If you’ve read through the reviews on this website, you will have surely noticed that the majority of reviews are pretty negative about online dating. Is it really that bad?
No, it’s not so bad. My sister’s best friend met her husband on an online dating service, and they don’t seem shy about telling people how they met. Go tell them that online dating services suck and are useless. I’m sure they’d disagree. In fact, with online dating becoming more mainstream, you meet more and more couples who say they met online.
So where does all the animosity come from in the reviews?
First of all, the review writing process is biased in favor of people with an axe to grind. It’s the person who’s really angry who is most motivated to seek out an online dating review site and take the time to write a review. Those whose experiences are positive aren’t as motivated to speak out.
What online dating services can do for you is expand the pool of people you can meet beyond your immediate circle of acquaintances and work/social activities. But what it’s not likely to do is allow you to date people who wouldn’t have been interested in you if you met through more traditional offline methods.
Men without any exceptional qualities get mad because women ten years younger than them don’t respond to their emails. And women get mad because they can’t find a man closer in age who is six feet or taller and earns six figures.
(To understand the problem with that, you need to do a little math. If 25% of men are six feet or taller, and if 10% of men earn six figures, and there’s no correlation between the two, then women with both of these requirements have limited themselves to only 2.5% of men. No wonder why they can’t meet anyone!)
I believe that our dating expectations have been ruined by Hollywood. We go to the movies or turn on the television, and we see all these beautiful people. Then we expect the people we meet in real life to look that good. Unfortunately less than ten percent of the people we meet in real life look as good as the people in the media.
Expectations for first dates run too high as well. People expect all of their dates to be Hollywood moments like they see in the movies, but on real dates the dinner isn’t always perfect, or sometimes the conversation isn’t so good, or it feels awkward. This is life and you need to give people a second or third chance.
Avoid Online Dating Problems
Some people use Online Dating services to get your email address, once they have that email address they can flood your email with hundreds of messages a day.
To protect yourself from this, only use the Dating services anonymous email service, most Online Dating services offer this.
Most spammers will still try to get through to your real email, they will send you emails(to the dating services email) saying for you to email them back at such and such address because they can only use regular email. Don’t fall for this.
They will probably email an attractive photo as well, never give out your email address unless if you feel 100% comfortable with the person and only after you have talked to them for a while.
Consider a background check
There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing a background check on the person you are dating. For a small price, and if you have enough info on the person, you can do a background check to find out if he has a clean record or not.
You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to, but it is one thing I would do instantly. I use an online service called People Finders, and it never disappoints.
Overseas Financial Scams
So you sign onto the Dating Service and you meet this really nice foreign lady. You two talk for a while, a month or so goes by. When she thinks you may be falling in love with her, she asks if you could wire her money.
The reasons are varied, usually, a sick relative or they need a plane ticket to come see you. Once you wire them the money, poof! She vanished! You will never hear from her again.
If you are asked to wire money, be very wary and use your gut instinct. If you feel that something isn’t right, tell them that you can’t do it.
Learn your countries laws regarding foreigners coming into your country, most of the time the person wouldn’t be able to come into your country unless you have traveled there and helped them obtain a visitors visa. Learning your countries laws will also help identify scammers, check blacklists that identify many scams/scammers.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Online Dating
With Online Dating, there will be things that you should or shouldn’t do. These are called “Safety Precautions” and they only come into effect because of people that try to abuse the online dating service.
1. Never rush
Start by only talking via email and IM’s, this is a good way to find out about the person and doing “Personality Spying”.
If the person is inconsistent, lies a lot, or just seems to be iffy, trust your instincts and back away. People on the internet like to hide their true personality, they pretend to be someone that they aren’t, or just act differently.
When they do this, they tend to have odd behavior patterns and can be spotted pretty easily. Just remember, you are not obligated to talk to them, if something seems weird and your instincts are telling you to back away, back away!
2. Be Secretive to protect yourself
Always keep your last name, email address, phone number, or any other private information to yourself. Never post these on your profile or in messages!
If anyone tries to pressure you into revealing private information, stop talking to them right away. A lot of people have fallen to Identity Theft because of this, the person will get your personal information and well, the rest is history as they say.
3. Always ask for a photo
A photo can say a million words! It can give you a visible appearance, hint to what the person is like, and most of all it will show you who you are talking to. If the person won’t send you a photo or makes excuses as to why he won’t, your best bet is to move on.
Never feel obligated to meet someone in person, just because you have talked to the person for several months online doesn’t mean that you have to meet with them if you don’t feel comfortable with it.
If you do feel that it is time to meet the person, do so in a safe manner that will keep you out of any kind of trouble. Take these into consideration if you are thinking about meeting someone from the online dating scene:
- Always meet in a safe public place where there are lots of other people,
- give your family and friends the number and address to where you are going so that they can find you if something goes awry.
- Also leave the name and phone number of the person that you are dating, and most importantly drive your own car. Don’t have the person pick you up or give you a ride.
If you keep these in mind, your meeting should be worry-free and without woes!
5. Read the Signs
Most people have many personality traits, some good and some bad. Watch for any hints as to how the person acts, and always take any warning signs seriously. If the person is easily angered, you might want to think twice before having a relationship with the person as this could lead to abuse situations.
Never let the person control or manipulate you, if there are any attempts of control/manipulating, back off and move on! Some signs that you could watch out for:
- Lies constantly about age, interests, marital status, appearance, or is inconsistent with general information
- refuses to answer questions directly or “beats around the bush” about certain subjects
- has an online persona that is totally different from his real persona
- tries not to introduce you to family and friends after a relationship has been established
- is disrespectful or inappropriately makes rude comments or physical gestures.
These are all signs that you should watch out for, and remember.. Trust your instincts, if something is telling you to stop talking to the person, do so!
6. Feel the “Comfort Zone”
Everyone has a comfort zone, never leave that zone! If you are uncomfortable with any situation, you should listen to yourself and stop what is happening.
When I said for you to trust your instincts, this is what I mean: If you are uncomfortable and your gut tells you that something is wrong, it usually means that something is wrong. Get up and leave! You are not obligated to do anything, and you can leave whenever you want.
7. Be smart when in a new area
Leaving the safety of your own state, huh? Better be careful! After all, you are going to a place that you don’t know so well. Be cautious, and never stay with the person you are there to see! Book your own hotel, and don’t tell them where you are staying. Remember to accuire your own vehicle so that you don’t have to ride with the person.
One last tip… Always keep this in mind! You do not have to be intimate with the person, do not let them try to push you into sexual activities if it is not what you want! As I said before, don’t do anything that you are uncomfortable with. Use your gut instinct, common sense, and think smart.
My advice for men
You need to send emails to women around two years younger than you who don’t look like supermodels, and then you will probably be able to find some dates. And my advice for women: you need to be willing to give a chance to men who are a little shorter and a little poorer and a little less good looking than your ideal.
The majority of the negative reviews are written by men, and this, unfortunately, reflects the nature of the offline dating world. Dating is harder for men than women because there is a shortage of women.
But wait, aren’t there an equal number of men and women?
For starters, there are 105 boy babies born for every 100 girl babies. Furthermore, the situation is far worse than that for men in their twenties. Because of poaching of younger women by successful older men, and a slightly greater percent of women than men desiring to take time off from dating, the webmaster estimates that there are probably 120 single men in their twenties for every 100 single women in their twenties.
Because of this real world unbalanced ratio, we see that there are around 150 female profiles for every 100 male profiles on online dating services such as Match.com (which is where I tested the theory). This unbalanced ratio, however, is not Match.com’s fault. It simply reflects the way things are.
Are online dating services completely perfect?
No, they are out to make money like all businesses, and sometimes they go too far in trying to make a few extra dollars. My biggest complaint about certain online dating services is that they don’t tell you who’s a member and who isn’t. This is obviously very annoying for those services where only members can read emails because you might wind up wasting a lot of time writing a well thought out email to someone who can’t see it.
My next complaint, not quite as big, is that online dating sites use too much compression on their JPEGs, leaving all of the photos full of JPEG artifacts. This is only compounded by the problem that people seem completely clueless when it comes to cropping and uploading their photos.
However, despite the above problems, online dating services can very useful ways to meet people. Give them a try if you haven’t.
The male/female ratio of online dating
One of the facts of online dating is that there are more men than women online. For example, Match.com recently told ABC News that 59% of their subscribers are men and 41% are women. You can confirm the ratio yourself by doing searches for profiles.
The high male/female ratio of online dating is not the fault of the online dating services, but it reflects the unfortunate realities of the real world. Over a decade ago I recall reading a New York Times article that stated that there were approximately 6 single men in their twenties for every five single women.
How is this possible? Aren’t there an approximately equal number of boy and girl babies born each year? The biggest contributor to the skewed ratio is serial polygamy. A man in his twenties marries a woman in her twenties, then in his thirties he divorces her and marries another woman in her twenties, then in his forties he marries another women in her twenties. This happens. I have a friend who’s in his fifties and his current wife is in her twenties.
There is also parallel polygamy. My sister, when she was in her twenties, knew a guy who had two girlfriends at the same time (neither, of course, knew of the other one’s existence). And at the same time he was also hitting on my sister, trying to bring his harem up to three!
What’s going on in the real world is reflected in the virtual world of online dating. In fact, it’s skewed worse than in the real world, because online dating sites attract a much greater percentage of people who have trouble finding dates. So not only will there be more men, there will be more undesirable (for whatever reasons) members of both sexes.
Men who use online dating services will initially try to contact the few women they are interested in. But because the desirable women receive more emails than they can respond to, male subscribers eventually figure out that they have to send out massive numbers of emails because the response rate is so low. So we wind up in the situation we’re in now. Female subscribers to online dating services receive more emails than they can respond to, and male subscribers send out large numbers of emails and rarely get a response.
Women actually complain about this, but I think they are in a far better situation than men. If you are a man, how do you fix the problem? The answer is that you need to move to Manhattan. There are more single women in Manhattan than men. If you do searches in Match.com for Manhattan, you will find about 50% more female profiles than male profiles. The opposite of the ratio for the rest of the United States.
Living in Manhattan and using Match.com, I’ve been quite happy with how many women respond to my emails. And being a nerdy IT professional, I’m not a high priority catch for most women. They’d rather be going out with the good looking athletic men. You also get to meet women of a caliber you’d never find in Phoenix, Arizona, like graduates of Harvard and Yale law schools.