The quality of the women (based on intellect, personality, accomplishments, and appearance) who I've met in real life first before dating have been vastly superior to the women who I managed to find a date with through online dating.
Besides the restrictiveness of the online dating medium, specifically its inability to capture personality or warmth, I think another reason is because the women I meet in real life are able to evaluate me individually for who I am whereas in online dating you're practically always being compared to dozens of people.
I also think that people are overly picky in online dating and treat their specifications as sacrosanct instead of something to constantly self evaluate. For example, it's fairly common for people to specify a preference for a single race, usually their own. When I used to go on match.com I saw plenty of white women who explicitly noted they only wanted to date white men. Fair enough. And you know, a lot of white women I know in real life might have the same preference given the nature of growing up in small towns dominated by a single ethnicity and having consumed culture that largely glamorizes white men. But they also ended up marry Asian men, not through online dating but perhaps because they got to know them in college or at work or through friends. Likewise I'm certain that some of the women I dated in real life wouldn't have given me a chance in online dating. Perhaps it's because we could share laughter and gain trust in one another before even considering the concept of love. I'm sure there's also studies that show repeated exposure of a person has a positive effect on their perception.
And if you read the story in Aziz Ansari's Modern Romance, he mentions a similar anecdote where he met two Indian dudes, one who was struggling to meet anyone through online dating, and the other who exclusively just met women in real life and had no problems in that realm.
I guess my unscientific observation is that while online dating is certainly gaining in popularity and can be successful for some people, that it can sort of be misrepresentative of reality.
I always found this interesting, not because of the idea itself, but because they chose specific heights as cutoffs. It was particularly common to see women pick 6' as their cutoff. Many of these women were significantly shorter than 6', even if they wore heels.
If you're 5'4" (say), can you really tell the difference between 5'10" and 6'? Are those two inches actually a dealbreaker? Walking past men on the street, can you actually filter out all men under 6' accurately and precisely? It seems extremely unlikely that anyone could do that unless they were quite close to 6' themselves.
And yet it's trivial to filter out every guy under 6' on a site like OkCupid. The site provides built-in functionality to do so. I'm willing to bet a significant percentage of women stating they require a height of 6' or higher would often be willing in real life to date men much shorter than that, because they probably don't even know what 6' precisely looks like.
It's also been convincingly demonstrated that men on dating sites inflate their height by 2 full inches on average. Suppose you don't really know what 6' precisely looks like and go on a date with a 5'10" guy claiming to be 6'. You may not realize he's not actually 6' and believe the claim from his profile. From here on out, your idea of dating "6'" men becomes reinforced based on faulty data.
I measured her and she was 5'7" and she still was able to book modeling jobs with strict requirements under her adjusted height
People liked the proportions and her long legs
Maybe some future society won't but the phenotype wins now
Just another anecdote about how lying and perception aren't exactly mysterious ways of getting ahead
Hooking up stats are rather clear: around 80% of women have sex with around 20% of men. That's why an average looking guy on PoF/CL/Tinder/OkCupid has very little chance compared to real life.
This imbalance is actually caused by the guys. Your average guy will throw himself at almost any woman. You join a site, you go through profiles, you message the ones you like. You can easily message 100 girls and get 1 reply. Why? Because every other average guy is doing the same. So an average girl gets 100 messages a day, and there's no way she's replying to all of them - she will pick the top 5-10, and will talk to them.
If your face isn't good looking, don't worry. You can compensate with other things. Hit the gym, girls LOVE fit bodies, even though most of them you tell you they want someone funny/smart/interesting. Don't believe the words, believe the actions. When I started gaining muscle, women started paying attention. Other things that help are: confidence, ability to speak calmly and confidently, dressing better than average, treating women as humans, not as princesses.
If you want to meet lots of women IRL, pick up an activity with mostly women, like dance, yoga.
To learn more, read about hypergamy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypergamy
TLDR: All women seek higher status males, inevitably leading to the highest status males reproducing with more females.
Being a multimillionaire is not 'higher status' when it comes to meeting women (unless you make it to the hundred-millionaire state')
Being a founder or a corporate exec is not 'higher status' when it comes to meeting women (unless you are C-suite at a fortune-500)
While I think this sounds very true, do you have a reference?
It completely matches the experience in the city I live in, and I'd love to be able to quote it to people.
OKCupid has some research, but they don't record actual sex encounters. They have stats like "As you can see from the gray line, women rate an incredible 80% of guys as worse-looking than medium".
Before I was married, I found dates online all the time. 99% of the women I dated had issues or were too picky. I didn't end up finding my wife until I joined some local meetup groups and met her IRL.
Ignoring these opportunities in favour of having a computer mediated interaction where they are able to choose precisely what they are interested in... does fit the definition of "picky". Most people probably have their own personal reasons for it, but that doesn't make it less of a fit for the dictionary definition of picky.
Even OP has admitted that they were easily getting many dates online yet still they had to reject a lot of people (I assume?). And (again assumedly) that is not picky [cause they had "issues"], while somebody not picking whoever from a small pool is.
And that's all without going into how the cohort of people doing the approaching can be skewed in an unfavorable way, the scariness and increased risk of accepting a date in person etc.
I don't want into arguments about definitions. My point is, for the average computer literate person, going on the Internet is the expected rational choice. Or perhaps more widely, that the Internet meme of "women have it easier, there's something wrong with ones that can't find a suitable date" is based on rather troubling judgments.
From what I heard, nobody gets anything serious started in clubs. Bars are probably better but, quite honestly, I don't feel safe going to a bar by myself late in the evening.
Some things are worth being picky about and just dealing with up front. If you can choose from 100 people why not eliminate the ones who don't share your religion, for example.
Of course I'm someone who married the person who couldn't be more different in politics, personality and background - 17 years ago and going strong. So naturally my perspective here is biased - on the basis of criteria I thought were important to me at that age, I have no doubt I never would have considered her if I saw her profile and went by he facts and figures.
This seems rather vague and subjective...
The answer (for me) has is almost always "yes" and so the question becomes how did they do it? What failing of mine should I repair?
I don't think attractiveness matters past initiating the first date in a cold relationship. Who knows, is it because I've gotten older? Getting to know someone makes their face so dynamic and expressive. Every human face is pretty once you get to know it that way. Perhaps that is why it's easier to date people we're already friends with: we already know how pretty and interesting they are, what more could one want?
Any criteria that reduces the number of choices is good for women as it makes their lives easier.
"Well, if I meet someone online he has to be as good as possible right? They are so many men here."
I would say no, and in fact even having a preference for something like skin complexion isn't enough to make one racist. What is racist is stating the preference in terms of race and categorically denying that one would ever be attractive to a person of <race> or <skin complexion> or whatever. I think it would be pretty ugly to say that you would never date a short person, regardless of any implications for one's ideas about race, too. Like, it's different to say "i find tall people attractive" versus "i find short people unattractive".
Personal preferences aside, the way society signals which physical features are desirable and undesirable is racist. This is largely commercialized and driven by marketing departments these days but it is rooted in all sorts of institutions that govern the desirability and undesirability of certain bodies. So, as an individual, signaling one's preferences can feed into this structural power that decides who is pretty and who is not. Individual preferences are almost certainly partly influenced by messages society sends us and it's important to keep that in mind.
It is fine, there is nothing wrong with it, as you should do whatever you want with your romantic life, but it is racist as you are excluding a group of people from your dating pool just because of their race.
I think this whole idea of race should be put down, euthanised. I like to mock it by comparing people to dog breeds. We don't call the English Pointer and the Miniature Shar Pei different races, but they have distinctly stronger difference than English compared Chinese people.
In an effort to reclaim my preferences I can often be hearding saying things like "I don't mean to sound racists, but could you pass the salt" at the dinner table.
Considering Asian as a property of unattractiveness is racist. Even if you are an Asian yourself.
"Asian" is not an indicator of unattractiveness; "male Asian", on average, is.
Basically we all want something hot and or attractive to us. I feel for women who are less to average in looks have it better then guys. Probably sign into these apps and get bombarded by guys.
I definitely date using match and plenty of fish(15 different dates a year) Tinder to me is crickets. I'm well aware of why and oh well that's how it goes but it does suck.
Though I've then tried Grindr and other bi apps. I've found both attractive yet if I had found some chick who I liked in my 20s(in my 30s I was in a long term relationship with a chick) and settled down I would most likely have never explored my interest in guys. Would have just kept it to the normal curious fun a lot of us guys have with each other in our teens.
Well using Grindr and others I now know what it feels like to be a chick... sign on and get tons of messages and choose which one catches your eye. This happens each time you open the app. Hey if your into both it's a great way to beat loniless, meet new friends and have fun here/there.
Overall I just wanted to point out one mans use of these dating apps. I'm sure I'm not alone in my struggle with finding the women I want and they want me too. If Tinder keeps you busy your one lucky dude! Probably alone in using those other apps or maybe not and that could be another thing these apps are changing how/who we date and meet?
Thanks for sharing.
There's no doubt I could be with a chick now but it wouldn't be with any I want, who excite me and or who fit my check list. Thus until I find her I'm biding my time between all these apps and always playing it safe and infrequently on the bi apps.
1) confirm/discredit/explain/etc the specific facts/opinions in the article
2) expand the article's specific topic into a launch pad for general anecdotes (often manifested as group catharsis)
I can't speak for jessriedel but I assume he's looking for the first type of discussion (science). It's not wrong or right but just pointing out how people look for different commentary. Based on curiousdater's upvotes, many HN readers find his online experience interesting and don't care that his comment could be posted to any submitted story about dating and not just this specific one about the science research into choice fatigue.
To your question, it's not impossible to talk about choice overload without reverting to personal anecdotes.
The article's author Elizabeth Svoboda only used one anecdote which was about her friend Shannon Whitaker. Ignoring that, 99% of the article cites data from professor Barry Schwartz, psychologists Daniel Kahneman & Amos Tversky,
anthropologist Helen Fisher, economist Hanna Halaburda, marketing professor Alexander Chernev, and researcher Daniel Mochon. It also mentions opposing evidence from professor Benjamin Scheibehenne.
The personal anecdote about her friend was only a tiny amount of text at the beginning and the end. The anecdote was used as a narrative device to frame the article but it wasn't the main message.
The article talks about simultaneous choices (choice overload). A related concept is serial choices and the "when to stop looking for The One" dilemma. That's been modeled as The Secretary Problem which calculates a 37% stopping point. It also has been discussed by several authors:    
If your goal is to do expectimax optimization, as decision theory would dictate, you should make a decision after reviewing sqrt(n) applicants. That's assuming a uniform distribution of utility among secretary choices. If the distribution is non-uniform, another heuristic might be better.
In short, if you're faced with 30 jars of jam to choose from, you'll narrow by brand or GMO-status or whatever. Facing a choice for a mate in a list of 1,000 people, you filter by height, race, tits, or some other attribute.
Your outcome will be the same (ie. you'll have jam in your toast or a person in your life), but the criteria different.
> When Benjamin Scheibehenne, a professor of cognition and consumer behavior at the University of Geneva, set out to replicate the jam study, he found no evidence that people were less satisfied with their choices when they had a larger array to select from. “It seems to be fairly difficult to overload or confuse or frustrate people just based on the number of options,” Scheibehenne says. “In most situations, people are quite good at coping.” He points out that if abundant choice were really as paralyzing as Schwartz and others have proposed, people would constantly get stymied in everyday situations like deciding which shirt to wear or what to have for lunch.
> Instead, Scheibehenne argues that people generally avoid being overwhelmed by practicing a kind of quick-and-dirty mental judo, using some kind of shortcut to limit their choices—whether that means giving certain factors more weight or simply skipping some of the presented choices.
I spent some time using online dating several years ago, but I wasn't really sure what I was looking for. I messaged a lot of women, got ignored by a lot of women, went on a couple of very unfulfilling dates. The issue was that (for me and my targets) when you log in there's just so many people. So you use very brutal winnowing to filter down to a manageable set, but (obviously) you can only filter based on the info the site gives you: Height, weight, religion, ethnicity, facial appearance. In so doing you throw away tons of potential matches that you'd have got along great with, but the people you're left with aren't really "matches" at all. They had no particular reason to talk to me, and I had no particular reason to talk to them. "Hello fellow human; do you wish to discuss current events?"
A couple years later (after a fairly unhappy but very educational relationship with someone I did NOT meet on a dating site) I tried online dating again. This time I had a very specific idea what I was looking for, and used keyword searches to find potential matches. I quickly filtered it down to 3 possible matches in my city, one of whom was far and away the best match. I messaged her, she replied, and 4.5 years later we're still happily dating.
I think online dating is great if you have very specific criteria and you're trying to find someone who matches at all, and need the ability to perform a hard filter on a large pool of people you know don't match. Online dating is terrible if you don't really know what you're looking for, and you're just trying to find people to talk to.
(And of course, that goes both ways. Online dating is a horrible way to meet someone who doesn't know what they're looking for, because they're likely to use very arbitrary was to filter the pool down to a manageable subset. But it's great if your target does know what they're looking for, because if you match, your message will really stand out.)
There seem to be a lot of decently intelligent men that are not skilled at writing good profiles and msgs.
Thoughts on what one would pay, with and without a guarantee of X success.
That said, I hear the demographics in SV are pretty bad for men. Here in NYC, I met my partner fairly easily through a friend (classic way).
What I like about real life dating and meeting is that if something goes wrong, at least I know what it was (for the most part, definitely not always). I've had friends who don't reply to messages because they simply forget about them or are busy, or decide to not do online dating any more without telling anyone. Maybe that's less common than I think, though.
As much as things like PUA and /redpill are hated on this site, I've learned a few grains of wisdom from some of the online dating threads.
Advice for Guys:
1. Don't write long messages.
2. Try to keep the ratio at 1/1 or less (you vs them).
3. Go for a number / date as soon as possible.
4. If #2 or #3 fail, move on to someone else. It is a numbers game, and you are at the disadvantage as a 20 something guy.
I have had decent success in my 30's using this strategy - far more than I had in my 20's, though a lot of this is due to my age and other factors, not just messaging.
Honestly, if I knew at 25 what I know now, I wouldn't recommend any guys that aren't in the top 20% of attractiveness (i.e. tall, fit, good job, social skills) to bother with online dating. It is about as effective as trying to pick up random women at bars at closing time (i.e. it probably won't work, and will waste a lot of time, energy, pride, and money).
I know/have friends that are actually really good at getting the first date, but strike out after it. At the end of the day you need in person skills, and being polished yourself to be lucky at it.
People that are polished in person and come out as they have their stuff together, tend to do much better in meeting people in real life. It seems that most dating apps are geared/optimized towards engagement and keep you swiping more than actually finding a partner.
Also, the only success stories I have heard of online/app dating has been only from women.
90% is visual is it not?
How is it for you ... if you don't find her attractive as im sure you look at her pics first.. are you going to bother reading what her profile says?
I think it is how it is written. I met my wife on Match.com 16 years ago, back in the dinosaur age of internet dating. If you look around on these sites, they often have a 2000 character (or similar) limit on the text you can put in the profile, and most ads do not even use 10% of that. "I'm not good at these forms, just ask me anything!" or some useless drivel that does not tell me about the person.
My profiles had the most success when I used all the character count, and I spent a fair amount of time editing in Word. Since you get one shot to make a first impression, why not make the best possible? I try to get someone who knows me well to read it, and to check to make sure the tone is correct. Who wants to date someone who comes across as angry or bitter?
If I put that much effort into the wording, I would always get a ton of top level choices. The women wrote me, I didn't have to chase them. I think the differentiator was that they could clearly get a sense of my personality (what I thought was funny, etc) from reading the max length profile, and it stood apart from the 100 character competition. At the end of the day, it is a sales job like any other - put on your best presentation, clearly explain your deal breakers in a positive way, and be better prepared than the next guy.
Because all you have to do is be more appealing than the competition. If the other guy is more attractive, but seems boring, then you will probably beat him if your profile is amusing. Intelligent women get tired of pretty but stupid guys, they usually want someone with more substance. If you can communicate that in your ad before the first date, then you are several steps ahead.
I have an outside sales background; once I put dating in the context of selling it became something I was quite good at. I was just selling myself after all.
They after all might procreate with you.
(e.g. If every men is the same, except one who is beautiful, than everybody is below the average but one.)
So to clarify - your data says nothing about whether women are judgemental - they may be just realistic ;) If beauty is in the eye of the beholder than how can we argue them?
You'll be able to come to your own conclusions
If all these apps are coming out with an attempt to make dating apps not suck, they're doing an excellent job of falling into all the same pitfalls over and over again.
Oh, hey, you homogenized the entire population of a city and made everything about pictures again!
You can go on Craigslist and get a 'professional' photographer to do a session with you for $100 or so (relative to COL). You will still need to put in effort with getting some fitting clothes, asking friends for help, etc. Professional, in this case, usually means someone that has a high-end camera and knows enough to use it.
These things filter >99% of the people out, but most of them aren't of my interest in the first place.
Globally I have lesser choice, locally it works out pretty good for me, at least at the moment.
My perception is that the people I find attractive, are considered attractive by wide consensus, and are holding out for more traditional options
These are perfectly intelligent people.
I don't think the world really has established good rubrics for how to sort out who to marry. The high divorce rate also suggests we have trouble with this.
So, I posit that not knowing what you want/need in a romantic partner is a problem no matter how many people you are considering -- even if it is just one.
It is almost impossible to find a good partner for starting a family (healthy, bellow 26, no debt, family values).
What you described are pre-1980 criteria in a post-2010 world.
The women you may be referring to are unbounded, liberal, and non-restrictive. The set of men they tend to attract are less serious, less guided, are more short-termed. Marriage for them before 30 is a situation of rarity.
> Statistically, people marry later than before.
True when you include certain cultural demographics.
Most of my primary circle of friends married between 23-26, which was awesome for us because we met people we knew better.
People who marry later struggle more, both with finding the right person who wants to be married, but still isn't and other issues. Whatever gains you make in working go away quickly with a few IVF cycles.
Tongue-in-cheek, or hilariously self-unaware? You decide!
That is me. But I also have pretty much no money to fund the "family values" :P
Enjoy your statistical divorce, at least you can tell your family you tried
Some of the details are part of the secret sauce, but kens did a blackbox analysis to try to guess more details. It's an old post, so many details may have changed since it was published, but I guess the main ideas remain.
And over time just built up some points.
Probably just shot up because of 4 upvotes at the same time.
As others submit the same stories, the first poster has their story upvoted.
Result is that this user is credited nearly all of the upvotes from a few core sites that have content of interest to the HN audience.
This sentence: "He thinks too much choice overwhelms us and makes us unhappy—a phenomenon he calls the paradox of choice" reminded me of this humorous clip: https://youtu.be/UtwKFZHY5o4?t=252
Preparing for downvotes for posting something overtly Christian....