I’m getting a little personal today. I’m not usually one to bitch and moan on a blog just to relieve my frustration, partly because I know nobody would read it anyway. I’m hoping the links I post here will cure someone of their naivete before they finally bite the bullet and create that OKCupid account they’ve been meaning to make.
I do my best not to believe stereotypes and give people a fair break, especially regarding gender, but nothing frustrates my efforts more than online dating sites. I’ve used OKCupid three times in the past decade — each time making a new profile and starting fresh, because when you never get a single reply from anyone, you’re obviously doing something wrong, right? — and all it has taught me is that online dating is a “World War I”-grade exercise in futility, so much so that I felt the urge to post something about it here, in case anyone happens onto my dumb little site who is also thinking about trying it. If nothing else, you should know what you’re getting into before you consider signing up. Don’t go into online dating expecting it to make things easier, because it really doesn’t. All it offers is another front for (theoretically) meeting new people to go out with.
According to this article from 2010 by Christian Rudder of OKCupid, paying for an online dating service is most definitely a waste of time and money. It makes a brilliant case against the financial swindle that is the paid dating site, using eharmony and match.com as its main examples.
However, Rudder says this early in the article: “As a founder of OkCupid I’m of course motivated to point out our competitors’ flaws. So take what I have to say today with a grain of salt.” After a bit of online research and using OKCupid so many times myself, the irony of this statement, and the article as a whole, becomes clear to me: the only difference between OKCupid and every other dating site is a paid subscription. Rudder even states at the beginning of the article that all dating sites suffer from the same problem: women get messages from unsuitable matches, either because the messages are lewd and stupid, or the women themselves have impossible standards; and men get far too few replies, if any at all, for the same reasons. All dating sites have this issue, including OKCupid. Ergo, if the free site is just as broken and useless as a paid site, there’s no point in using either site. Ergo, Rudder’s article not only tells you why you should avoid sites that aren’t OKCupid, it also inadvertently tells you why you should avoid OKCupid as well.
There’s also the fact that match.com bought OKCupid in recent years and tried to purge this article from the ‘net. Whether it was to save face, or stop people from realizing how futile online dating is in general, is anyone’s guess.
The long and short of it is, online dating is broken whether you pay for it or not. This brings us to article two, where a math genius had to hack the “best” dating site of all to make the service remotely useful. The result? He got engaged to a nice young lady….after almost a hundred bogus dates.
Let’s recap: like any other man using a dating site, Chris McKinlay couldn’t get a message in his inbox, much less anyone willing to meet him in person, still less someone willing to stay with him. So he hacked the site using multiple accounts — most of them fake and run by bots — to gather info on potential matches that the site itself didn’t bother gathering, resulting in his profile becoming so ideal to so many women his inbox was obese with excited messages. And even then, it still took nearly a hundred dates before he found anyone who was worth a shit.
Considering all of the above, what chance is there for normal members who use the sites as intended? They don’t have the skill and knowhow to create an army of automatons to reverse-break the site for them, and dating sites certainly aren’t going to take notes from what McKinlay did and improve their services. It’s too much money and effort, and the user turnover rate would be astronomical: dating sites would be virtual ghost towns with only occasional activity spikes for short periods, then everyone would find someone and vacate the site again. That’s bad business. And that’s still assuming women are replying to any suitors, because like it or not, the men are still expected to take the initiative, and still expected to stand in line at the exclusive night club and pray they’re hip enough to get in (unless they hacked the site, of course).
Online dating has always been one big joke to me. These sites are supposed to make it easier for single people to meet and do stuff together; if I wanted the headache and insecurity of feeling invisible, or feeling like everything I’m doing is wrong, I would be asking women out in person. Having a profile on any of these sites is like being a single woman on birth control: all it gives you is a daily reminder that nobody likes you. Stick to masturbation, or hobbies, or whatever occupies your time when you’re home alone.
If nothing else, you should take this away from my rant: if you feel like you can’t find anybody, you’re not alone. Apparently everyone on OKCupid feels the same as you do, and it probably isn’t entirely your fault, either (unless you’re the one sending all those dumbass messages; take it to the Meet’n’Fuck sites already).
Thank you. So much. Your insights are hilariously true. You saved a soul tonight.
I agree totally. The meet n fuck sites is hysterical and sooo true. Also, I’m not on dating sites to email or text forever. When I tell guys I don’t like to text or email they disappear.I don’t think majority of people really want to meet someone for a solid relationship. Paid or free, the sites are all the same.
It makes sense to a certain degree: I don’t think people should date with the intention of looking for something serious from the get-go, because it can cloud your judgement at best, and creep people out at worst. Seems the best way to go about it is to not take it too seriously, but hope it turns into something nice. That said, most of the men and women who use the sites are shallow or crazy anyway. Or both.
Great article – this had to be written! I’ve been in online dating “detox” for the past 6 months and don’t think I will ever jump in again. It’s nice to have my life back, frankly.
I should’ve touched on the fact that these sites also have prejudice down to a science: each profile is a fun little grocery list of things that visitors can instantly judge and dismiss them about. That way you can streamline rejection!
Exactly right, could not agree more. I went on these dating sites last year and what did I get in return, my bank account cleaned out from a dodgy site that kept taking daily subscription fees without my knowledge for months. Zoosk is the worst, sent over a 100 likes and messages and not one reply lol. Whatever. Washed my hands of them.
I just deleted all my accounts from the free sites. I will not pay a site to be lied to, I tried that in the past and they are the same as the free ones . The sites are a sewer of misfits. They are breeding grounds for a lot of sociopaths, drug/alcohol abusers, married, separated, dishonest people. Now I know some people have met their match on some sites but that percentage is extremely rare. It all comes down to LUCK. You can meet your match anywhere on the planet. It’s like playing lotto. Someone wins just about every week but the odds are against you. For now I’m calling on lady luck to help bring my match into my life. It’s less annoying and disappointing than using these exhausting and frustrating dating sites.
It really is a mess, isn’t it?
I just went back to flirting in person. At least that way women have to talk to me face to face for a little bit.
Not all drug users are worthless people. There’s a huge difference between a crack head and someone who likes some marijuana once in a while. I wish people would stop using the word “drug” to mean “any recreational chemical other than alcohol” and stereotyping users of certain substances according to the crap we all get fed in high schools to try to make us stay away from using all of them.
To be fair, she did say drug abusers, not drug users. Like the difference between a crackhead and a cannabis user, there’s also a difference between someone who like to smoke a joint now and then, and a stoner who does nothing but.
But yeah, nobody explains drugs to kids properly these days, anymore than they explain safe sex.
If you’re a man, you have to approach women in real life. Face to face. Sitting behind a computer screen is totally useless. You’ll get rejected more on a dating site than if you hit on women in the flesh. Dating apps are for lazy people who don’t want to improve their lives. Its the same pool of people complaining that they can’t find a date, yet they refuse to go on them. I’ve started approaching women and it’s a whole different story. So just grab your balls guys and go up to that girl you think you’d like to talk to. If you’re scared remember one thing. Life is full of uncertainties, but if you don’t try you’ll never know .
You’re vastly oversimplifying things. For one, the specimens with the biggest antlers don’t seem to be having any trouble on dating sites at all. For another, the rest of us don’t go on dating sites ‘cos we’re too lazy or not manly enough to do it in person; we go on sites because doing it in person gets us nowhere no matter how we go about it, and we hope that maybe having access to a wider variety of candidates will make a difference. Turns out all it does is make it easier to judge people at face value. It’s true that it’s better to do it in person than on a website, because the websites are basically stacked against us, and in person a woman actually has to talk to us face-to-face; but if your only response to this sort of issue is, “You fail ‘cos you don’t do what -I- do”, you’re not helping. All you’re doing is making yourself look like a macho prick who’s put one over on the rest of us, even if you’re actually not.
After my ex left me years ago, I had a bunch of my friends on my case about “putting myself out there” more. I don’t have enough money to bother with any kind of pay site, but I am not young, nor am I thin, so I wasn’t about to embarrass myself at clubs or other kinds of venues designed for meeting people. One day sometime around 2012, I ran into a dating site for cat lovers and since it was in beta, I got to create a full free account. Last week, I received the first response from anybody who even mentioned cats at all in his letter to me. (I am not counting the various takes on “hello, can I pet your pussy?” The guy seems nice enough, and I am going to have to be honest with him: by now, I’ve decided, because of menopause and other health issues, to decline offers from anyone more than a couple of years younger than me. But I give him credit for being the first guy in four years to write me an introductory letter that I actually answered. There were about 50 that I didn’t. The hell with it.
I hear that a lot from women who use the sites, but they never mention the fellas like me who don’t send nasty messages, actually read their profiles, actually try to engage them in conversation or invite them to do fun stuff, and are still just as quickly brushed off as the creeps. It makes me wonder how many of those guys are actually nice dudes trying another tactic out of desperation (unlikely, but still possible).
You can still go to clubs and social functions and have fun, though, even if no love or sex comes out of it. Everyone looks like an ass on the dance floor, but they’re having fun at least. Checking an inbox every day isn’t fun.
You’ve nailed it, well said.
I understand these observations. The dating sites have become – perhaps always were – a racket. I have again recently cruised the offers : nothing to which one could lend credence turns up. Where I live, France, there has been a steady dismantling of society. Used to be there were cafés and bars where all kinds of people could hang out, playing games, chatting, reading the paper, etc. That is all finished now : you pay your “consumation” bill and move out. Wanna socialize ? Go to a deafening disco, or very high-priced bar. You will in both cases find yourself alone, but poorer. The dating sites are pretty much parallel : take your money, and you are back where you started. As is suggested above, fear and paranoia are sewn everywhere through dishonesty. In a way, we do not have society any more. But dating sites are pretending to sell just that – but they do not : they sell illusion. That is their “approved / accredited” job.
It’s a sad day indeed when you can’t hang out in a coffee shop in France. That’s truly a national travesty.
Next thing you know, Germany will illegalize beer.
What’s even worse than the dating sites is the fact that nobody engages anyone anymore. Anytime you message someone just to spark friendly conversation, or leave a comment on their blog, etc, if they respond at all, it’s very terse and final. Meeting people in general is just impossible nowadays, for any reason. Maybe if you invest tons and tons of hours — if not months or years — mingling in their communities, you might make a connection. All fine and dandy when you’re 19, but not when you’re 34.
It’s 2016…and I looked for articles or something to help me release being on these dating sites…And I found it with this blog…Yay!! I’m not alone…Oh…I’ve gotten emails…but…Most lie…want a hook up…married…etc…And the rejection…omg!! It’s like walking on glass…one wrong comment…you are dead to the other person….Anyway…thank you for your validation that it’s them…not me…and a huge waste of time and money…Time to get myself back into the real world!!
THANK YOU for this blog! I am 33 and widowed with a child. I recently signed up for Match.com because I haven’t dated in 12 yrs and I didn’t know any better. After a month, my frustration is at its peak! I am glad to know that I am not alone in this sentiment, and I will likely just hide my profile and get on with my life. It has been an onslaught of half-hearted one-liner messages consisting of “Hey how are you” or “Nice eyes”. Men want to meet up in person RIGHT AWAY without any preliminary discussion whatsoever. Zero exchange at all.. then they get mad at me for wanting to at least have some conversation before being willing to run right out to my car and meet them. Too many women are lured into bad situations, even death this way… but I am being told I’m TOO cautious or shy? NO, I’m not SHY, I’m just not stupid lol (Nor am I into the meet n’ f**k method!!!)
The dating world is a nightmare and I miss my husband. I am spoiled from being married for so long. I know I will find love again.. just not this way, apparently ;)
That’s not the whole story, though. There’s plenty of what you describe going on. But there’s also men like me, who always try to get a rapport going with women on these sites, and they NEVER give us the time of day! It doesn’t matter what we talk about: small talk, meaningful discussion of anything on their profile that interests us, flirting, outright asking them out. Based on what you tell me, there really IS no point in a man using the site. Whether you’re trying to get a hookup, or trying to engage someone, the results with these women are the same unless you’re like my hot ex-military friend, who still almost didn’t get a date from his current girlfriend because he was 5’10” and not 6′.
And I don’t think the women really understand how much harder it is for a man on these sites, or in dating in general, because we’re the ones putting ourselves out there and getting nothing in return, like a never-ending job search. All a woman has to do is check an inbox every weekend and roll her eyes if she doesn’t like the results.
The mistake most women make with these sites is going in expecting to find their perfect mate. Going into any dating scenario with that mindset is foolish. As annoying as the sheer number of hookup seekers may seem, gearing your expectations closer to the hookup neighborhood is much more practical. I don’t go in expecting to find love, marriage, and a baby carriage, I just look for someone who interests me and shows enough interest back to say “yes i WILL have a beer with you!” and see where it goes from there. Single parents have it worse because they have kids from previous relationships, which isn’t appealing to either sex most of the time. It might do you some good to just not look for anything serious and hope that something becomes serious down the road.
You made a lot of good points but your words against single parents is a rude and obnoxious one. Not to mention you’re haughty as hell.
I’m only haughty to oversensitive fools who don’t actually think about what they read before responding to it. I mentioned the plight single parents have in the dating game. You mistook it for my arrogantly “speaking against” them. You, sir or ma’am, need to lighten up and read more carefully.
“Men want to meet up in person RIGHT AWAY without any preliminary discussion whatsoever”
Are you the one expected to pay $5 per message, just to say hello to some random from the internet are you?
Never mind if they are even a real person on the other side of that webpage?
“but I am being told I’m TOO cautious or shy?”
Yes you are, not to mention just using this thread to preach the same hatred and irrational fear of men. You know very well that serial killers are not common. Nor is it hard to tell if somebody is trying to lure you into a dark corner or something.
I agree with you. I’m a 46 year old woman in the States. I’m nowhere near model material, I’m not in my 20’s, and I have no desire to “sext” anyone. All of that makes me an un-desirable. I have had plenty of dates from OK Cupid, only found 1 man that I had a relationship with. But, if you are not looking for sex, or being a cougar, stay off the site.
if dating sites were real , they would be up front about the cost. none of them are free, they just try to give that impression to get your email address. once they have it, you get 100 b.s messages every week. only the lowest scum on earth try to make money from peoples loneliness. thats my opinion anyway
Hi everybody, hold your horses. Let’s not be so negative. Internet dating in general and free sites in particular can be great fun. You just have to fit your expectations to what’s realistically available and you won’t be disappointed. Let’s stop going to a bookshop to order beer and expect to get a sausage — for free. Internet dating is not at all about dating. It’s mostly about scam-baiting, finding out how many stupid crooks are out there as well as beggars, whores and other freaks.
Really? Cos from my end it’s all about being told to fuck right off.
“James” are you an owner of this freaking dating website. Stop! Bull shit is Bull shit!
i think all he’s doing is pointing out other problems with online dating in a satirical manner.
This has been the most genius thing I’ve read in a long time. I’ve tried these sites and have been in the exact situations you wrote about. Bravo, bravo. Awesome article my man. A+ from me
Exactly ..females make real rare great guys have to give up on females and sex ..its frustrating. They don’t care. Females are assholes.. its fact. The attractive ones
So true i find women using site to scam money more then anything..i fuckin hate these sites
To be fair, the cheapest woman is the one you pay for.
every dating sight in the whole world is bullshit. I can tell you I have never met a person from the internet.