Have you tried online dating? Most of us have. Have you been frustrated by it? Most of us have. So I decided to write down my findings.
When I first started then a lot of the normal parts of online dating annoyed me and put me off. After a while I sat back and thought that either I could be angry at the sun for setting or I could accept that the world was cruel and not only did the world plummet into darkness routinely but that people act certain ways when trying to find romance; and that this is natural.
One of the first things I learned to accept is that a lot of people online are just disgusting. I still get copy/paste messages every day from women who haven’t read my profile (and if they had would know that what I’m looking for doesn’t match with them). A lot of people are disheartened by this so they whine about it on their profiles. Complaints like: “If you are just looking for a hookup swipe left” or “men are disgusting I’m looking for a gentleman” etc. Those gripes are patently unflattering and often make me reject a profile even if the pictures look hot. So I consciously decided not to do that myself, and I kept a positive attitude.
It can be hard to tell whether somebody matches your criteria. Most people try to hide their weak points. Many people subtract a year or few from their age, many people use camera angles to make themselves look thinner, some even use photoshop. I’ve found a good solution: don’t look for the negatives, look for a checklist of positives. For example, healthy people often like to show off that they’re healthy whereas unhealthy people don’t just hide it but they usually don’t know how to fake healthiness. So if somebody has pictures in the gym, or running a race, and full body shots showing off tight-fitting clothes then CHECK! If they only have photos that show their face from high camera angles then they’ve hidden something but not faked the positive. Repeat this mental model for other positive attributes like being social, intelligent and loving. People with these traits strut them out, people without those traits don’t know to fake it.
Finally, filters. The easiest way to deal with the daily influx of crap messages is to set up good filters that just divert them from your inbox.
Too many apps
How many dating apps are there? Which one should you use? I’ve tried Tinder, Bumble, Match, CatholicMatch, and OKCupid. First off… I do not understand why anybody likes Tinder. The signal-to-noise ratio is unbearable and there’s no way to filter through the trash. Also, I might be able to message 5 people a day on Tinder often to people whom I don’t know if they fit what I want (at least they look good). Whereas on Match and OKCupid I can send unlimited messages to exactly the kind of people I want, who use these and those keywords to describe themselves or have such and such a level of education.
Between Match and OKCupid I’d say OKCupid has better filters. Also, my response rate on match is probably 1 in 10 messages, whereas on OKCupid my response rate is about 3 in 10 messages. So… clearly, I’d recommend OKCupid.
Once you meet people in person it’s totally different from the conversations you had online. So I’ve learned to cut short how much time I spend chatting before meeting in person. I line up about 2 dates per week on average (some weeks I go crazy with 5 dates and then I regret it). Usually it takes me about 20 dates before I find somebody whom I like then I pull out all the stops on pursuing them. Though, I need to learn how to be more subtle in pursuing people. Always trying to improve myself like this.
Dinner dates are so overrated. I personally think that the best activity is going for a walk because the natural rhythm lets people open up and talk. This is why there is a trend among executives to have walking meetings for their 1-on-1 meetings. Steve Jobs was famous for this. However dinner dates are the easiest to set up, so they’re kind of the low-hanging fruit.
Chemistry is rare. It’s more likely to have chemistry with somebody who looks good and puts work into looking good. Sometimes after a few dates with one person you find a red flag that you just can’t accept and so you go back to looking online. Hopefully, some day you find somebody whom you’re attracted to, who fits what you’re looking for, and whose skeletons in their closet aren’t too big or numerous to scare you away. Hopefully, some day.