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In theory, online dating opens infinite doors; in practice, it works by limiting potential mates with the type of discriminating filters most of us would be far too bashful or polite to apply in real life.
For those of us who aren’t in the prom king and queen demographic, a new book-length case study offers some cheeky advice on how to identify and target your dating audience.
Despite her borderline-crazy, data-driven contortions, Webb comes across as more realistic than Slater, with his laissez-faire approach to finding love online.
The difference highlights the limitations of this modern mechanism for a timeless trouble.
(The survey was commissioned by ) Today, one-third of America’s 90 million singles have used an online dating site.
I’ve lost count of the number of times people have asked me, “Have you tried Ok Cupid?
A woman named Erin posted a text online that she received after rejecting a man she met through online dating, not because he had replied with a horrible insult or a request for his money back, but simply because he had behaved like a mature, nice person.'I recently went on two dates with a guy I met on OK Cupid, we had fun but definitely lacked chemistry,' reports Erin wrote along with a photo of the conversation.
'After not texting him for two weeks, he sent me this sweet text. ' Nice surprise: A woman named Erin shared a message she received from a date she rejected where he maturely encourages her to 'say hi' if they bump into each other and adds she is 'pretty and fun' (file photo)The young man then makes the reasonable point that given they know '50 of the same people and like the same music' they are likely to bump into each other, in which case he encourages Erin to 'say hi when it happens'.
But it seems we’re still trying to convince ourselves that technology-assisted matchmaking is kosher. But even online, the pool is deeper for some singles than for others, and this is where Slater, despite his proselytizing, reveals some of the profound limitations of online dating.
“My goal in this experiment wasn’t just to observe other women on JDate,” Webb writes.
“It was to understand them deeply enough so I could model their behavior.
And it’s further complicated by the propensity of online daters to lie about their age or profession or marital status. “Algorithms that dating sites have spent millions of dollars to refine aren’t necessarily bad.
They’re just not as good as we want them to be, because they’re computing our half-truths and aspirational wishes.” Webb doesn’t make any value judgments about this fact of online-dating life, but it seems hard to deny that the amount of game-playing involved—and not just for singles who take it as far as she does—puts a damper on the experience for many. In a payoff worthy of Nancy Meyers movie, Webb meets and marries the man of her dreams, a witty, sexy ophthalmologist who also loves to travel and wants two children.
I didn’t want to try to hide who I was or pretend to be someone else—I just needed to learn from the masters and present the best possible version of myself online.