Monday, March 16, 2015

Nice Guys Finish Last on Dating Sites

Some of the charming ladies found on dating sites.
Just enter “online dating sucks” in Google and you will get over three million hits.  Very telling, right?  I remember the early days as the Internet took off in popularity, it was real easy to meet women online, back back then (1996) the meeting place was either Usenet newsgroups or pen pal sites.  In fact, most of my internet based relationships (and hence, long distance) were thru a pen pal site, a Christian based one.  It didn’t take long for dating web sites to appear.  

I’ve read that women are so barraged with emails that they can be selective with whom they respond with.  That must be true because I rarely get an email answered.  I realize I am not everybody’s cup of tea but it’s getting to be a total blackout.  I’ve read this is a major complaint from men regarding online dating and the complaint is reflected in their profiles. These days I just sit back and wait for somebody to write me.  I don’t mind waiting weeks for that to happen.  Sending polite messages to women who I think I have a lot in common with and getting nothing but a profile view is gotten to be so frustrating, why bother? 

To back this up, a while back OkCupid listed on profiles what a person’s response rate was.  I was on the site one day and over 20 profiles were listed as, “rarely responds” with just a few women listed as responding back.  They dumped that feature.  Obviously, it’s going to be hard to get paying customers for the upper tier features if they know the response rate is that bad. (See Cupid on Trial below for more on this.) 

Getting a response back is rare it’s a delight when one comes!  You are supposed to write people that you have similar interests with so you can have a conversation starter. Sounds good in theory but in real-world application, forget about it.  It often doesn’t work.  I’ve had women list me in their “favorites” list on PoF which I assume is a sign of interest.  When I’ve written them a nice return message, nothing.  This has happened twice.  What is this, a hobby?  I’ve had women write me and if I was not interested I would send them a polite “not interested” email and I’ve never had a woman do that for me in return.  In my age group they are mostly divorced, mostly aging badly, and in an age group where men are not standing in line for them.  And with all of that, they are unmoved and picky as when they were 21 and considerably more attractive.

The greatest mystery to me is why do some of these women stay on these sites for years on end.  Some women have been sites such as Plenty of Fish for over 6 years with the same profile and with often the same pictures on display.  If this is not working, why stay on a dating site this long?

So the word is out.  Woman basically do not respond to messages sent to them.  

(I should note of late, women are getting picky about who the respond to on pen pal sites as well.  And it’s just platonic friends!)

Farmer’s Only
I have to mention them specifically because they are one of the worst dating sites I’ve ever experienced.  Supposedly set up for isolated rural singles many women don't appear to be that country.  The rural dating site with the down-home TV ads, Farmer’s Only allows for free generic messages to be sent called “flirts.”  I got one once from a CherryB that featured the message, “You email me and I’ll email you back.”  Boy, was I duped!  I paid my $21.95 (now six dollars more) and sent a regular intro message to this lady and waited.  And waited some more.  Never got a response.  I emailed her one more time, a polite message to see what happened, and no more response from her.  True, she may have had a change of heart, but I kept feeling it was a fake message sent to spur me into buying a membership.  It’s quite possible this woman had no interest in me and site’s code generated the flirt message to inspire me to pay up.  If so, it worked.  But it will never happen again.  (Of note, CherryB’s profile is still on there after over a year with the same picture on display.  It’s unclear if this is a real profile or not.  In January of this year the site was showing she viewed my profile on a day when I visited the site and never saw the visit posted then, or many days afterward.  The view has since disappeared and then showed her again viewing my profile at around 2 AM in February.  Then disappeared again.  Wonky code at work.)

I got off the site seven months ago but recently got back on to see any new trends on the site (oh, and your profile is never deleted once you leave, it’s stored on their server forever).  Nothing has changed except it’s more expensive.  The site design is as cruddy and minimally featured as usual.  The coding seems to be in a state of decay as information will disappear and then reappear a few days later.  I had one person’s visit to my profile, email notice, and “like” notice disappear.  She may have left the site.  People will be listed as having viewed your profile on days when you were on and never noticed them, or they might disappear, the end result of a poorly coded database of what is going on regarding your profile on the web site. Or, just coded for false traffic.  Also, many of the members that were there over a year ago were still there with the same pictures on display (this is true on other sites too--some women on Plenty of Fish have the same pictures up from 6-7 years ago).  Other members appear to live on the site 24 hours a day or are shown to be on the site at odd times of the day when they should be at work.  

Many people complain of being ripped off by Farmer’s Only, being billed for memberships they don’t want and not getting a refund when requested.  What is really happening is that if you pay for one month of membership it’s turned on thereafter.  A user has to go the “Manage your Subscription” section under the Account Settings and turn it off.  Or else, your card will be billed  in perpetuity.  So watch the fine print. 

(Also, foreign ISP’s are blocked. So don’t try to access the site during international travel.) 

UPDATE:  Farmer’s Only now blurs over profiles of everybody that views your profile, ‘like’ messages, or sends an email.  Where is the incentive to being a paying member to see who is checking you out or sending a message?  Another authoritarian move from this outfit.  My account there is

Cupid On Trial
Jon Millward’s blog posted a revealing article in June of 2012 regarding a test he conducted, using dummy profiles on OkCupid to test the success that men and women might receive there (click HERE).  Photos were selected of five women and five men all of differing degrees of attractiveness.  All were caucasian.  At least a few were overweight.  All of the profiles had generic information posted about each person.  No messages sent to the dummy accounts were ever answered. 
The results were interesting.  Women got a (not surprising) far larger response.  In 24 hours, the women got a total of 90 hits.  The men got 2 hits and those went to one man only.  Ouch!  After 7 days the women’s responses outnumbered the men 17 to 1.  And at least three of the men received no messages at all.  One of the women got 236 emails.  The second highest was 128. 

So there you have it gentlemen, this little experiment confirms the sum of our fears regarding dating sites.  They rarely write back if you write them.  There are no minorities in the test so it’s unknown how different the results might be if they were included.  

However, their summery of the data doesn’t make sense.  As stated:  “In the end men and women probably do have it about equal, it’s just a bit different for each.”

That statement contradicts the data presented.  A 17 to 1 ratio and it’s about equal?  I think not.  Obviously, women have it much easier getting contacts from men, at least on OkCupid.  The data presented, if accurate, should scare off any man from being a paying member.  

I cannot comment in regards to men’s profiles on dating sites so I don’t know what women go thru except for reading about dishonest, nutty, or over-sexed men contacting them.  

Many women are setting themselves up for failure.  Some profiles are written up to show a nice person there, even if that sweet heart is filled with romantic notions she should have discarded after getting past the age of thirty or the first divorce.  Others are Nurse Ratchets, bitter and bossy.  The Nurse Ratchets demand that a man chew his food with his mouth closed; bath more than once a week; not lick his fingers at the table; brush his teeth often and so on.  As if the only available men just emerged from the stone age.  Yes, computer literate cave men.

Some women are hung up about looks.  Remember where you have landed ladies...on a dating site on the internet.  Your chances of meeting a real, live man in real life, is dim.  Men are deemed shallow if they discount a woman in regards to her appearance, in particular weight (and let it be noted that women are the harshest judges of beauty of other women).  Yet woman are very comfortable in their shallow view of men.  They hate beards, baldness, weight, height (a biggie), and a whole host of other physical features.  

Other women narrow the field of available men by demanding they have similar interests.  Such as golfing, horse riding, motorcycle riding, jogging and so on.  Nurse Ratchet will say, “If you don’t golf, don’t bother emailing me.”  I certainly hope they don’t complain later about not being able to meet men online if only golfers are in the running.  The act as if they want a male copy of themselves.  Nothing better than me, than another me!

Cherry Blossoms is a site where there is a lot of action for men.  The only catch is the women are mostly Filipinas and they are mostly impoverished, and they are all too far away.  They tend to be aggressive and sent out emails to anybody of any age group.  Even 18-year-old girls throw themselves at men of any age.  If you are in your 50s or 60s and want a teenage child-bride there is the place to go.  As opposed to American women, these girls will mostly answer emails so most men should have no trouble getting in contact with women there.  Just remember what you are getting into.

I’ve heard the Filipinas make good wives but one has to precede with caution with Asian women.  Many are ready to hook up with any man of any age to get out of the grinding poverty in the Philippines.  A man will need to get a passport, travel over there, and then pay and apply for a fiancee visa.  And wait it out.

The Chinese women are quite beautiful, mostly well educated and seem to have good English skills.  They are friendly and will generally answer emails. But I noticed that most of their profile photos are all professionally done.  Being a photographer I know professional lighting and backdrops when I see them.  I suspect this is a red flag.  There is a huge male to female ratio in China so I wonder why they would be on a dating site, unless they have a preference for western men.  Seriously, it would be a good avenue to send agents over here to gather information.  Don’t laugh...intelligence agencies employ all kinds of data gathering assets.

So There You Have It
Good luck!  It’s a jungle out there with false profiles, false traffic to trick you into to paying up, women who don’t for a multitude of reasons don’t or won’t reply to emails, to women who do and the whole thing runs out of steam before you can even meet them.  I just basically try to write up a good profile that attracts interest and let them write me.  They do in time.

To be fair, online dating isn’t good for men or women.  I’ve read lots of stories about women dealing with sex obsessed males that hit women up for a romp only, which is a total turn off.  Many men have severe personal issues from criminal backgrounds to drug abuse and lie to cover up a shady past.  Some men have issues with women and go on these sites to take cheap shots at them.  

Most men should understand when trying to contact women on these sites that you are not going to be everybody’s cup of tea.  It’s only after a while that you realize that you are nobody’s cup of tea!

So, precede with caution.  You might get lucky.

Update  4.2.15
Ended my accounts on Plenty of Fish, Okcupid, and Farmer's only.  What a good feeling!  I have found it's easier to meet women on pen pal sites.  None local but they are as a group, much friendlier than women on dating sites.  You can actually meet somebody to have a conversation with.  Maybe that is because they are not Americans?

Update  4.2.15
Though I had decided to not to get on these single sites again, low and behold, I was tempted to try Our Time after seeing the ads.  I found quickly, it's the same old song and dance.  The same flood of apparently false traffic, local users viewing my profile at odd hours of the night (two local women at 3 AM?  Please...), added to lots of favorite lists, and other nonsense.  Badly coded site as well, though not as bad as Farmer's Only.  Every time I login I'm told I have 9 minutes to sign up now.  Got back in an hour and the same countdown start all over again.  Pressure to pay up?  Not like that. That should play once for one login, not off and on all day.

See a detailed review of the site and user experiences HERE.  I've never seen so many negative comments for a dating web site.


Cupid On Trial

Why I’m Quitting Online Dating

Online Dating Sucks For Men Because Of Women Like Me

Our Time review and user comments