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.
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.
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).
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.
Stats like those make me not even want to try. Wow.
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.
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.
With 1 date = one evening consumed, assuming you probably don't want to go on a first date every night and do something else.
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.
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.
Changes how you look at things.
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.
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.
It may be worthwhile to still keep in touch with her on social media (If in a long term relationship, maybe not).
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.
(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)
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Not 150 dates with random people, that's for sure! Sounds like hell!
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.
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.
Do you think that's true for everyone else?
"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.
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.
Turned out to be false.
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?
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.
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 :)
I used the same profile on each dating website, play the field, dont just limit yourself. You never know what will happen.
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 :) .
(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....)
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.
Still, science plus romcom? I’d watch.