Does Online Dating Even Work?!

Does Online Dating Even Work?!

Dear Evan,

I was curious as to what your real opinion is of online dating. I did meet my girlfriend online, but after a year of painful struggle, meaning hardly any dates despite being educated, employed, and reasonably attractive. Friends of both genders tell that their experiences have been hard in different ways. My guy friends (also educated, attractive) complain that they get no responses and female acquaintences tell me that they get so many emails, etc, that they don’t know where to start-and often do nothing. They don’t have time to “date around” several times a week.(actually neither would I). I assume that the problem exists due to security. Women, being more vulnerable than men, are more hesitant to date online, so you get a situation where there’s a lot more men than women. Aside from my own luck and the trendy radio ads and sexy commercials, it seems as if no one’s happy.


Dear Geoff,

Glad to hear you found someone special, and even happier that you spoke up. Most of the people that write about online dating write about what’s wrong with it. It makes sense. I mean, that’s what news is – emphasize the bad, misery loves company, etc. Turn on the TV and it’s not about kittens being saved from trees, but drive-by shootings. That doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of kittens saved from trees.

Go to one of those websites that reviews dating sites and you’ll see the same. Average review will be 2 out of 5 stars or something like that. Why? Because people who get married from online dating sites rarely get back online to post happy reviews on websites. They move on with their lives, while everyone else complains about the sites and the awful people on the sites.

I don’t deny ANYBODY the negative experiences that they’ve had. I just urge people to find some healthier perspective on the whole thing. A private client told me just this weekend that she’s quitting online dating after three bad dates in a row. Here is what I wrote back to her:

First of all, I’ve had EVERY bad dating experience you can possibly imagine. I’ve had women write me nasty emails, insult me over the phone, ignore my phone calls, stand me up, refuse to thank me for dinner, refuse to reciprocate in bed… Are you getting the idea? And yet I still run around as this super dating advocate, because I believe it is the best prospect to find someone special. If you choose to wait for lightning to strike until you go on another date with the “right” guy, you might be waiting a long, long time. Like, FOREVER.

Abstinence isn’t the answer. Mustering the courage to persevere in light of bad experience is.

Listen, you might think I’m nuts to keep on preaching positivity. That’s fair. All I know is that it’s freakin’ HARD to meet someone. We have our small lives: our circle of married friends, our work buddies, a few single people, and that’s it. And as you get into your mid-30’s, the bar scene is really old and set-ups have become a bit of a joke. While it’s nice to say, “I want to meet someone organically, where our eyes meet, so I can feel chemistry”, that simply doesn’t happen very often. This is why I believe in online dating. Not because it’s perfect – not by a long shot. But because it creates opportunity where previously there was none. My first love, in 2003, was a Filipino woman that worked in the pharmaceutical industry and lived in a different part of town. I NEVER would have met her in “real life”. But I did meet her on My best friend in New York is marrying a man she met on eHarmony. My sister is in love with a man she met on Nerve. My sister’s best friend is in love with a man she met on eHarmony. I have dozens of clients who are married, engaged and in love with people they met online. And these are just the people that I know well.

So let’s acknowledge the flaws of online dating: the liars, the bores, the flakes, the crazies, the morons, the perverts, the poor spellers, and so on. These people exist offline as well. They just have access to you online. So as I see it, you have two choices: quit online dating and make a supreme effort to go to as many parties, coffee shops and adult education classes as possible OR try to find a way to avoid the worst of the online daters. The third, and most popular choice, is to quit and wait for your soulmate to drop out of the sky, like “The Secret” for love. Yeah, keep praying, people.

Your best bet is to keep dusting yourself off, learning from your mistakes, and staying in the game. Sure, sometimes you’ll get burned. But sometimes, with enough perseverence (as well as luck, timing, a good profile and a positive attitude), you’ll fall in love. And if it hasn’t happened to you yet, you can say “What’s wrong with these terrible people on these awful sites?” Or you can ask, “How can I make this work for me, despite the obvious flaws?”

You know where I stand. But I’ll tell you, all it takes is one person – and you’ll be standing right with me.

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  1. 151

    I have one thing on my list – compare to some women that have a laundry list of things they want.  Sorry I am not going to date someone that doesn’t at least take care of themselves physically.  And if you don’t email/wink oh well I wish you the best of luck in finding that match that will not eliminate you in some way.

  2. 152


    Yeah- me too. THe problem is that a lot of guys also have an incessant amount of ‘shoulds’ in there profile. If a man’s telling me how I ‘should’ be…um, no.

    Problem is, I’m looking for men of my particular race and faith, and they’re the ones who are the most demanding, online at least. lol

  3. 153

    Have you ever looked at the Indian matrimonial websites?  I don’t know if they’re kind of like a dating service for marriage-minded Indians, or if it’s more of a marriage-matchmaking service (former allowing for a longer dating relationship than the latter is the distinction I’m trying to make between the two), but I bet you’ll find more guys of South Asian descent who share your faith.

  4. 154

    Well then it seems that we are all doomed – And if you tell me that women don’t have a incessant list of “should be” then you need to check some of the profiles your fellow women are posting.  It’s alright for a woman to skip a guy by if he doesn’t make 100K and yet I get lambasted because I state in my profile that I would like to date a woman that is physically fit.  And if you read my post I said the only criteria I had was that she has to be physically fit or at least trying to be.  Okay maybe I shouldn’t have said “has” but my point is which each have our standards and since I work out it seems rational to date some one that has the same mindset.

  5. 155


    Have you tried meeting women at your health club? Through sports? Maybe a company softball team or something similiar?

  6. 156


    Yeah, I’ve tried those sites- the problem (ah, there’s always one of those, aren’t there ;-)) with them is they attract mostly men who have just come to this country and have way more conservative values than I do. And there are plenty who really are just looking for a green card.

    I don’t mean conservative as in Democrat v. Republican, but more toward how they view women.

    I don’t know- it does look like I have to make a compromise somewhere, just don’t know what it should be.

    Oh- A-L- I am soo sorry if I asked before- there are so many posts here I lose track, but how long were you online dating before finding your man?

  7. 157

    I don’t think anyone should rely completely on just one way to meet people. I just started online dating, but still on the look out offline as well. I think online is a good way to broaden the field, and is really no different than introducing yourself to someone in the gym/bar/grocery store.

  8. 158

    RE: Sayanta‘s #161
    I began online dating in the fall of 2006.  I continued, off an on, until January 2009 at which point my fiance and I were exclusive.  And during those 26 months I probably had an online subscription about 2/3 of the time.
    Good luck with your search.  Just from your posts I can tell that you’ve put a lot of thought into what you want out of the dating world, and what you want out of a relationship, both of which will help you a lot.

  9. 159


    Thanks for your sweet words… well, I hope it works out. If not, there’s always the Buddhist nunnery. ;-p

  10. 160

    #160 Selena, the health clubs are not exactly conducive to meeting women.  Sure there are a lot of females that work out but if they are like me the gym is a place to work out not to socialize.  Haven’t tried participating in sporting clubs.  Played hockey for awhile but it was all dudes so no luck there.
    #162 C, I am beginning to realize that the chances of meeting a match on line is getting slimmer and slimmer.  So I’ve joined some meetups in an attempt to build but my dating confidence.  Online you can type the best email, have a decent profile (minus the criteria because heaven forbid you reject someone that might be interested in you) and yet get no responses.  And it has also become apparent to me that the written word can sometimes be misconstrued and what you thought was humor backfires.

  11. 161

    I think the biggest problem with online dating is because it’s lets face it- shopping for humans- and therefore DE-humanizing in a lot of ways, people don’t know what the proper etiquette is, and feelings get hurt that way.

    For example, if a guy waits 4 days to e-mail me- I consider that rude. But apparently guys don’t. So, who’s right?

    And there’s some outright weird behaviour that makes you have second thoughts about someone. Case in point, a guy who e-mailed me wants to get together soon- but instead of taking initiative or answering my e-mail, he keeps looking at my profile every day! Maybe he is a good guy? I don’t know… but this weird behavior has made me write him off. I’m sure other people probably think the same way.

  12. 162

    I know I have sometimes waited 4 days before responding although not because I was waiting for 4 days to pass.  Recently, work was very hectic and home was pretty busy and I didn’t even check email for a week.  So I give people a pass if they don’t respond quickly.  

    Hiker: I agree, humor can be misconstrued!  I either make it so outlandish that it can only be taken as a joke or I’ll say right in the email that I’m just kidding.  And I too have written men email’s and not gotten any response which is why I always respond to a nicely written email.  I usually respond to one liners with a simple thank you.  I don’t respond to flirts/winks.


  13. 163

    Hehehehe all I’ve noticed is that there are an awful lot of us who are single on these sites and everbody is rejecting each for one reason or another, some good, some not so good.  Oh well, what are ya gonna do…..

  14. 164
    Karl R

    Sayanta said: (#166)
    “people don’t know what the proper etiquette is,”
    “So, who’s right?”

    I would agree with that. I would extend that to include you and I as people who don’t know what the proper etiquette is.

    Etiquette is a set of expectations of behavior based on the social norms for a group, society or social class. If you think of an online dating site as a group, people enter that group with no concept of what the social norms are, or how those norms might differ from typical dating. If a dating site has a typical turnover of 6 months, people may have an idea of the norms by the time they leave. Since there’s a rapid turnover, there’s always a sizeable segment of the group that has differing opinions about what the expectation of behavior should be.

    Until enough people have the same expectation, we don’t know who is engaging in proper etiquette. We’re just taking our best guess.

    Sayanta said: (#166)
    “And there’s some outright weird behaviour […] instead of taking initiative or answering my e-mail, he keeps looking at my profile every day!”

    I think you’re trying to read too much into a situation where you have very little information.

    One woman I dated would send 2 page replies to each of my emails, always within an hour of when she received them. Someone could assume that she was desperately waiting by the computer for my emails.

    In reality, she was unemployed and bored. She was spending most of her time online (pursuing job leads, making a little money on eBay or just entertaining herself) and reading / replying to my emails was an interesting diversion.

    When you understand her perspective, her behavior seems completely rational.

  15. 165

    I am a 39 year old woman, that was recently divorced.  I tried 3 sites of online dating…went out with 4 men, 3 that were my exact age and one that was 49.  I am now living with one of the men my age, been dating for 9 months and the future is good.  My live-in was doing online dating for quite some time before he met me.  Maybe we got really lucky or maybe we had realistic expectations, were honest from the start and made each other a priority. My experience with online dating, though short (only about 2 1/2 months) was positive and I think it’s possible to find a compatible match if that is what you truly want. 

  16. 166
    Golden Child

    i will say that online dating is a gamble. I was on for a year and out of the dozens of women I messaged, only two responded. Although I did get both of their phone numbers, I never went out on a date with either of them because of complications. The second girl who I was going to go out with I cut contact with because I had just lost my job and had become broke :-(.
    I think there is no universal standard of what every woman considers to be an attractive dateable man. Similarly, a woman you might find attractive may be completely repulsive to me and many others. Some women think I am an adonis and other women think I am as appealing as soiled kitty litter. Some girls like Black guys, some girls like White guys. Some girls want a rich guy, others just want a companion and don’t care. I believe that there is someone for everyone. I am 6’1″, many women tell me I am attractive and I am college educated. I am only in my mid 20’s and working on getting my career started.
    I do believe that women have the upper hand in online dating. However, women have the upper hand in dating, period. Women choose who they want to date. Earlier this year when I was working, I must have gotten over 20 phone numbers from 20 different women from bars, parties, concerts and just about and about in public places over a 3-4 month period. None of these women were stunningly beautiful, unique looking or seemed interesting, they were mostly ego boosts. Only ONE of those women responded to any of my calls and text messages and went out on dates with me. I cut her off because I wasn’t that into her.

  17. 167

    Although it feels like women have the ‘upper hand’, I think you would find women that would say the exact opposite, that men have the ‘upper hand’.

    So what that says to me is this is just the way humans are built and the way dating and mating works.  We can sit around and say it SHOULD be different, and the person could be ‘right’ in theory, but that’s wishful thinking.  Do we want to be RIGHT or do we want to be HAPPY?

    Dating/mating is a dance, it is a game (a fun game), each person has their ‘role’.  In my opinion, the man’s job is to pursue, and the women’s job is to be open to that pursuit. 

  18. 168

    After reading many of your responses, I have to say, WOW!
    I have many many friends who have done the online dating thing, and most of them are all married to their spouses they met through the Internet.  All of them met each other on different dating and matrimonial websites.  It took them a while, some it took a year to find the other online, and for some it happened within a few months.  I have also had friends who have tried online dating and gone on a few dates, but nothing was successful.  I have personally tried online dating, but it has not worked for me.  I actually get rejected instead and people look at my profile and pass on.  Makes me wonder if there’s something wrong with me and so I’ve just decided to pass on the whole online dating thing.  I do understand however, that most people don’t pay to be on a website so they can’t really initiate anything, and I have also seen some people put out their email addresses as a message that the dating website does not notice, in the hopes that they don’t have to pay and have people figure out how to email them instead to get in touch with them.  Either way, unfortunately for me, it never worked.  I guess I am unappealing because I’m a tad overweight and no one can tell that I am actually working out, eating healthier and losing weight and am not some fat thing. Oh well, to each his own.  Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
    I feel that online dating is more about who you are attracted to before you read anything else about them.  And I was never that one girl that men would write emails to, so for those of you men who say women have the upper hand, this girl does not.
    Here is my take on dating.  It doesn’t matter whether you meet this person online, or in any place.  Online dating and meeting someone in the real world outside of the Internet is essentially the same.  The only difference is that most people can lie on the Internet about their physical appearance (not their personality because you have to be able to tell that when you talk to them anyway offline or online) and say that they are very tall, or very lean, etc., and when you meet them, they turn out to be someone else completely (can be a scary thing and has happened before to a couple friends who went through unsuccessful online dating).  At least meeting someone in person, you already seen their physical self right there, so they can’t lie about their height or how they look like.  And either way, online dating and dating offline both take many risks that are involved.
    So this is my take on online dating through my eyes.  For some it’s successful and for many others it is not.  It depends on how you rock the Internet.  I also think it’s about luck….if you’re lucky, you will meet a great person online.  I have not been lucky.  I am trying to see what the dating life is like offline but so far, no luck there either.  That’s also because I have religious and cultural restrictions so it’s harder for me to find someone than for the average person who has no restrictions.

  19. 169

    I had an experience this weekend I wanted to share that turned really hit home for me in regard to the concept of dismissing men/women too easily in on line dating. 

    This is by NO means a dismissal of on line dating, it’s just a re-iteration from my point of view about the  human experience and on line dating.

    The FIRST step of in-person courting is PHYSICAL ATTRACTION, testing the man, encouraging him.  In on line dating, this ends up being the SECOND step, when the in person meeting takes place.  So you can see, the steps are out of order in on line dating.

    I met a man on line a couple of months ago.  He’s 6 years older than me. We had a good first meeting, and he pursued for more dates.  He is a man of very good character, good personality, easy to talk to–and he was into me.  I really make an effort to give men a chance, to see if that connection can grow–we went on 5 or 6 dates.  I ended up not continuing to see him because I just wasn’t feeling that physical connection, like I wanted to cuddle up with him much less have sex with him.  I felt bad about this yet again….why am I so picky?  Why am I not feeling that physical attraction?

    I was out this weekend at an event where there were single men (and it wasn’t a bar, although there was alcohol being served).  I ended up meeting a man, who I guess was approximately 6-9 years older than me.  As soon as I made eye contact, he was over to me to as me to dance.  We had a nice conversation, and he continued to pursue me the rest of the evening.  He walked away to dance with other women a couple of times, but kept coming back to dance and chat.  He was reasonably physically attractive, but I was very much flattered and attracted by his attention and persistence.  I could feel that physical attraction and my interest immediately as we continued to flirt and he continued to show his interest in me–made me feel special.  I know some about this man professionally, but not a lot about his character at this point.  However, I find myself hoping he does call so I can learn more about him.

    In reflecting back, I came to realize how much more powerful meeting in person is–at least to me, and I dare say a lot of women.  It’s the pursuit of the man that I believe is so compelling to women.  That masculine energy and him ‘playing his role’, making the woman feel like she’s special, that amps up the attraction factor right from the first meeting.  In on line dating, there’s that first interaction, which is often a bit guarded and certainly not very ‘romantic’ or special.  It really can’t be, otherwise it’s comes off as being way too much–damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    My final comment is not to be too hard on women because they dismiss men so easily.  When they say they are not ‘feeling it’, there’s a reason for that happening.  Often we can’t articulate exactly why, however, I do strongly believe that my experience as I describe above is not unique and is reflective of why women don’t feel that ‘chemisty’/physical attraction with men when on line dating.  (Obviously there ARE situations where the woman and man are feeling it since there are  relationships/marriages that are happening–has to be a very small percentage though compared to the number of meetings/dates that are happening.)

    P.S.  I wonder how many of these on line marriages actually will last for the long run.  It’ll be interesting to see if there’s a higher rate of divorce or the same.

  20. 170

    Sigh..all of this leaves me sad.
    I am a divorced 39 year old who lives in the most amazing city in the world and I can tell you that despite the fact that I have a:
    –a clever online profile (typo free)
    –current + attractive photos
    –non smoker/non drug user
    –avoidance of schmaltzy language, discussion of religion or extreme political views
    –no mention of freakonics, eat pray love, agreements, grisham, ayn rand, etc.
    –no cats–but I do have a dog, but NOT a purse sized one who wears clothes
    –employed and financially independent
    –no plastic surgery, fake tans, overdone boobs, etc.
    I am getting almost NO responses to emails sent and am taking time to craft original emails.
    Evan has made it clear that if “one” doesn’t make the effort to initiate contact, someone else will and you may lose your chance. The supply of available men in our “pool” is incredibly small and yet they want as young as 18-27 year olds. I also know he discusses that we all may suffer from having a higher perceived value than we do, so perhaps, initially, when I first went online I did. However, now, I find myself NOT writing to the rakishly handsome men, but the clever and interesting and slightly quirky types and still:  no response.  I STILL think there’s a double standard against women contacting men, especially in America.
    I don’t know why MEN persist in thinking that women have the upper hand here. We DON”T at all. And, men if you think women are ONLY perusing for those who don’t have kids, are uber tall (tho, I’m 5’9″ and my ex was shorter than me) and make $XXXX, you couldn’t be further from the truth. Well, at least in speaking for myself, I don’t focus on those qualities but rather i think is this person: kind, funny, and is he interested in the same kinds of things I would like long-term–stability, partnership, etc.
    I’ve never had to go online to meet guys before and now since most of my pals friends, co-workers, brothers, neighbors, frat brothers, are married, paired up or moved to the suburbs, that leaves only 25 year olds in bars (who even if I was, they’re generally interested in 23-28 year olds), what’s a woman to do. I’m not going to join the skeet shooting or golf club just to meet a man.
    I can’t believe that a woman would HONESTLY not date a divorced man with kids, simply because that would leave little time for him to be with her. If anything, to me, that would stress that the man is giving, devoted, and nurturing and is putting someone else’s needs before his own. Aren’t those the kind of qualities we’d only HOPE to have in a relationship?
    But, I do agree with Even, it’s a numbers game and it’s not. DO continue to be out and about, talk to people, do things, get a dog, volunteer, go to library or book stores, concerts, etc. and attempt to broaden your circle. But also make the best effort by going online.
    Giving it a think outloud….but still not 100% optimistic

  21. 171

    I run into the chemistry thing all the time. In online dating I get a decent number of replies , though I only look for women I have common values and interests that are shared. They find me physically attractive enough , we exchange e-mails and then meet, talk and laugh have an good time. Then they e-mail me to say you are really awesome , but there was no instant chemistry, or worse just never call me back. I don’t get it. My guy friends don’t get it except to suggest I don’t know how to push the right buttons on a first date to trick them into feeling like they want a second. The women I know don’t get it and suggest my standards may be too low or the women I am trying to date are just weird or something. I only have ended up in relationships one way and that’s by meeting some women and sleeping with her right away in what I think is only a short term hookup (Something I’m not usually into) Then she’s instantly wanting to be my girl friend, and once we’ve been doing that a little while she’s wanting to get married. All the while acting pleasantly surprised that am actually this awesome guy and it always turns out she’s got big problems/issues. One the other hand every normal girl I meet who I’d like to actually spend time with runs the other way.
    If I find someone attractive (their pictures can tell me that) , and if I like their personality and sense of humor and get along with them the date tells me that so I’m then at least up for getting to know them a little better. Too bad they did’t feel instant chemistry in the first 4 minutes of talking to me.
    I think I wasted all the time I spent on becoming an intelligent , educated , decently employed , considerate person with a great sense of humor , and certainly all those hours in the gym and eating healthy were not that important when it comes to dating. I see fat , dull, shallow, boring men who work at burger king who can recite the “tricks” to lets see how did they so eloquently put it ?..oh yeah “hitting that shit” with smart attractive women seeming to rave about the chemistry they had with these jackasses. At least at first then it’s wow that guy was a loser and sucked in bed. If he’s not totally lame they might even get to panic in a couple of years when all those hormones where off and they realize he’s actually just a boring dick head. Then as everyone around them says of course he always been a boring dick head she can say oh but the you know the thing we had that can’t be explained and makes no sense , the magic chemistry was there. I really just don’t get it. Guys talk about how women are pretty , smart funny , a nice person , interesting etc. Women talk about, how tall like a inch or two matters (I’m tall but I don’t get it) or simply magic pixie dust and how a guy danced around or did some random BS or made some asinine remark that appears to be total gibberish at just the right time. It makes no sense. Oh well I’ll be single and they will be divorced eventually.

  22. 172
    Frozen and Fried

    The dating sites have done it for a few people, but you have to look far and hard. It seems that the majority of the people are either scammers/spammers trying to get you to wire money to Nigeria or Russia[too cold] or you run into women that don’t want a relationship–just sex [too hot] After I have been frozen by cold hearted scammers and fried by a blue hot lustful person that left after satisfying her desire, I have decided that I am not going to pay for affection thru sex. The best way is not to bring them home with you, and the Bible specifically prohibits sex out of marriage. I wish you guys luck in all your searches. If a person starts talking dirty, and wanting sex, but no commitment, the best advice is never to bring them home with you or go to their place. It is just harder in Fresno, due to the fact that being a limited town with limited places, you soon run out of places to go to. You can only see River Park so many times.

  23. 173

    Online dating confusion. I just got divorced after 20 years of marriage and about 1.5 years after separating (married young – I’m in my mid 40s) and am trying online dating, which I find very, very confusing. Unfortunately, the only guys I’ve clicked with live in cities different than mine. There’s one in particular that seemed to really click.  We were chatting up a storm until he started asking me pointed questions about whether I’m ready for a serious relationship since getting divorced. The truth is that I’m beyond ready, but I just said yes to play it cool. Things have been awkward at times (but not always) since then, but have nevertheless continued. Then I noticed that I was initiating an inordinate number of our chats, so I decided to stop and see what happened. Nothing happened. After forcing myself to wait until after Valentines Day to avoid looking desperate, I initiated what turned out to be a long chat. It had been about 2.5 to 3 weeks since our last chat (of this I am sure). After some introductory how are you’s, I get the following “where have you been the last few months? We haven’t talked in a long while. What’s new? Any dates? We met on a dating site. Why wouldn’t I care about that?” We had each had some dates that didn’t pan out, but here’s my question that I didn’t ask him which is, why would he care about that? If he does, then he should initiate more contact and drive the few hours it takes to meet me. This online stuff confuses me!

    1. 173.1

      Savannah, #178, Evan’s Finding the One Online would really clear up your confusion about online dating!

      You could also check out this blog post. I think you’ll find it applies well to your current situation! There’s really nothing confusing at all about a guy who doesn’t initiate contact or make the effort to see you. He’s not interested! Don’t give up on online dating. Maybe you need to change the site you’re on. Finding the One Online does a good job of explaining how to choose dating sites, how many to use, etc. Far more than I can list here!

      Be sure to sign up for Evan’s free newsletter. It comes out every Tuesday.

  24. 174

    Online dating… I tried it for a year straight. My conclusion? It doesn’t work. I’ve decided to just dust myself off and go back to traditional dating. As a woman, my finding is that the men (and I’m sure some women are guilty of this, too) are always looking for something better. They tend not to want to put much effort into the relationship or are always cruising online to see what else might be out there… this is the crux of online dating… everybody is quick to jump ship because of the endless possibilities.

  25. 175

    If you’re in you 30s and a women you can forget online dating, any guy my age has a maximum of 30 on match, any guy who does email me are either in their 60’s or just odd!  I did go on some dates but only 2 out of 20 guys looked like their pictures, the rest looked about 15 years older.  Also a lot of guys say they are 5 ft 11, you meet them and I tower over them (I’m 5 ft 5).  I went on match as I’m in my late 30’s and get guys in their 20’s chating me up (I don’t look my age), and wanted to meet a guy more my age.  Well on match I feel my age is up in neon lights, no guy my age wants to meet me unfortunately, so I’ve given up after a year of online dating, and back to the real world, looking at the comments about looks like I’m not ever going to meet anyone, oh well … Its not just me I’ve a lot of single friends around my age, one friend stayed on it for 5 years!  All of my friends are great looking, good fun but thats not good enough online.

  26. 176

    Sparky, I think you are onto something – it must be especially tough for women in their mid-late 30s or older. I used eHarmony for a few months when I was 28 and had some success and then used it again for a few months when I was 32 and also had some success. Now I am 35 and just signed up for eHarmony a couple weeks ago and am amazed at how many responses I am getting. Either the women are doing the “Shotgun approach” of initiating communication with every guy that they might find attractive or there just aren’t that many guys my age interested in the women around my age. I have averaged between 1 and 2 women initiating communication with me per day on eHarmony, which seems crazy to me – I didn’t have nearly as many women initiating communication with me when I used eHarmony when I was younger. It’s gotten to the point where I actually have to make quick judgments because I don’t want to be going on a date with several different women every week. It’s too bad that the women weren’t this proactive when they were younger because a lot of them probably would have gotten married by now.

  27. 177

    On two occasions i have ran into women at parties whom i emailed on match, but they never replied back. I recognized them but they didn’t recognize me apparently. I had a mutual friend introduce us, chit-chatted with them for a bit got their numbers easily.

    One was really pretty, but had tons of baggage. She told me she keeps going for the wrong guy and has been cheated on a lot.  Dumped her after a month, she was possessive and had huge trust issues.

    2nd one was not as attractive in person. Had a lot of makeup, looked better in photos. Never called her back. Some time later a mutual friend said that really bruised her ego, since it never happend to her before. lol ironic.  

    Moral of the story, go out into the real world to find dates if you are a guy. And sometimes its better that you didnt get a reply from women you emaiied.

  28. 178

    My online subscription expires this week and I will be deleting the account.  I have learned some valuable lessons from OLD, and don’t really care to continue.  In truth I meet better quality men in my day to day associations and now I am more appreciative of them.  So though the dates may be fewer, at least I am not subjected to regular objectification and scrutiny by men who I would not even notice in my everyday life.  Chapter closed. Moving on to Plan C.

  29. 179

    I’m finding that most of the comments here are very negative, which makes me wonder why so many people who seem just to be here to complain about the advice being offered, are here in the first place?  Also one thing I’ve learned the very hard way, yes sometimes people are jerks, but what is it about yourself that is attracting those people?  It’s that old cliche about you have to be the one to find the one.  Frankly too, attitude goes a LONG way.  If you don’t believe you won’t find someone online, cool.  Find another way.  However for those of us who’s online dating experience has been good (not perfect, still looking for that special someone) our attitudes likely have a lot to do with it?  Being friendly, positive, approachable, and reserving being overtly critical comes into play.  If you are busy picking someone apart after a couple emails (emails, mind you per at least one of the examples, knowing nothing other than a handful of words about someone) well how can anyone have a chance?  You yourself are cutting them off before you’re even out of the gate.  So like I said, what I’ve learned is our dating experience is more about US, the person HAVING the experience, and how we frame that experience, learn from it, grow from it, ENJOY IT, than much else.

  30. 180

    I’ve been doing online dating on and off for about 10 months now – just a couple of brief periods ‘on’ really. I’m a woman of 42 and I have no kids. I do it because I just do not meet single men in the normal run of my life, but I have a chance of meeting them online.

    I advise men who are not getting replies from women in the following ways:

    1. Write a personalised message, using good grammar and spelling, and enough text for us to make a worthwhile response. Things like ‘i’ for ‘I’,  sloppy punctuation or just writing ‘hi babe’ just look as if you can’t be bothered and are being randomly speculative. It’s hard to invest in that, no matter how good looking the man is.

    2. Refer to us by name, not as ‘sweetie’ ‘darling’ or ‘babe’. I stopped writing to a man who did this because he came across as insincere and as if he couldn’t be bothered remembering my name. These generic terms are impersonal, and the trick with internet dating is to connect inspite of the technology. 

    3. Choose photographs in which you look sane! i.e. not ones in which you are wild eyed etc.  

    4. Avoid the motor bike shots. It’s great that your like you bike, but it does not make us want to date you and we see so many of them.
    5. Be realistic. Most women 10 years younger than you will not be interested because they want a peer. I don’t write to men who are more than about 7 years older no matter how good looking they are, simply because when I look at their profile I don’t connect with them. They are of another generation. We all feel young inside, but this does not mean others will percieve is the same way.

    6. On you profile, don’t tell us how young you really are. We can pick up on that for ourselves. Your pictures and text will give it away. Plus being unhappy with yourself is not attractive. If you are 50, you are 50, so you’d better start liking it because the alternative is not good.

    Hope this helps and good luck.

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