Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Using Dating Sites To Meet Women

Buyer Beware. Dating sites can be an incredible waste of time if you don't know what you're doing. As it stands, dating websites are massively skewed in the favor of women. I once created a fake woman's profile on lavalife and in a matter of minutes I got more instant messages than I would get in one year with my (guy) profile. This creates an interesting dynamic. Women who sign up for dating websites and who remain signed up are often times only interested in attention. No attractive sane woman would stay signed up on a dating website for long, if she gets hundreds of messages a day. So it's almost always a waste of time communicating with women who regularly get tons of messages.

Take for instance, plentyoffish.com. Plentyoffish is a free dating website, and because it's free the men tend to flock there more than to sites where you must pay to use. There are about 2-3 men for every woman. And the women literally get swamped with messages, even if they're not that attractive. This dynamic basically scares away the sane (best) women, and attracts the attention-seekers who have no intention of meeting anyone.

Some other things on plentyoffish that attract attention seekers are the rate-my-picture feature, favorites feature, and the forums. The rating feature is an obvious lure for attention-seekers, and so is the favorites feature. The forums are basically places to "gossip". So here you have all these things which lure women but for the wrong reasons; reasons which have nothing to do with wanting to meet people.

So can you meet women from plentyoffish? Yes, once in a while. But the good ones are few and far between. Better to just let women message you. Or use a website where you have to pay to use. Chances are good that the male/female ratio is much more even. And the chances of connecting with someone are much better.

Another useless website for meeting people is meetmeinto.com. The reasons for it being useless are basically the same as for plentyoffish.

There's a website called Okcupid which I tried out for a few weeks. It's free to use, but again, a waste of time. It has these fun question games which are mostly geared towards getting women to sign up.

Hotornot is also waste of time for the most part. Women usually sign up on there to see if they are "hot or not", and not to meet men.

So you see a pattern. The more "bait" a website uses to lure female members, the worse it is. And the leaner a dating website is, the better it is for meeting women. If you take out forums, rating features, favorites, fun question games, etc you tend to lure more women who are interested in meeting men.

This hints at a dark side. Owners of dating websites tend to include features that will appeal mostly to women, knowing that this will in turn lure even more men. Take plentyoffish for instance, for every woman the owner can get to sign up, 2-3 men will sign up, which of course means more ad clicking and more revenue. It's a basic economic model.

But it doesn't stop there. Plentyoffish is very pro-female and anti-male for the same basic reason of economic supply and demand. So in the interest of making the most profit the website caters to women and discriminates against men. I'll talk more about this in another post. But right now I'm going to move on.

So what are the best dating websites?

Over the years I have found lavalife and yahoo personals to be the best. I met the most women from these two sites. And for Toronto and area, lavalife is hands-down the best website given that so many use it.

These two websites are not without their share of problems however, but they are more tolerable, provided you do certain things and avoid others.

I put together a list of dos and don'ts. These are guidelines which will allow you to use dating websites efficiently without a lot of wasted effort.

• When writing a profile, have standards and screen. If you have a range of height that you like in a woman state it. If you have a body type you like, state that as well. Don't be afraid to state your physical preferences. You want to get out of the mindset of being willing to take whatever you can get. Say no to women if your intuition tells you it's a bad idea. If you want a casual/sexual relationship, say so. Don't pretend to want something long term just to get more responses. The truth is that you might get more responses but the general quality will be lower. It's better to narrow it down to what you want and get fewer responses, but of higher quality.

• Have nice pictures. Avoid webcam shots. If you can, use pictures of you when you're out with your friends, or whatever.

• Only message women that have unique profiles. Avoid responding to the generic sounding profiles. The profiles that show true individuality are the ones you can easily respond to since you won't be scratching your head wondering what to say. If you are wondering what to say then it's probably best to move on, no matter how hot her pics look. I personally never met a woman that had sexy pictures and a boring profile.

• Make sure the profiles you respond to have clear pictures. If the pictures are somewhat blurry or are taken at an angle, then they are trying to hide something, either wrinkles or body fat. So no matter what they look like they must have clear pictures. It's a matter of accurate representation.

• Don't message women that have excessively sexy pictures, like boob shots. They are only after attention.

• Meet quickly, or move on. Chat briefly on MSN or phone and then set up a meet over drinks, or whatever. There's no reason to prolong this. If she wants to be careful then she can meet you in a public place and see the real you, not send a bunch of messages back and forth hoping that she gets more comfortable.

• Lastly, some women hide their profiles and prefer to initiate first contact with men they are interested in. This makes sense since the alternative for them is receiving tons of messages and not having the time to read them all. So if you get a message from a woman who's profile is hidden, trust me, that's usually a good thing!

I want to make an important note on lavalife. They have a smile feature. You send smiles to people and they can choose to smile you back. And then you can message them with greater certainty that they are interested. But I discovered a disturbing statistic from past use. Out of 10 women who smiled me back only one would actually meet me. The other 9 women didn't bother responding to my invitation to talk further on MSN or the phone. This statistic held true even when I varied the opening message a bit. I would write them, saying something along the lines of "how are you doing?" And when (if) they responded I would then suggest talking on MSN or the phone. But 9/10 times I got no response. And it was all friendly and polite, so there was nothing odd about how I went about it.

This means that most women who smile you back on lavalife aren't interested in chatting further or meeting. My guess is that their interest level is so low that they barely have enough motivation to return the smile. Alternatively, some of these women probably have antisocial personality disorders where they don't "comprehend" the purpose of the "smile", and are like deers frozen in the headlights when faced with the possibility of taking an interaction to the next level.

In the past, lavalife had a payment system where you had to pay for individual credits which could be used to send messages. And sadly, 90% of my credits were wasted on women who didn't write back, even though they had returned my smile. But now they have monthly subscriptions where you can send unlimited messages for a flat rate. That is much, much better.

I personally use the dating section and the intimate section, on lavalife. I have the same profile for both in which I basically mention that I'm looking for no-strings-sex. Some women in the dating section are looking for no-strings-sex but they don't post in the intimate section because they would be swamped by messages. Furthermore, women in the intimate section tend to be flaky. One can only guess at the reasons. One reason is that they are just after the attention. In the intimate section women get many more messages than in the dating and relationship section. Another possible reason is that they know the jig is up. They can't pretend to want dates, or relationships, so they must own up to the fact that they primarily want sex. And this scares some of them. So when it comes time to meet they will flake on you. It's lame I know. But this is why you want to suggest meeting sooner rather than later, so either way you don't waste a lot of time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Few humbling experiences compare to the online dating scene. Sending out dozens and dozens of messages to average women with a response rate that would annihilate the self esteem of any female who found the roles reversed.