Sunday, December 8, 2013

Everyone is a hot girl now

Modern dating technology creates an abundance mentality:
 In the past, Jacob had always been the kind of guy who didn’t break up well. His relationships tended to drag on. His desire to be with someone, to not have to go looking again, had always trumped whatever doubts he’d had about the person he was with. But something was different this time. “I feel like I underwent a fairly radical change thanks to online dating,” Jacob says. “I went from being someone who thought of finding someone as this monumental challenge, to being much more relaxed and confident about it. Rachel was young and beautiful, and I’d found her after signing up on a couple dating sites and dating just a few people.” Having met Rachel so easily online, he felt confident that, if he became single again, he could always meet someone else.

After two years, when Rachel informed Jacob that she was moving out, he logged on to the same day. His old profile was still up. Messages had even come in from people who couldn’t tell he was no longer active. The site had improved in the two years he’d been away. It was sleeker, faster, more efficient. And the population of online daters in Portland seemed to have tripled. He’d never imagined that so many single people were out there.

“I’m about 95 percent certain,” he says, “that if I’d met Rachel offline, and if I’d never done online dating, I would’ve married her. At that point in my life, I would’ve overlooked everything else and done whatever it took to make things work. Did online dating change my perception of permanence? No doubt. When I sensed the breakup coming, I was okay with it. It didn’t seem like there was going to be much of a mourning period, where you stare at your wall thinking you’re destined to be alone and all that. I was eager to see what else was out there.”
This is why it is so important to decide if you are looking to marry or simply mount ahead of time. There are positive aspects and negative aspects, but whatever you do, don't turn into the picky girl with The List.


badgerhut said...

"don't turn into the picky girl with The List"

Last year I ran a post about a woman who queried me (or as some suggested, hit on me) about whether I had any "normal friends" for her painfully single friends to date.

Dalrock responded with a post of his own ( based around this comment:

"One side of this which strikes me is the complete denial so many women are in regarding their insatiable need to continuously fill the hopper with new men. In their mind, they are carefully looknig for “the one”, but in reality they are consuming mass quantities in a never ending binge that would make the coneheads blush. Contrast this with the very open acceptance of this reality by men in the (non married) game sphere. The woman’s friend strip mined ok cupid, and now is complaining about a lack of natural resources."

My point is that it's very easy to start with the premise that you are looking for that lasting commitment, and then to subtly find your mindset and behavior changed by your surfeit of options into that of the inveterate player/hypergamous slut. You may not even realize what you've done to yourself.

badgerhut said...

A quibble with the Atlantic...I'm not going to fully endorse online dating as a panacea for the lonely but eligible bachelor or an impending horseman of the sexual apocalypse. It's easy to understand that online plays well to a certain wedge of marketability, a certain type of guy. That involves conventionally "handsome" (read: tall and masculine-built, muscles are a big plus), with a photo spread doing interesting things (think the Dos Equis guy), and a particular writing skill that shows off without boring the girls or setting off their braggart alarms. It may be even more conservative and orthodox in its standards than the conventional cold-approach-pickup or social-circle game environs. My sense is that the set of guys who pull well online is a fractional subset of guys who pull well in person and/or can close in 3D.

Now, these things can be easily done once you know how to play the game, but then we're back to the fact that otherwise-promising candidates need to be taught some kind of game tactic to get their dating engines turned over, so to speak. The Susan Walshes of the online world are hotter than a band of Salem soothsayers going off about how that evil game is going to create a vast army of cads, but the Apex Fallacy and the 80/20 rule seem to be like the Carnot cycle limit of heat-transfer efficiency* - no more than a small sliver of guys is EVER going to be getting the sort of surplus pussy that most men dream of. When dating went online, a certain subset of guys became the best at that type of game, but I doubt that beyond a +/-3dB spread, that "more" men are cleaning up online than in conventional dating circles.

All this is a long way of saying that the Atlantic's solipsism (which appears to be a feature) is raising the "army of cads" alarm on a phenomenon that I and my cohort just don't see happening. Dating is hard/sparse for men, and except for a small subset who probably didn't need the help of online dating, it always has been.

Also predictably plain to note that the article didn't contain a lot of discussion of online dating warping _women's_ minds, instead mostly concerning itself with how they are going to get these goshdarn guys to commit if all these chicks online can't help but drop their panties for this charming devil Jacob and his caddish ilk.

*From a social-science perspective, there probably is something of a fundamental limit on how many guys can be "attractive" in a population - since female attraction has social status and preselection/competition as key components, there's only so many guys they have the social capacity to really fight over.

badgerhut said...

Final point...

"This is why it is so important to decide if you are looking to marry or simply mount ahead of time."

This sentence reminds me of a female friend. She's hot (sorority girl from a well-endowed college), smart and interesting, relatively low princess factor (from what I can tell), has a good career but isn't sinking all her eggs into it, friendly, and single in her late 20's. She isn't panciking, but maybe she should be, but in any case she's exposed to a good number of good prospects on the regular.

Anyway, if you didn't know her well you wouldn't know that she's a member of a small Christian sect that has worship in only a handful of cities in America and the home country. She has also tried to date inside her faith, which has led to some awkwardness of setups and the like that threaten everyone's social politeness.

I really think the best next step she could take in dating is to decide whether she wants to marry inside that community or not, and then pick a single dating strategy based on that decision - either date hard inside the church with the intention of finding a spouse, or date in the material world and forego the faithful marriage. She seems OK with both (like she wants to date and wherever she meets her match that's the path she will choose), but my concern is that she knows deep down which one she really wants but won't admit it to either group because that would mean she's committed to the trail.

And bringing it back to the post, it probably rends her mind to know that both "choices" still exist, providing even more options to induce her away from commitment. The two groups/strategies are so different that they might as well be riding the carousel vs. settling down, and as we've seen in dating for both men and women, it's really not easy to play dual strategies, of "having your fun" but being ready to settle down if you meet the "right person." Too much opportunity for confusing your short-term and long-term incentives, and for endowment effect and loss aversion to add more value to a long-term candidate than your rational mind knows they have.

Markku said...

Anyway, if you didn't know her well you wouldn't know that she's a member of a small Christian sect that has worship in only a handful of cities in America and the home country.

It would be important to know if the sect has exclusivist beliefs, like Lestadians in Finland.

Markku said...

Unless that's EXACTLY what she is... Then things will be complicated.

Markku said...

You see, their Prime Objective is making babies. Anything less than ten kids is going to raise eyebrows. But, on the other hand, it is very difficult to get an outsider to sign up for that.

jlw said...

Badger and Vox, you describe a category of men that have definitive advantages that carry from offline to online dating. These objective characteristics appear immutable-height and handsomeness among them-and are possessed by few. Conversely, those that do not possess these characteristics have a noticeably more difficult time in the dating whirl. Question: is there a category of men that have definitive disadvantages that carry from offline to online? Is there are list of definitive and immutable disadvantages we could define so as to steer men with these features away from time-wasting pursuits like online dating which will only provide the same non-results as offline dating?

cailcorishev said...

Badger, I'm with you on being skeptical of whether online dating will give most guys this kind of boost. Whenever I go back to check a dating profile that I've forgotten about, I find a bunch of messages from fat women 10 years older than me, even though my profile is pretty blunt about rejecting both (so not only are they too fat and too old, but they don't read). So it doesn't give me that burst of plentitude mentality at all; I have to remind myself that these desperate post-wall women don't represent what's really available. I think it depends a lot on where you live -- a large city with a large SWPL population will have a lot more single women prowling online than a small town, for sure.

cailcorishev said...

Jlw, the first thing is to know that any halfway attractive girl who puts a picture with her profile will get lots of messages -- far more than any man will ever get. So she doesn't have to go hunting through men's profiles and contacting guys who are marginal. If she browses profiles at all, she's only going to contact the guys who seem like something special, a cut above the guys she normally meets or who contact her.

So he pretty much has to appear perfect, which in a profile starts with: height, income, and picture. Those are the first things she's going to look at as dealbreakers. In real life, she'd look past those things if he attracted her overall, but online she's going to go to them first because they're right there. If he's shorter than her, or doesn't make enough money, or doesn't look good in his picture, she's moving on. A guy who's short or poor isn't going to get many looks no matter how great he is otherwise.

He could do what most women do on their profiles -- lie. If he's 5'6", he could claim to be 5'10", and have a joke ready to blow it off once they meet. That's what women do: "occasional smoker" means "like a chimney"; "a few extra pounds" means "too many chins to count"; and "my kids are my life" means "I'll dump them with the meth-head babysitter down the street if you offer me a steak dinner." Just figure it's more important to get contacts, and once you run some game on them, they'll forget to care about the details.

If he doesn't want to lie, he'll need to be proactive and contact women, or give up on online game and stick to face-to-face.

Weouro said...

My friend told me he once changed an online dating profile to say, "I think monogamy is really sexy" and got slammed with emails from women all of a sudden.

Mark said...

Online dating isn't going to work for most guys because of the nature of the process. Take a hypothetical example. There's 100 guys and 100 girls on a site. Each of the 100 guys send emails out to all 100 girls with the idea that they'll date the best girl who responds back. The reason they do this is that there is a very low cost to doing it. It's easy to send out multiple copies of the same email. The problem is, every other guy on the site is doing the same thing. Because of this, each female gets a hundred emails. She then decides to pick the best guy and responds back. Most of the girls would pick out probably one of 10 guys as the best guys so 10 guys get maybe 90 emails back and the other 90 guys get 10 emails back. So most guys will end up unsuccessful. At the same time, it's not going to work out for the girls either. The few guys who get lots of emails back can't date all the girls so they'll either pick one girl or have a series of short term flings with multiple girls. If you are one these few guys, then online dating works. I've always thought the way to deal with this is to limit the number of emails guys can send out. Guys would use their emails on women they had a realistic chance with and women would not be having their inboxes flooded. But most sites don't deal with this problem in this way or any other way and until they do then it's best to just use online dating as a minor supplement to other primary ways of approaching women. That's what I've found after years of experience with online dating.

Retrenched said...

Chances are, if this guy has a lot of women sending him lots of messages out of the blue then he's rich, tall and/or has male model good looks. i.e, he's probably not "everyone".

Then again, it's funny that a guy with those natural advantages would have had such a scarcity mentality WRT women before online dating, so perhaps not.

e96dd1c6-d05b-11e2-ad29-000bcdcb2996 said...

Online dating is a crock. Certainly if you live in an area with few women. What I've seen is that women completely reject anybody living more than 30 miles away or so.

HanSolo said...

On the free online sites like POF and OkCupid, there's about 2.5 men for every woman so right there the men are starting at a disadvantage.

I'm not sure if the paid sites like match have better ratios or not.

Probably the only sites where there's more women than men are sugar daddy sites (soft prostitution) and perhaps sites where you have to be a verified millionaire+.

So, I think guys can try online dating but not put too much effort into it due to the numbers game.

HanSolo said...

And yes, the fascinating thing about articles like these is to put the blame on the man and not on the women who are choosing him, over and over again, while someone that's more in their league is going without.

Brad Andrews said...

The impact of online dating isn't whether it really works or not. It will be its perception by those outside. I suspect we will continue to see the changes that make long term fidelity in marriage very, very difficult and therefore undermine a primary part of society.

Even relationships like a coworker where he and his wife are enjoying their time spending their money on themselves rather than children (they aren't planning to have any) can come out of this "its always party time" mentality and don't bode well for the future.

No Apocalypse, but some surely nasty times as what "can't continue, won't" comes crashing down at some point in the future. Society has to continue to grow or at least maintain or you face many major problems.

Retrenched said...

@ Han Solo

Yeah, it's a fem-centric view that asserts the right to plate-spinning, but for women only. Women want men to accept the fact that they're going to date lots of men in their search for "the one", but at the same time, the idea that men might want to similarly date lots of women before settling down makes them furious. Women love being able to move into and out of relationships with men at their convenience, but they really hate it when men move into and out of relationships with women at their convenience. We saw a lot of this mentality over in the comment sections of HUS before... well, you know.

@ Brad

"Society has to continue to grow or at least maintain or you face many major problems."

You are at least thirty years late with this request I'm afraid.

Bob said...

Having met Rachel so easily online, he felt confident that, if he became single again, he could always meet someone else.
Problem is, it's always MUCH easier for her. She also won't even have to put any effort in. Heck I've seen lasses get hundreds of messages without even a picture up! Online stuff is MUCH more of a boon for women, they can even do it in the privacy of their own homes, or on their phones or whatever. Slutting around has never been easier.

travis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wilson3333 said...

I'm a relatively good looking white guy who signed up for EHarmony a couple months ago. It's a mediocre supplement to meet high quality women, IMHO. I use it because I'm in a location where I'm a minority and not attracted to the race of girls where I'm at. A few notes on EH:

1. Lots of girls don't look good. Lots of girls are fat. It's worse than a metric for real life. I could go a week without being "matched" with a good looking girl. And the ones that look good haven't been on that site in months.

2. Don't mess around with the dumb 'get to know you' questions. Things are much easier if you go for a random, vaguely flirtatious email. Especially when the good looking girls get hit up every day with "3 questions" or shit like that.

3. Been on EH for a couple months and went out with 2 girls. One was a good christian girl who got drunk and got us a hotel room, followed by days of the weirdest shit tests I've ever seen. The second was a doctor in her residency... nothing more unattractive than a woman whose career is the sole reason for her being. Check the ration: 2 girls out of being matched with probably 50 per week for 2 months. Lots of matches, you send stuff out to only a few. Haven't had bad luck with many not responding. That type of quality I could find at any bar.

4. The thing going against me is my location - a few hours away from the major cities where the quality girls are. That might skew the results.

5. EH is an ego booster, especially for the girls. Some asshole treating them like shit? It doesn't matter - they have 100 messages on EH. It works to a lesser extent for guys... though I agree, if something doesn't work out, then I can check my inbox and something will eventually pop up.

6. Don't believe the profiles. (That should be obvious.)

7. The "What's next" mentality is very real. Who cares if I email this girl? Another one will come along maybe tomorrow. The over-supply, especially for women, creates probably a ridiculous level of choosiness. It encourages non-commitment.

8. EH can be an excellent place to practice/perfect game. A girl send you an "icebreaker"? Don't reply for a few days. She send you an email? Don't reply for a few days. She send you a long email? Don't reply for a few days... then reply with something short. Guaranteed she checks that shit 10x a days.

Brad Andrews said...


I wasn't commenting on the past trends, which are already very bad, just the added pressure this will continue to have pushing us in the wrong direction.

Retrenched said...

@ Brad

Ah ok.

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