Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Mathematics of Online "Dating"

Single and Bitter Week continues here on S&S with another mathematical excercise.

These numbers are very rough, because I'm working from faulty memory, making some estimates, simplifying some things, and even disregarding a number of one-off attempts at talking to allegedly receptive girls using social sites like MySpace, etc. But I still think it gives a good -- even conservative -- picture of what an ordinary Joe like me is up against when using online "dating" sites.

You will have to take my word for this, but I'm going to estimate about 20 "sent" letters to various women, with 5 of them answered, or 25%. I come up with this from the three different sites I used over the last 20 months or so, and I am throwing out two "responses" that were actually communications initiated by women (who rejected me), since I think they skew what I am trying to illustrate.

From there:

  • Of the 5 responses, 2 resulted in extended email conversations, or 10% of the 20 sent messages.

  • Of the 2 extended email conversations, 1 resulted in a date, or 5% of the 20 sent messages.
Now here is where it gets a little estimatey. The next question to ask is, How many dates with how many different women does it take before you find someone you "click" with?

Since I had only one nonclicking date, I don't have a real perspective on this. But let's assume 10 dates with 10 different women (we'll leave aside the possibility of needing more than one date per woman to determine mutual attraction and chemistry).

So that means -- and this is the point of this exercise -- that given the ratio of dates to sent emails established above, I would have to email 200 different women just to have a hope of dating 10 of them -- to hopefully find one that I might truly hit it off with.

I'm sorry, but that is just fucking ridiculous.

It now becomes obvious: For a single guy not blessed with above-average looks or salary, this is no way to meet women. For one thing, I have standards, too. Emailing 200 different women seems a wee bit indiscriminate. If I wanted indiscriminate, I could call random names in a phone book. I'd probably have as much luck, plus it would take less time and cost less money (there are no subscriber fees for calling people). Too, there's the issue of whether there even are 200 women on the site who are in my area to begin with.

Something else becomes obvious from this exercise, and it's this: Ladies, if you really are looking online for an "intelligent, honest, funny, and normal" man like me -- as so many of you insist you are in your profiles -- you need to stop asking the insulting question about "Are all the good men gone?" and seriously shape the fuck up. Being unreceptive to 90% of the male population is no way to meet the type of man you claim to want. Frankly, you deserve the asshole you end up with if you care only about money or looks. My sympathy for you is way past gone.

Some caveats. Maybe 10 dates to "clickage" is a high estimate. I don't know. But as I said, I have my standards, too. Also, I know there are men who had and have better response rates using these sites. (It would be difficult to do worse than me.) Your mileage may vary. But this is my mileage, and I am sure the mileage of plenty of other guys whose only sin is wanting to meet and talk to single women. I know this because I know plenty of other decent, lonely, thirtysomething men. (Describes most of my friends, really.)

My advice to men tired of the bar scene: Too bad. It's less brutal than trying to engage the cold, unresponsive bitches who populate the online dating sites. And at the bar, your money at least goes toward getting yourself (and maybe someone reasonably cute and cool) beer, instead of toward lining the pockets of some insufferable jackass like Neil Clark Warren.

My advice to women tired of same: Don't come looking for someone like me to help you take care of the baby that Chad fathered before dumping you for another superficial bitch. I'm not that stupid.