Understanding women: after online dating

Newly single in summer 2017, I quickly realised that during the six years I spent in a relationship quite a few things had appeared on the market: a bunch of dating apps led by Tinder on one side, a variety of “social” platforms the most deleterious of which was certainly Instagram on the other side. I must say that I’m not into “social” networks myself, hence the effects of these new platforms on everyday life had been transparent to me until that point in time [1].

I got hold of a few random pictures of mine, which admittedly were not that good, I then created a profile on each of the dating apps, and I finally started swiping. My accounts were literarily dead. I kept swiping and swiping and swiping, but the matches were very few and those were not the stunners if you know what I mean. The situation was so ridiculous that I remember thinking, “maybe the local girls are not very much into dating apps, maybe these apps are more of a USA thing”. So that’s fine, there was not much action for me on those apps, but I was rationalising it as a problem with the apps themselves rather than with my profile. I also started going out at night, but on one side I was not the most calibrated after six years of inaction, on the other side I did not speak the local language and the local girls were hardly excited at the idea of speaking in English with me, and this resulted in some unpleasant interactions. Up to that point, never in my life had I been a lost cause with girls (mind you, not a modern Casanova either), but those results I was getting both online and at night suited the “lost cause” description to a T.

I wasn’t used to it, and this is when I started doing online searches on the subject. I didn’t know where to start, since I didn’t really know who the reliable sources of information were, so I just started typing a few keywords into the search engine. I came across a “guru”, author of a few books by the way, who recommended waiting three days after getting a girl’s number and then texting “hi” followed by “how are you?”. I distinctly remember wondering which planet that “guru” was from, surely it could not have been planet Earth!

Then I remembered stumbling upon a reddit post called, “what is your life like ultra-attractive men?” [1]. Reading the consistent real-life experiences of those self-declared ultra-attractive redditors reminded me that I was not in the ultra-attractive male-model category myself, but I was indeed aware of that fact already. Problem was that in my previous single life I seemed not to struggle too much to get cute and sought-after girls, but now that seemed to have gone out of fashion (let’s remember that I was only doing online and nightgame at the time).

I then found an article talking about a Tinder experiment conducted by a bodybuilder called GermanLifter, who created a fake account and had some “interesting” results (literarily like shooting fish in a barrel), and I decided to replicate the experiment in my new city: I wanted to find out whether the local girls were not that much into dating apps, or whether they just didn’t like my profile.

That’s when the truth started to unfold. Those were the days before Tinder Gold, when deleting and recreating an account would give you a completely fresh start, and when the profiles who had swiped right on you were at the top of the stack. The procedure was the same as usual: launch a profile, wait one day without doing anything, swipe right on pretty much all the first 50-100 profiles, and convert all likes in matches. On my real profile, not much of a conversion was going on simply due to the lack of received likes, while on the male model profile it was one match after the other after the other. Nonstop. Already this finding was quite enlightening: basically, all of the girls seemed to be aiming at the top profile only, pretty much ignoring all the other profiles which were not in the Adonis category. Uhm…

In the male model profile, I then proceeded to send an opener to all the matches. I had read guides on how the opener should have been funny but not too funny, smooth but not too smooth, direct but not too direct. It seemed like black magic according to those guides, but I decided to replicate the experiment in its entirety by sending a direct low-effort high-demand opener. Below are the opener and some of the replies:

Male model opener: A drink together + sex?

Girl 1: Why not

Girl 2: Why not but not this weekend ;)

Girl 3: Where are you from?

Girl 4: Sorry not tonight! Keep looking!

Girl 5: Tomorrow?

Girl 6: I can’t tonight

Girl 7: Lol ;)

Girl 8: :)

Girl 9: Ok

Girl 10: Maybe

Girl 11: A drink + a drink + a drink + a drink + a drink + a drink + a drink + a drink + a drink + a drink + a drink = maybe sex

Girl 12: That would be a pleasant idea :)

Girl 13: Yeah sure

Girl 14: Does it work with all the girls?

Girl 15: Why not for the drink, but it might be a little too early for the rest?

Some of the girls where not too impressed by the strong opener, but just redirecting the initial request slightly was enough to move the interaction forward:

Male model opener: A drink together + sex?

Girl 16: No

Male model: Drink and let’s see if we get along?

Girl 16: But where are you from?

[note: at the end of the second day I deleted the fake profile and I didn’t pursue any of the interactions]

[note: the vast majority of the matches were not that attractive to me, let alone to a male model who we can reasonably expect to have almost limitless possibilities in real life]

Let’s remember that in my real profile I wasn’t getting almost any matches in the first place, never mind starting with that kind of opener and having that kind of overwhelming positive response. That’s when I went:

All right time to get some decent photos taken – sure I don’t look like a male model, but sure as well I’m good-looking and I’ve had countless girls crushing on me all my life.

I proceed to have some photos taken and I then tested them on Photofeeler (pro tip: you absolutely don’t need 20, 40, 80 votes to know if your picture is any good; with 5 to 7 votes you already have a pretty good idea where you stand, assuming you had no “revenge votes” of disappointed girls who most likely didn’t get the ratings they were hoping for on their pictures, and proceeded to rate a few pictures as “No-No-No” to compensate for their disappointment). I tested a bunch of my photos and selected four of them. And I also tested the two male-model pictures I had used in the experiment, just to have an idea of what I was competing against. Here’s a summary of the results:

03-1.png

So, the male model consistently got 99% percentile in the “attractive” parameter, and I was not too far behind with my top pictures at 95% and 94% percentile (let’s keep in mind that this percentile refers to the pool of photos that have been rated through the website, and most likely male-model looking guys don’t resort to that service because they don’t struggle with online dating in the first place, but still…). A sane-minded individual would be forgiven for thinking that the results I was going to get on Tinder using those new pictures of mine would have been, I don’t mean the same, but at least proportionate to the results the male model got. Personally, back then I was assuming there was some sort of linearity in the female-to-male attraction in online dating, little did I know that I was dealing with what I now know is referred to as “female hypergamy” (and “double standards” when it comes to the opener).

With the new pictures I started getting a few more matches than before, but I was most certainly not in the “like shooting fish in a barrel” scenario. Within one week I managed to go out with two girls, too bad I was not really attracted to them, and most importantly I would never have approached them in real life. I sent three of my matches a lighter version of the opener the male model had sent, I went with, “A drink together + some adventure?”. They all got the hint, but they weren’t impressed in the slightest and I lost all of them. Hence, my new and improved pictures, which let’s remember were at the 95% and 94% percentile on that website, got me a mere handful of matches I was not really attracted to, and a completely different treatment with respect to the male model when it came to the opener. That’s when I went like:

All right, so this is where we are at…

I had to revise my assumption: there was no linearity in female-to-male attraction in online dating, it was more a matter of there being an unreasonably high minimum threshold required to play the game effectively. And as such, there was only one thing to do really. Because if you are not happy about a situation, you can try to change it slightly, and maybe the situation will slightly change as a result. But if the problem is structural and the changes you make don’t yield your expected results, then you only have three options:

1. Stay and complain that you are not getting what you think you deserve

2. Stay and delude yourself that you are happy with the situation

3. Leave

And this is applicable to all situations: job, relationship, online dating, etc. Me I decided to leave. Because you as an individual cannot change the market on your own, but if the vast majority of people all take the same measure, then this will have an effect on the market itself. I could not change the Online Dating market on my own, but what I could do was to put on the table my little contribution to the change.

I seem to remember it took me a whole month from the moment I installed Tinder to the moment I left in disgust. The experience itself was quite painful, because those dating apps are pretty good at making you feel inadequate and not worth it, but at the same time it was extremely revealing and enlightening. Around the same period, I also came across a few articles on female sexual strategy and on the roles that women craft for men (Lover, Provider, Friend). Through this newly discovered framework I was able to explain quite a lot of the things I had experienced in my life, and combining this new formalised knowledge with the results of my Online Dating experience, I literarily had an eureka moment – I felt more awake that ever before with respect to women. Ah, the joy of the Information Age!

At the time I didn’t know what TRP was, but some of the dynamics driven by the so-called “technological advancements” started to appear very clear to me. In the “good old days” (lol) a girl knew some guys from her school, some guys from her sport activity, some guys from her hobby, some guys from her neighbourhood, some guys from her childhood, some guys through her friends, some guys she had met while going out at night, etc. A girl could have known with quite a lot of guys in such a way, but still those guys were somehow limited to her immediate surroundings and most importantly to her real-life interactions. And when a girl wanted to feel good and receive some male attention, she had to dress up and go meet some guys in a bar or a club.

Then online dating and “social” networks appeared. The former gave girls access to an unlimited pool of men to discretely choose from, the latter (and the former as well) provided girls with huge amounts of male attention and validation “for free”. Gone were the times where she had to dress up and go meet some new guys in a bar, in the new age male attention and validation became available to her in open-tab format online.

I realised that these “technological advancements” had changed the sexual marketplace for good, or at the very least for the foreseeable future, and the minimum I could do was not participating in this online craziness.

Note:
[1] I had a Facebook profile which I stopped actively using in 2011 when the platform became too popular for my liking, only to then deleted it for good a couple of years later, but I never had any other “social” platform.

Related Posts:
Understanding women: before online dating
Women show us how they use Tinder

References:
[1] Reddit – What is your life like ultra-attractive men?

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