Thursday, December 19, 2013

Avoid online "dating"

This chart shows there is less than a 10 percent chance of an American woman even responding to a man on an online dating site and I've seen anecdotal reports of the response rate being under one percent for some men. Average response rate from women of the same age is about 4 percent.  That means that you would have to get cold-shouldered 25 times in real life to have the same rate of failure that you can expect in the online world.

Conclusion: online dating is a massive waste of time for anyone who isn't already successful with women. What's worse about the failure rate is that in the real world, the more you approach, the better you get at it. By the time the average man gets shot down 25 times, he's going to significantly improve his game; if nothing else, he will have lost most of his fear of approaching and that alone will tend to inspire more positive reactions.

Because being shot down online is only painful in its cumulative effect, men learn very little, if anything, and certainly don't gain any confidence through it. Being married, I'm not about to test the hypothesis, but my thought is that if a non-Alpha made 20 online approaches and made 20 approaches in the real world, his real world success rate would be at least 4x his online success rate regardless of his socio-sexual status.

Yes, I understand that it's easier and less scary to simply fire off a few emails every evening than go up and talk to women in public. It's also easier and less scary to sit in front of the television and eat potato chips than work out at the gym. The point is that online dating is lazy, it's debilitating, and it doesn't provide better results.


Christopher B said...

I've tried on-line dating several times, and agree with you. The non-response rate means that you get essentially no feedback at all from approaches.

His Lordship said..., you say? A site where singles are connected through mutual friends and mutual interests? In other words, one is more like to know his "match" than not, and it is like to be a woman who has disqualified him in advance?

Clearly, this is representative of dating sites on the whole, including matchmaking sites.

VD said...

Clearly, this is representative of dating sites on the whole, including matchmaking sites.

Actually, I chose it because it had the highest average response rate of any of the sites I saw reported. From what I could see, a four percent same-age response rate was actually on the high side. But I invite anyone with actual experience to chime in.

His Lordship said...

Actually, I chose it because it had the highest average response rate of any of the sites I saw reported.

Of course.

crazyivan498 said...

I married the women I met on I went on dates with 4 different women before I meet my wife. I would propose that online dating is a place for men and women of low smv. I was never succuessful even getting a date by just meeting someone and asking them out outside of high school. I had better success online than traditional meeetings. But I and my wife are low smv.

Anonymous said...

It seems to have gotten worse. The last couple times I checked my accounts on a couple dating sites, all the contacts I had gotten were from fat women about 10 years older than me, despite my settings saying that I'm looking for 5-15 years younger. Not pudgy, either: fat -- fat enough that it's obvious in a small thumbnail of the best picture they had of themselves.

I used to think dating sites might be useful for a shy guy trying to get over the scarcity mentality. Get a little success through chat, learn that girls aren't that scary after all, and then transfer that to real life. But I'm not so sure about that anymore, because the pickings are getting so slim that it might make a guy's scarcity mentality worse. Better to bite the bullet and get out and approach them for real.

Dominic Saltarelli said...

I had a similar conversation with my Dad earlier. Being recently single again myself, he suggested going online. He met his current wife that way last year (a fine woman too, I couldn't be happier for them both), and said there's tons of women out there, as he had them knocking down his door, figuratively speacking. I tried to point out the rather significant difference between being a successful single man in his mid 50's advertising on a website geared toward said age range (and up) and being a successful single man in his early 30s who must take the more conventional approach. It's about supply and demand, I said. He wasn't convinced, still says I'm missing out. I told him I'd try it if he paid the monthly fee such websites charge. That shut him up.

We are a family of cheapskates. :)

Dominic Saltarelli said...


August said...

I suspect one of these sites could be designed with game in mind. Women are concerned with status and get very competitive with each other in certain situations- so as long as the narrative/environment of the site is right, response and perhaps even initiation could be changed. I think right now these sites just amplify the problem- it is just more ego-stroking entertainment for attractive, fertile women.

Bob said...

The thing with online stuff is, it is heaven for women. Sure there are a lot of creepy fucks on them but still, a lass can make a profile, not even put a picture up, and go do her own thing for a while. When she comes back, hundreds of messages will be waiting. Either that's Alphas to come over and give her the quick no strings, no effort fuck she needs, or hordes of non-alphas pouring ego boosting compliments allover her.

I've literally seen another girl's profile who showed me once, literally more messages than she could even read, and more coming in by the minute. This SO helps fuel women's already diabolical mindset. Why ever put effort in for any bloke when she can practically have whatever she needs delivered to her door anytime she wants?

Anonymous said...

Um, I think this is an over-generalization. Online can work for some people. It's worked very well for me. For example, if you happen to have great academic/job credentials, those can be tastefully incorporated into an online profile, whereas they don't immediately turn heads in a club.

Here is what I might do for a site (different sites have different protocol, but a, tell your life story, type place is probably for lower SMV people--there are other sites). Scan 1000 pics (doesn't really take that long). E-mail say 50 hotties (don't need to even read their profiles--that is a time waste). You say something simple like "hi". It's cut and paste. Maybe 10 girls respond (demonstrating IOI after reading your profile). You chat and ultimately get 2 or 3 hot girls (top 5% per your choice) who will meet up with you. It doesn't take too much time and you can weed out girls who you're not interested in. For instance, I weeded out non-virgins this way, so you could potentially find out stuff about the girls before you pay for dinner or drinks or whatever. Harder to do at a club (apologies to all of you who met your wife at a club).

Anyway, don't knock it if you haven't tried it.

Anonymous said...

Online can work for some people.

As Vox said, it mostly works for guys who have the right attributes to be successful in person. If you're tall, fit, and wealthy, you'll get a lot of responses -- but you'd get them at the coffee shop too, unless you have some personality defect that doesn't show up online but drives them away in person. Look at your own message: you're expecting a response rate of 20%, so I assume that's what you've gotten, but that's way above the norm, as this chart shows. If your profile gets that kind of reaction, that's great.

But if you're a guy who doesn't have much luck in real life -- you're shorter than average, overweight, funny looking, not very confident, don't have much money to throw around -- then you probably won't do well online either. You'll be on the downside of that 4% peak, messaging hundreds of girls just to get a few responses from girls who mostly don't meet your requirements, while sorting through lots of unsolicited messages from 50-year-old fatties.

Anonymous said...

The reason women like online dating is that there is very little pain involved in getting shot down compared to walking up to someone in the real world.

Cold calling is the hardest sales job, and painful as heck. But even I (a quiet introvert by nature) got pretty good at it after a while.

His Lordship said...

As Vox said, it mostly works for guys who have the right attributes to be successful in person.

You mean to say that successful people tend to succeed, and unsuccessful people do not?

What sort of thinking is this, I ask you?

Anonymous said...

OK, cailcorishev, your points are all good and I'm sure Online is not for everyone. However, if you're short, overweight and ugly, you deal with that problem no matter what. Not everyone is great running pick up at bars either, including some tall, attractive guys. It's about finding what works for you (and you don't have to have only one method).

However, with red pill knowledge, you basically know what women want and you can design a profile and your pics and information disclosed accordingly (they do most of the work for you). Then you can also tailor the message accordingly. For instance, you don't say "wow, I want to say you're so incredibly beautiful and I would love to get to know you, etc." (believe me, I've been there)... Anyway, hopefully, with some work, most guys could do better than 4% (hate to say it, but for mid-low SMV white guys, Asians can be at least an easy 6-7). And, of course, don't bother even reading a response from a girl who is 50 or a fatty.

rycamor said...

It seems that online matchmaking also works for the low-SMV, as long as their standards are reasonable. My uncle was an extremely overweight, long-divorced, jobless man on disability, in his 60s living with his aging mother. In fact, he was so debilitated from his weight that he had started using a motorized cart to get around. However, he is fairly smart and articulate. He met a Brazilian woman about his age online and after a year or so of phone calls and emails, they met, got married, and she set about to fix his health. he is now about 100lbs lighter back on his feet, living in Brazil and apparently enjoying life.

Stg58/Animal Mother said...

I had no problem meeting women, but I jumped on because I traveled every week for business, and didn't have the time to locate, close with and romance women the usual way. allowed me to sift through A LOT more women than I would have been able to otherwise. I dated five or six women off of Match. In a sense, you can order women out of an online catalog on Match. It lets you search for the exact type of woman you want to date. The search that netted me paydirt was my final search, for redheaded women 5'9" - 6' who were caucasian, Christian and Conservative. I got a girl who was working as a model and married her.

Stg58/Animal Mother said...

On my Match profile, Under the description, I simply wrote "Man".

Brad Andrews said...

Steve, the alternative is not online or bars. Many other places exist to connect with people.

I would guess that online dating is similar to online job searching. I have been relatively successful at the latter, including finding my current position because I decided to search LinkedIn one day, but it is definitely against the grain of what is likely to work.

I have also sent off a lot of resumes and gotten very little response in the past, so my failure rate is higher than it seems because I only count successes.

I have been married over 25 years, so I can't truly comment on dating sites. I doubt I would even bother though if I were single again for whatever reason.

Polynices said...

I want to argue the point with anecdotes but aside from that being generically stupid I realized that all my anecdotes of friends meeting attractive girls online involve guys that also meet attractive girls offline. So that proves your point. Insofar as anecdotes can prove anything.

Good post.

VD said...

I'm not saying you can't meet women online. For crying out loud, I've had women sending me their pictures for years on the basis of my WND column. I understand that it is possible.

My point is simply that one's results are likely to be better if one makes the same number of approaches in real life. Fortune favors the bold. So do women. And failed real approaches tend to improve one's game in a way that failed online approaches do not.

Sure, it's not hard to shoot off a few speculative emails. But it's not actually that hard to say hello to a woman at the shoe store or anywhere else. Just practice doing that without even trying to inspire more than a smile in response and it will be remarkable how much easier approaching becomes.

Stg58/Animal Mother said...


I am not saying either. was a good tool that served me when I needed it. That's all. It isn't the be all end all of meeting women, or making obsolete the face to face.

Retrenched said...

Thing is, most men should be ready to accept a high failure rate WRT approaching women, whether we're talking online or offline. After all, most bangably attractive women are going to get hit on by scores of men IRL, and perhaps even hundreds of men online, and they certainly can't date or sleep with all of them.

rycamor said...

My point was that it can work for outliers in both directions. But for the average guy looking to meet an attractive woman, it's probably a bad bet, due to all the usual dynamics discussed in the manosphere.

Revelation Means Hope said...

I think it would be fun to run an ad just as an experiment to see the a$$hole spectrum of success.

If I ever do it, I would set it up in another city, however, I would hate for one of our many single female friends to come across my profile and.....

My experience backs up what Vox said above. When my first marriage broke up, I briefly went on (I was a fairly early user). I got to see the whole spectrum of the SMV, very quickly. I was only on for 4 months while I worked on my game, as my real life dating quickly outpaced online in SMV points.

Every one of the women I met through online were already in the defensive crouch, they said I was the highest SMV they'd met online. Which told me that I was not filtering enough, and needed to be more ruthless in screening.

Another anecdote is that my younger brother met his wife through online dating while he was living in Europe. It worked very well for him.

Anonymous said...

Sort of puts the lie to Aunt Giggles using data to refute a certain SMV chart.

Just saying,..

Anonymous said...

The salient point is coming up with some sort of measure of the SMV of the respondent and the initiator. I suspect that there are a whole lot of rotten fish in that barrel pulling down the average. An attractive guy with a good picture has a good chance of getting "a response". Likely several from overweight and overage women.

I think that the online contact should not even qualify as an initial contact, since the chance of total failure is still pretty high when the two people eventually meet in person. On line is where a lot of desperate people go. They are desperate for a reason. The SMP has already rejected them and their goods.

I have heard from lots of women who used online dating sites and their number one complaint was not "not getting a response", it was "not getting a response from someone who didn't just want easy sex from them".


Anonymous said...

One thing I'd add is that when I was having success with "online dating," it mostly wasn't with official dating sites. For one thing, most of them required payment before you could contact any girls, and my region is too sparse for that to be worth it. So I found girls on sites like MySpace (Facebook hadn't taken off yet) by searching in my area and saying hi, then taking it from there. There's less pressure there because it's not obviously about dating from the start, and you aren't limited to just the girls who were desperate/bored enough to create a dating profile. It also avoids the "I can't get a real girl" frame that using a dating site may lend itself to, so you can frame it as, "Hey, I was just checking out some friends of friends and thought you sounded cool..."

So there are ways to approach girls online that may be better than dating sites -- just be sure you move it offline as quickly as possible.

Rantor said...

Happily married Christian but I have worked with two guys who used on-line dating sites.

One was recently divorced, met many women and usually dated two different women a week, even if he was supposedly steady with one of them. He claims that he was having sex with most of them. He then took a contract job in Afghanistan and spent his mid tour break in Thailand paying for sex. Haven't heard from him lately, but I figure he is happy with his life wherever he is.

The other guy, a single Colonel, about 45 had no trouble getting dates through He was looking for a wife, but according to him, bedded most of the women he went out with. After several months he "found the right girl" and they are now married.

In the DC area it seems there are a lot of women in their midlife, clock-ticking phase and eager to find someone...

Morpheus said...

I never used online dating so anything I say is based on speculation not empirical experience, but I suspect there is one segment of guys that could use online dating for quick effiicient outcomes, and that is guys who check many of the boxes on the checklist such as say tall, good job and income, good looking, etc.

One might argue they wouldn't "need" online dating and that is probably 99% correct, but I see it as something that could be a very lazy way to pick up FWBs and flings if one is so inclined. It would be like simply throwing a giant net into the water and simply waiting for whatever fish decide to swim in

Unknown said...

For many men, there's a disparity between their in-person success with women and their online success with women. The experience you have on any online dating site very much depends on your personality and your attitude, and what kind of effort you put forth. You can learn to message more effectively just as you can learn to write website copy that's more effective at converting browsing customers to purchasing customers, you know? It doesn't sound like you're interested in doing a crit analysis, though; looking at sheer numbers is misleading since there are vastly different types of content in each message.

My messaging guide is at, and I'm happy to answer questions or even eyeball a draft message if anyone wants to drop me a line. The reality is that you can find all sorts of pockets in online dating where you're going to get through and actually communicate with and date the women you reach out to—but not if you consider the whole thing pointless. This will undoubtedly inflect any messages you DO craft with a bitter and jaded and frustrated undertone. That's not exactly going to woo your target recipient, haha.

Anonymous said...

One might argue they wouldn't "need" online dating and that is probably 99% correct, but I see it as something that could be a very lazy way to pick up FWBs and flings if one is so inclined.

It's certainly better for getting sex than for getting a serious relationship. If a girl responds to your message and is interested enough to meet you, the time from meeting to nekkid is more likely to be measured in minutes than in days, if that's what you're going for.

I suspect that part of the reason for that is that many girls who have dating profiles actually have boyfriends to some extent, but are looking for some excitement or hoping to trade up. So she's not really looking for a romance -- at least not yet. She has to quickly figure out whether this guy is an upgrade from her current one, and many of them seem to think the best way to determine that is with a blowjob.

Marissa said...

Reminds me of a story about Albert Ellis, a famous cognitive behavior psychologist. From his Wikipedia:

"Ellis had exaggerated fears of speaking in public and during his adolescence he was extremely shy around women. At age 19, already showing signs of thinking like a cognitive-behavioral therapist, he forced himself to talk to 100 women in the Bronx Botanical Gardens over a period of a month. Even though he did not get a date, he reported that he desensitized himself to his fear of rejection by women."

Anonymous said...

I'm not saying you can't meet women online. For crying out loud, I've had women sending me their pictures for years on the basis of my WND column. I understand that it is possible.

So because of your column they were threatening TO have sex with you? I didn't know that could happen with non-progressives.

Anonymous said...

The problem with online dating sites is the same as with any other venue whose primary purpose is to bring singles together: there are way more men than women using them. Since you're going to get rejected most of the time in any case, you might as well do like Vox says: go for the in-person rejections and use them to improve your game.

A question for the Christians here. The dating site I see advertised the most on TV is Do any of you use that? And did you find it offensive when their slogan was "Find God's match for you"? (God may work in mysterious ways, but it's rather presumptuous of them to claim that their website is one of those.)

olympiapress said...

Online really does work to find gals who are approaching the wall, if you have some credentials and a measure of vocabulary. My one month on match, I sent out 20 emails, most of them showing I'd read their profile--"white water rafting, ever tried Snake River?" A few were just, hey. I got 17 responses, and the dates I went out on were SNLs, but I was filtering for 35-45, Asian/Caucasian, educated, but this with in South St. Pete/Sarasota, where female college grads outnumber men 2-1.

Gave it up and deleted my account 'cuz I realized I wasn't that into 35-45, Asian/Caucasian, educated. Also, while you have sex the first date, they pretty much want to move in by the second. And there are other ways to meet women in FL.

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Mark said...

I'm glad you posted this chart. There's so little information on success rates on these sites. My feeling is that if they were really useful then the sites would encourage independent studies and then trumpet the results. That we don't see this is a big red flag that they don't work and they are trying to hide that fact. Of course, you'll have individual anecdotes like the ones in the comments above saying the site worked for them and in some cases it will work but for the general run of guys the answer is "no they don't work".

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I am a woman, 24 years old. when i joined an online dating site, i used to reply every man i thought was decent. but it turned out that most of them were catfishs, after my money. and some were after my body. very few were really decent guys. on the basis of my experiences, i have stopped replying and only chat with someone i feel is real and a decent person.

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Unknown said...

He wasn't convinced, still says I'm missing out. I told him I'd try it if he paid the monthly fee such websites charge. That shut him up.

Funny. A coworker some years back mentioned that She'd make a profile for me on Match. I'm not sure what a woman who is married knows about attracting other straight women, so I only asked her to pay for the subscription if she was so certain of her method. No response, oddly enough.

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Dave said...

I see dating general being very much like a science experiment. It's fun to see what works and what doesn't. Online dating however, is like doing an experiment on a sick rat. You aren't going to get much feedback and will end up with lame results.

Unknown said...

lmafo what a load of horse shit. like the real world dating scene is so much better these days.. one married happy chappy guy gets on here and shares to the world because he has a loving partner and thinks he knows every thing all of a sudden. gotta love it.

don't most idiots running around now think of themselves as being an "alpha". the word is used as loosely as being "gay", being a "good guy", blah blah blah. words that don't mean anything anymore.

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