Sunday 27 October 2013

love @ first shyte

“Life is a game.  Love is the prize.”

If I wasn’t an active investor in the U.S. Stock Market I would never have come across this informative program that was aired the other evening on CNBC.  It was a combination of amusement, eyes raised or mild smirk moments, and an actual genuine interest to the insight it had to offer.  The channel’s showing of love @ first byte gave a good 45 minutes on the subject of the current internet online dating phenomenon.  As an honest guy, honest I will be, and as a writer and observer of relationships, social psychology and most of all, real life human interaction and decisions, I couldn’t help but be gripped to every minute I’d invested in my time.  

As expected, a program of this genre that would alert men and women with limited options in the dating market – otherwise you wouldn’t need to use online dating consistently in the first place - had factual information filtered in with bias, idealistic possibilities and convenient absence of true reasoning.  Nevertheless, it was a whole lot better than hearing thousands of women give you bizarre justifications to why they cannot find a high quality man.

The statistics raised my eyebrows a little.  In America alone, 30 million online users can be found.  Of all unmarried American inhabitants, 1 in 5 people use online dating as a source in aspiring to meet that special person.  When it is considered there are 100 million singles in the U.S (really?), this generates $2 billion per year from this one country alone.  For those who like to play with numbers such as myself, straight away you would calculate there are 10 million Americans using online dating who are not registered as being single.  Does this tell you anything about how happy they are in their current relationship? So the first thing to say is: people are looking for improvement on what they have.

My own experience of online dating from over 6 years ago was short, limited and unmemorable.  I’d just broken up with someone I held in high esteem in comparison to the female benchmark, and I wanted to get back on the saddle quickly.  A guy at the gym who I had never spoken to before started up a conversation about how much action he was getting on the PlentyOfFish free website.  I thought there was nothing to lose, so I subscribed a couple days later.  Well, if I was to put some guide to the quality, it wouldn’t take long.  I predict that 90% of women were above the age of 25 (most of these in excess of 30) and looking like something out of a horror show.  5% were average to lower cute (5/10 to 6.75/10) in physical attractiveness.  4% would be a little above this grade but usually with a parentage label.  No more than 1% were cute or bordering on hot.  In the case of these more eye catching women (and it could take hundreds of scrolling to find one on some nights), it appeared to me they were simply on for attention and ego leverage.  I’ll admit that some of my messages may not have been with much thought behind the consequence, but I’m pretty confident my profile picture alone would stay in the minds of nearly all women, above and in comparison to the other 99% of men on the site.  I barely received a message back from any of them, and if so, it was with the obvious sound of desiring more to flood their inbox.  I’ll never forget one message I sent a young and reasonably pretty woman, and I’m sure she got her Mum to message me.  Surely it couldn’t be that the most physically attractive women are not comfortable with men as, or more, eye catching than them, could it?  It must just be my imagination.

After the statistics were thrown at the viewers, love @ first byte analyzed – the largest subscribed online dating site with reference to paying users.  With starting prices of $18/month, analysts estimate that, whilst not confirmed, boasts in excess of 1 million paying subscribers.  It focused on a self-employed 34 year old woman (Lisa) and a 38 year old part-time male (Joe) stand-up comedian.  He did have a professional job by day.  Although Lisa theoretically disqualified Joe because her age stipulation was for a man to be between 32 to 35, could indicate he would have a chance because it could track the fact she had previously clicked on 4 other men’s profiles who were above her stated age preference.  The industry term is “Disinicz” – the difference between what we say we prefer, and what we actually pick when given a choice.  Does this sound familiar?  The moral here for my more naïve friends is to never believe what a woman says until she proves it with actions.

It then went onto focus on EHarmony.  This site takes 15% of the market, and is second only to in market share.  In 2009, the online dating site states that on average 542 people per day got married after meeting on EHarmony.  That equates to nearly 100,000 couples per year and 5% of all newlyweds in the U.S population.  How do they do this?  EHarmony’s niche in the market is their “Algorithm” – a system that doesn’t allow people to just browse databases and instead places emphasis to pick out only a few matches each day.  It succeeds in this deliverable by requiring users to complete a 100+ point questionnaire.  It’s clear that EHarmony are focused entirely towards long term relationship seekers, and this software allows a separation between serious people and those using the site for ulterior motives.

In both cases – and EHarmony – psychologists, mathematicians and software engineers collaborate to take online dating to the next level.  I would comment that, whilst these educated and intelligent heads from 3 different backgrounds is admirable and to be applauded, all this statistical selection process is only as valuable as the honesty of women’s, and men’s, answers.

The part of the program I perhaps found the most humbling and fruitful was a piece with Dan Ariely, a professor of Psychology and Behavioural Economics at Duke University.  Ariely had suffered serious burning in his younger years, and he explained how he had to accept where his place in the dating market would be post incident.  In relation to his experiences and profession, he took on a role as expert in human behaviour by studying thousands of online interactions and numerous factors to what makes us attractive online.  From his findings, it was transparent that height and salary is vital to men.  He added, at 5 ft 9 inches tall, that in order to be as attractive as a man standing 5ft 10 inches, he would need to earn an extra $40k per year.  He also stated that educated men are more desirable, but education for women holds no difference.  Here we go again: height, money and smartness for men are key in unlocking a woman’s door.  But yet again, programs like this, or society in general, seem petrified to even mention what men truthfully desire in women.  

So to balance out the promotion of online dating websites and their associated selling points, it contested these methods against traditional matchmaking.  Samantha Daniels, a former divorce lawyer (that’s convenient and ironic), turned dating matchmaker, commented on how online dating accessibility had improved her business due to the exposure it presents and the frustration it can cause.  Daniels predicted that 40% to 50% of her clients were previous online dating users, and some were coughing up to $25k of their hard earned cash for her expertise.  A representative from OkCupid challenged this old fashioned route due to the vast numbers of bad dates people go on when outside parties try and match someone up.  From personal experience, I agree with him on these 2 fundamental counts:

 External parties will often match you up with someone they like, but not necessarily the type of person you want.

They match you up with someone who isn’t the best you could get.  They tend to base it on your age, so if you happen to be a young looking older man, they strangely ignore this pronounced luxury.

I speak from first hand dealings.  Women who have tried to set me up (usually wives or girlfriends of my close male friends) are aware of the types of women I go for – younger, hot women with good personalities and values.  The “matchmakers” are happy with the personality side, but it’s no coincidence these women who play the cupid role are many years older than the women I go for.  Ultimately, you can only conclude that women, in general, do not take kindly to a man who has the necessary armoury to attract and date women more than 5 years his junior.  Men, whilst a little envious of your uncommitted life opportunities with younger and hotter women, will rarely stand in the way of an opening for you. 

One anecdote that stays with me is when I was accompanied by a young stunning blonde at my mate’s wedding reception.  He’d married a woman a few years older than him, so you can imagine the look on her face in addition to the snarling expressions coming from her peers of similar age.  When we split up, his wife tried to set me up on a date with a woman of similar age to me.  I’d seen a small picture of her, and although reasonable, not my type.  When his wife asked him whether I’d consider it, he could only politely tell her that it was doubtful I’d be in it for the long haul.  For men who suffer similar predicaments, that’s all a woman with inclinations to quickly settle down needs to hear to disqualify a man.

However, Daniels (the professional matchmaker) went onto make a good point about the shortcomings of online dating.  Because female online users are inundated with followers, they are sometimes going out on 6 to 10 dates a week.  She said that even if a man is 85% ideal, the woman with options is always thinking she could do better.  This should be a lesson for all men, let alone online dating active men.  Supplication and constant compliments – that online dating by nature leads a man to – only serves to inflate a woman’s ego beyond her objective value.  All this achieves is making the whole process of male long term relationship chasers more difficult.

In chain event order, love @ first byte then highlighted back on the first date for Lisa and Joe who met on as explained above.  Albeit that knowledge of the camera was on the two of them, her after date interview words of “he seemed like a genuinely nice guy” were words he wouldn’t want to hear.  More to the point, he wouldn’t have wanted to see her face as she said it.  The look sustained that irritable tug of war between forcing herself to like him but knowing something was missing.  I’ve seen that picture all too often with women staring at men in vain hope of attraction when in bars, at work or any social venue.  It’s the constant nodding of the head that gives it away by trying artificially to convince others, and her own mind, that she’s met a great guy.  But no sparkle in the eye is close to being seen.  She tried to look as keen as mustard whilst running the concurrent underwhelming portrait of a woman. 

I predict she had, and still has, those predilections for jerks of the world.  In fact, I could have been right with this assumption without even seeing her in the program.  The simple reality that a 34 year old woman put down a male age bracket of 32 to 35 age range would have told me everything I needed to know.  Although I’d knock a couple of years off her birth date in respect to the visual, women of this age who want younger men should be viewed upon with caution.  Because no matter that women never truly lose the sexual feelings they want through thoughts of bad boys, the needs of a typical 34 year old woman would almost always hold more leaning towards personality, wealth, status, commitment and providing capabilities.  Joe was clearly too nice a guy for her, even at her age of today.  So a lesson for men who see someone representative of Lisa on a dating website: either know you are a care-free bad boy, or be a man who knows interaction strategy, female psychology and how to deal with women who like that less gentleman type of guy.  If you are an unapologetic and self-confessed nice guy, and you still cannot resist the lure of a woman like her, be warned of a broken heart at Christmas. This will be after she has opened your overspent presents.

For older readers of this blog, OurTime is an online dating service for the 50+ category.  The company estimates 25% of the industry’s profits are from the contribution of this demographic group.  People in this segment have far lower expectations and far fewer options in the dating market.  They know, irrespective of other metrics outside of the looks department, that people aren’t going to be lining up at their door.

Not being the most technological hungry person, I was not aware until now about the upsurge in mobile phone dating applications.  This source of the industry has taken off in cities like New York and Los Angeles, and picking up steam across America in Miami, Phoenix and Chicago.  Revenue was up to $201 million in 2011, and it is expected to reach $455 million in 2016.  This is not to be sniffed at, and I think an equity or two in a company of this field may be on my radar.  Basically, mobile dating applications are a simple device that only has a photo, screen name and whereabouts information of the person involved.  It is critical to the proximity of potential gatherers.  It offers an opportunity only secondary to meeting someone in a bar, so in theory two people could arrange to meet up within a 5 minute walk of each other if there is an attraction to the picture.

From a personal perspective, I like this method.  As I’m an advocator that at least 80% of women prefer to be with a man who is less physically attractive than they are – on the basis men are of similar relativity in other metrics – this application allows a chance to get away from sending messages to women who are not comfortable with this dilemma.  You are probably more likely to meet women who are less money and status orientated, as they are comfortable in using the looks as the foundation of development.  However, like meeting a woman in a bar, this doesn’t refrain from her simple urge of attention and a free drink.  As someone who doesn’t like to waste time on lost causes, this is ideal for men with my way of thinking.  However, I do accept that more introverted and shy men need the whole 24 hour timeout to digest, psyche up and lose the sickly feeling that can derive if still in female intimidation phase.

The woman they focused on for mobile application success was a 25 year old New Yorker who worked as a PR girl.  She was a 6.5/10 looker at best.  I’d put her in that shaggable realm, but the type you’d be rushing out in the morning in hope you never gave her your surname or address.  Whilst it could have been for the cameras, the technology facility made it that two men turned up to meet her at the same time.  Both men were better looking than her, but yet again, here’s another way to crank up the female ego.  This is all no good for men, or women, in the sexual market.

Overall, I thought love @ first byte was a worthwhile 45 minutes of my valuable time.  Nobody could quite bring themselves to say the truth of the whole dating market that is: women want an older and powerful man with money, and men want a younger woman with beauty.  Of course in the women’s case, money, and power in relevance to the context, only act as a short term fix.  I wonder if one day a program like this will mention the word game, and how women have caused men to go down this route.  I guess this would be pie in the sky.  In fairness, very few women on online dating would need an element of game using on them, but it is contextual to the man.

In summary, hot women without baggage don’t need online dating.  This is why you will hardly ever see a hot woman on a dating site.  They can secure an equivalent man, albeit not always someone they would choose in a visceral manner, without having to click on a mouse.  They only need to click their fingers once and a reasonable quality guy or a well paid man will be at the ready.  Most top end cute women are in a similar position, but it just filters down a level or two in male calibre.  Online dating is for the less visually blessed females or/and those with kids.  So the message is straight forward.  Out of all the women they showed on the program, not one was of high end beauty in physical terms.  The only woman that got close to this accolade was the presenter herself.  Maybe she was the editor too.  There was a glamorous blonde shown on her wedding day, but no mention was made to that couple in relation to online dating.

Internet dating isn’t for me, but I do think it offers an avenue for others.  At least it’s your choice who you select, unlike matchmaking people with hidden agendas.  You can be fooled by the claimed statistics to how many marriages are a production of meeting online, because what this doesn’t tell you is how genuinely happy the couples are.  I think this important point gets missed, not just with online success stories but in any other environment too.  A marriage is not the defined symbol of true happiness that it once was.  Easier divorce access allows people (mainly women) to perceive marriage as an easier decision.  The thought of the big day, babies and a life absent of loneliness can rule a person’s mind over thoughts of whether they are truly happy and in unconditional love.  People settle, in fear of being alone, rather than believing true love is out there.    

As, to my knowledge, there are no divorce statistics to prove either way, then I’ll give these couples who meet on a desk top computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone screen the benefit of the doubt.  My hunch tells me that most stay together, because most people who venture down the online route will be significant years older than a traditional couple meeting elsewhere.  Across a broad spectrum, an older age will act as a catalyst for fewer options, and less options results in less inclination to stray.  To many, an uninspiring life together beats times of an unknown life in solitary existence.

Acknowledgments and further reading

2012 CNBC. Inc. – love @ first byte


  1. Saw a similar thing on the whole dating craze.It seems to me that the ugliest women ever are picking out the lowest class men.At least somethings better rhan nothing you could say.

  2. Leave it alone that’s my advice

  3. …..Unless you like a cougar or ugly woman….

  4. Internet dating was always going to be for the less privileged looking people. This is because better lookers can get by with their face alone. But then the craze took over because some good-looking men thought it was an easy way to get laid if they were going through a dry spell. Loose women also thought like this, but most women just saw it as some way of feeling better about their life. Not much has changed except the access

  5. Yo Vi Nat rot in hell and dont cum bak

  6. I'm fine where I am thanks.

    The sheer reality is that the highest quality women (= hottest women in the context of sexual market) will hardly ever need to go on these sites. They have too many options with the millions of passive and desperate men out there. The exceptions will be when these women have some element of baggage like kids, so her pick has to drop a tier. Good looking men with charisma, attitude and knowledge of women shouldn’t need to go on, but it’s still nowhere near as easy for an equally physically attractive man to get a woman he wants in general terms.

  7. He has the luxury of most women finding him attractive, but not all will date him. The distinction is important.

  8. It’s just as hard for a quality woman to find a quality man….

    Some women will take advantage of men for what they can offer but have no intention of dating him. I guess only a few men can flip this and get a n ugly woman to pay for all his drinks

  9. Last 3 gfs:
    22 hot college girl
    25 hot solicitor
    24 hot gym instructor
    Have the right body and they drop like flies

  10. Yeah right. If you have a body like your pic then I doubt they are top chicks dude.

  11. On the topic of the post. Time is hard to find and love requires time. Some people go down this road cause of this reason. I have tried my luck and met a couple of decent guys that I would not have met in bars. Never worked but keep the faith.

  12. I think it’s a business dream. Sell a product you don’t believe in and tell them the ingredients were from your recipe. Bollocks, the lot if it.

  13. Don’t hold back bro. Never done me any harm, got laid plenty of times.

  14. Why feed the cow when you can get milk for free. £30 a month to see the fat mommas of the world, no ta, ha ha!!

  15. Yo Vi Nay u luv urself u dik

  16. Just because they’re not magazine models doesn’t mean they don’t have their place. My brother met his fiancé on PoF and they are madly in love. Sometimes you exhaust all avenues and it just happens.

  17. Also the women you talked about wanting jerks...women don't go for jerks that old so don't see your point. Its about attraction & nothing to do with jerks, nice guys or whatever so if women go for jerks its cause they are attracted to them in the first place