Too Many Women, Too Little Time

Too Many Women, Too Little Time
In a funny article on Deadspin, you can learn all about Dave.

Dave is a financial services employee in New York. Dave goes on Match.com, writes to women, and sometimes goes on dates with them. To keep track of everyone, he puts their information into an Excel spreadsheet.

There’s nothing wrong or even unusual about this. Since I’m a technological idiot, I used to use Post-It notes by my phone. I once even came up with an idea for a software application, called The Bachelor Pad, which would rate and organize your potential prospects. The idea, like most businesses, was borne out of necessity: when I was talking to three 36-year-old women named Stacy on JDate, I definitely needed The Bachelor Pad.

Alas, the one thing I never did was share my spreadsheet with someone I was dating.

That’s where Dave screwed up. And that’s why there’s a feature about him on Deadspin.

Have you ever resorted to Excel to keep track of your own dating prospects? Do you see anything wrong with this? I know it sounds impersonal, but it’s certainly practical – especially if you believe that you have to talk with 7-10 people at once to get 1-2 good dates.

As always, I look forward to your thoughts.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Shannon

    I know plenty of people who keeps spreadsheets – big deal. However it was foolish to send it to a women he was interested in. Was this a mistake? Nope.

    His sending it out wasn’t an accident, he wanted someone to be impressed by his list collection because just keeping it to himself was boring. Don’t shed no tears for this dude. He wanted attention and praise and he got it.

    Plus I seen the picture of the spread sheet. I’d give him kudos for being organized.

  2. 2
    helene

    Although keeping a spreadsheet has a “notches on the bedpost” feel about it, it is certainly preferable to the alternative – mixing up your dates. I have had guys make comments on dates like “You said you were into snowboarding…” ummm, no, I didn’t…! This is extremely offputting. Although all of us who date online understand that our dates are chatting to and dating others in the early stages, when we are out on a date its important to feel that we are the focus of his attention at that point… mix-ups just highlight the fact that we are just one of many and interfere with the bonding process.
    Personally, I tend to keep some scribbled written notes about the guys I’m in contact with, and always reread their profile, my notes and our e-mails before the date so I have a clear idea of who I’m meeting. The notes get crumpled up and binned quite quickly which is where it feels less calculating and less of an ego trip than a spreadsheet.

  3. 3
    Carol

    Yes I have a spreadsheet, but not to rate people as much as the dating sites. If I am going to spend money to be on a site, I want to know it’s working for me. I only track the guys I actually meet in person and date though. They have no ratings, I found it interesting though to track their occupations and see how the occupations varied, all over the board.

  4. 4
    valleyforgelady

    This has to be a generational issue. When you are in your 20-30s never married and have lots of time and few responsibilites you get to play the numbers game. However, when you are older, more experienced, more discriminating, more responsibility, and more careful with your social expenses keeping straight who really needs to be in your life is less challenging.

    I would be interested in hearing from anyone over 40 if this having a spread sheet is an issue. My motto is “So many men but no time for the obviously wrong guy”

  5. 5
    Pearl

    I have often used a notebook to note down important details against guy’s name. Sometimes there were several guys calling me and it was confusing. So I referred the notebook to identify who is who. Once I met a person in real, or when narrowed down the number of callers to one or two, I didnt need the notebook.

  6. 6
    susan

    I haven’t ever created my own but I have been on someone elses…he sheepishly told me I was date no 45. To avoid incriminating the guilty, I give each date/ex a nickname, often used on my own blog, and this one, unsurprisingly will forever now be known by my friends as spreadsheet guy….

  7. 7
    Selena

    I thought it was a great idea.

    He got a lot of media grief over it, but I’ll bet many people have adopted the idea since. ;)

  8. 8
    Michael17

    Someone’s sexual appeal is a lot like steak–you can appreciate it with more than one sense, but that doesn’t mean you need to hear the entire process of how it got in front of you. In fact, if you did, you’d probably be grossed out.

    I know intellectually that the girl I am meeting up with from online could very well have two other first meets that week. And that the girl who rocked my world in bed had to learn that from/with someone else. But I don’t want to dwell on those things, and if they were thrown in my face, I’d probably be turned off.

  9. 9
    David T

    I used a spreadsheet a couple of times. Mine was contact information, several sentences on who the person was and what they were like as a human being, and where the interaction was.

    After a little experience, I realized the barrage of prospects that I had to ‘process’ and track was sucking much of the personalization and joy of getting to know the people behind the profiles, which is the real point. I also decided that when I have so many to keep track of that I need a list, dating and pre-dating interactions were taking way too much of my time and drawing my attention away from the people who matter in my life right now.

    When dating gets to the point that I need a spreadsheet, it is time to stop for a while. How can I really get to know anyone or connect with anyone when I am interacting with several at once? Answer: I can’t. Doesn’t work for me.

    A doctoral student in psychology or sociology could write a thesis on how online dating is changing how people find a mate, and a chapter could be on the devaluation and dehumanization aspects and the implications for starting a successful relationship. Online, people are reduced to disposable profiles. This leads to us not investing much of ourselves into getting to know them. In today’s world, online dating is one of the only ways to meet people, but the user needs to manage it carefully or else the real point, to connect with someone, becomes lost in a surfeit of imagined opportunities and fantasies.

    The man in the blog was a case in point of dehumanizing potential partners. He is tracking a list of superficialities. His spreadsheet was nearly all about how physically attractive people are. He had a column for numerical looks ranking, (“Online Appearance” and “Appearance Assessment”.) He put in pictures(!) and nearly no info on who they were as people. His terse notes about them always start with appearance remarks though sometimes a little trivia on their life factoids came after. He also loaded it with communications tracking trivia (how many winks and emails and when? Really?). You can bet if he was dating someone h knew from his regular life he would know something about who they are, and *gasp* maybe even care about them as people. His spreadsheet is a list of tasks to be checked off, not people to meet and get to know.

    If Evan is right about most men looking for sex and accidentally finding love, maybe spreadsheets are a useful tool for them. For how I work, it is a sign that my dating life is in danger of going off the rails.

  10. 10
    Julie

    Seems like if you met someone you really liked you wouldn’t need to enter it on a computer, it would be stuck in your mind. Perhaps the spreadsheet thing is more of a man thing.

  11. 11
    Daisy

    Living in New York and being surrounded by shallow douchebags like this one only exaggerates my fear that I will never meet anyone real.

  12. 12
    Still-Looking

    Daisy @11 – Why is this man a shallow douchebag? I “unhide” my profile for a week or two at a time and then hide it again. During that time period I might be communicating with 6 – 10 women. Maybe your dating style is to only communicate with one person at a time or perhaps you have a stellar memory and can remember names of children, occupation, birth dates, and favorite places for the men you are talking with.
    I don’t use a spreadsheet but I do create a folder with a PDF of a woman’s profile and a “cheat sheet” of various information. I don’t consider this demeaning to the women, rather it is like keeping notes when job hunting or searching for a new house.
    David T @ 9 – I agree that internet dating can be overwhelming when interacting with numerous women. My question is what do you do when 4 women contact you on the same day? Pick the one who appeals the most to you and ignore the other 3? If things don’t work out with #1 after a few weeks do you then contact women #2-4? That’s why I open and close my profile (and keep notes) — to keep things manageable.

  13. 13
    Sherel

    Here here David T!!!!!!!!!

  14. 14
    Lori

    Cheers David T!! Well said.

  15. 15
    susan

    funny thing is David T, that spreadsheet guy had a Phd in maths…would have been the perfect one to analyse the data:)

    Actually i think someone here has done a thesis on this…will try and find it.

  16. 16
    Selena

    Insightful comments about online dating David T.

    From articles I read about spreadsheet guy, he was/had dated women he met offline through friends and family and the details of those women were not shared with his new ‘friend’. His ratings were of Match.com profiles and conversations/meetings.

    Also, from viewing the sheet, it appeared he hadn’t actually met all the women on it – yet. Therefore, it isn’t surprising there weren’t more details beyond appearance. In fact, my impression is that he hadn’t dated any of the women on the sheet more than once, perhaps twice. I wouldn’t consider not writing detailed descriptions about people you barely know “dehumanizing” or not caring about them as people.

  17. 17
    Paragon

    Who needs a spreadsheet?

    Most quality OLD sites provide sufficient utility to organize matches.

    And does anyone actually date as a pretext for assessing chemistry anymore?

    Maybe its just a question of age demographics, but the preliminary dinner/movie date seems such an outdated
    concept.

    I would rather establish chemistry(through a more efficient online medium like Skype) BEFORE I commit to a date – when both parties can interact from a mutual comfort zone,
    their communication and observations will be more reliable and less hindered by self-consciousness or inhibition.

    A night out with a friend is much more enjoyable(and less awkward), than with a complete stranger.

  18. 18
    JB

    We discussed this briefly on Christie’s blog in April.
    David brings up some great points no doubt but I’ve been doing spreadsheeting a long time and it’s a great way to keep track of all things going on in your dating life. The difference is I would never share either the information I have on it or that I even do it with any woman I’m dating. It’s not their business. I think a lot more people do it than most people know, especially the women who are getting tons of responses and many dates. How else can you keep track of it all? No one has that great of memory. I also think some of the outrage stems from the fact that some naive people falsely believe you sign up to a dating site meet 3 people fall in love with one and walk away living happily ever after….LOL What’s there to keep track of? Possible? Sure…… but not probable so anything beyond that you must be a “player” if you have to write down things to keep track of it all. I go one step further and audio record all of my first conversations with women so that when I go on a meet & greet (which may be several days later) I can listen to the conversation on the way there so I remember what we said and flow immediately into the conversation when we sit down. At my age my memory is going and I need all the help I can get…lol

    David is right though, as we on this blog know all to well how much the internet has changed dating and relationships and will continue to from now until the end of time. Everyone will utilize it differently and some have to keep notes. Touche’

  19. 19
    Jen

    That was mean on her part, there was no call for that. Yeah, he probably should not have sent it, but come on. No need to be such a bitch.

  20. 20
    JM

    I don’t think it’s a big deal.

    Personally, it’s one of the reasons I keep my blog. I can also go back to the website to review information if I need to. Fortunately, I have a good memory.

    I do have to keep some odd items in my phone since it seems that everyone who contacts me is name Joe, Jeff, or Mark. I have names in my phone such as “Bald Jeff Match.com” and “Joe with Glasses OK Cupid”. It can be confusing.

  21. 21
    Ruby

    Dave sounds incredibly clueless. It’s one thing to keep your own private spreadsheet or lists or whatever, but what was he thinking when he emailed it to one of his dates, who asked him, in jest, to send it to her? Especially when he talks about a drunken hook-up and describes another woman as “very jappy”? If a man I had dated sent me a spreadsheet like this, no, I would not see him again. Dave set himself up when he emailed his list to someone he barely knew, demonstrating that he is sorely lacking in social skills and smarts.

    David T #9

    “You can bet if he was dating someone h knew from his regular life he would know something about who they are, and *gasp* maybe even care about them as people.”

    Actually, if you scroll down to the bottom of his spreadsheet, Dave lists women he has met off-line as well. His descriptions of them are even less detailed. I don’t think this is an online dating issue, but maybe more of an issue of someone who is better at dealing with spreadsheets than with people.

  22. 22
    nathan

    It sounds like a part time job: keeping track of enough women to need a spreadsheet. I don’t know how some of you do it.

  23. 23
    CK

    I absolutely have…and still do. But mostly for tracking purposes.

    I did feel sorry for Dave, though. His only mistake was sharing the spreadsheet, not tracking the dates.

  24. 24
    Mia

    I spend time with lots of men and don’t require a spreadsheet. What’s to keep track of? Or is it more necessary for guys to keep one since the onus is on them to plan dates and follow through? At any rate, I’m not sure why some people make dating out to be some giant complicated challenge like this — the vast majority of people in relationships seem to be average-looking, average personality people who just met someone at a party or social event that they had an enjoyable time with and decided to date. Not by trying hard to look hot, weeding through hundreds of profiles, and keeping detailed notes on their prospects.

  25. 25
    Leesa

    you’ve gotta give the guy 10 points for honesty. i feel a bit sorry for him getting shafted for being so honest about what he was doing. she definitely didn’t accept him for who he was :-) he sounds quite self-centered, out of touch with the way probably alot of women would perceive this kind of thing … hence, i’m guessing he’s not a player. but i bet he makes alot of money if he’s that anally organised :-)

  26. 26
    Heather

    Whatever a guy does at home, alone, to keep track of dates, is his business. I don’t need to know about it. If a guy had sent me that, I would have just emailed him and said, “TMI, thanks but no thanks. It’s offputting.”

    I’ve never needed a spreadsheet, but I did make sure I went over emails/profiles if I knew I was talking to several different men, to make sure I did not confuse them.

    I once had a guy, bless his heart, tell me on the first date that he was talking to/meeting a bunch of different women because he was just getting back into dating, after his wife died of cancer the previous year. I understood where he was coming from but I remembered thinking to myself, well thanks buddy, I didn’t need that little tidbit. Hopefully he learned to “put a filter” on his mouth. Nice enough guy, but clueless with dating.

  27. 27
    Mely

    I think its not a bad idea after dating N times and maybe these dates are meaningless so you have to keep a track. If you have a date abd it was good, you will remember the details about the other, otherwise the date was just to meet someone without any intention to have something. And if someone is using this, just try to make it natural, dont repeat everything as a machine recorder.

  28. 28
    Joe

    I only wish I was dating enough women to need a spreadsheet to keep track of them all!

  29. 29
    Karl R

    helene said: (#2)
    “it is certainly preferable to the alternative – mixing up your dates.”
    Julie said: (#10)
    “Seems like if you met someone you really liked you wouldn’t need to enter it on a computer, it would be stuck in your mind.”

    This is exactly why I recommend keeping some sort of notes when in the initial steps of dating. Before a date, I would refer to online profiles and previous emails. Furthermore, immediately after a phone call, a conversation or a date, I would take “conversation notes” that I was likely to forget. I prefer to type these into the “Notes” section on my Outlook contacts, so I can reference them from my phone.

    It gives the impression that I’m attentive, that I’m remembering the details, that this woman is special … and that I’m not struggling to avoid confusing her with several other women.

    Generally speaking, I was just keeping track of things we had talked about (and might talk about again). If a woman mentioned her birth date, she would be pleasantly surprised when I “remembered” it three months later.

    But showing that information to a date? Big mistake.

  30. 30
    Peter

    Dating, which is receding into my past, costs money as well as time. Prescreening saves both. When I used a spreadsheet (1-2-3 is so much better), it was pre-date but it was very predictive of results. I was completely stunned by the top point scorer in real life. Sadly, she omitted to include the presence of a husband on her profile which emerged when the subject of travel arose.

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