The Elephant In The Room

Over the past 12 days, I have received multiple e-mails, Facebook messages, and carrier pigeons all presenting me with the same link.  It’s a link to another blog post that talks about online dating.  Now c’mon people, don’t you know you should only be reading my blog about online dating? Sheesh!

But given the sheer number of you who clearly want me to discuss this article, I thought it was fine time that I give the people what they want.  So without any further ado…

The article is from Wired and it’s called “How a Math Genius Hacked OKCupid To Find True Love.

Now let me start by saying, thank you all for reaching out to me. If there’s ever something you want me to talk about, I love to cater to that because, frankly, you’re the one who has to read it.

But let me go on to say that I thought this article sucked.

Do I have your attention?

First, I actually found it to be a very interesting read.  But for me, here was the take away: The only way to find love is…

  • Be a math genius
  • Literally sleep in your office
  • Abandon everything you’re doing in your real life on the quest for love

I refuse to believe this.  I feel like this article says, online dating isn’t worthwhile unless you can create a computer simulation that works the system and dupes women into being matched with you. It’s sort of like when you order flan at a restaurant for dessert and then the server walks by delivering a brownie sundae to someone else. Instead of being satisfied with your flan, you  go follow the server and steal the sundae from his tray before he can deliver it to its rightful owner.  Maybe those matches weren’t MEANT for you, Chris.  What about that?  Why do you have to go take what isn’t yours because you speak Chinese and can count cards.

Except my analogy falls apart because flan is disgusting.

Also, why are all of my analogies about food?

Now, the author said Chris had been on six dates and none worked out — but that’s where I think the flaws begin. The claim is he sent “dozens” of messages out. I’m going to assume that number is less than 100, because otherwise I think the author would write “more than one hundred messages” just for sheer journalistic imagery. If the number is more than 100 and the author said “dozens” than I’d question his writing.

So let’s give Chris the benefit of the doubt and say he sent 99 messages, and went on six first dates. That’s a 6 percent success rate of messages to dates, but none of them panned out.

By his own admission, once he put his skills to the test, he was getting some 20 messages a day for about a month. That’s about 600 messages within that time frame. And he went on 88 dates. That means roughly 14 percent of the messages he got ended up in dates. But that means his failure rate on first dates more than doubled.

(Wow this blog has gotten weirdly mathematical given that I basically haven’t taken math since high school.  I blame all of you. It’s always good to have a scapegoat.)

So here’s my first point (since we all know I like to make grand, sweeping generalizations) — maybe, just maybe, Chris finally found his true love not because he hacked the website, but because he went on 88 first dates. That’s a LOT of first dates.  Don’t you think that maybe, just maybe, if he went on 88 first dates WITHOUT hacking OKCupid that he still might have found “the one”?

Now, I can hear your next argument already: Chris wasn’t getting good matches on the website, and that’s how this all began. But by hacking the site, he is now getting gobs of messages, and he’s now doing to women what I hear so many men complaining about when it comes to online dating.  This has literally been the number one thing I’ve heard from my male readers:

“Women have it so easy. I write to women and I don’t hear back.”

That’s true.  Here’s why:

They say a bad apple ruins it for the whole bunch, but when it comes to online dating, you have an entire bushel of rotten, mushy, worm-infested apples with a couple good ones buried in there (another food analogy, naturally). When I get creepy, uncomfortable, awkward messages several times a day, I think “why would I ever respond to this?” And then you get a nice one. But you’re still in the “oh em gee, please get away from me” frame of mind.

That, and sometimes I get a nice message from a guy and I read their profile and think, “nope.”

I’m sorry, it’s just the truth. I’m sure you’re a swell guy and I wish you all the best on your quest for love, but you’re not for me.  Gun toting, confederate flag waving, no job, Atheist… I’m sure there’s a woman out there who will want to shoot things and drive in beat up trucks while singing about dogs and beer as much as you do.  But what in my profile could POSSIBLY make you think that this woman is me?  And even if you write me a very sweet message, we’re not a good match.  It’s literally 0% personal. But I get all these messages from men saying, “women are mean because they don’t write me back.”  Not writing back doesn’t make a woman mean.  Here comes the actual mean woman: boo freaking hoo.

This past week I sent messages to four guys. Four. The messages each took me probably 15 minutes to write. I looked through their profiles, thoughtfully picked out things I thought would be interesting conversation starters, told them a bit about myself, asked them about themselves.

messages

Guess how many of them wrote me back?

If you said, “none,” you would be correct.

But have I cried about it?  Have I complained about how men are unfair and how they don’t care about me and how I took all this time to carefully craft them a personal message that went unanswered?

No!

Why?

Because (a) I’m a grown ass woman and (b) No, that’s pretty much it.. the fact that I’m an adult.  You’re on an online dating website. You must have faced a pretty fair amount of rejection to end up here in the first place. So why in God’s name should strangers on the internet give you more courtesy than a person you meet face to face?  I’ve given creepy guys in bars the cold shoulder, why wouldn’t I give creepy guys online the same thing?  In my 25 years, I’ve learned life isn’t fair and people can be jerks.  I’m sure this is super cynical, but it works.

Ok so let’s bring it home. In bullet form.

  • Chris is way too educated. A degree in Chinese, PhD in math and postgrad degree in music? What are you doing with this, bro? Mathematically analyzing Chinese music?  Reign it in.
  • People apparently don’t actually care what you look like, what your personality is like, or your answers to personal questions about yourself. It’s really just about playing the odds.
  • Apparently you can set up endless profiles for yourself in which you pretend to be slightly different people, and readers think this is clever and cool.  (note to self.)
  • Food analogies are the best analogies.

***

Okay if you’ve made it this far, a small reward:

As promised in my video last month, I will be having a give-away. I’m going to call it my tax refund give-away… because I’ll use some of my tax refund to fund the give-away. I’m so clever, aren’t I?

As I mentioned, the only way to enter is to follow my blog, so make sure you do, and please share with your friends and encourage them to do the same. If you have certain prizes you want to suggest, please feel free to comment below! I have some ideas, but am always open to (realistic) suggestions.

Also… in the next two weeks or so, expect a pretty awesome surprise. I’m super stoked about it and I hope you are too.

And I know I’ve been mildly slackerish with posting, but I promise I will post at least once a week.

Thank you all SO much for reading!! You guys rock 🙂

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