During downtimes when I was too tired to go out and meet women I experimented with internet dating. I found love from just a few custom tailored emails. My friends think I hit the dating equivalent of the lotto. From what I have heard, I agree. Most guys struggle to get one positive response on dating sites.
I have predicted to myself for years that the online dating business model would collapse once men figured out it was worthless as a way to meet quality women. That it hasn’t yet is testament to the difficulty so many men have approaching women in person. The path of least resistance explains why hot women don’t bother developing their personalities and why men will shotgun shoot hundreds of copy/paste emails to anonymous women online.
Myspace, Match, eHarmony, CL… they all suck for the elegantly simple reason that online there are too many indiscriminate horny men and too few cute girls. The dynamics are totally in the woman’s favor, ridiculously so in that it encourages massive self-assessment inflation that will carry over into real life social interactions, guaranteeing disappointment.
The lopsided pursuer-pursued ratio on internet dating sites gives rise to some interesting phenomena that stack the deck against any guy choosing this as his primary pickup vehicle. The biggest obstacles for men are:
- Online dating is like a journey to the Island of Misfit Singles. It’s no surprise that the virtual world warehouses sexual rejects who couldn’t cut it in public where their ugliness means they’re not even in the running. BBWs, BBBWs, BBBBBBBBBBBBWs… you’ll find them all online, beached like a herd of walrus. Carefully cropped 10-year-old head shots in favorable lighting are no substitute for the real deal. Peruse Craigslist W4M and you can’t miss the fetid stench of the loser.
- The internet is a huge fucking ego trip for any semi-decent looking girl. There are a lot of plain looking girls in the 4-6 range who post online profiles for the instant ego stroking. Usually, these are girls who have just come out of bad relationships and need a quick pick-me-up before venturing out to the cutthroat competition of the clubs and bars. Because the nature of internet courtship shifts the perceived 1-10 female attractiveness scale 5 points upward, a 4 will feel like a 9 after getting bombarded with an inbox full of e-suitors. A great illustration of this happened with one of my ex-girlfriends. On our first date at a local dive bar (naturally) she got nervous when two girls sat near us and, according to her, started eye-flirting with me. The jealousy caused by other women in her field of view helped keep her ego in check, ultimately making my job easier. But when we broke up, she quickly hit a dating site and a week later during a breakup conversation with me gloated how “over a hundred men” had responded to her online personal within hours of its posting. I tried to explain that most of those men were nerd losers, but the damage was already done. Her opinion of her attractiveness skyrocketed, and she spent the next six months acting like a 10 blindly turning down dates with what she thought were unworthy men and crying lonely tears on the slumped shoulder of an emasculated beta male friend.
- The internet masks the competition. She wakes up the next morning to find 250 emails responding to her online profile. She feels validated from the swarm of attention. The problem? In her self-absorption and the privacy of her home she does not experience the visceral impact of being one among many, despite the fact that all those guys who emailed her also emailed a thousand other women. She has no concrete sense of her female competition online that could compare to what she would have in a bar watching men pass her over to hit on one cute girl after another. The mindfuck of real women in her physical presence ready to pull away the attention of the man she is interested in should not be underestimated.
- The internet frees men to follow the Law of Truly Large Numbers and hit on anything with an ASCII pulse. There are zero repercussions to using this strategy online, as opposed to a bar or club where being seen hitting on every girl in the place in rapid fire succession lowers the chance of notch for each subsequent pickup attempt. In public settings, men pick and choose which girls to hit on, and this has the aggregate effect of reducing the amount of male attention the average girl receives, thus helping to keep a lid on runaway female ego bloat.
Remedies to the problems of internet pickup might include requirements for embedded video of 360 degree full body posing, alerts to let the women know when guys in their queue have emailed other girls, and “virtual girl friends” that can vouch for guys to interested women.
For the eternal optimist, there are online exceptions to the bleak picture I’ve painted above:
Jdate – Insular, selective, niche market serving a group historically bonded by blood as well as cultural ties. That is why it “works” (i.e., guys have an easier time getting laid) better than the mainstream sites. That is also why, for example, a Catholic version will never work as successfully; Catholicism isn’t an ethnic religion and there are too many of them to maintain a cohesive online dating community. Plus, Catholics love to rebel against their parents. Dating outside the religion is one of the sacraments. I have friends who use Jdate with great results.
Nonconformist chicks – Less interested in a man’s material possessions or job status, these types of girls flock to internet sites like Myspace and CL to find artists and iconoclasts. The medium suits their filtering mechanism well; a witty email or clever profile is hard to fake. They also tend to have low self-esteem which offsets the ego swelling effects of online exposure.
Fatties – The internet is great for banging fatties. With 70% of American women overweight, so is everywhere else, including a cardboard box.
Married chicks – Craigslist made cheating a whole hell of a lot more convenient.