December 8, 2003

Women, Biology, Social Structures and The Hell That Is Online Dating. Danger: Personal Crap.

As the subject warns, this is completely personal and useless stuff, so YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Spent an inordinate amount of time the past few days living in complete awe of the mistaken images that women apparently have of the life of a single guy trying to date. Case in point: Internet dating.

I have now had three different women (whom I know) all tell me in the same paragraph that they “understand what it’s like because they’re going through it too” and that they “don’t understand where all these losers are coming from who send them messages.”

See, that’s the trouble right there. They quite obviously don’t understand. Allow me to offer a personal example by way of explanation.

Yes, I have a profile posted on a couple of dating sites. Yes, I actively surf them once in a while. Yes, I respond to profiles. I tend to respond to profiles with individual messages, usually responding to questions asked in the profile, or commenting on some point or other made in the lady in question’s listing. To date, I have sent out (on one popular service) seventy-four responses. I know this because they all sit in my ‘OutBox’ on that service. Each was to a person whose information claimed that they had been logged on no more than 36 hours prior to my messaging.

I have had one reply. That reply came from a woman who I had asked, explicitly, to respond to me even if she wasn’t interested, because I wanted to know if the messages were actually getting through (this was around message 40).

Now, this isn’t meant to be a rant on how pathetic I am (although you can have one of those for a nickel if you want). It’s to make a point. I don’t think I’m alone in this sort of experience; I’ve seen plaintive messages on all the services I use, from men, either wondering if this was normal or berating women who had posted flip messages about how all us guys just suck.

This ties into an argument I frequently end up having with women. It goes like this: I state a particular observation I have made over many years and which I (to date) have never seen any evidence to contradict. Then the woman/women to whom I’m speaking flip out and tell me that I’m completely off base and have a distorted view of their lives to boot.

The observation is this: In the United States, today, if a woman goes to a bar or other public social arena with the intent of getting laid, she can. The only thing that stands in her way is her own decision on how far she is willing to lower her standards if required. In essence, however, if a woman goes into a bar which contains single guys, guess what: she can, if she chooses, leave with one of them.

Now, I’m not saying this is particularly safe. I’m not saying she’ll find her lifemate. I’m just saying that if she really wants to badly enough, she can (and will) find someone to hook up with.

Guys, in the same situation, have the opposite default. They’re going to go home alone - unless they win the audition. It’s not a sure thing, and it’s sure as hell not going to happen unless they work at it. Sure, there are guys who can make it look easy - but even if it’s unconscious, they’re working at it. Because the way biology organized us, it’s the woman’s job to guard the gene pool - and it’s our job to just audition.

Same holds for internet dating. Every woman I’ve ever spoken to (this is perhaps a dozen) who participates in this delightful technological arena of ego pain has said the same thing - even the ones who are completely convinced that they’re hideous hags and that no man ever will want them. They have spoken of the hordes of losers whose messages they had to sort through in a (usually futile) attempt to find someone worthy to answer.

See the problem?


Posted by jbz at December 8, 2003 12:57 AM

Such is the way of the world, especially on a dating service. Women mostly don't buy drinks for men in bars, and mostly don't send messages on personal ad services, at least if they have profiles to post-- if it's a free service with no profile posting (craigslist) they may be more likely to respond...

It's the male peacock that grows the freaky tail and does the freaky dance, and the female that watches the dancers and picks one. Of course, the male also picks which birds to dance for...

So, all I can counsel is patience, honesty, and humor. :-/

Posted by: Verbal at January 6, 2004 5:33 PM
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