If you're looking for love online (and these days, is there any form of dating that's not online?), you know that half the fun is laughing with your friends about the crazy dates, horrific profiles, and other pitfalls of online dating. There are the little white lies slipped into profiles, photos from decades ago, and those dreaded moments when computer chemistry doesn't translate to real-world chemistry. We've rounded up the most chuckle-worthy Someecards on online dating truths to share with your fellow online daters — or even new boyfriend — so you can remember it's OK to not take your love life too seriously all the time!
We're happy to present this excerpt from one of our favorite sites, YourTango. Not much luck with online dating? It's not you, says this matchmaker.
Let's be honest: Online dating doesn't necessarily make it easier for you to find a partner . . . but it should!
You answer hundreds of boring questions that are out of context only to realize you just spent over 45 minutes giving personal data about yourself that gets publicly displayed and shared with the site owners. Sound familiar?
In the current breed of "old dog" dating sites, there are a lot of users who just "pose and show off" to market themselves, answering questions dishonestly to make themselves seem more desirable. That makes it harder for you to select the singles who are right for you. When examining matches, we should cut out this "noisy data" and focus on the real goal: finding a compatible hook-up, friend, partner, soul mate . . . whomever you are searching for. Plus, we should be able to do this quickly, easily and accurately. Don't you agree?
But online dating does not know how to re-invent itself. I saw this first-hand at the iDate conference in Las Vegas this January. As a single person using online dating sites, you face many challenges, and the sites cannot solve them. The number one, root cause under examination? The matching algorithm based on explicit user data.
The reason why OKCupid's "maths-based" matching algorithm — and that of any other dating site that provides a compatibility score based on the users' explicit answers to questions — is flawed is because the data they collect is garbage. The saying goes: "Garbage in, garbage out." No wonder you end up going on dates with people you don't fully connect with or who misrepresent certain aspects of their persona.
Why is their data garbage? Here's why: the matching algorithm collects inherently biased data, because it requires users to "explicitly" answer questions about themselves and what they look for in others. These are things which they may be aware of and choose to "tweak in their favor", or they may not even know the answer to themselves!
OKCupid is an old dog with new tricks. While the site has a decent interface, it creates the illusion that something smart is being calculated in the background. But it's not rocket science. Rather, it's all smoke and mirrors. While their calculations are accurate for what they intend to measure (whatever that may be), I question the validity of both what they claim is a "match" and the inputs they're using to calculate this with. In my humble opinion, their matching algorithm is incomplete and biased because they ignore some key attraction and compatibility indicators such as implicit personality, flirting styles, astrology, skill and scent. More importantly, the data used for it is contaminated with "explicit positive portrayals."
For the rest of the tips, head to YourTango: Why Online Dating Doesn't Work.
— Seb Coman
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This question is from a Group Therapy post in our community. Add your advice in the comments!
I met this guy on an online dating website. We have 95 percent compatibility and answered most of the questions the same. We spoke to each other on the phone for over an hour, and he makes me laugh. He has been extremely polite to me and asked me out to dinner. I'm growing ever nervous about this date, because he is overweight, and I've never been on a date with an overweight person. I'm not sure if I would be physically attracted to him and I'm also unsure if we would be compatible because I am a size 0. It sounds shallow, but I don't know if I can overlook it. This thing has been keeping me awake at night. What do I do?
Have a dilemma of your own? Post it anonymously in Group Therapy for advice.
We're happy to present this excerpt of a story from one of our favorite sites, YourTango. Today, we learn how being connected may have changed your love life.
A startup called FreedomPop recently launched a free 4G wireless service for email and basic web surfing, making 24/7 access to friends and loved ones easier than ever. Just like Google has affected our relationships, the Internet has greatly altered our love lives even more so. Let's look at how being connected influences modern dating, for better or for worse.
- We're meeting partners online. The service that connects us to people we know has also taken on the role of worldwide matchmaker. Today, one in five couples meet online. And, we're not just finding potential partners on the Internet, we're talking to them virtually, dating them, falling in love, and even proposing online too. While online dating may not be any better than meeting someone at a bar, many people are still giving digital love a shot. A recent study by MBAPrograms.org found 49 million people search for love each month on eHarmony and Match.com alone. And those are just 2 of the estimated 1,500 online dating sites out there.
- We can video chat. Remember when we used to spend hours on the phone? It's almost hard to believe that's how couples communicated before the web. Now, we can see who we're chatting with in realtime on Google Hangouts, Facebook, Skype, FaceTime, you name it. More intimate than a regular phone call, video chats make couples and even strangers feel like they're with each other whether they're at opposite ends of a city or a country.
- We can talk any time. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Skype, Google, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Instagram — think about all of the online accounts you have (if you can remember). The Internet makes us always available. Sure, you can let your email pile up over the week or your Facebook notifications go unnoticed, but doesn't it create some distress or anxiety when you're not tuned in? The second we exchange any of our usernames with someone new, we instantly have the ability to connect with them. What's tricky is deciding how much or how little to communicate now that you have access to someone pretty much all the time. Which accounts do you follow and when?
For the rest of the article, head to YourTango: 6 Ways the Internet Changed Dating
— Michelle Toglia
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I joined sites like OkCupid and Plenty of Fish this year and it was disastrous to say the least. I was going on dates maybe 2 to 3 times a week (which in a span of 4 months is a lot) and I can confidently say that only 2 or 3 of all of the guys I met had any sort of potential, BUT of course as per my luck they weren’t looking for the same thing I was.
I am not half as picky as it might sound from the amount of dating done/men potential ratio. I believe a lot of those dates where under the false impression that they were going to get something from me after inviting me for dinner. I also do believe that making it a free dating site makes it hard to differentiate those who are looking for something serious vs those who want to pretend they are looking for something serious.
So I decided that this time around I was going to join Match.com — I feel like it is less of a messy clutter of serial daters and more of people that are looking to taking dating seriously (find relationship potential).
As I was browsing through the current subscribers I noticed a few potential candidates, and within them there were a couple I actually saw and went on dates from POF and OkCupid. I think they are hoping the same thing I do (more legitimacy/seriousness for top dollar) but I almost cringe at my own embarrassment. It was odd. Not that I would even try going on dates with these guys again but the fact that they were in many different sites kinda made me feel sorry for them, which is something that I most definitely do not want to feel for myself once I joined online dating world again.
Besides one of those guys I kinda hurt pretty bad since during the mist of my serial dating confusion I led him on and then shut him down (I'm not such a terrible person and I do feel bad for the way I behaved but the situation freaked me out).
Anyway this whole thing got me thinking that maybe online dating might not be my best alternative after all, but I really have had no luck in the real world. So, should I give it another try with a different site or just let go?
We're happy to present this excerpt of a story from one of our favorite sites, YourTango. Today, we learn to spot online daters who may already be in a relationship, and save yourself heartache.
You've joined an online dating site and are excited to meet new people and explore possibilities. Finally, you discover one person in particular with whom you have a lot in common and feel that wonderful bubbly sensation of looking forward to meeting and deepening the relationship. Yet, you begin to notice a few things.
- Your date avoids communicating evenings or on the weekends. You notice that your date only seems to talk to you during the week, or while in transit during travels (e.g. while at airports or hotels). If your date consistently stops texting, emailing, Skyping, etc. on the weekends or evenings then reappears during the week or during the day, that date could be a person who is married or involved.
Often times, people who are married or are otherwise attached will avoid communicating when their partners are around, usually evenings or weekends. People who are truly unattached and available will usually communicate equally on the weekends and evenings compared to communications during other times.
- Your date gives mixed messages. He drops out of communication for stretches of time yet still expresses interest or desire for you. Usually when people cheat, they are racked with guilt. They may love the excitement and adventure of pursuing someone outside of their relationship, yet they may also feel awful that they are cheating on a partner.
This conflict often manifests as the behaviors of pulling away from the new person for a while, returning to the existing marriage or relationship only to discover that there is still unhappiness, then reaching back out to the new person again. A person involved in another relationship might say to you, "Oh I've just had a lot of work or have a lot on my plate so have been a bit out of touch but let me make up for that — let's plan a romantic weekend get away!"
It's true that everyone gets busy from time to time, but the way to tell if someone is truly busy and not distancing because of conflicts about cheating, is to look at the frequency of this distancing behavior. If it is happening on a regular basis and is more the trend than the exception in the relationship, this is not a good sign. Dating partners who are truly single will progress a relationship in a way that is consistently forward moving such that communication and interactions are happening in a way that does not swing between being distant and unavailable to being passionate and romantic.
Also, some people, who are in relationships but are unhappy, use online single sites to create fantasy relationships as a diversion. When they realize that they are talking to a person who is the real deal, single, sincere and serious about finding a nice person to date, they then may pull back (especially if they have a conscience and want to avoid hurting you).
For the rest of the article, head to YourTango: 3 Signs Your Online Date Isn't Single
— D Kay Hutchinson
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I'm a member of a dating site. The way this dating site matches people is by their answers to public questions relating to sex, morals, religion, etc. In one of the prompted questions, I truthfully answered that I was a virgin and really never gave it much thought thereafter.
Last night I was chatting with a potential suitor, and I was playfully and jokingly saying that I don't really get a lot of bites from the men I truly want to date. First the conversation veered to the fact that it's because I'm "extremely attractive" (his words, not mine) and not a lot of men will message me or message me back because of the intimidation factor (which I thought would dissolve over the internet, but guess not).
Then the conversation veered to the fact that I'm a virgin, and this perfectly lovely guy stated that even though it's not his opinion, a lot of other men steer clear of virgins because they don't want to "teach us" and because we appear pious and religious. The latter is not true, by the way. Another guy pal told me that guys are confused that an attractive girl could ever be a virgin, and that since I'm such a baffling enigma, I am kept at arms length.
Anyway, now I'm thinking: should I delete my answer to that question? My thinking was that if men were so turned off by a virgin, my answer to that question would act as a filter — getting rid of the guys who have no interest in being with me because of something as silly as virginity. I rationalized that it's better that they never approach me (I guess), than date them, tell them I'm a virgin somewhere along the line, and then watch them disappear. In the latter scenario, I will have wasted my time and effort.
What do you think? In some way, I feel like deleting it would be to shame myself ("Ha, I'm 21 and still a virgin, what a loser. Let me hide this information away, far, far away!") But on the other hand, I can see how it can be TMI.
So delete or not to delete?
We're happy to present this story from one of our favorite sites, The Good Men Project. In her latest tongue-in-cheek post, Bridget Callahan offers a list of reasons for shooting down potential OkCupid suitors.
Mentions morals he inherited from his grandfather in first five sentences. Even if your grandfather is dead, it is still very unsexy to mention that basically you don’t believe in women’s rights and think that Russia is planning the downfall of the American empire. Everyone knows it’s China.
Three references to finding an "*HONEST*" woman in the same profile. There can be two interpretations of this. Either you always hook up with women who lie and cheat, which means you probably lie and cheat yourself, or you’ve convinced yourself that every woman who ever dumped or rejected you had alternate motivations besides the fact that they just didn’t like you.
Lists NCIS as a favorite TV show. Yes, I have been sucked into Mark Harmon marathons too. But think about what stating that a Navy cop show that regularly features the Coast Guard intercepting terrorists is your FAVORITE show says about you. Also, real goths don’t dress like that at work. They also don’t pass government background checks.
"I have a 1-year-old daughter and an open marriage." A**hole.
All his profile photos are with other women. Now, I think having some photos with other people is a good thing. After all, it’s evidence that you sometimes leave your house. But you know what I’ve learned from your 10 photos at bars with blonde girls in halter tops? That you prefer blondes in halter tops. So actually maybe that was your point? If so, well done.
We're happy to present this excerpt of a story from one of our favorite sites, YourTango. Today we learn how to make a good first impression when dating online.
You only get one chance to make a first impression; this is as true in Internet dating as it is in life. But now that there are millions of people dating online, the competition is fiercer than ever. If you want to get someone's attention, you need your initial email to really stand out.
I will get to some sample emails, but before I do, let's look at a few, simple guidelines to help you write that irresistible introductory email to the potential future love of your life:
- Be brief. Don't write more than a short paragraph. All you're trying to do in this first email is arouse someone's curiosity and get him or her to respond.
- Be funny. Everyone loves humor. Don't just say, "I'm funny" — say something funny like, "Boy, are you cute! Email me; I don't bite!" This one gets 'em every time!
- Be sexy. Let's be honest: the search for true love eventually leads to sex. So what's the harm in a little harmless sexual innuendo? This doesn't mean you sleep with someone on the first, second, or even 10th date, but there's no harm in creating a little sexual spark right from the start.
- Be provocative. Don't be afraid to go over the edge a bit and say something forthright. A client once saw that someone had put her in his favorites. Here's what she wrote: "Hey! Hurry up and write me! How are we going to get this romance off the ground?" She got a response within minutes and a date for the following Friday.
- Be silly. Don't belabor what you write. The best emails are off-the-cuff. "Hey, I like collecting chopsticks — you like collecting chopsticks! Looks like we're a match made in heaven. ;-)" One last thing: use emoticons and acronyms, but use them sparingly. More than a couple in an email is overkill.
For the rest of the article, head to YourTango: Online Dating? Don't Let Your First Email Be a Dud.
— Lisa Shield
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With Summer coming to a close, students everywhere are about to become so busy with classes, clubs, and extracurricular. Since connecting with the latest Gen Ed requirement is hard enough, it can be a Dean's List-sized challenge to find a fellow bookworm to get cozy with during the semester. Time to find love in the chemistry lab! We've broken down several online dating options to find your quirky other half, but Date My School is a decidedly scholastic take on the scene: it's a new online dating site geared at helping students find love in different academic departments and schools.
Date My School wants to help students date people they wouldn't always have a chance to meet on campus, such as the computer-programming cutie when you spend most of your time in the arts studio. For those who are a little skeptical, the site assures users it's safe and takes precautions to make your online privacy a priority. It also requires you to use your school email and other forms of verification. The goal is help you meet people within your age group, similar levels of education, and professional ambition. Is this the year you meet your "lab partner"?