Let Me Tell You About Online Dating

I often like to imagine saying things in the same way some movie dialog happened. That way I can convey the same humor or effect the movie was trying to have. So with that, if you recall the scene from Office Space where Peter Gibbons is a having his meeting with the consultants, he says, “let me tell you about TPS reports…”

Well, “let me tell you about online dating…”

I found a website a while ago called Dr. Nerd Love. Initially I was intrigued by the site. It seemed to have realistic advice about dating, relationships and related material in a way that appealed not just to “nerds” but to anyone who might have struggled with that stuff. So I read a bunch of the articles, and eventually came to realize it was just pickup artist tricks with a nicer spin. To be clear, he offers some good advice. If you read the material with that in mind, you might be able to get something out of it.

But there was one article that I felt was so disconnected from reality I feel like I just have to take it apart piece by piece. It was an article about online dating. Each point he made seemed painfully obvious to me, and also wrong. The title of the article was “Why Women Don’t Respond“.


it’s a zombie profile

For those who don’t know, a zombie profile is one where the person hasn’t been online for a long time, and probably won’t ever be coming back. Naturally, messages sent there don’t stand much chance at getting a response. The solution? Don’t message zombie profiles. Who does this anyway? Most online dating sites I’ve seen show you when the person last signed on. If it hasn’t been in the past week, just don’t bother. I find this advice silly because is there anyone out there who really thinks dead profile #238 will somehow see the notification of your beautiful message and sign back in? This advice isn’t helpful. I’ve never written to a zombie profile and my response rate is still depressingly awful.


you were lost in the churn

There is some truth to this on I think. Yes, cute girls probably get lots of messages, and even average girls are probably inundated as well. That said a good, normal, reasonable conversation-starter message should be seen by her no problem. It’s pretty easy to scan through an inbox and see which messages are of the douchebag “hey q t, wanna bump uglies?” type. And even if you got lost in the churn a couple times…every time? I’m just not buying it. For me personally, I know I wasn’t lost when the message recipient clearly views my profile after I messaged her. Clearly she got the message, read it, checked me out, and decided not to reply. Wow, that makes me feel great.


you sent generic message #14

I have never sent a form letter copy to any girl ever. If you’re doing that, you deserve silence in response. Writing 10 to 20 words with a cheeky intro and conversation starter takes minimal effort. Reading her profile and coming up with that opener takes little effort. If you’re not willing to make that little effort then why are you bothering? You don’t have to write a novel each time. With practice you’ll get better at seeing hooks in their profile and making a good introduction out of it. Despite never sending a generic message though, my response rate is still horrible, and the number of reads and profile views without a response is just as horrible. Horrible and so depressing. Not sending generic messages doesn’t get you much farther in my experience.


U t4lk lik thz

Yeah, uhh, I’ve never done this. In fact, if you’re old enough to be online dating, chances are you aren’t either. This isn’t 1998. So I’d say that not doing this doesn’t make too much difference. Granted, I write a lot, so I’ll concede that maybe writing notes and messages isn’t as easy for everyone. But if you’re an adult, writing messages like that, I’m curious how you’re holding down any kind of job. Don’t you write emails for work? This is just such useless advice. No one is doing this, and if they are…well, I’m willing to be they have many other much more obvious shortcomings that need to be addressed first. Such as being 16.


You Sound Desperate

Semi decent advice? Kinda. I even get what he’s talking about here. The line between self-deprecating humor and desperation is about as fine as expensive wines from France. If you’re not completely positive you know how to walk it, don’t. It’s that simple. You will cross it, and you will come off sounding desperate and killing any chance you may have had. But if you’re just trying to sound desperate to sound desperate? You get what you get. It’s not attractive and it never will be. Again, this is something I never do. I’ve not found it improves much.


You Were Insulting And/Or Creepy

Ok, come on. We’re all big boys (and girls) here. You know what’s creepy and insulting. Don’t do it. Not that’ll make too much difference.


Your Profile Sucks

One good piece of advice?! Yes…and no, well, sort of. This is the part that no one can really tell you how to do, because it’s supposed to represent you. It’s tricky. But you have to figure out how you want it to be, and there are lots of options. Let it reflect you. Are you funny? Show it. Are you deep? Show it. This is the one thing that I think might be causing problems for me, but I’ve done many drastic profile changes over the months, and none seem to really change response too much. It’s a subjective thing. You can’t make someone else like what they read and see.

So there it is. After all that though, I’m going to negate everything I said. No, it’s not untrue. It’s 100% true, but you have to understand that people in general are fickle, mysterious, irrational and yes, sometimes even just douchy. You could do everything completely right, follow every piece of advice from everywhere, and still come up with nothing. Hell, look at me! What can possibly be my rationalization after all my failed efforts? I don’t know. That’s it, I just don’t know. Maybe she thought I looked too Polish. Maybe she hates people who use ellipses. Maybe she just cannot stand when a nice, normal guy sends a nice normal message. Who the hell knows! You’ll never know. So in a way the whole thing is moot. You never know that you’ll be messaging a rational person. That’s the true issue.