lack of interest, or they all come with their girlfriends or wives.

I imagine there has to be some place where guys must be tired of having a sausage-fest. Aren’t you sick of starring in your own movie where you meet the same 11 women all the time? I’d love to read that article. Maybe you can help a sister out.

Online dating: Aim high, keep it brief, and be patient

Image copyright Press Eye

Scientists say the secrets to success in online dating are to aim high, keep your message brief, and be patient.

Playing “out of your league” or dating people considered more attractive than you, is a winning strategy, according to a new analysis of internet daters in the US.

Men had greater success when they approached women they believed were more desirable than themselves.

The new study has been published in the journal, Science Advances.

Internet dating has become the dominant form for those seeking romance – it’s the third most popular means of meeting a long term partner and around half of all 18-34 year olds now use dating apps.

In this new report, scientists used a Google-inspired algorithm to understand the desires of people wanting to match up. They analysed messaging and demographic patterns among heterosexual users in New York, Boston, Chicago and Seattle.

They found that both men and women contact potential partners who are, on average, around 25% more desirable than themselves.

Your “desirability”, they found, is not just about the number of messages that you receive, but who you receive them from.

If your messages come from people who have themselves received lots of messages, that makes make you more desirable, according to the study.

Apps are ‘least preferred’ way to date

What are online dating sites doing to keep us safe?

Top tips for a hot date

1) Send lots of messages – perseverance can pay off

2) Aim high – playing out of your league can be a winning strategy

3) Keep it brief – that long heartfelt message might not be read

4) Be patient – your dream date may just be judging the market

When women approached men, they received a response 50% of the time.

When men aimed at women who were rated as more desirable than themselves, their response rate was 21%.

That might seem low but the authors of the study suggest that online daters were wise to take the risk.

“I think a common complaint when people use online dating websites is they feel like they never get any replies,” said lead author Dr Elizabeth Bruch from the University of Michigan.

“This can be dispiriting. But even though the response rate is low, our analysis shows that 21% of people who engage in this aspirational behaviour do get replies from a mate who is out of their league, so perseverance pays off.”

Generally, most people received a handful of replies at best, but a few people received many more. One woman in the study was bombarded with a new message every half hour, from over 1,500 different people in the month long study.

As the data were wholly anonymised, we can only speculate about what it was about this woman that struck the attention of so many men.

The secret to success – keep it brief

Both men and women tended to write longer messages to a more desirable partner, sometimes up to twice as long, but the study found that this barely makes any difference to the response rate.

Dr Bruch said: “I feel that we can save people a lot of work in not writing longer messages.”

Why does writing a longer message not work?

“We don’t really know. One of the reasons might be that people that are desirable may have so many messages in their inbox, they don’t read most of them. That lovingly crafted message that you spent two hours on may go unopened,” said Dr Bruch in an interview with the BBC.

Co-author Professor Mark Newman, also from the University of Michigan, said: “Playing out of your league is one way to reduce the rate at which you get replies. That does not seem to stop people from doing it, and it seems to be standard behaviour. There is a trade-off between how far up the ladder you want to reach and how low a reply rate you are willing to put up with.”

If you aren’t getting any replies, then be patient. Your potential dates might be judging the market before committing to reply at all.

Although the maths is complicated, research has shown that your chance of picking the best date is highest if you reject outright the first 37%. You should then choose to date the next person that’s better than all the previous ones.

Image caption There is a formula for using apps such as Tinder

Deal-makers and deal-breakers in dating

Previous studies have shown that your dating profile should be roughly 70% about yourself, with the rest about what you’re looking for in a partner. But the problem with this thinking is that it assumes that people are going to read your profile or your message in the first place.

Dr Bruch said: “Women could afford to be more aspirational than they are. Their reply rates are already high enough that they can afford to take a hit.”

You might also want to think about when you reply. Dr Bruch added: “People’s behaviour at two o’clock in morning looks very different from their behaviour at 8 o’clock in the morning. Which is better depends upon what your goals are.”

BBC iWonder: Do you know the secret to getting a date online? Take the scientific test to see if you can build the perfect dating profile

Man’s not hot

The study showed that women tended to use more positive words when communicating with more desirable partners, whereas men tended to play it cool, showing a slight decrease in positive words.

Reinforcing a well-known stereotype, women’s view of men’s desirability peaked at around the age of 50, whereas women’s attractiveness to men declined from the age of 18.

The authors stressed that this does not mean following these stereotypes is the key to successful dating. People are able to make choices.

Dr Bruch said: “There can be a lot of variation in terms of who is desirable to whom. There may be groups in which people who would not necessarily score as high by our measures could still have an awesome and fulfilling dating life.”

Of course, making contact with dates online is only the first step in courtship. Most messages ended in failure.

Previous research has shown that when people are able to spend proper time together, their characters become far more important than the superficial information that they receive on a dating app.

“I am fascinated with the rules of dating, this paper is the initial leg of that research effort. Once you get past that first response, it is not clear how desirability continues to matter. There is some evidence that people focus on the most superficial aspects of their potential romantic partners at the earliest stages of the relationship and later on those things don’t matter so much.”

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Megan Murray

As the editor of a dating magazine, I see a lot of dating tips from a lot of different sources. Whether it’s experts in psychology and relationships, dating coaches, a bartender, best-selling authors, or someone’s best friend, some of the best dating and relationship advice comes from the most unlikely of places. But sometimes, it helps to got to the most likely place too… In this case, straight to the source. If you’re looking for some good online dating tips for men, why not ask other women who are online dating what tips they would give you?

To help out we surveyed over 3,000 women on the online dating site and app Zoosk and asked what their top online dating tips for men are. What we got was some great insight and some short, but sweet tips men can start using right away.

Here are their 33 online dating tips for men:

1. “Be honest from the beginning! Kindness truly is hot, so if you’re trying to impress a woman, that’s an excellent place to start.”

2. “Don’t just say hi, personalize your message at least a little. You don’t have to write a novel, but a couple of sentences so that I know you’re aren’t just fishing helps a lot.”

3. “When you take a picture for your profile, make sure we can see your eyes.”

4. “Like, winks, etc. are how women give you the signal to message them.”

5. “If you’re chatting with me and we have a lot in common and you like me, let me know. I want to move forward to see if we should meet.”

6. “Don’t use the word drama in your profile. Life is full of ups and downs—that’s what gives life color and depth. Using that word makes the assumption that women are the only ones that are involved in drama.”

7. “Smile! (I’m always amazed at how many men have pictures of them frowning or not smiling.)”

8. “With online dating, you need to find the right balance between chatting online and having real-life experiences. If you go too long chatting, you can turn into a pen pal.”

9. “Have a good, recent photo. Don’t have pictures of your cars or other trophies and don’t crop out former significant others and leave behind a hand on your shoulder.”

10. “Don’t limit yourself to finding true love in a 5 mile radius. Your soulmate may live further away than that.”

11. “Say something! Don’t keep sending hearts or smiley faces.”

12. “When approaching a woman, don’t start out with a compliment on her physical appearance, or just say hi or hey. Comment on something in her picture, but not her looks, or comment on something in her profile that caught your eye.”

13. “You aren’t trying to impress another man, you’re trying to impress a woman, which means, you might have to show a softer side. A slimy fish photo might not be the best thing to use in your profile.”

14. “Don’t start out by calling a woman sweetie or beautiful. Until you get to know someone that comes off as just another line.”

15. “Start a general conversation and go from there.”

16. “Don’t talk too much about yourself at first. Ask about her.”

17. “Be kind, be understanding, and above all be yourself.”

18. “Always end your conversations with a question to show you’re interested and want to continue talking.”

19. “Be strong and confident enough to know what you want and go for it.”

20. “Don’t text or email excessively. Exchange a few messages then ask about meeting. Coffee or a drink is best.”

21. “Asking for more photos is a turn off. Don’t do it.”

22. “Get to know her, and what she likes and dislikes. You want to build a friendship with her that builds up your relationship.”

23. “Make the first move by saying something fun and/or interesting.”

24. “Women are just as nervous and scared as men. Just talk to us like you would anyone else.”

25. “Take good pictures, ask me questions to get to know me better, make me laugh, and be open.”

26. “Never walk away from a conversation even if it’s online. Just tell her you have to go and talk later.”

27. “Be yourself from the very beginning. When you try to impress someone, your true self gets lost and that might be what the other person really wants.”

28. “Don’t be afraid to tell a woman how you really feel about something. There is nothing wrong with having an opinion and she will appreciate the honesty.”

29. “Give her a second chance if she’s shy.”

30. “Talk and chat like you’re hanging out with a friend at first.”

31. “Don’t look at a woman’s dating profile a million times and say nothing. Even hi is good if you’re at a loss for what to say.”

32. “Consider someone you might not usually be attracted to.”

33. “Approach online dating with an open heart. Everyone is a new person.”

Editor-in-Chief of The Date Mix

Megan Murray is the Editor-in-Chief of The Date Mix and works at the online dating site and app Zoosk, that has over 40 million members worldwide. She splits her time between writing for The Date Mix and working on the Zoosk product, which gives her behind-the-scenes knowledge about the world of online dating.

In the game of online dating, men and women try to level up, study finds

In the world of online dating, men and women are looking to find someone a little out of their league, according to a new study. Scientists who analyzed user data from a popular dating site have found that heterosexual men and women reach out to potential dating partners who are on average about 25% more attractive than they are.

The findings, published in the journal Science Advances, shed new light on the patterns and priorities of men and women when playing the online dating game.

Researchers have long tried to pin down the behaviors that drive people to choose particular romantic partners.

Couples, married or not, tend to have similar ages, educations, levels of attractiveness and a host of other characteristics. This could mean that people try to find partners who “match” their stats. On the other hand, it could mean that people try to find slightly more attractive mates – which results in the same pattern as the most desirable partners pair off, followed by the next most desirable, and so on.

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The problem is that looking at established couples leaves out the actual process of courtship – which could tell you much more about what people look for in a mate, how they woo them and how often they’re rejected.

“What you don’t observe is all the people who asked out someone who said ‘no’ – which is really the information you need if you want to understand desirability hierarchies,” said lead author Elizabeth Bruch, a computational sociologist at the University of Michigan.

Online dating offers a solution, because you can see who first contacts whom, and whether the recipient responds to that initial message.

So for this paper, the scientists used anonymized data from an unnamed dating site for nearly 187,000 users across four U.S. cities – New York, Boston, Chicago and Seattle – over the course of a month.

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Rather than gauge individual attractiveness or desirability themselves, the scientists relied on the site users to do the rankings: Users were ranked as more desirable depending on how many first messages they received, and depending on how desirable the senders themselves were.

It’s an iterative algorithm called PageRank, used by Google to rank websites in their search engine results. (The most popular person in their data set was a 30-year-old woman in New York who received 1,504 messages, or about one message every half hour.)

Then, to make their calculations, they essentially placed all the users on a scale of 0 to 1. The least desirable man and woman in each city had a score of 0 and the most desirable man and woman had a score of 1, with everyone else’s score lying at a decimal number in between.

The scientists found that men and women sent initial messages to potential partners who were more desirable than them – men went 26% higher on average, while the women aimed 23% higher.

Did these users simply think they were more desirable than they actually were? Or did they know that they were seeking out relatively more attractive mates?

To find out, the scientists analyzed the messages they sent, picking up on some clear patterns. Women consistently sent more positively worded messages to men when the “desirability gap” was greater, the scientists said – a sign that they were putting in more effort for a more desirable man.

Men, however, did the opposite: They sent less positively worded messages to more desirable women.

“My coauthor and I used to joke that the men are playing it cool,” Bruch said. “They’re not being as enthusiastic when they’re approaching more desirable partners.”

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Strangely, the men’s strategy seemed to work. In all four cities, men had slightly lower reply rates from women when they wrote more positively worded messages.

“That was a surprising finding — I was not expecting that,” Bruch said. “That behavior resonated with pickup artist strategies” such as negging, a kind of emotional manipulation where someone makes a backhanded compliment to another person in order to erode their confidence and increase their need for approval.

Bruch said one of her graduate students is developing an explanation for why this strategy seems to work.

Another common tactic men and women employed was to send desirable prospects longer messages – but it didn’t really seem to result in a higher response rate, she said.

There was one exception: Seattle men had the “most pronounced” rise in message length for desirable partners, and the strategy actually seemed to work, resulting in a higher response rate.

Seattle is also a market where straight men may have to work harder to find a date, the researchers pointed out.

“Seattle presents the most unfavorable dating climate for men, with as many as two men for every woman in some segments of the user population,” the study authors wrote.

It seems that people do seek out more desirable partners – but that desirability is closely calibrated to their own attractiveness.

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So is everyone doomed to seek mates who are unreachably “out of their league”?

As it turns out, aspirational message-sending does work – not all the time, and less often when the desirability gap is bigger. For men seeking more desirable women, the response rate went as high as 21% — high enough that the effort may be worth it, the scientists said.

“One of the take home messages here is that it might pay to be persistent,” Bruch said – to send messages to many desirable users, in the hopes of getting a response from one of them.

“It seems like even writing 10 messages to find someone you find incredibly desirable is a pretty modest investment of time and energy,” she said.

Bruch also pointed to other research indicating that, essentially, people are at their most superficial in the earliest stages of when they meet, and begin to value other characteristics as they get to know each other.

“If that’s true, then what we would expect is that these desirability differences matter most in this first message and reply,” she said, “and then the desirability gap ceases to be as important in determining whether people move on to the next stage.”

Perhaps studying the number of follow-up messages, or the contents of the replies, could start to shed more light on that dynamic, said Bruch.

In the meantime, Bruch said the findings from Seattle – where men wrote longer messages and were also rewarded for it, in contrast to New York, Boston and Chicago – has inspired her to look deeper into the differences in dating experiences between different cities.

Follow @aminawrite on Twitter for more science news and “like” Los Angeles Times Science & Health on Facebook.

New Jersey man scammed $2M from women by posing as a soldier on dating sites, prosecutors say

CAMDEN, N.J. – A Millville man was arrested Wednesday on charges that he defrauded more than 30 people of $2.1 million in an elaborate online dating scheme where he and conspirators acted as United States military members attempting to ship gold bars home.

Rubbin Sarpong, 35, was to appear before Judge Joel Schneider in Camden federal court Wednesday on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.

The following details from this case were taken from court documents and statements:

From January 2016 to September 2019, Sarpong and several conspirators — many who reside in Ghana — reportedly set up profiles on various dating websites using fake or stolen identities posing as United States military personnel stationed overseas.

“They contacted victims through the dating websites and then pretended to strike up a romantic relationship with them, wooing them with words of love,” according to the criminal complaint.

After starting a relationship with the victims, Sarpong and his conspirators would ask them for money, authorities claim, often for the claimed purpose of paying to ship nonexistent gold bars to the United States.

The most common story used by Sarpong and his conspirators was that they were military personnel stationed in Syria who were awarded gold bars. The conspirators told many of the victims their money would be reimbursed once the gold bars arrived in the United States.

In one case, a conspirator claimed he was a U.S. solider stationed in Syria who had recovered gold bars worth $12 million and needed help bringing them over. He sent her a fictitious airway bill showing that two trunks with “family treasure” would be sent to her, along with a fake United Nations Identity Card that identified him as an Israeli citizen and UN delivery agent.

She wired him more than $93,000 and they planned to meet at the Baltimore/Washington International on June 13, 2018. The next day she died by suicide.

Authorities say Sarpong and his conspirators used various email accounts and Voice Over Internet protocol phone numbers to communicate with the victims and instruct them where to wire money.

Victims, on occasion, also sent money via personal and cashier’s checks.

Authorities say the funds were then withdrawn in cash, wired to other domestic bank accounts and wired to conspirators in Ghana.

Sarpong, who was found posting photographs of himself with large amounts of cash, high-end cars and expensive jewelry, personally received $823,386 in the scheme, authorities said.

According to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday, Sarpong was active on social media and “bragged about his wealth.”

Authorities say on March 2, 2017, Sarpong posted a photograph of himself sitting in a car with a large stack of money up to his ear like a cellphone with a caption that read “WakeUp With 100k… One Time. Making A phone Call To Let My Bank Know Am Coming.”

In a May 29, 2017 post, Sarpong posted a photograph of himself in front of a white Mercedes with the comment “BloodyMoney,” according to the complaint.

On December 12, 2018, Sarpong posted a photograph of himself with an unidentified male with the comment “BigBusiness Done…Now We Waiting For The Checks To Clear,” authorities said.

Sarpong faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to Carpenito.

Follow Anthony Coppola on Twitter @AVCoppola.

Below is some online dating advice for men that you likely won’t see anywhere else. It’s different from most online dating advice for men because it covers both techniques and mindsets that will help you succeed in online dating. Plus, there’s an exercise at the end that will deepen your understanding of what women are looking for online. It can help you truly master online dating.

Make women chase you through online dating

The world of online dating is filled with guys who are desperately seeking out any attractive girl. These guys provide no challenge to women and as a result women find them boring. So if you want to get a girl’s attention online and even get her chasing you, show you’re not like the others. Show her that you’re not willing to settle for any woman; you’re out there looking for the right woman. Show her that if a girl is going to win you over, she’s got to be special.

Now this starts before you even begin online dating. Before creating an online dating profile, take the time and figure out exactly what you want in a woman (her personality, hobbies, values, etc).

Once you know what you want in the women you meet online, add some of that information to your online dating profile. List the qualities you want in a woman as well as any “deal breakers” that you won’t tolerate from women online. (When listing this information in your online dating profile you want to do it in a positive way. If you don’t want girls that flake, don’t say “I hate flakey girls” as that can make you sound bitter. Instead frame it positively, saying something like “I’m looking for a girl with integrity who keeps her word”).

When women see you know what you want and are actively filtering girls out, they’ll view you as a high-value guy. The women you meet online will begin to work for your attention because they know that in order to keep you interested – a woman has got to be special.

When meeting a woman online, keep her off the pedestal

One of the most common online dating mistakes guys make is putting a girl on a pedestal. Just because the girl is attractive and mentioned a few things in her profile that really resonated with him he’ll start telling himself how incredible and perfect this girl is. This can cause a few problems with online dating. For one, he may find himself sending a long, rambling, and needy first message declaring how perfect they are for one another (which will creep her out). Or he’ll simply find himself wasting the day, checking his inbox to see if she replied to his message.

To avoid this common online dating trap there’s a few things you can do. Often, just realizing what’s happening and reminding yourself that you don’t actually know anything about her can be enough. If you’re still hung up on her, try ascribing some silly characteristics to her (maybe she has a weird laugh, or an unhealthy obsession with unicorns) just to humanize her.

But always keep in mind that the best thing you can do in these situations is to simply find other women. Whether its finding women online or elsewhere, the more women you meet the less likely you are to get hung up on that one girl.

How to send a first message in online dating

The first message in online dating is really much simpler than most guys make it out to be. Most guys think you need to send an amazing first message to get a woman’s attention. But that’s not the case. You just need to separate yourself from other guys and get a conversation rolling.

Follow these guidelines you’ll be sure to send good first message to girls online:

  • First, scan her online dating profile and see what jumps out at you. Then look to bring this up in your first message the girl. Showing you actually read her profile (most guys don’t), and that you’re interested in her and not just her looks will help your message stand out.

  • End your message in a way that compels her to respond. Believe it or not, a simple open ended question like “That’s a cool picture, where was it taken?” or “how’s your day been?” will work. If you want your first message to a girl to have a bit more kick to it, you can always offer her a challenge. For instance if she mentions she’s a dancer in her profile, you can challenge her with “you like to dance? Very well, I challenge you to a dance-off!”

  • Keep your first message to a girl online short. 2-3 sentences is fine. If you’re feeling talkative, maybe two paragraphs that size. Anything longer looks like you’re trying too hard.

  • Overall, keep the vibe fun, playful, and light. Just have fun and see if you can get a conversation going.

Meeting up with women online

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the girls you meet online are going to move things forward for you. If you’re going to meet up with a woman you met online, more than likely you’re going to need to take charge and ask for the number/date yourself.

A good time to ask a girl you met online for her number (or a date) is on the 3rd or 4th message. Having a brief back-and-forth allows you to build attraction and familiarity and increases the odds she’ll say yes. It also shows that you require women to put in a bit of effort before you invite them out (showing that you’re a high-value, selective guy).

Learn more about online dating with a fake profile

If you want to learn more about online dating, a fun thing to do is to set up a fake profile. Get a random picture of an attractive woman, create and online dating profile for her, and watch what happens. You’ll get flooded with emails from guys who are interested.

Flipping through these emails can give you some great online dating advice for men. You can figure out what a good first message looks like, and what kind of messages to avoid. You can even take a look at some of the other guys’ profiles for ideas on how to improve your own.

This exercise will also give you a good insight into what it’s like for women to date online. By understanding a woman’s perspective and experience, you’ll have a better idea of what women are looking for. Then you’ll be able to show women exactly that.

The 10 Most Attractive Hobbies You Can Have on a Dating Site

Not having any luck with your dating profile? Maybe it’s not your ugly mug, maybe it’s your hobbies… or lack thereof?

This morning, we talked about how eHarmony recently analyzed people’s profiles to find out which hobbies and interests we’re attracted to the most.

Here’s what they found . . .

The ten most attractive hobbies and interests a GUY can have are:

  • traveling
  • exercise
  • going to the theater
  • dancing
  • cooking
  • doing stuff outdoors
  • politics
  • pets
  • photography
  • sports

And the ten most attractive hobbies and interests WOMEN can have are:

  • exercise
  • photography
  • traveling
  • art
  • dancing
  • politics
  • doing stuff outdoors
  • cooking
  • learning
  • music

The study also found that you’ll do better if you’ve ever lived or worked abroad or speak a second language.

The survey also found men should list at least six hobbies on their profile to get the most matches.

But… for some reason, women get fewer hits if they list more than four. So, be interesting girls, but not too interesting.

Good luck out there!

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7 Ways To Optimize Your Online Dating Profile

by Isabel Thottam

There are over 54 million single people in the United States and every day, millions of people turn to online dating in search of their perfect match. If you’re one of those millions looking for love online, you might be wondering “how do I get someone to ‘swipe right’ on me?” Is it your photo? Your age? The color of your hair?

Instead of focusing on your physical characteristics, shift your focus to your profile. Chances are you’re either sharing too much, or too little, or not using the right language to really catch someone’s eye. If you’re looking to boost your chances, we took a look at data from multiple dating sites to determine how to best optimize your dating profile for success.

1. List hobbies and interests

Research shows that 64% of online users believe common interests are important. This means you want to list your favorite hobbies and interests so people can quickly determine whether or not you share common interests. Don’t be vague and say things like “music” or “sports.” Instead, write out the top three or five bands you listen to and sports you actually play. Knowing how to surf and taking yoga classes are popular activities among males and females, so if either is an interest of yours, it’s a good idea to mention it.

What should you not mention? Data suggests you shouldn’t mention “God” because it can immediately deter someone, so it’s better to keep church and state separate on your dating profile.

2. Use proper grammar and simple language

If you quickly set up your profile, chances are you made a few spelling and grammatical errors. Not only is it important to proofread your profile for better optimization, but you also don’t want to go overboard with big vocabulary and complex wording. Research shows that using simple words makes it easier for people to read, pronounce and remember things about your profile, which makes it more likely that they’ll be interested in you.

Moreover, 28% of users prefer a male to refer to females as women rather than girls. Additionally, if you correctly use “whom” in a sentence, you have a 31% better chance to be contacted by the opposite sex.

3. Find the perfect photo

This doesn’t mean, “Choose the sexiest photo.” The photo you post is the first thing that attracts someone to your profile–and it’s also the first indicator of your personality. In the online dating world, 49% of users say your physical characteristics are the most important piece of your profile.

Pick a photo that shows a bit of your personality (a photo showing you doing something you love to do) while also displaying your attractiveness (so pick a photo you are confident about and are happy with how you look!) For example, if you went skydiving once, but really love hiking–choose the photo of yourself on a hike. If you want to take one specifically for your profile, choose an outfit that fits your personality and not one that creates a version you think users want to see.

Lastly, make sure you smile! Smiling in your photo automatically makes you seem friendly and approachable.

4. Skip the selfie

While we’re on the topic of photos, let’s get this one out of the way: do no post a selfie. Lisa Hoehn, owner of Profile Polish, a business that helps people makeover their online dating profiles, says men, especially, should never post a selfie.

“Women can get away with one as long as it’s not a horrible duck face,” Hoehn told Business Insider.

5. Write about yourself and what you’re looking for

Though you want to save all the gritty details for the first date, research indicates that you should spend at least 80% of your profile writing about yourself, and the other 20% describing what type of partner you’re looking for. Like you, other users are looking for someone they can picture themselves with, which is why you want to spend more time describing yourself and your interests. It’s definitely important to find a balance between the two though, as a profile that’s too much about you will turn people off.

6. Keep it positive

Avoid saying negative things about yourself or the things you don’t like in a person. Experts say fewer things are more inviting than positivity–and it’s definitely a turnoff if your profile is full of negativity.

7. Ask questions or invite people to contact you

Don’t be afraid to make statements or pose questions such as “If you’re a fan of the X-files, are you more of a Spooky Mulder or an Agent Scully? Message me your answer.” Doing so makes it easier for someone to contact you and immediately gives you a conversation starter over a common interest. Moreover, it’s a great way to filter in the type of person you’re interested in and you have a better chance of meeting a good match.

Profiled

Looking for good online dating profiles to copy? I gotchu, boo, with all the online dating profile inspiration and examples you need.

Here are some great, easy-to-copy dating profile examples & profile photo optimization tips for gents and ladies.

Feel free to mix, match, and edit these dating profile examples as needed to suit your situation.

Dating Profile Example # 1: Three things

An essential rule of thumb when creating your dating profile is to think of yourself as a product.

What are the best keywords to describe what “you” are, and what you’re into? (Ex: An engineer? A creative? An athlete/fitness enthusiast?)

Second, what is the “consumer” getting if they “buy”? (Ex: Your contagious enthusiasm for life? A good listener? Interesting conversation about books? Boozy campfires? Raucous club outings?)

These dating profile examples show that you don’t need to list everything there is to know about you.

Your bio is just an ad, so you want to pique interest, and leave the meaty getting-to-know-you stuff for chats and dates.

List three interesting things about you (interests, hobbies, goals) to make people curious and want to swipe right to find out more.

Examples

Astrid, 26
Kava enthusiast. Wannabe climber. Roomba owner.

Jesse, 27
Amateur Lego builder. Terrible cook. Aspiring snowboarder.

Dating Profile Example # 2: “Ask me about…”

Brevity is your friend, friend. A concise one-liner comes across as confident and self assured, like you know what you’re about and have nothing to prove.

Use this short and simple “Ask me about…” template to steer your chat convo toward that one weird interest or fun fact about yourself you’re dying to share.

Taylor, 27
Ask me about my sleight of hand

Jude, 23
Ask me about my cat’s tricks.

Dating Profile Example # 3: Movie quote

Referencing movies or tv shows is a really great way to engage on a dating app. Even though you’re strangers, you’re already connected through this shared social consciousness, so swipers will automatically feel positively towards you.

Heather, 22
I’ll have what she’s having (When Harry Met Sally quote)

Derek, 25
Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off quote)

Dating Profile Example # 4: Greater than/less than

These dating profile examples of the “greater than/less than” template show that you can reveal a lot about your interests and sense of humor without penning a multi-volume autobiography.

Are you always down for a good-natured debate? Rousing convo? This format is a great way to express an unpopular opinion or slightly tease about a topic you know people feel strongly about.

Claudia, 24
Captain America > Thor

Mark, 26
My Sunday roast > your mom’s Sunday roast

Dating Profile Example # 5: Quirky Interest

Got an unusual interest or passion? Your dating profile is the perfect place to reveal this little-known fact.

Sure, maybe not everyone will love that you keep track of your Minecraft progress in a spreadsheet or secretly take salsa lessons, but the people who do respond are already really going to be picking up what you’re putting down.

There’s no sense in hiding your quirkiness or nerdom. You may as well focus on attracting those who will jive with you than going for worldwide mass appeal.

Ferrin, 25
My labelmaker is the single best purchase of my 20s so far.

Rory, 29
I may or may not use the Dewey Decimal System for my home library.

Even the best bio won’t make up for unattractive pics 😕

If your pics don’t look good, your dating profile doesn’t stand a chance at getting much notice, unfortunately.

Pro tip: Before you start swiping, run your dating profile pics through Photofeeler to see how women or men are responding to them.

Choosing your profile pics this way has been shown to significantly increase match rates and match quality.

Go to Photofeeler.com now and give it a try!

Want more online dating messages profile examples? Check out:

Best Bumble Bios & Profile Tips 2020 (for Guys & Girls)

10 Questions To Ask on Tinder (Your Matches Will Love These)

5 Best Tinder Icebreakers That Will Set You Apart From The Pack

4 Tinder Pickup Lines That Will Actually Get You a Date

16 Best POF Headlines of 2020 (Guys & Girls)

Men and online dating

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