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Dating: A Research Journal, Part 1 (2016) (putanumonit.com)
108 points by monort 55 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 64 comments



The secret to successful dating is the same as real estate: Location, location, location. I had much better luck dating in central Mexico (where a gringo who has had a successful career stands out) than in Silicon Valley.

Even with a favorable location, the online dating market favors women. When I was in Mexico, it took about 200-300 matches, which became 40-60 active online chats, which became 12-18 in-person dates, to find the woman who became my wife. So about a 6% match to date ratio.

As pointed out in the comments to the linked article, this guy did well because he was in New York, which favors men. Technology hot spots (Silicon Valley, Seattle, etc.) tend to favor women. Places that favor Caucasian men include Latin America (Peru being a really good place; Columbia and Mexico also are favorable), Thailand, the Philippines, Eastern Europe, the Dominican Republic, and large parts of Africa. In the US, the deep South (Alabama, Georgia, etc.) are somewhat better for successful men.

With places where the ratios favor the women, it takes about 100 messages to get a date (and a lot of you’re too short/too old/etc. canned rejections); to date requires I just send the same spam message over and over (“let’s meet for coffee!”) until someone says yes. The hit ratio is just too low for me to get dating success with anything besides spamming.


assuming you're Caucasian, you also definitely took advantage of that and all it conveys (assumptions about status, avg height > some other races, etc.). quick thought experiment: would say, a Hispanic looking person have the same success even if born in US? seems doubtful, so can't be purely location, but must include other factors.

we compete for mates in relatively tight geographic locations and you're probably 95th percentile height/wealth/prestige in Mexico by merely showing up with an average US height and household income, easily 99th percentile with software engineering type income. so you arbitraged your attributes by moving to a place with more favorable comparisons to the local population to meet more women.

no complaints from me on that part but that's not purely location, you're omitting crucial parts of what influenced the outcome.


> we compete for mates in relatively tight geographic locations and you're probably 95th percentile height/wealth/prestige in Mexico by merely showing up with an average US height and household income, easily 99th percentile with software engineering type income. so you arbitraged your attributes by moving to a place with more favorable comparisons to the local population to meet more women.

You're not wrong. I took largely the same approach as the parent commenter and ended up married to a Mexicana.

My funnel ended up being relatively similar ratio to his, spread out over multiple countries over two years. I looked at it as probabilities game and just optimized my odds by looking in areas that:

1. What we call traditional gender/marriage roles, they just call normal.

2. I was a luxury/exotic good instead of another face in the crowd.

> would say, a Hispanic looking person have the same success even if born in US? seems doubtful, so can't be purely location, but must include other factors.

If that Hispanic person had the same 99th percentile software engineer income and a firm command of the Spanish language: I would say they would be in a weaker starting position in the funnel, but their success ratio after initial match would be significantly higher than the gringo with middling at best Spanish (me).


It’s not just an increased mating value (MV) because of relative economic prestige and more height. It’s also because the Hispanic culture is more open to relationships (both friendships and romantic ones), and because they don’t have the sexual hangups US culture has.

I see this in my Facebook feed: My Latina friends are not afraid to tell sexual jokes or have sexually charged images on their timeline (one of the girls I dated, in fact, is a nude photographer); my US friends, on the other hand, never tell dirty jokes, and they only time they talk about sex is in relation to a sexual harassment allegation or a sexual assault story (my Latina friends also do this, but they aren’t afraid to admit they like sex).


> I see this in my Facebook feed: My Latina friends are not afraid to tell sexual jokes or have sexually charged images on their timeline (one of the girls I dated, in fact, is a nude photographer); my US friends, on the other hand, never tell dirty jokes, and they only time they talk about sex is in relation to a sexual harassment allegation or a sexual assault story (my Latina friends also do this, but they aren’t afraid to admit they like sex).

This is certainly an accurate description of my wife's Facebook feed.

My wife has been attempting to play matchmaker for friends and family in Mexico I have a few takeaways:

- Latin America is flooded with women that are looking for a guy with a stable job, not a drunk, and wont cheat on them at the drop of a hat. (Men of means cheating seems to be the rule, not the exception)

- Most of these women are not looking to get out of their country. They would very much prefer it if the guy could just move there and continue to make a middle class or better income. (Colombianas especially love Colombia. Something to consider for fully remote workers.)

- The proliferation of location based dating apps like Tinder have decimated the feeding mechanism for a lot of international dating sites. If anyone knows what the viable options outside of Cupid Media properties are in 2019, she would love to know.


FYI, Hispanic does not in fact mean noncaucasian, Caucasian does not in fact mean nonhispanic. Hispanic is an ethnicity, white is a racial group.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Hispanic_and_Latino_Amer...


I used to get about a 50% response rate, which probably led to 1-2 dates per week, and eventually getting married. At first though, it was more like a 5% response rate and 1 date per 2 months. I think profile writing, picture selection, and opening messages are a silly skill that you're forced to learn to get your foot in the door - like whiteboarding maybe?


> It took about 200-300 matches, which became 40-60 active online chats, which became 12-18 in-person dates, to find the woman who became my wife. So about a 6% match to date ratio.

Stats like those make me not even want to try. Wow.


Yep, and that was in a location which favored me. Online dating is a numbers game.

Here’s what made Latin American dating bearable for me: If I hit the point where we met in real life, I made sure to enjoy my time and company with the woman, even if we were not a romantic fit. I made a lot of friends who I could socialize and play cards with, so dating and meeting all these women was a lot of fun.

Also, all the interaction made it a lot easier for me to read signals from women; when I met my wife, I was able to see she really wanted me and was already falling in love with me on our first date.

Here in the US, women treat dating like a job interview, which I don’t enjoy as much as the “Hey, let me take you to the movies, play cards with you, and have fun socializing together as friends” mindset I had with Latin American women.


No US women dont, it's just more competitive (looks, power, wealth) so it feels that way. Girls here are like girls everywhere else, what you're likely feeling is not being as high on the mate scale as you are in other markets.


I beg to differ. People in Latin America, in general, value conversation and connections more than people in the US; the dating scene reflects this (I saw the same dynamics with non-dating connections). A latina girl who didn’t consider me romantically compatible was more likely to still enjoy hanging out and playing cards with me (looking at my online friend list, a lot of them are women I dated in Latin America, including, yes, ones who made it clear they didn’t want to get romantic with me), while the women I dated from online in the US were more like “I’m not meeting my goal of finding a mate here, so I don’t have time to waste on just a friendship”.

Yes, there were two woman from church and social circle I dated in the US who I was able to keep productive friendships with (a couple are still my online friend today), so this isn’t a hard and fast rule. But, I have more than twice as many friends online from Latin America who were girls I briefly dated compared to US friends who were girls I briefly dated.


The cost to get that many matches isn't high although, unlike offline dating. It takes a minute or two for a potential match, so if you do it casually as a 30 minute a day hobby, you'll quickly start getting more dates than you know what to deal with.

With 1 date = one evening consumed, assuming you probably don't want to go on a first date every night and do something else.


> The cost to get that many matches isn't high although, unlike offline dating. It takes a minute or two for a potential match, so if you do it casually as a 30 minute a day hobby, you'll quickly start getting more dates than you know what to deal with.

As an European male who has tried Tinder A LOT, it was definitely a lot more difficult for me as you make it sound.

Getting matches and replies was hard, getting dates was harder and finding someone with chemistry among the dates was even more challenging. That was a lot of time and energy spent in vain for nothing. I've lost count on the number of girls that didn't show up on dates or cancelled last minute to never reply again which was an exhausting and sad experience for me.

Later, after discovering game, I started approaching girls everywhere and my success skyrocketed, with almost zero extra effort other than going outside and saying Hi.

Online dating heavily favors females and unless you're in the top 10% of attractive males on that app, you're in for a pretty dehumanizing experience.


Finding a spouse with just 12-18 in-person dates doesn't sound too bad, but yeah, the beginning of that funnel sounds brutal.


It's a 100% app to wedding ratio. Best stats one could hope for -- not too low, not too high.


Not white and not in tech, but from my own observations I'd say that most guys in tech, especially white guys, actually do better in SF/ the Bay Area / Silicon Valley than in NYC when it comes do dating. The male-female ratio in NYC is also not as good as people think; once you drill down to the 20-40 year old age group, there's actually more men than women in NYC. NYC being a dating paradise for men is a misconception that was spread by that Jonathan Soma singles map that went viral over 10 years ago.

I've noticed guys in tech do better in the Bay Area than in places like NYC because 1) the competition is generally weaker, and 2) they can actually connect on a meaningful level with the women they meet. Your average guy in tech is not going to get along with the typical high-maintenance, pop culture obsessed. SEC sorority girl transplant or Italian/Jewish-American princess from Long Island. Every tech guy I've met who's moved from the Bay Area or Seattle to NYC in hopes of improving their dating life has regretted it after a few months or even years of futility.


Thank you, good sir, for the selfless effort you put into conducting and publishing this research for the benefit of mankind. I mean, not entirely selfless, but still, thank you.

Changes how you look at things.


While traveling, I got laid off Tinder the second day in town in Eastern Europe and she was above average looks. Male/female ratios are really skewed in those countries.


[flagged]


This is mind-bogglingly fallacious. Most women enjoy sex just as much as men, if not more. And plenty of them are open to and excited by casual encounters with men (certain types; honestly probably not you, based on what you’ve written). There doesn’t have to be something wrong with them for that to be the case. You’re making some really sexist assumptions premised on what appears to be an extremely Puritanical view of acceptable human behavior.


I’m not saying that promiscuous women always have issues, and I apologize if I hurt anyone by implying that, but I am saying that there’s just too much chance I will hurt a woman’s feelings if I had a sexual encounter with them without being open to having a relationship with them.

The fact that women by and large prefer long term relationships is well known in the evolutionary psychology community. See, for example, David M. Buss The Evolution Of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating (ISBN 978-0465097760), which discusses this in great detail. Or, just go to https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nsfg/key_statistics/n.htm where we can see women have, on average, fewer sexual partners than men.

The study which has been used to argue that women secretly cheat on their man, the one where women supposedly wanted to be unfaithful when they were ovulating, had a lot of methodological problems and was debunked when they tried to replicate its results. Read https://slate.com/technology/2018/10/ovulation-research-wome... for a lay summary of the actual science behind this.

Another data point: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/12/science/extra-marital-pat... which shows cuckoldry is quite rare (and it’s amazing the number of people who don’t want to accept this science in the comments for the article).

In my own personal experience, I have talked to a lot of women who have struggled with promiscuity (i.e. they do not want to be promiscuous any more). The very consistently have had poor or non-existent relationships with their fathers and have issues with alcohol and/or drug abuse.

There are exceptions, of course, but the science on the matter indicates they are outliers.


I told her within 30 minutes of meeting her that I was leaving in a few days and there was no possibility at all of a long term relationship. She said she hadn't gotten laid in months and stripped off her clothes as soon as we got back to the hotel, so I think she was just kind of desperate to have sex with any acceptably attractive guy.

She was also over 40, if that makes any difference and the gender ratios are even more massively skewed for older women in Eastern Europe. This kind of thing will never happen in the tech heavy areas most HN readers inhabit where there are vastly more men than women.


Well, the important thing is to be caring and empathetic about her feelings. That’s why I don’t feel comfortable sleeping with a woman unless I have a strong sense of where she is emotionally, and am sure she isn’t using sex to cover up some emotional struggle she may have. If I sense a potential sexual partner has some negative stuff going on in her life, I would rather help her feel better than have her cover up her feelings by sleeping with me.

It may be worthwhile to still keep in touch with her on social media (If in a long term relationship, maybe not).


This is pretty wrong. Most women I've known (friends/friends of friends) have pursued short term encounters at least once. Women enjoy sex too, as frequently as men. What turns us on is different, but that is a different point.


> To these I will add a crucial tip: make it obviously apparent that you aren’t copy-pasting. In Dataclysm, Christian Rudder finds that a huge number of messages on OkCupid are mass copy-pasted spam (he figured this by analyzing keystrokes: if it took you two keys to write 50 words, those keys were Ctrl+V). These spammers aren’t only gems like ‘u R hot want 2 cum ovR’, but also generic missives like ‘Hi, I read your profile and I find you very interesting. I think we should get to know each other.’ Since mass-spamming is so quick and easy, it only takes a few spammers to fill every girl’s inbox. Experienced users sniff these out quickly. I strongly urge against being a spammer yourself: most of your time should be spent searching for the best potential matches. Once you find a great potential partner you should take the time to write them the best message you can come up with.

Rudder also talks about why message spamming isn't banned, though it is trivial to detect: they often led to successful exchanges. The rest of the article is in this vein; favoring the most politically correct, and gracious to women, interpretations of the data, and not the most rational.


It really depends on the platform and how you go about communicating.

(Note: I'm a guy.. so consider that for my experience/opinions)

OkCupid doesn't really do much for those who want to communicate. (It should close you off to people who haven't already said they're interested) As a guy, unless you're a sadist, you have to spam. The best way that I've heard of is to have a generic/catchy text and slightly modify it based on the profile. Most women who are looking at the messages aren't giving a lot of consideration to each message. (Pure economics) Plus they won't pursue. (Nothing is stopping them. They don't even on Bumble [hi and . aren't starting messages ladies])

Also, from my experience the best thing you have to do on these platforms is to:

1. Boost your pictures

2. Boost your profile content (get it reviewed by people who know what they're talking about) [See their success, r/OkCupid is really low quality feedback, but it's better than a lot of other feedback that I've gotten]

3. Find a way to get ranked better by their algorithm (i.e. boosts on tinder)

4. Prioritize messaging people who have already stated their interest in your first (Buy A list to see who liked you)


I can't be the only one thinking that treating dating as some kind of MMORPG you have to grind through is somewhat, I don't know, creepy? And the comments aren't exactly reassuring. It's all about response rate, market value, percentiles, figures, and so on. Skimming through this thread you could think people are talking about the stock market and not actual human beings.


It doesn't mean they're this robotic when actually meeting and talking to the women. It's just a principled and organized approach to the whole thing.

Note that your type of criticism applies to many facets of life, for example medicine. They are sick human beings with their hopes and dreams, so why all the talk about blood pressure numbers and iron levels and Latin words, talk about chemical compounds, et. It's a cold heartless approach these doctors are having, as it may appear.

The thing is, many people don't have the luxury of ignoring these things. Unless they follow a principled approach where they reflect on what works and doesn't and adjust their approach, they won't get anywhere.


I used to be off-put by that too, but then I realized online dating isn't "dating". It's like you going to a supermarket to source the ingredients for a good meal you are making. The real deal is making the meal, not how/where you got the ingredients.


One thing that I think these posts always ignore is that, for a lot of us, the ambiguity over whether or not it is a date is an essential piece of the puzzle. So going in knowing it's a date takes away all of the magic necessary to fall for someone else. I always meet someone as soon as I give up on online dating.

If I were single again, I think I would like an app that deliberately makes it ambiguous whether someone likes you or just wants to hang out with you. You'd have to figure that out yourselves. So you'd choose people you genuinely enjoyed spending time with, which would increase your potential dating pool, but you wouldn't go into it without the magic of ambiguity.

Data is always cool though.


The "likes me/likes me not" thing is exciting because of the risk of being wrong amplifies the reward of being right. Same as game shows with a "wager it all" mechanic.

But it's not fun to be on the other side of it, where you obliviously think you're developing a nice new friendship and then it turns out they want to get in your pants. The problem is most people can't gracefully degrade from crush to friendship, instead ending up at acquaintance or stranger. So now two people have wasted a bunch of time and emotion just because some ambiguity meant they weren't aiming for the same thing. Not worth it on either end if you ask me.

Therefore removing ambiguity from dating is unequivocally good, as long as it is done equally. It is a core feature of dating apps.


I developed a huge crush on a very close friend shortly after my ex broke up with me. He caught on and told me he wasn't interested. We are even better friends now than we were then. We just took a few weeks apart and then resumed. I appreciated the transparency, but the ambiguity was still necessary for developing the crush to begin with.

I met a few people on OKCupid during that time and was not sure if I had the potential to like them or not because my ex was in close proximity and that was messing with my feelings a lot. I told them to just be friends and expect nothing else, and that I'd revisit the question in June. One said he was out; that was fine, I'd just met him. The other is one of my close friends now, even though the answer was still no in June.

This happened with someone who was already my one of best friends, too. He was hurt for a few weeks, but then everything went back to normal and now we are still best friends.

I can understand why this would be hard after a long-term relationship with someone you are in love with. My ex and I are still very, very far from friendship, despite both wanting it eventually. But with someone you have never even been in a relationship with? It's ridiculous to take rejection personally and let it get in the way of your friendship.

My current boyfriend, I met when I was running away to another state to get away from my ex. I was looking for people to practice my Russian with. The expectation was that we would hang out and speak Russian once in a while, and then probably never see each other once I returned home. And now I'm in a very rewarding long-distance relationship.

I don't think it's that the stakes made it exciting. I think it's that the lack of expectations made it feel safer.

It is just the opposite. So you feel OK getting to know the person just to get to know them. Then your heart does its own thing. And that's why I think people say that love "just happens" and not to look for it. You can look for it, but by doing that, you are setting expectations that might preclude you from getting to know the person you might at some point love, just for the sake of knowing them. Not specifically to love them.

The ambiguity is good.


> Even if you’re not a wizard with words, dating sites also offer an absolute advantage: the sheer number of users. How can you find love that’s one in a million by hanging out at a bar that welcomes at most five new faces every night? Do “friends of friends” introduce you to 20 potential dates a day?

This assumption strikes me as a fallacy. I never understood why even bother with online dating where odds are severely skewed for guys, when it's so much easier to find dates through your social circle, aka simply doing what you love and organically surrounding yourself with interesting women.


Yeah I will say this: As an Asian dude, my experience with dating sites has been pretty mediocre. Literally thousands of profile interactions, handful of mutual responses, and dates with women where it was clear neither of us were super interested in one another.

I posted a graphic of the results on HN a few years ago where I pulled data from CoffeeMeetBagel of every outcome based on ethnicity in my city that's mostly composed of non-Asians (I don't personally care about ethnicity but w/e), and well.. it was about what the stereotypes would suggest about Asian guys as undesirable individuals.

In contrast, my experience with randomly meeting romantic interests either through work, school, or mutual interests (i.e. hobby meetups) have been more fulfilling, diverse, and statistically probable.


My experience is pretty similar to yours. I'm a pretty good looking guy and I'm in great physical shape but I feel like two completely different people irl vs. online dating.

IRL, I feel pretty marketable even in America. Girls aren't googly-eyed or anything, but I feel pretty confident in my ability to at least secure a date.

But when I go on online dating apps? I might as well be Sloth from the Goonies. This only applies to America btw - in Asian countries it's a completely different story.


I've done plenty of online dating in my day, and I guess I have no complaints about my relative success at it (most of which was done in ultra competitive Bay Area), but I've always found that winning at it is sort of like winning an argument on the internet or a race in the special olympics.

You can tell almost precisely zero about the person on the other end of the internet machine, so it becomes a ridiculous numbers game. Beats nightclubs if you're new to a city I guess, but otherwise "make more friends."


I feel you bro. If you don't check the boxes, you just get filtered out. Online dating is a shitshow if you're not in the top 10% of what the average women deems attractive (i.e., tall, white/European, and fit).


I found my future wife through online dating, but I attribute it to persistence, numbers and a little luck. I met her after going on at least 100-150 dates with around 100 women over 18 months. She had only started dating online for about a month before we met and had only gone on less than a dozen dates.

Coincidentally, it was around the time I was about to call it quits with online dating. I was glad I didn't though because we clicked instantly in a way I hadn't with other women I had dated. I went on dates with women of many different backgrounds, careers, education, etc, but it wasn't easy to find someone that I could see myself with long term. I approached in a scientific way to find what I liked in a relationship and what I didn't in hopes it would eventually filter out potentially bad dates before going on them based on stats collected from previous dates and conversations.

Would I do it all again? It was worth it in the end, but at the time it was starting to emotionally wear on me. Definitely not a path for those that can't take rejection or having to be the one rejecting. Most people don't take it well, no matter how you package it. Learned a lot about people and behavior that I think made me a better person in retrospect.


> I met her after going on at least 100-150 dates with around 100 women over 18 months.

Wow that's insane. How much time and actual money did it cost you to go on all those dates?

When I was younger people didn't really date at all. You just naturally met people and if you started a relationship then that's what happened. There was no stilted 'dating' period with coffee, drinks, dinner. You were either a couple or not.


Probably not as much as one would think, but still a fair amount when you add up travel/driving/drinks/activities.

First dates were always a drink somewhere and maybe an activity. That could be an arcade bar, board games, gallery hop, a weekend event in the city or something else more unique than dinner + movie. 100-150 dates was only 5-8 dates a month or 10-16 hours usually. Not as much time as one might think when they would be spending it on video games, happy hour or something similar. I just used it as a chance to improve social skills and meet random people I may not normally meet. If it happened to become something more, then even better.

First dates were 1-2 hours at the most, though I broke that rule with my future wife and we stayed out way into the morning just talking about random things. The best dates were the ones where my date insisted on paying her share in some way. Usually that meant I bought a drink and they bought one or I bought a game and then they bought the next. It might be obvious advice, but if a woman really likes you (I assume the same goes with dating men as well), they'll make it easy. If they don't, it's probably better to cut your losses sooner rather than later.

I don't suggest my experience to everyone, but it gave me the assurance that I knew when I finally met my future wife, that she was the one for me based on my prior dating history. Those previous dates weren't all in vain, even if they seemed like they might be at the time.


> The best dates were the ones where my date insisted on paying her share in some way.

Great tip. It really matches my experience and makes lots of sense: she doesn't want to risk showing like she's taking advantage of you. By the other hand, If she can't see a future together, usually, she will not care.


Cost of 150 dates: maybe $10k. Cost of marrying the wrong person: unlimited, plus years of suffering.


It can be as little as $1500, if one makes a point to go to a coffee shop and have the first date over coffee. Indeed, the date where I fell in love with my wife was a $5 coffee shop date.


> How much time and actual money did it cost you to go on all those dates?

One really needs to ask himself ( or herself ) a question : what are you living for? Are you going to take that money to your after life or would you rather spend it and ( hopefully ) have a good time while doing it?


> what are you living for?

Not 150 dates with random people, that's for sure! Sounds like hell!


Sorry to hear that. > 80% of all dates I've been on have been a pleasant and exciting experience, even when it didn't lead to anything more.


I am very fascinated by the single mindedness of most of Americans. It is as if their entire adult life was about being finding that special someone ( just one ) through the trial and tribulations of misery.

I'm with you -- most of my dates have been very pleasant even if we ended up not being compatible on a romantic level. Some of them became very good friends.


It depends I’m on a work trip to TLV and after exhausting the hospitality of my colleagues and the two waitresses at Mike’s Place that would give me their numbers to hang out I turned to Tinder and got a date for every night, I’m not entirely sure how to do that in a normal social setting where most women would be already on dates or in groups which makes picking them up that much harder unless you are aiming at picking up borderline legal age drunk girls at a night club online dating seems to be the best option.

At the end of the day people that go to dating sites are there for the same reason as you are which makes things that much easier.

Also if anything I found that picking up girls IRL tends to be easier in the right setting if you aren’t too good with words since basic attraction and chemistry can play a role whilst on a dating app or a site you need to be able to talk to them in order for them to actually want to meet you.

This hypothesis is fortified by the fact that most women rate the attractiveness of men much lower based their pictures alone than they would rate them normally in a social setting.


> when it's so much easier to find dates through your social circle

Do you think that's true for everyone else?


That'll be the day when we get accurate measurements from things where pride and ego is on the line and the sunk cost is glacial.

"I spent a chunk of my life trying to be successful in an overdone, woefully lopsided, race-to-the-bottom social creation. I wasn't even mildly successful in the attempt. Nobody acknowledges my effort/sincerity/investment, in fact I learned it's exchangeable for nothing. Trying to follow the dream, I compromised my dignity and integrity in bid to succeed. I feel I failed at a fundamental goal 'everyone' is expected to do to 'make it'" (fear of missing out)

"Jim spent years of his attending college, moving and settling in an apartment hours away from home. While he attended courses for 3 years, he didn't complete enough credits to finish the degree. He's still paying off his loans. When job searching, it took weeks to even get a lukewarm response for his resume. In desperation, Jim drastically lowered his standards, not telling anyone, redoing his resume to adapt to different positions even when they offered little long term growth, in hopes of getting any feedback. On some resumes, he even lied about his qualifications. One time Jim even drove 5 hours to meetup for coffee that turned out to be a MLM recruiter" (failure at career)

"Jacob burned thousands of hours on dating apps. Most thwarted his bid for physical proximity, let alone emotional support, security, and reliability expected in a partner. He was routinely spurned by individuals he thought unremarkable, which he'd never consider or even notice in real life. Trying to make himself more appealing, he lied about his height and income. On some occasions, Jacob spent months chatting with a connection, investing enormous amounts of time in hopes of meeting them, only for them to ghost him. On the rare occasion he finally met someone in person, they looked much different than their pic. One time, a date revealed being courted by many others over years and still using the app actively." (failure at love)

Work and love is a life and death thing. The day people candidly report they sunk time/effort and they were hurt/humiliated attempting to conform to "normal" social escapades, pigs will fly.

That said, I know many people who were successful at online dating, and of course college (with varying extents of completion). Of those, I think their positive outcome is in spite of the avenue/venue picked. They were uniformly great communicators/empaths/confident and very motivated.


>>>they looked much different than their photograph<<<

You know, I hear this a lot. One thing I learned early on in dating was to, from someone’s photographs, figure out how they look in real life. It’s comes down to this: Are they hiding something in the photographs? If there are no full-body pictures of them simply standing in front of the camera, you have no idea what they look like until you meet them.


I think I overfit this thought once on online dating. I was thinking a particular person had no left arm because their profile just happened to exclude this side.

Turned out to be false.


The absurdity of your analysis shines when one considers that the best place to meet a spouse besides online dating is... at college.


I don't see how that refutes my point. Also, while I stand by my post, I wouldn't call it an analysis. They're example scenarios to illustrate reporting bias.

So to your comment about meeting a spouse online, or at college, etc. I don't think we're getting accurate information on outcomes.

Hm, put it this way: If someone has a hope of meeting a spouse through a particular venue, invest in it, and it doesn't work out, can we count on them report the failure? So when an analysis actually does happen, we have everything ready to see?


Is "someone" only "investing" in life with the expectation of a desired outcome - being married - otherwise it's all a failure and for naught? That'd be a sad analysis to read. I'd rather see them write a whole journal full of experiences they've had, people they've met and what they've learned about themselves. That's where the riches would be.


I made a mistake in the earlier post. I was talking about partners, but I let it get redefined as "spouse" without correcting it. I won't make that mistake again.

It's a separate conversation of how important love is to individuals, but don't you think it'd be generally something a person wouldn't admit failure at in survey?

Regarding a journal of experiences and what they learned, yep, that is valuable. It can do a lot to humanize the person. If you are interested in this type of autobiographical style, Locked Up Abroad is a good docu-series. One good episode is Cullen Thomas in South Korea. He also wrote a book called Brother One Cell: An American Coming of Age in South Korea's Prisons where he has an interesting story and a lot of self-reflection.


How do we gather divorce statistics? Because divorce is an extreme case of what you mention, and a very common one.


But can we count on people to candidly self-report failure, even when it's optional? In either anecdotes or a research journal?

I don't believe so.

Aside: There's better exceptions to my original post, e.g. in US we release outcome statistics at schools.

- https://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/catalog/student-outcomes.html (outcomes)

- https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/about/data-center/student/portf... (loans)

So we even get data in some cases. But experiences in many things like dating and job searching isn't mandatory for everyone to report. And sometimes the most impactful things don't fit into Pandas tables well :)


This article is completely inapplicable since all the dating services that have network effect have moved to a mutual match: one does not get to offer a non-visual ( typically first image ) USP before there's a clear indicator of interest.


Holy shit was this article all over the place. Some interesting theories, but it's pretty clear from reading this what the author's issue was--he's way too analytical and left-brained, especially for women in NYC. Glad it worked out for him, but he'd have been better off dating in the Bay Area.


Stand out and be weird. This is the best advice. You want to filter out the cruft and you wont do well at pretending otherwise.

I used the same profile on each dating website, play the field, dont just limit yourself. You never know what will happen.


I appreciate some of the comments about being thoughtful, systematic. After a 24-year marriage followed by divorce, I spent a great deal of time analyzing what lessons I needed to learn (plenty), and after my remarriage (I am very grateful!), I posted this (the dating link is the ~ 4th bullet), which includes a document I wrote about the process, and a lot of other info I have collected since. It is influenced heavily by my beliefs (obviously), and represents a lot of work, and desire for others to be happy. I think it is a very simple site with much info.

I think real, true love is a decision to faithfully be there and serve a person through thick and thin, and then sticking with it. It is best if that decision is well-made. There are many thoughts here (based on experience, research and lots of observation). Comments welcome (but I probably won't make the site very pretty anyway :) .

http://lukecall.net/e-9223372036854592298.html

(It also includes (buried in there somewhere) a reference to a relative's ~$4 ebook on free or very inexpensive dating ideas (and why dating a variety of people matters--she married #72 and they seem very happy several years later), but maybe I should add (on request..) a link to her blog entry where she posted 100 ideas....)


When I did dating I hated it. It was painful and stressful.

It took me like three years of active going through it to find my wife, who by the way is wonderful.

I hope I will never have to do it again.

Looking at it in retrospective, I think maybe I did it wrong, because it’s supposed to be enjoyable, I think. But I was clueless back then. Who knows.


Man, beef up this content marginally and it would be a great script for Netflix series pilot: Sex in the City for the thinking man! I, for one, would watch that. Or you can take 1-2 people (men and women) each episode, beef up their profiles and we follow them to their dates.


You could have a lot of fun with this: narration, 4th wall breaks and funny on-screen graphics could be used for dramatic and comedic effect, interesting and fun characters and situations, but. The laws of RomCom demand that Our Hero end up with either his BFF from uni (who has been crushing on him for years and, possibly but not necessarily, is also super duper hot when dressed up “like a girl” or some bs) or some love triangle thing.

Still, science plus romcom? I’d watch.




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