Are Dating Apps and Texting Working For You? If Not, There’s An Alternative.

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You ever hear someone say, “Dating sucks in (fill-in-your-city-here)”

I do every day. I’ve written, ad nauseum, about the value of connection, of slowing down a beat, of screening men prior to first dates, to using conversation instead of text as a primary form of communication. And yet people still insist they have no choice but to Tinder and text because that’s what everyone else is doing.

Well maybe – just maybe – people are starting to think for themselves and are ready to take more control of their destiny. Witness this Wall Street Journal article on “slow dating.” (Personally, I just call it “dating.”)   Here are the opening paragraphs:

“Dating sucks in New York,” says Casey-Leigh Jordan, a 31-year-old manager at a hair salon New York City. “There are so many options, and it can be really overwhelming.”

Millennials like her who have spent years rapidly swiping through singles are looking to slow down dating. Zeroing in on fewer possible partners with more potential feels like a relief to them.

After struggling to meet people without apps, she downloaded the app Hinge, which seemed like a happy medium. The app’s incorporation of icebreaker questions and more detailed profiles made her connections feel more substantial…Millennials like her who have spent years rapidly swiping through singles are looking to slow down dating. Zeroing in on fewer possible partners with more potential feels like a relief to them.

When my clients work with me, we rebrand them online and suddenly they’re getting more attention than ever before. That doesn’t mean they’re going on more dates though. With my help, they go on fewer, high-quality dates with men who sustain an effort.

The guy who gives you his number, tells you to text him and pushes you to meet him ASAP for coffee? He’s history. But if you keep swiping and texting and rewarding men who make no effort, nothing will ever change. In short, don’t blame men for acting this way on Tinder; blame yourself for giving not insisting on better treatment.

The article continues, talking about a “better” app known as Hinge:

“Hinge saw its user base grow by more than 400% after redesigning the platform in 2017 to eliminate its swiping feature after learning 80% of its users had never found a long-term relationship on a dating app, according to Justin McLeod, Hinge’s CEO and co-founder. The changes were meant to foster more selectivity. Heterosexual men swipe right or “like” 70% of women on swiping apps but “like” just 20% on Hinge, he says.

“This is a more natural approach and it’s what we should have been doing all along,” she says. “It is a sad millennial age we live in when we are already addicted to our phones and we are relying on our phones to make our dating decisions.”

Amen. Your thoughts, below, are greatly appreciated.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    S.

    I’m confused about this one. Isn’t that what Match, OK Cupid, and eHarmony did? (I know you don’t like eHarmony, Evan. Added it because there is no swiping in it.) I used these sites and found people until I got tired. Things did change when the swiper apps came out. But I never used the swipers.

    So are things coming full circle?

    1. 1.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Yes. People have abandoned dating sites because profiles and emails take work. Then they realize that while dating apps are easier, you know less about each person, you’re judged more on looks and everyone is even more disposable than before. Old school online dating isn’t perfect by any means but it’s better than the new normal. Dating apps and texting are seen as everyone’s solution. In fact, it’s everyone’s problem.

    2. 1.2
      Marika

      I get what you’re saying, I think, S. How is Hinge different to OKC, etc, sites which have apps but with ice breaker questions and non-swiping options? They’ve been around for ages.

  2. 2
    No Name To Give

    Guess everything new isn’t great. Go figure.

  3. 3
    S.

    From the article:

    A return to real-life dating feels revolutionary in this age, says Susan, who asked that her last name not be used.

    “This is a more natural approach and it’s what we should have been doing all along,” she says. “It is a sad millennial age we live in when we are already addicted to our phones and we are relying on our phones to make our dating decisions.”

    I agree with Susan, but you gotta hustle. I truly believe you just have to meet a LOT of people, whether in-person or online.   Online is easier to meet a large quantity of people (pre-screened, of course) but meeting people is more fun in person.   At least for me, once I stopped meeting people just to date them.   I focus on an activity or stuff I like to do and just meet people.   And I get to do stuff I actually feel passionate about. 🙂   Just writing that does feel a bit revolutionary.   Whatever platform people choose I hope they end up happy and not burned out and bitter.

    1. 3.1
      Emily, to

      S.,

      I focus on an activity or stuff I like to do and just meet people.   And I get to do stuff I actually feel passionate about.  

      Have you met any men you wanted to date this way? Do people meet irl anymore? Through friends, at a party, at a bar, in the subway? Although I have found through friends is bad because you usually wonder if your friends have actually met you once you are introduced to the person they have in mind for you. I remember one such set up. The guy showed up wearing short white shorts with knee socks pulled up to the knee.   🙂

      1. 3.1.1
        S.

        Sure, I meet people I want to date this way.   And I’m sure I meet men who want to date me.   But the same thing apply, some folks are gay or already partnered. (Not always easy to tell in real life at first.)   What’s more likely is that the men I meet who are the right age for me (over 40) really aren’t relationship ready.   They’ve maybe been married before and aren’t really wanting to do all that again.   But that’s just a matter of meeting more men.   Eventually, you find someone.   Or someone out there isn’t ready right now but is by the time you meet him.

        And I can’t say I meet as many people as I did online.   I’m an introvert at heart and I don’t have 200-300 first dates in me and to be not completely exhausted by that.     One has to have several social circles and really keep up with all of them.   I don’t think my success rate is that different than online.   And I’m certainly happier.   I’m doing stuff I’m passionate about which makes me much more attractive.   I’m meeting great men even if they are just friends and it retains my faith and understanding of men (not just off this blog).   And I meet men I like, men who are confronting toxic masculinity and are willing to stand for social justice issues important to me.   Then that leads to more conferences and networking opportunities.   This is so exciting and heartening.

        I had to step back on my single-minded goal of finding a LTR and do some other stuff in my life.   I’m not a multi-tasker by any stretch so finding the right guy will take some time.   And that’s okay.

        Oh, one more thing.   Sometimes in real life, it’s easy for things to go straight to the friendzone.   If I don’t want that to happen, I usually have to be a bit more flirty or proactive.   There isn’t an assumption that you want to date the way there is online.   I’m working on being a bit more proactive without doing too much.   A lot of nuance.   It can be tricky because if things don’t work out you still see these folks.

        1. Emily, to

          S.,  
          Sure, I meet people I want to date this way.   And I’m sure I meet men who want to date me.   But the same thing apply, some folks are gay or already partnered.  

          This is just me, but I no longer count people who aren’t asking me out and taking action. The 2 A’s — available and actionable.
          I’m meeting great men even if they are just friends and it retains my faith and understanding of men (not just off this blog).  
          That’s a good way to look at it. I think we need more male commenters on this blog to understand men. As good as Jeremy is ….   🙂
             It can be tricky  if things don’t work out you still see these folks.
          From the meetup groups I was in, I found the few men who were there ended up messaging a good number of the women in the group. Especially if the women were new. It was awkward. The women were there to be social. The men were there to pounce … immediately.   🙂

        2. S.

          That’s interesting. On one hand you don’t count people who don’t ask you our and take action, on the other hand you describe those who do as ‘pouncing immediately’.   How is a guy to know the difference?

          I haven’t been to meetups, just to spiritual and social justice events.   Because of possible sexual misconduct and power differentials, some spiritual centers suggest that new members don’t date established members for six months.   None of the places I go to do that, but it might be there to give new folks breathing room and not be pounced upon immediately.   We are there for other things, you know.   If romance is going to blossom, it will and I don’t think it has to happen so quickly.

          The one thing I do like now is I actually know something of the people I date now.   It’s less people but more pleasant somehow.   No ghosting! LOL.

        3. Emily, to

          S.,
          That’s interesting. On one hand you don’t count people who don’t ask you our and take action, on the other hand you describe those who do as ‘pouncing immediately’.   How is a guy to know the difference?
            it’s a small group and the woman is a new member. She doesn’t know anyone or the dynamic of the group. Why not take at least the next few meetups to get to know her, see if she’s available and feel her out in terms of possible interest? But if it’s a one-time event, yeah, then pouncing is necessary. Most of the groups I was involved in met regularly and were relatively small, so developing a rapport was possible.   And as the women get to know each other, they find out he’s messaged a bunch of them. Would that appeal to you?
          If romance is going to blossom, it will and I don’t think it has to happen so quickly.
          I understand what you are saying.   I just have had men flirt outrageously with me for months or even longer and never do anything. So I’m suspicious of someone who does that but doesn’t make a move in a reasonable amount of time. If not, he’s either taken or not interested enough. But if you’re all in a group and it’s friendly, and he’s not leaning all over you and making all kinds of suggestive comments … well, that’s different.  

        4. S.

          Would that appeal to you?
          I’m not generally into pouncing. But that’s because previously I liked to do some of the pouncing. 😉 I like controlling timing of things, but in dating I can’t. So now I’m like, no pouncing! Things can grow organically.

          This guy sounds terrible in a way but not in a way. Isn’t he doing what men do online? Only difference is the women know each other. Which is a big difference. He’s not into letting things happen organically, more like casting a wide net. Did any of the women like him? If not, well, he’s lost any chance at any of them. It only seems bad to me if someone was hurt by his actions. If not, he’s just another guy with maybe bad social skills.

          But if you’re all in a group and it’s friendly, and he’s not leaning all over you and making all kinds of suggestive comments … well, that’s different.
          Again it only matters if you don’t want this attention. If it’s mutual, it’s fine.

          It wouldn’t feel great if I had been a woman he e-mailed, but would only feel terrible 1) If I liked him a lot and 2) If I thought I was special to him in some way. Otherwise, it’s just annoying, not hurtful.

  4. 4
    Kath

    So true about being judged almost solely on looks. The swiping mentality also feeds the frenzy and shiny penny syndrome, along with the rampant ghosting. Online profiles are a mere snapshot of the person you see there. Much like ads/commercials, the end product may or may not meet expectations. True, some find love online, but there’s an element of timing and luck involved. I know one woman who went on 300 first dates (all guys she met online) over two years before she found her now hubby.

    We should try to also include quality, real life venues to meet people organically. I still hold out hope as a midlife divorcée. But if it isn’t meant to be, I still have a pretty decent life.

    1. 4.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @Kath

      Online dating is about keeping oneself in motion and recognizing an opportunity for love when it arrives.   It is truly a numbers game that is not for the faint of heart.

    2. 4.2
      Marika

      Kath, not sure if you feel that two years is a long time (I couldn’t tell from your comment)? I would say that your friend finding a husband within 2 years is pretty good! Particularly in ‘online dating time’. Managing expectations is important. As Evan says, paying for a 3 month subscription and expecting that you’ll find your future husband in that time is probably going to end in disappointment. I have one friend who keeps getting online, then after a week or a month or so getting all frustrated and giving up. She blames the sites, the guys…she’s not that open to feedback, but I’d love to tell her that several weeks or months is a tiny time commitment to find love.

    3. 4.3
      ezamuzed

      @kath

      I know one woman, a midlife divorcée like you who went on Bumble and met her to be boyfriend on her very first online date.

      That boyfriend is me, it has been a wonderful 10 months so far.

      1. 4.3.1
        No Name To Give

        I suspect your girlfriend is the exception and not the rule.

        1. ezamuzed

          lol obviously. But the point is she shouldn’t expect to go on 300 dates.

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @NNTG

          Meeting someone early in the game does happen, but I personally believe it has a lot to do with who does the selecting and where the man is with respect to sampling the candy store.   Women are far less likely to settle when dating online than when meeting men in real life.   A guy has to seriously check off boxes.   A guy who can seriously check off boxes usually does so with other women; therefore, he can get carried away with sampling the candy store.   I was my girlfriend’s 2nd online date.   She was my 98th.   She initiated contact.   We talked on the telephone three times over a period of a month before I decided to meet her.   I asked her to meet me during the middle of the week because I had already scheduled meet and greets for Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.   I met the two women I had scheduled to meet after her, but I could not forget her kiss.   There was something there that I had never experienced.   The two women that I met after her did not stand a chance.     I almost did not meet her because she is older than me and a grandmother, which meant breaking two of my rules.     That is why it took a month to get around to meeting her.     The combination of her kiss and the ease of being with her just of reeled me in.   It was all over after we went out club dancing (we dance well together).   That led to passionate sex that has grown to be off of the charts with time (we read a book about tantric sex and are currently reading the Kama Sutra).    I usually spend the weekend at her house.     We usually go out on Friday night and grocery shop and cook together on Saturday.   I never thought that I would enjoy cooking with a woman this much, but it is magical.

           

        3. ezamuzed

          My situation was very similar to YAGs. Divorced for four years and I had been on a hundred plus dates. I didn’t know what I was looking for except to have fun.   But I was always open to having a girlfriend. I had a lot of fun in the “candy store” often having a rotation of woman I was sleeping with. Many of them seemed to really want me to be their boyfriend.   I was doing the same thing with my girlfriend but after a month or two I was smitten (for some reasons I didn’t even know was possible) and when she said she was going to be done with me unless we became exclusive the decision was easy.

        4. sylvana

          YAG,

          who is this imposter, and what have you done with YAG?

        5. No Name To Give

          You guys should all get to indulge in that candy store as much as you want. That’s why dating is great for some, and for some of us, there’s no place there for us.

        6. Yet Another Guy

          @sylvana

          who is this imposter, and what have you done with YAG?

          Lol!   I do not know what happened to YAG; however, he may be back because he always manages to hang himself given enough rope.   🙂

          Seriously though, I am making hay while the sun is shining.     As ezamused mentioned, I was just looking for fun.   I guess that there is more than a grain of truth to be found in the Elvin Bishop tune “Fooled Around and Fell in Love.”   That song pretty much encompasses what Evan writes about men looking for sex and finding love.

           

          Fooled Around and Fell in Love

          I must have been through about a million girls
          I’d love ’em then I’d leave ’em alone
          I didn’t care how much they cried, no sir
          Their tears left me cold as a stone

          But then I fooled around and fell in love
          I fooled around and fell in love, yes I did
          I fooled around and fell in love
          I fooled around and fell in love

          It used to be when I’d see a girl that I liked
          I’d get out my book and write down her name
          Ah, but when the, the grass got a little greener over on the other side
          I’d just tear out that page

          I fooled around and fell in love
          I fooled around and fell in love, since I met you baby
          I fooled around and fell in love
          I fooled around and fell in love

          Free, on my own is the way I used to be
          Ah, but since I met you baby, love’s got a hold on me
          It’s got a hold on me now
          I can’t let go of you baby

          I fooled around and fell in love
          I fooled around and fell in love, oh yes I did
          I fooled around, fooled around, fooled around, fooled around,
          Fooled around, fooled around, fell in love
          Fooled around, fooled around, fooled around, fooled around,
          Fooled around, fooled around, fell in love
          I fooled around, fell in love
          I fell in love, I fell in love, yes I did

           

        7. Yet Another Guy

          @NNTG

          That’s why dating is great for some, and for some of us, there’s no place there for us.

          That goes for eighty percent of the men on any given dating site as well.    Most men never get to sample the candy store before giving up in frustration because 20% of the male population on any given dating site dates most of the female population due to women being more selective than men, much more selective.   If this situation were not true, PUA and other “how to get dates/laid” sites for men would not exist.

        8. No Name To Give

          Folk gonna do what they gonna do. I just try to avoid as much of it as I can.

        9. sylvana

          YAG,

          I’m very happy for you and I wish you the very best! Hope you get your happy ending (in more ways than one) 🙂

      2. 4.3.2
        Lynx

        @ezamuzed

        Our stories sound similar, just that I’m on the female side. A midlife divorcee, my now-boyfriend is the very first guy I met, the very first time I tried online dating. On our initial meet, he was very open about not wanting a long-term relationship and explained how much he was enjoying the candy store (although he also explained he only slept with one woman at a time).

        That was fine with me, as I didn’t want long-term, either. Fast-forward five years, we’re still together. Both of us were surprised and cautious; during that period, he broke up with me for a couple of months, and I broke up with him for 7 months.

        Not that anything was wrong with the relationship, we were both still enjoying our time together. It was just that neither of us had especially wanted to be to tied down. But when you find that rare person who synchs really well, it’s crazy to pass them up just because it’s not happening the way you thought it should.

    4. 4.4
      MilkyMae

      I would love to know how many times your friend had to change her phone number or how many times she drove more than 15 miles only to have the dude cancel ten minutes before hand or just not show up.

      If I was to go on 300 dates in two years, I would need to give out my number to more than 600 men.   I would need to have email convos with at least a thousand men.   I would have to start a new conversation with one or two new men every single day. I would need to meet men in other cities and counties.     I would end up meeting nine Chris’s and eight Dave’s.   Some of men I turned down would continue texting/calling me for months.   I can’t even comprehend this many first dates.

      1. 4.4.1
        Marika

        Milky

        I stopped counting, but have probably been on around that many first dates over approx 3 years. I have had no no- shows, maybe one or two late cancellations and had to block maybe 2 guys (have never changed my number). Maybe it’s cultural differences, not sure, but I don’t think it’s the doom and gloom you assume. Oh, ha, that rhymes!

        If you’re not sure what you want, if you’re open to meeting a range of people, if you didn’t get in lots of dating practice when really young, if you don’t give up: hundreds of dates is not a massive big deal. It’s not for everyone, it’s not the ideal, but it’s also not the end of the world. And in online dating, probably more common than you think.

        1. MilkyMae

          There are barely five hundred college educated white men between 35 and 45 with active profiles on match.com in the city of Philadelphia. If I unchecked racial background, I get about 700 available men. If I unchecked everything , I get about 1200 men. I can try to date every single man in Philly but if I did, I would run out of warm bodies to meet.

           

      2. 4.4.2
        Marika

        You don’t have to go on 300 dates. Point is, you can, without being stalked, stood up or abused on a regular basis. Screening for race and education is a choice. As I said, numbers can add up if you’re open to meeting a range of people.

      3. 4.4.3
        Yet Another Guy

        @MilkyMae

        I could have easily gone out on over 300 dates if I did the awkward hurry-up-and-meet thing.   However, I instituted a screening processing after meeting 40 women in the first three months.   I could not maintain that pace.   I was worn out.   Plus, as an older guy who was taught to always pick up the tab, non-discriminate dating became expensive very quickly.

         

        1. Sandra

          YAG,

            Plus, as an older guy who was taught to always pick up the tab, non-discriminate dating became expensive very quickly.

          With indiscriminate being the operative word, I think that is why so many men start ranting about not wanting to pay any more.   Their dating method is random and indiscriminate.   Go on 30 dates in a month, even if just for a single drink, and it gets expensive.   Lesson being, choosing your dates more carefully pays off – not just your wallet, but you met a woman you are crazy about.   I wish you both well.

        2. Marika

          A screening process (for personality, engagement etc) works great if you aren’t already screening everyone out to start with!

          Obviously you can’t alter the number of single men or women in your area, but screening out based on things like skin colour before even giving a person a chance – why?

          Sandra

          Men probably also get sick of women assuming they will pay. That’s fair. In some other parts of the developed world (Australia, for instance, and parts of Europe), dating rules are more flexible and men don’t necessarily pay, even on the first date.

        3. Yet Another Guy

          @Sandra

          Go on 30 dates in a month, even if just for a single drink, and it gets expensive.   Lesson being, choosing your dates more carefully pays off — not just your wallet, but you met a woman you are crazy about.

          It is not that simple, Sandra.   The rules of engagement had changed quite a bit since I was last in the dating pool.    I also did not realize that some women lie about their age, weight, and do things like post old photos or post photos of a daughter (yes, that actually happened to me) in order to be more competitive.   It takes time to learn the rules of the road so to speak.   While men are usually the pursuers, more desirable men often find themselves being pursued on dating sites.   That was a totally new experience for me.   Guys are not used to rejecting women who make advances.   Our brains are not wired that way.   We are opportunists.   However, things do become expensive quickly; therefore, unless a man has unlimited discretionary income, he needs to adopt a screening process.   I came about a screening process that is much like the 2/2/2 rule after a particularly horrible first date where I got roped into dinner with a woman who was like communicating with a package of Melba toast.   I agreed to meet her for a drink at the bar and made the mistake of showing up a few minutes late only to find her waiting for a table for dinner, and I did so after only exchanging messages online.   That is a mistake I never repeated, no telephone conversation, no date.

          With that said, not all men have to adopt a screening process. You would not believe how many men struggle to obtain dates on dating sites and dating apps because women are so selective.   I have several single male friends who thought that I was lying when I was told them that I was often exchanging messages with a dozen or more women at a time, that is, until they viewed my account.   The reality is that the majority of the men on any given dating site do not stand a chance because they are either shorter than 5’10” (which is the 65th percentile for male height in the United States) or part of the 80% of men that women find to be of less than average attractiveness (which is a statistical anomaly).     Most of the problems that women experience on dating sites are due to being too selective when it comes to height, attractiveness, and/or success, which includes educational attainment level.   That gives guys like me a license to be total douche bags if we so desire.   Women cannot blame us for sampling the candy store when they make access so cheap.

        4. MilkyMae

          If I went on forty dates in three months, I would make melba toast look interesting or I would grab the nearest fork and jab it into my thigh.     Is that forty without any second dates?   I know people have different goals when dating, but if I was that successful at landing first dates, then I probably wouldn’t need to go on so many first dates.

        5. Yet Another Guy

          @MilkyMae

          Is that forty without any second dates?  

          If I recall correctly, I believe that I asked one or two of the “first 40” out on a second date.   I was still separated during that period, so I was just getting the lay of the land, so to speak.   Things had changed significantly since I was last in the dating pool.

          I know people have different goals when dating, but if I was that successful at landing first dates, then I probably wouldn’t need to go on so many first dates.

          It depends on how selective one is when it comes to dating.   The greater the number of options one has from which to choose, the more selective one becomes.   Nothing is real until two people meet in person.

          I came out of a marriage that had been loveless and sexless for a decade.   To be completely honest, I was amazed by how many women wanted to meet me (so much so that I looked for reasons why).   Amazed is kind of an understatement.   A better word is “stunned.”   I was still separated, which, for most men who are attempting to date online, is akin to having the relationship equivalent of leprosy. 🙂    Yet, I endured very little push back.   Granted, a lot of women just wanted to hook up, but a few saw it as an opportunity to take a guy off of the market before he received his divorce decree, or at least while he was still in the untainted “fresh meat” phase.

          Speaking of receiving my divorce decree, that is when the flood gates opened.   It was absolutely crazy.   I had to adopt an even more stringent screening process.   I showed my current girlfriend my account on Match before we agreed to delete our accounts.   She was intimidated by the number of “likes” I received on that site.     I told her that I did not understand why I received so many likes because I was worried that I would not receive a single “like” when I first joined the site.   Her response was, “I know why.”

        6. Marika

          Hi YAG

          You said: “That gives guys like me a license to be total douche bags if we so desire”

          While I get your general point, this bit is a bit much. If an adult decides to act like a doucebag, that’s on them. We are guided by our own internal set of values, right? No one gives anyone a ‘licence’ to treat them badly, unless they are already that way inclined.

        7. Yet Another Guy

          @Marika

          If an adult decides to act like a doucebag, that’s on them. We are guided by our own internal set of values, right?

          In principle, you are absolutely correct.   In practice, it happens all of the time.   There is little incentive to behave when women focus their attention on a small proper subset of the male population.

        8. Marika

          Nah, YAG, I disagree. Taking advantage of others or of situations is a choice; needing incentives to behave is not really an adult thing. Women being rude on dating sites is on them too, of course (we go round and round forever if everyone blames the opposite sex for their behaviour).

        9. ezamuzed

          @YAG

          That gives guys like me a license to be total douche bags if we so desire.   Women cannot blame us for sampling the candy store when they make access so cheap.

          It seems like you are equated sampling the candy store as being a douche bag. Desirable guys can be completely honest and transparent and still “sample the candy store”

        10. Yet Another Guy

          @ezamused

          It seems like you are equated sampling the candy store as being a douche bag. Desirable guys can be completely honest and transparent and still “sample the candy store”

          Where I live, any man in my age cohort who openly samples the candy store in a big way will end up getting labeled a “douche bag” or at least a “player.”   It is the nature of the beast.   Women in my age cohort in my area automatically assume that a guy who goes on a lot of one-and-dones sleeps with a lot of women when the reality is usually the inverse.   The more women a man can get to meet him, the more selective he becomes in who he takes to bed.   It is an abundance versus scarcity mindset.

  5. 5
    Gabriela

    WSJ article link not working, but anyway….I think the reason Hinge has positioned itself as different/better/more selective is bc people get fewer “swipes” if I’m not mistaken. So you better be selective about where you spend those swipes Lol!

    Even an app like this doesn’t help some of us who live in less populated areas, are already selective, and are over 50. Yikes.

     

    1. 5.1
      Paula

      @Gabriela – correct, Hinge puts only so many profiles in front of you on a given day, unless you pay to upgrade.

      1. 5.1.1
        P is for _

        I’m on Hinge and I don’t pay to upgrade. I don’t run out of swipes and I can see the people that like me. It is different because you can like certain pictures or comments. And the prompts help eliminate the blank profiles I used to see on Tinder and Bumble.

  6. 6
    Elizabeth

    Evan, why do you dislike eharmony? I’m just curious.

    Elizabeth

    1. 6.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      It’s not that I dislike it. I think that the same way Tinder makes dating too shallow by removing information and compatibility, eHarmony goes in the other direction with a 436 question personality test and no way to search people based on photos. The middle ground is usually my favored solution.

  7. 7
    Kath

    @Marika- no, two years isn’t unreasonable for finding a hubby or wife. It’s the 300 first dates that takes grit and patience to keep persevering and not become bitter or discouraged. But it doesn’t help when you hear of couples who meet and marry within a year of pairing up online. That’s luck and timing to some extent, though I think that’s too soon in even the best of matches. I’m over 50 and have raised my kids, had the big house and minivan. I’d be happy to find a decent, relatively healthy man who’s looking for a life partner, versus a maid and/or nurse. As Yet Another Guy posted, it’s a numbers game not for the faint of heart.

    1. 7.1
      Marika

      Hi Kath

      I would try not to look at it like that. It could be fun! Meeting lots of people is fun, if you don’t put too much pressure on any one date.

    2. 7.2
      Yet Another Guy

      @Kath

      Marika is right.   While online dating is a numbers game, so is meeting people in real life.   The difference is that we do not keep track of the number of people we meet in real life before we meet a person that we want to do date.   One has to flip the script when online dating.   Treating each first online date like is it is first in-real-life date does not work.   Dates that originate online have to be treated like conversations.   An first online date is a first in-person conversation.   The goal is to have fun, and that does not require a love connection, only good rapport.

       

  8. 8
    Tron Swanson

    I’m not even 40, yet, but I’m already a dinosaur. I missed/skipped the whole “app” phase of all this. I started with websites 20 years ago, and still use them today, though I’m lower-effort than I was back then. I live in a somewhat behind-the-times rural area, so a lot of people still use websites, here.

    Suffice to say, I’m thrilled that this app is screening out men like me. I’ve been screening out certain types of women for a long time, and I know it isn’t personal.

  9. 9
    Elizabeth

    I’m the happiest I’ve ever been after meeting my love on Tinder three plus years ago – going strong, talking about marriage, and planning our future!

    The only people who lose out are the ones who give up, no matter what tool you use to meet people.

    1. 9.1
      Marika

      That’s wonderful Elizabeth!

      Honestly, success stories are so important here. Or we can get completely caught up in the noise, negativity or fear.

      Thanks for sharing. Any particular tips, or just sheer persistence? 🙂

  10. 10
    Elizabeth

    Marika, I recommend you keep reading Evan’s blog and pick up a copy of “Love, Factually” by Duana Welch.

  11. 11
    Nissa

    YES!! New app Bounce is all about actually meeting! Darn, it’s only in NYC. Here’s hoping LA / Orange county is next!!

  12. 12
    Gab

    I’ve Tindered 3 times and each time met someone I want to be exclusive with within 3 weeks. I have a standout profile, look good, and mostly follow the text/calls/meet filtering system. I should add that my profile is very positive and clever and filters guys who don’t want to make an effort for me pretty well. However what is equally important is knowing how to recognize and say yes to a medium chemistry high compatibility guy. Especially after being with the 10s in chemistry.

    I recently met, liked, slept with, and almost let go of a really great guy. I’m lucky that he held strong and in his words showed me how great things could be with him. It is still strange not to have the 10 in chemistry… we have great, satisfying sex that gets better each time, but I don’t feel like bowled over with lust when we’re not having sex. But he is so impressive in many fundamental ways. I’m glad he didn’t let me push him away (he described me as a skittish horse ready to bolt).

    1. 12.1
      Paula

      @Gab this articulates perfectly why I ‘pick my spot’ when it comes to seeing a guy with 10+ chemistry vs the guy you are with now.   IME, the former *never* results in a meaningful relationship of any length, so depending on where I’m at in my dating scheme I am either fine with this or more inclined to keep an eye out for the guy who is a little more under my radar.   I do believe that attraction, which is of course fundamental, is possible without the 10+ chemistry rating.

      1. 12.1.1
        Gab

        @Paula, I think it’s easy to fall in love with 10 chemistry, and then that becomes the benchmark. I ended things with my 10 chemistry/3   compatibility BF around 5 months ago and it still haunts me today. The best friends vibe I have with my current beau feels so foreign that initially I told him I thought maybe we were supposed to be platonic. The next time we had sex he had me eating my words

        I definitely think my issue and the issues of my friends is in recognizing and inviting the ‘right’ guys.

        1. Paula

          @Gab your theory has got to be worth at least a try, right?   I just had a second date with someone I feel similarly about and I’m definitely attracted to him, more in that best friends kind of way you describe.   We share another person in common as well – his younger sister is a childhood friend of mine – that gives me another level of comfort that just isn’t possible with a complete stranger.   I have moderately high hopes with this one 😉

        2. Emily, to

          Paula,

          I’m definitely attracted to him, more in that best friends kind of way you describe.    

          Are you ok with him describing his   feelings for you the way you describe your feelings for him? I’m not saying you shouldn’t be.

  13. 13
    Paula

    @Emily, to

    yes, absolutely!   In fact, if at any point I get the sense our feelings about each other are lopsided or otherwise mismatched (in either direction) I’d be inclined to discontinue dating him.   I’ve no interest in being the heart-breaker or -breakee

    1. 13.1
      Gab

      @Emily

      John Gottman talks about friendship being the backbone of happy marriages. I think for people like myself who have mostly chased chemistry, the friendship vibe is odd and rates a mention, but is an unspoken feature of the relationships of a number of very happily married couples I know. When I told the guy I’m seeing I felt a best friends vibe with him, he just smiled and said ‘I know, isn’t it great’. For him it was a huge green light. I’m still getting used to it. The absence of angst is unnerving.

      1. 13.1.1
        Paula

        The absence of angst is unnerving

        I am feeling this as well and somewhat counterintuitively, I’m finding it to be exhilarating

      2. 13.1.2
        Jeremy

        For people who have chased chemistry their whole lives, I think the thing to consider is whether or not marriage itself should be their goal, regardless of the man.   You have to still want to be with him when the newness and chemistry fade, when the dopamine fades, to not want to continue chasing that feeling- to ask whether that is what you will want in the future, whether it has ever been what you wanted…

         

        And if such people decide marriage is right for them, to reconsider what type of man is attractive before  meeting him,  not after. Timelines set the tone for the future.   If you felt meh about him from the get go, you won’t forget that that’s how you felt.   Some women would, but they don’t have dopaminergic personalities. You might be ok with a man you aren’t crazy about if he meets enough of your life goals…. But he won’t be ok with you once he understands how you feel and hedonistic adapts to you. Your deigning to be with him in spite of a lack of strong attraction is not doing him a favour. His goal is to find a partner, lover, and friend into the future, not to have a fling with an attractive woman who will then lose interest in him and feel she did him a favour being with him a long as she was. Unless he a dopamine seeker too.

      3. 13.1.3
        Yet Another Guy

        @Gab

        When I told the guy I’m seeing I felt a best friends vibe with him, he just smiled and said ‘I know, isn’t it great’.

        One of the major complaints I have heard from my single male friends is how much emphasis women our age are still placing on finding white-hot chemistry, even though most know better.   I have never had a relationship with white-hot chemistry that was not an emotional roller coaster-driven disaster in the making.

        My current relationship did not have white-hot chemistry at first.   What has amped up the physical part has been how comfortable we feel together.   Feeling free to express oneself in the bedroom without fear of judgement is immensely powerful, especially for women who have been with controlling men.   A couple does not start out making love to each other.   They start out making love to their previous partners.   That is why sex is more often than not awkward and lackluster at first.   It is only when we are observant and feel free to express our desires that ordinary sex has the chance to turn into long-lasting extraordinary sex that does not depend on blinding chemistry.     That state of being requires two people who in tune with each other, and that is where friendship and connectedness enter the equation.

        1. Gab

          @yag

          I agree that friendship can amp up the chemistry in the bedroom. I did say chemistry with this guy is a 7 and what I mean by that is sexual desire at any given moment (not when sex is taking place). This means we could be sitting and chatting about anything, and I could be checking him out and want to kiss him. Once we get started there’s attraction, technical proficiency, desire to please, etc that makes it really great. Just like your experience, I’ve found over the last 6 weeks of being together, it’s getting better each time. I also agree with you that the 10+ chemistry matches often can be emotionally   volatile relationships. There’s certainly an element of fear of loss combined with loving feelings including being highly desired that makes for high chemistry.

          Another little discovery has been that the friendship vibe can intensify bedroom chemistry because of the juxtaposition. He almost becomes a different man in the bedroom, much more confident, teasing, talking dirty, and so on. In contrast I seem to lose all my sassiness and become a little submissive in a good way

  14. 14
    Marika

    Hey Emily

    You know what’s so great about this approach and discussion: no numbers…no smv! No talk of leagues or dating up or down. Yay! If it’s about finding a best friend you’re attracted to, we may never hear those things again 🙂

    …oh no unless someone starts to rank and compare friendship levels … 😉

    1. 14.1
      Clare

      Amen to that!

      Long may it continue 😀

      The more I look at the happy couples I know and see around me, the more I can see that the whole leagues/SMV/rating thing is a load of bull.

      (Oh please oh please oh please don’t let this comment be a signal for someone to chime in and disagree and start talking about SMVs.)

      1. 14.1.1
        Cathalei

        Kudos to both of you. This whole SMV thing reeks of commodification of potential partners and this “date up” thing is also has a big hole in that question: If you are convinced that you should “date up”, why should your target “date down”? Seems like people who treat their partners like a person they’re attracted to instead of a good that should be traded at a market are happier, who would have thought? 🙂

        1. Clare

          Cathalei,

          “Seems like people who treat their partners like a person they’re attracted to instead of a good that should be traded at a market are happier, who would have thought?”

          Yeah, I am forever baffled that this should be such a revolutionary idea.

          I think of the whole SMV/leagues thing as a way for obsessively rational people to explain away something which so often defies logic, namely love and attraction. The way I see it is that they think if they can just quantify it, they can learn how to “win” at it or beat the odds. *shake my head*

          But it just doesn’t work that way. The whole SMV/leagues theory has so many holes in it that it may as well be a sieve used for holding water.

        2. Emily, to

          Clare,

          I think of the whole SMV/leagues thing as a way for obsessively rational people  

          You could have stopped there. 🙂 They think more than they feel.

      2. 14.1.2
        Marika

        Hehe 🙂

        Happy northern hemisphere V-Day, Clare and Emily!

        May your SMV’s bloom and may you forever be in a ‘league of your own’…   😉

      3. 14.1.3
        shaukat

        The whole SMV/leagues theory has so many holes in it that it may as well be a sieve used for holding water.

        Lol, paging Tom10 to this thread if you’re still around…

        1. Clare

          shaukat,

          Tom10 and I have had this discussion. Personally I (and I think Marika and Emily too) found his points unconvincing. 🙂

        2. emily, to

          Clare and Shaukat,

          People who focus on SMV tend to see their partner’s attractiveness as as a reflection of their own worth. I suppose we all do that to a certain extent, but the SMV-obsessed seem to need the validation more. So they’ll look “cooler” to the outside world with an 8.234 than a 7.869.

        3. Marika

          If we want to date around forever, it probably matters.

          If we want a great & loving relationship, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t.

          I don’t remember Tom’s specific points; I do remember him as being an intelligent and coherent writer. But I don’t recall him being happily coupled up (nor wanting to).

          It is great to have you back, Shaukat. Hope you’re okay.

        4. Yet Another Guy

          @shaukat

          You can count me in as a person who wholeheartedly believes that SMV and leagues exist.     A lot of women honestly appear to oblivious to leagues because so many guys are willing to date down for easier access to sex that they do not know where they fall within the female social hierarchy.   However, the average guy does in fact know (or at least has an idea of) where a woman   falls within the female social hierarchy as well as where he falls within the male social hierarchy.   How many guys who read this blog have mentioned that a woman was out of their league or heard a friend do so? I rest my case.   I have never heard a woman say such a thing.   That is because a) women almost never date down for sex, and b) women rarely pursue; therefore, the average woman has not had to endure the level of rejection that the average man endures.   Men form pursuing strategies based on where they feel women fall within the female social hierarchy.

          In the end, I challenge the women who claim that leagues do not exist to look objectively at the couples around them.   I guarantee that the number of assortative matches dwarfs the number of non-assortative matches, and that ratio grows by the day due to crucible for assortative pairing known as online dating.     Dating is an exercise in assortative pairing where each person attempts to maximize his/her outcome, but usually ends up with a similar phenotype match.   The number one reason why women find themselves in hit-and-quit situations is because the guy knows that he can do better (i.e., it is a non-assortative paring).

        5. Jeremy

          The women who don’t believe in leagues generally choose to date men for different reasons than those who believe in leagues.   A woman who is suddenly and viscerally attracted to a man she’d otherwise not notice when she sees him “take care of business” will come to disbelieve that “leagues” exist, because they don’t for her.   A woman who gradually finds a man more and more attractive as she comes to see his character will disbelieve in leagues.   Whereas a woman who is either attracted or not…well, she’ll understand the concept of leagues as well as any man.   It’s not about leagues, it’s about GOALS.   Some goals lend themselves to categorization and ranking, others don’t.   Why do so few people consider base motivation?

           

          I just saw a 60 year-old patient who was married to a 45 year old women who was much better-looking than he was.   The expression on her face as she looked at him was unmistakably loving.   So was she out of his league?   She doesn’t think so.   Or, at least, if she does think so, she must also think that he makes up for it somehow in other ways that are enough.

        6. Marika

          Hi Jeremy

          Useful & relevant contributions, as usual.

          There’s another option too, a woman who accepts that a concept exists, without putting much weight on it or it’s usefulness. Particularly with regard to a relationship (not in relation to sleeping around with a hottie, or arm candy or hitting & quitting blah blah).

          I hear, both in life and on here, countless stories of people who got into happy relationships once they stopped focusing on leagues and started caring more about things like how they felt around a person and how well they treated them.

          You talk about goals. I do wonder what relationship goal is achieved by focusing on leagues and SMV (not directed at you, of course)?

          I know caring about it can ruin relationships. My first boyfriend told me that the song with the line “she’s so high above me” made him think of me. I hadn’t given much thought to attractiveness levels prior to that – but after that it’s all I could think about. It killed my draw towards him as it made me wonder if I ‘could do better’ (which was ridiculous as he was attractive, not to mention kind and giving and funny and trustworthy and thrifty and..).

          I guess a person could argue if a woman is being dumped constantly by hot guys, she should consider her league. But again, I would argue that it’s not the league that is the problem, it is focusing on the wrong thing that is the problem (ie trying to get a hottie player to commit and not focusing on love and compatibility and kindness).

          It’s hard to explain. As to me this all pretty much goes without saying.

        7. Emily, to

            Jeremy,

          A woman who is suddenly and viscerally attracted to a man she’d otherwise not notice when she sees him “take care of business” will come to disbelieve that “leagues” exist, because they don’t for her. …  Whereas a woman who is either attracted or not…well, she’ll understand the concept of leagues as well as any man.    

          I’m going to have to disagree with you on this. I’m someone who’s attracted or not and I think the concept of leagues is mostly malarkey. And I can suddenly have more respect for a man who “takes care of business” who I didn’t notice before but that doesn’t mean I become viscerally attracted to him. I may think about him differently but he won’t have the same effect on me that the man who I was instantly attracted to does.

        8. Jeremy

          I recall a recent comment of yours regarding Jordan Peterson, Emily.   You described him as hot because he’s smart and expresses himself regardless of what others say about him.   Had you not known that about him, would you have found him hot?   If his pic was on “Hot or Not” with not description, would you think you’d have rated him highly?

           

          I recall a comment by Stacy 2 regarding Jared Kushner – that he was an absolute stud.   Funny, take away his status and put his pic up on “Hot or Not” and you’d not find him rated terribly highly, I think.   But incorporate his status and you’d find him rated highly indeed….by those women whose goal is to land a man with status.   Just like Peterson would be rated highly by women who like men who take care of business and don’t give a shit about what others think.   The people to whom you are subconsciously attracted are the ones that match your subconscious goals.

           

          I understand that you might have been referring to an instantaneous, pheromonal, hormonal, instinctive attraction in your comment, rather than considered attraction.   But that instinctive attraction is like the urge to pee – it passes when the deed is done.   It reminds me of an old quote about the difference between art and porn – you remain interested in art after you orgasm.   I’m referring to attraction that is art, rather than porn 🙂

        9. Emily, to

          Jeremy,
          I recall a recent comment of yours regarding Jordan Peterson, Emily.   You described him as hot because he’s smart and expresses himself regardless of what others say about him.   Had you not known that about him, would you have found him hot? …   I understand that you might have been referring to an instantaneous, pheromonal, hormonal, instinctive attraction in your comment, rather than considered attraction.  
          But that instinctive attraction is like the urge to pee — it passes when the deed is done.  
          No, it usually lasts for several months. I think Peterson’s persona is hot but I’d have to meet him in person to see if I had any kind of physiological response to him.   But “considered attraction” means you’re on the fence. It’s not an automatic and usually requires pinning yourself down to stick around.   And he’s not a bad looking guy. You don’t need to be a 10 to elicit visceral attraction. I realize that doesn’t make sense to a lot of men.
            I’m referring to attraction that is art, rather than porn
          I’ll take the porn.   🙂 You’re supposed to get down and dirty. It’s feral. At least that part of it. The other parts can be on a higher plane.

        10. shaukat

          @ YAG,

          I agree SMV exists, but the problem is when people treat it as an iron clad law of physics. Humans are not math formulas,   and certain traits, quirks, styles, qualities etc, can make someone attractive to an ‘objectively’ better looking person (As Jeremy pointe out).

          However, I think it’s deluded to say it doesn’t exist at all. If that were the case a conventionally unattractive woman could write a clever profile and get the same amount of attention from attractive men as a conventionally attractive woman (and vice versa). It just doesn’t happen. Plus, it’s true that many couples are looks matched.

          @Marika,

          Thanks:)

        11. Clare

          shaukat,

          My oft-expressed problem with the leagues/SMV idea is that it is portrayed as universal. But it is far from it.

          Sure, there are things like symmetry and the golden mean in facial structure, but beyond that, it’s all fair game. Western, white men prefer thin women. Where I live (South Africa), Zulu men prefer women with a lot more meat on their bones. The bigger the boobs and the bum, the more they like it. (Come to think of it, I have a few white guy friends who like more curvaceous women too.) They wouldn’t look twice at a little slip of a girl. Ideas of beauty differ massively across cultures – something people who are exposed only to western media day in and day out forget.

          The idea of what’s hot differs across time periods in history too. Nowadays, a lovely caramel tan is considered sexy. Men and women alike pay a fortune in self-tanning lotions and tanning salon fees. A hundred years ago and earlier, women who were extremely fair and even ghostly pale were considered beautiful. The same goes for curly and straight hair.

          Just between me and my two closest female friends, our tastes differ widely. I like them tall and preppy with brown hair and brown eyes. My friend B likes them blue eyed, skinny and rough. My friend S likes a boyish, slight build. I don’t understand it personally. There is so much variety in looks and taste that I don’t see how we can possibly determine who fits into what league, what that person’s SMV is and why.

          Personally, I think that, because we are bombarded with images of what the media (these days and in western culture) considers to be beautiful, we falsely believe that that is what we should all aspire to, both in ourselves and in the people we date. It’s easy to forget that, in reality, people find a  very, very  wide variety of traits (both physical and character-wise) appealing. Hell, The Bachelor South Africa has just started here, with one of the most gorgeous men I’ve ever seen in the starring role, and he commented on how adorable it was that one of the women had braces.

          My point is, the idea of SMVs and leagues is all very well in theory. It’s a fun concept to bandy around to try and explain why people choose to couple up with some people and not others. It also serves the purposes of those who insist on reducing male-female relationships to sexual terms (it’s certainly one of YAG’s favourite ideas).

          But  in reality, people’s preferences vary widely and cannot be so easily explained. I myself have been rejected by guys who were not as attractive as me, and I have also rejected guys who were absolutely gorgeous for reasons which had absolutely nothing to do with their physical attractiveness. On a micro level, this is how it works.

          This fiercely logical sorting of mates based on attractiveness only happens in guys like YAG’s heads.

        12. Jeremy

          Clare  wrote, “I think of the whole SMV/leagues thing as a way for obsessively rational people to explain away something which so often defies logic.”

           

          I often talk about dysfunctional personality types – dysfunction Idealists who can only see the world as they think it should be, dysfunctional Guardians who can only see the world through the eyes of others.   But the type to most often be dysfunctional IME is the Rational.   The manosphere is chalk-full of dysfunctional Rationals – people who believe they are seeing the world as it truly is, people whose world-view follows a model that is logical….but logical only insofar as to the observations of the model go.   The world is not a model.   The sign of a functional Rational is open-ness, not closedness.

           

          But one thing to note: The dysfunctionality of the Rational is not due to being overly logical, it is due to their/our failure to be.   Failure to include subjectivity into the logical model.   To include disconfirming evidence into the model.

           

          It is not that we “think more than we feel,” with all due respect to Emily.   It’s that our excessive feeling interferes with our thinking.   I’ve never known a Rational who wasn’t over-compensating for his/her own over-sentimentality, more sentimentality than any other type.   We all start off as Idealists who have our idealism smacked out of us by life.   As the avoidant develops avoidancy to compensate for lack of love, so the Rational develops rationality to compensate for a world that makes no sense and so harms us.

        13. Nissa

          Jeremy,

          Do you have a book recommendation for those wanting to know more about these types, such as Idealist or Guardian?

          I’m interested in knowing a bit more about those theories.

        14. Emily, to

          Jeremy,

          I’ve never known a Rational who wasn’t over-compensating for his/her own over-sentimentality, more sentimentality than any other type.    

          I’ve come to realize in life that the reasons why don’t matter. All that matters is the end result. These types come off as extremely cold and rigid. Also, they have a sense of entitlement at what type of woman they think they deserve. (I’m referring to the manosphere, SMV-obsessed types, a few of whom post here.) It’s unsexy and unappealing.

      4. 14.1.4
        Marika

        Hi Clare

        Have you travelled much? Or been around those who have? Obviously South Africa itself has rich cultural diversity too.

        No doubt linked to my personality, as Jeremy always explains so well, I’ve been lucky enough to travel a lot. My friendship group is from all over the world. It opened me up to different experiences, ideas etc. It taught me how few absolutes there are. How so many things are relative – like conceptions of attractiveness. (Of course the downside is I’m still renting!)

        I wonder if that’s why you and I think so similarly…or maybe it’s that we’re Southies and most other regular commenters here are from the North….maybe it’s the heat!

        I wonder if, linked to personality, some of the ‘this is how it is’, ‘men always…’, ‘women only..’ types hang out only with people who think like them. So they think everyone is the same and can’t conceive of, or be open to, nuance and diversity in thinking. I vividly recall being told on here recently I was ‘in denial’ for having a different opinion! I gave up at that point.

        Emily: ‘the reasons why don’t matter’?!!! Shock, horror…my idealist sista – what you say??

        1. Clare

          Hi Marika,

          I’ve travelled a bit 🙂 A fair bit I guess for someone my age. I’ve been to every corner of South Africa (which is huge) which has some of the widest variety of people and cultures of any country in the world. We’ve got everything – from Anglo Europeans, to Afrikaans Europeans, to pockets of every other kind of Europeans (German, Portuguese, Greek, Irish, etc.)… and that’s not even getting started on the very diverse indigenous African groups, of which there are many. Where I live, there is a massive Indian population as well.

          I’ve travelled in other African countries and lived in Namibia for a couple of years. I’ve also been to England, France, Switzerland, Ireland, the U.S., Brazil, and Mauritius. So I’ve been exposed to a lot of different cultures and just accept them as a fact of life. Even growing up in a South Africa which was coming out of apartheid, I have never been in a homogeneous environment. My school was one of the first in the country to accept girls of colour into a white school. I grew up and have always been around people who were vastly different from me – different looking, different culturally. There is so much diversity even within my own race and culture.

          So yeah, long-winded way of saying, I’m sure if you have traveled a lot and been exposed to different cultures, you look at “absolutist” type concepts like leagues and SMV with a fair amount of skepticism. I’m often amazed at how, for all their development and advancement, closed and unaware a lot of western, northern people seem to be about other places and other cultures.

          Maybe it is a Southy thing? All the heat and humidity and wildness. I definitely don’t feel on a wavelength with a lot of the posters here and with a lot of the “Northern” way of thinking.

          In denial for having a different opinion? Yeah that sounds about right… I wouldn’t have bothered either….

        2. Emily, to

          Hi Marika,

          Emily: ‘the reasons why don’t matter’?!!! Shock, horror…my idealist sista — what you say??

          I may be reading too much into what Jeremy wrote, but flim flam is one of my triggers.   It doesn’t matter if a Rational used to be sentimental and is compensating. Who cares? All that matters is what they do and who they are now. I have a female relative who’s been romantically texting a former male high school friend for months. He lives out of state, and there’s always a litany of excuses about why he can’t visit her and she isn’t invited to visit him. But who cares why? The end result is that she’s not seeing him in person and is having a text relationship. No more or no less.

        3. Clare

          Emily,

          “flim flam is one of my triggers.”

          I love this! 😀 Me too!

          “The end result is that she’s not seeing him in person and is having a text relationship.”

          At a certain point you have to cut through all the bullcrap and focus on the result you’re getting. Life is too short. I think if everyone adopted this attitude the world would be a far more proactive place.

        4. Marika

          Hey Emmo

          Sure, your  relative’s text buddy is  President of the Republic of FlimFlam.

          But for me, what Jeremy wrote about himself and others like him is helpful. He does feel things, deeply.. he wasn’t born logical. It’s a protective mechanism. That makes sense to me and helps me relate to him better.

          I always say if I can picture what someone was like as a little kid I can have endless empathy and care for them. I guess it’s another way of saying if they show vulnerability. Which he did (and does). Some others on here come across like they were born angry, middle-aged and right about everything. That’s worse to me than flam.

        5. Emily, to

          Marika,

          But for me, what Jeremy wrote about himself and others like him is helpful. He does feel things, deeply.. he wasn’t born logical. It’s a protective mechanism. That makes sense to me and helps me relate to him better.

          I wasn’t referring to Jeremy but the people who are SMV-obsessed. He has never given any indication that he is that shallow. Though he has described himself as a Rational. Funny, there’s something about rationals that makes me want to push them over the edge or say outrageous things.   🙂

          Idk, Marika. I’ve spent most of my life making excuses for people, and it was mostly allowing them to treat me badly and/or not show up. I won’t do it anymore.

        6. Emily, to

          Clare,

          At a certain point you have to cut through all the bullcrap and focus on the result you’re getting.  

          I totally agree. I think you were the one who posted a comment on another post about suffering through years of fair weather friends who weren’t there for you until you finally cleared them out and expected more. That is what I have recently done … cleared out those full of  flim flam. I’m hoping that a change in my energy will help.

        7. Marika

          Em ma woman

          I hear that a lot. I’ve been told a lot, in fact, to take a harder line with people. It’s  apparently a sign of growth and psychological maturity to have strong boundaries and enforce them.

          But here’s what scares me…if I take a harder line with people, they will also do that with me. And while I don’t use people or cheat etc, I do stuff up and don’t want to be written off the minute I make a mistake.

          I would rather give people the benefit of the doubt and be wrong / disappointed from time to time, than not.

        8. Emily, to

          Marika,

          And while I don’t use people or cheat etc, I do stuff up and don’t want to be written off the minute I make a mistake.

          I don’t think it’s so much a matter of writing people off as it is finding people who value what you do. In terms of friendship, I have recently walked away from 2 friendships because my idea of friendship is so different than theirs. It’s not a 3-sentence email once every 3 months claiming you miss me, I respond … and radio silence. They can’t even carry on an email conversation. One told me that I would always have her as a friend, but I’m not feeling it. I don’t feel supported. I barely hear from her. It’s the same with guys. If you want a boyfriend but he wants to only text and see you once a month, well, no hard feelings, but TTMO … time to move on. Like I wrote, flim flam is one of my triggers. Showing up is a really LOW bar to clear. But I can tolerate other stuff. I certainly have my own personal bullshit I’m bringing to the table, too.

        9. Clare

          Emily,

          “I think you were the one who posted a comment on another post about suffering through years of fair weather friends who weren’t there for you until you finally cleared them out and expected more.”

          Yip, that was me.

          “That is what I have recently done … cleared out those full of  flim flam.”  

          I wanted to give a standing ovation and a cheer when I read this!

          “I’m hoping that a change in my energy will help.”

          It will, for two reasons. The friends who are already in your life will respect you more. Personally, I believe people  want  to be held to a higher standard – those who don’t have the ability to set great boundaries or standards for themselves seem to appreciate it when others do it for them. I believe that when such people don’t treat other people well, they don’t really like themselves. If you come along and firmly, but kindly and without any fuss, show them how to treat you, you give them a roadmap to how to do better. Some people will step up, others won’t – and that’s ok.

          Secondly, the quality of people you attract will be better. I’ve seen this consistently in my own life. When I got clear on the kinds of people I would spend my time and energy on, I weeded out (and continue to weed out)  so  many people and situations that were not right for me. I’m now at a very happy point in my life where nearly everyone who is a regular in my life knows the way I am and treats me with respect consistently. That’s not to say that you take a hard line with people and never give second chances (this is for Marika’s benefit) 🙂 – it’s more that you assess them and their behaviour from a place of strength and you  get to decide if you want to give them a second chance and give them the benefit of the doubt and let things slide. Rather than simply tolerating whatever treatment people want to throw out at you. You can always revisit your decision later on. You just keep watching and monitoring whether someone is adding value to your life – that puts you in the driver’s seat. To be honest, I think you just know when someone’s time in your life is up – like you did with your email buddies.

          It works this way in dating too, I’ve found. I’ve noticed the quality of the man I’ve been going out with slowly rise and rise. My current boyfriend is one of the most considerate people I’ve ever met.

        10. Emily, to

          Hi Clare,

          You just keep watching and monitoring whether someone is adding value to your life — that puts you in the driver’s seat. To be honest, I think you just know when someone’s time in your life is up — like you did with your email buddies.

          I doubt they’ll even notice I’ve fallen off the planet. I just got to the point where I realized that great quote by Gertrude Stein described my friendships with these people: “There’s no there there.” And I don’t want waste any more energy on in it. But I’m hoping that, because I am finally asking for more, I’ll, like you said, attract different kinds of people. Emotionally present people. Thanks for the advice.

        11. Marika

          Hi YAG

          Well, Evan does. And that’s the big appeal of this site; of his message. If he was throwing around tired old clichés or PUA techniques, was aggressive or anti-woman, this site would be completely unhelpful & uninspiring.

      5. 14.1.5
        shaukat

        Hi Clare,

        I actually agree with your entire comment–beauty and desire are certainly socially constructed to a certain extent, and conceptions of attraction (as well as masculinity and femininity) have shifted over time periods and differ across cultures.

        My point was not to try and argue that attraction is biological or cultural (which is a separate debate) but simply to state that within a given national and cultural context (say the US) the concept of SMV does exist (you may think this is unfortunate, and I’d agree, but it is reality imo).

        1. Clare

          Yeah shaukat, it’s not that I don’t think leagues and SMV exist (within a certain context and for a fairly narrowly defined group of people). It’s more that I think focusing on them is a complete waste of time.

          Whom does it serve to fixate on these concepts?

          The point with my post was that every pot has its lid. For every type of look, there will be someone who finds it attractive. How the bleeding eff does it help us to try and constantly figure out where we stack up in comparison to other people and to try and rate ourselves? I mean, FFS (I’m getting annoyed now, you can tell). Pursue the people who like you back. It’s not that hard.

        2. Marika

          Sigh! What Clare said.

          Also, Shaukat, as I’m sure I don’t need to explain, I could ask 10 different men within my culture what my smv is and get 5 different numbers. So which one of them do I believe in this great ranking system which to some is so very important and statistically significant? Or do I take the mean? The median? …maybe the mode? Round up to one decimal place? Two?

          Then once I have this magical number, I….?

        3. ezamuzed

          @clare

          It never serves to fixate on anything. But understanding it might spur a person who is seeking a relationship to increase their SMV. Because it is a marketplace increasing their own SMV so they can attract the best possible mates for them is a good thing for them. In practical terms this is simply becoming the best you you can be. Physically, mentally, socially, etc.

        4. Emily, to

          Marika,

          , I could ask 10 different men  within my culture  what my smv is and get 5 different numbers.

          Totally agree. I have a male friend who said he would have turned down ELIZABETH TAYLOR IN HER PRIME. “I don’t like short and busty,” he said. WTF? I was about ready to take away his male hetero card!   🙂   But I guess I’m no different. I don’t get the female fascination with the pretty boy beefy types like the Hemsworth Brothers. But the point is … they’ll be people who appreciate you, they’ll be people who won’t.

        5. shaukat

          @Clare,

          With all due respect, your frustration is misplaced. I simply agreed with your post and then said that leagues do roughly exist. Yes, obviously go for the people who want you, but the concept of SMV can be helpful for those individuals who are a bit delusional and don’t want the people who want them. In fact, Evan has a blog post about this very topic:

          https://www.evanmarckatz.com/blog/dating-tips-advice/my-unattractive-best-friend-is-completely-shallow-how-do-i-help-him

          And Marika, yes, you should take the median to avoid statistical outliers, lol. I guarantee you that if you asked ten randomly sampled men within your age from your culture to rate you, the deviation in their ratings would be slight.

          Also, I never said it was an exact science or that it was that important. Sometimes two people will have a connection that renders all this irrelevant.

        6. Marika

          Hi Shaukat

          You said: ‘SMV can be helpful for those individuals who are a bit delusional’

          With due respect to you, if it was only raised as a way of being helpful to delusional people, it wouldn’t come up here so often.

          Think about the people who use it the most. They are typically impossibly shallow themselves and/or a bit angry at women, in general, or women from their past, women who rejected them in their 20s etc… It’s some strange way of getting back at people likely not even reading this blog.

          You still didn’t say how many decimal places I should round to..?? 😉

        7. Clare

          Sorry shaukat, I wasn’t frustrated at you, and didn’t mean my annoyance to be directed at you. It’s not. I find your comments consistently well-balanced and thoughtful.

          My annoyance was more just me screaming in frustration into the void! 😀

        8. Adrian

          A few months ago Evan made one of his rare appearances in the comments to reprimand a few commeters about their actions towards YAG.

          The commentors were “figuratively” scream about how he disrespectful he is towards female commentors.

          Where Evan stated, “a lot of the women are more disrespectful towards him than he is towards them.”

          I’ve never forgot that, because I couldn’t understand why Evan would say that.   Now looking at this SMV subject I see what Evan meant. I also see the clarity Evan gets from being a non-interactive 3rd party observer.

          I went back and searched SMV, Leagues, etc on this blog and every time it was mentioned by a regular male commenter it was in a casual sense. They would state it (within context) and then move on.

          But it’s has always been those arguing against it that always seem to make it into a big deal. They re-frame it as if it’s the other side that always talk about it. Poor Tom10 was even guilted and shamed into not saying it. He never attacked others or said all people, he just talked about his views.

          Anyway,

          Don’t believe me? Go to the search option on this blog and read some of the conversations for yourself. See who makes the biggest deal out of SMV and Leagues and he gets blamed for it.

        9. Clare

          ezamused,

          If used purely as a concept to spur a person on to “be the best you that you can be” then I am 100% behind it. I believe wholeheartedly in personal growth and in constantly learning and evolving and improving – in relationships the same way we should do in all areas of our lives. However, this is a personal journey and is unique to the individual – the way I see it, it’s not for some external person to come along and say, “I pronounce you a 6.5” or “congratulations, you have now graduated to a new league” or however this is supposed to work in the minds of those people who love this concept.

          My problem with it is, like Marika says, it is not used as a tool for personal growth, but rather a tool to put people in their place. It’s used by shallow, angry people who resent being rejected and want to triumph in the rejection of others. At least, that’s how it seems to me.

          Frankly, when I see a hot guy with a plain woman, my first thought is not “Oh my word, she tried to date out of her league, you just wait, he’ll leave her for a swimsuit model before the ink is dry on their marriage papers.” I think “Wow, it’s so validating to think that people value qualities other than a skinny body and a Margot Robbie face so highly in a relationship.”

          (I am ranting here, not having a go at you.)

        10. Marika

          Hi Adrian

          Perhaps you’re right.

          I would add two things to consider, though. How many times do the people who talk about the importance of leagues and SMV mention kindness, consistency and values? The latter being essential in a loving relationship, the focus of this blog. The second is that because women are more likely (on the whole) to want to understand men than the reverse, this is mainly a space for women. Yes, we’re here to understand men and appreciate their views, but we already understand very well men whose highest priority is looks and youth – every beauty ad, newsreader, hollywood heart throb etc reminds us of the importance of those things – while many of us are much more interested in a different way, a different view. Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion, and we are equally entitled to say, thanks, but how is that tired old view helpful on this particular site? What is pointing out SMV adding to a discussion about finding love? Do you (the royal you) have a particular agenda when posting on this site?

          If you’re at all interested in understanding women, read what the women are writing here, take it on board. Think about why Evan, who does focus so strongly on the importance of the things that endure, is such a popular coach.

        11. Yet Another Guy

          @Marika

          How many times do the people who talk about the importance of leagues and SMV mention kindness, consistency and values?

          It is because most of the posters who mention SMV are male and those are not masculine traits.   The male equivalent of that set of traits is along the lines of protectiveness, loyalty, and integrity (i.e., doing the right thing even when no one is looking).   Men desire a woman who is kind because men know that kindness is a quality that they are rarely afforded the opportunity to express.     While women have to deal with male aggression from time to time, it pales in comparison to the male-on-male aggression that takes place on a regular basis.   They call many of these interactions “dick measuring contests” for a reason.   They are tests of a man’s testosterone level.   The man with the higher testosterone level is usually the victor because testosterone is the hormone that fuels risk taking.

          Speaking of the effects of testosterone, long-term relationships are associated with reduced testosterone.     I wonder if the dip in a man’s testosterone level is responsible for the loss of arousal and interest in sex by the woman in many relationships? 🙂

        12. Mrs Happy

          “Men desire a woman who is kind because men know that kindness is a quality that they are rarely afforded the opportunity to express.”  

          Most of the men I associate with, are kind to me.   Thus this can’t be true.

          “It is because most of the posters who mention SMV are male and those are not masculine traits.”  

          That is Marika’s point – men want kindness in a female, so why not mention it, or other important values, aside from SMV?

          Basically some people care about their partner’s looks and some don’t.   I for one couldn’t care what my partner looks like, and have had crushes on the (what others would judge as) objectively ugliest men around.   My lizard brain area does seem to be set to find some races very unattractive though.

           

        13. Emily, to

          Mrs. Happy,    

          I for one couldn’t care what my partner looks like, and have had crushes on the (what others would judge as) objectively ugliest men around.  

          I’m similar. I wouldn’t say my crushes have been ugly but average to decently attractive. The typical pretty boy or work-out king does nothing for me.

    2. 14.2
      Emily, to

      Hi Marika,

      You know what’s so great about this approach and discussion: no numbers…no smv!

      Oh, come on, one of our regular male posters is bound to bring up SMV. 🙂

        If it’s about finding a best friend you’re attracted to, we may never hear those things again

      Hmmmm …. The best male friends I’ve had have either been gay or men I wasn’t attracted to.

  15. 15
    Yet Another Guy

    @Marika

    Taking advantage of others or of situations is a choice; needing incentives to behave is not really an adult thing.

    I am not disagreeing with you.   I am just bringing to light the reality that men who have a lot of options on dating sites have little incentive to not take advantage of the situation.   There are no ramifications other than internal controls.   That is why I used the term “douche bag” to describe the behavior.   Women give men this power by focusing on such a small percentage of the dating pool on dating sites to the detriment of guys who are better assortative matches. Women cannot blame men for taking advantage of easier access to sex than is possible when dating women in their own league just as men cannot blame women for taking advantage of the situation when they attempt to date out of their league.   In the later case, a guy is just asking to be used.   If a person is too good to be true from a desirability point of view, it should set off alarm bells.

  16. 17
    Gab

    I’m a woman and I believe leagues tables based on looks exist but are of course modified by other factors like personality, money, social status, flirting ability and so on. I’ve had a few friends in the past that consistently aimed higher than their own level and never got into lasting relationships. One of my friends was a 6 foot blonde, striking but not beautiful, without a good career or assets. She set her sights on very wealthy men and she spent a good portion of her 20s enjoying the perks of dating such men, but I believe she was not beautiful enough for men with that kind of wealth to take her as a wife (unless she was willing to go for someone more than twice her age). This friend did want to have a family but missed out as she is now almost 50. I always thought that if she’d gone for a guy who had a decent job but wasn’t a millionaire, she would have ended up in a much better position. In this friends case the main factor in her leagues table was his wealth but I have other friends who are still trying to get the really hot guys and wondering why these guys are only interested in playing. In my 20s I got by on my looks but now in my 40s looks are not enough, especially since I’m also competing with women in their early 30s if not 20s. I’m well-preserved enough to be attractive to a lot of men, but since I’m looking for something more serious, I’m more interested in looking for a man who is kind, has integrity, is sensual, playful, stable, high intelligence, than a George Clooney in looks or someone with a lot of money. I don’t swipe right on men who are too attractive or who appear to be too wealthy. Sure I might miss out on someone for whom I might tick all the boxes, but I figure by choosing to spend my limited time on men similar to myself in value I am giving myself a better chance of finding ‘the one’ than if I tried to upgrade. Perhaps this is a cynical rather than romantic approach to love…

  17. 18
    Paula

    Re the league/SMV mentality – my personal experience is by no means universal or even statistically relevant but I will still say that the 2-3 rudest and most arrogant men I’ve met all had in common above-average looks, great jobs and wives who left them.   It didn’t take much scratching beneath the surface to reveal them as wounded, bitter and vengeful – no thanks.

    1. 18.1
      No Name To Give

      Because, who leaves that guy? I mean, my question is rhetorical, but a guy with all that on paper isn’t going to understand how a woman could leave him. I’m not saying it was right for their wives to leave them. I don’t know these men from Adam. But you do wonder about the level of self-awareness.

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