Is Online Dating Different for Men and Women?

a man and a woman showing different reactions to online dating

Do women have it a lot easier than men, and do hot people in general have it the easiest? I know what you might be thinking: yes and yes. It’s hardly the unsolved question of the century.

However, it’s always good to back up hypotheses with facts, and that’s what Jon Millward did with this experiment, posted on his eponymous blog. Millward created 10 fake OKCupid profiles with similar sounding usernames, with the same written profile, personal stats, level of education, etc. The only difference? Each account had a different photo of a man or woman of varying attractiveness.

In online dating, we have the “perception of choice”, but not actual choice itself.

What he discovered isn’t particularly revelatory, but it does echo something I’ve said here repeatedly about online dating – we have the “perception of choice”, but not actual choice itself.

“The expanded horizons offered by online dating don’t equal unrestricted access to a ready and waiting list of beautiful people. Every man and woman online still has criteria that must be met by people who want to date him or her, and every guy and girl is still in direct competition with every other person of their gender… Whereas before a man just needed to be the best looking guy at work to get a date with a colleague, now he needed to be in the top 10% of all men to get a date with one of the women in his city.”

This is the double-edged sword of online dating. You have far more access to singles than ever before. But so does everyone else. Which means that there’s also far more COMPETITION.

Especially when it comes to men trying to write to women. For all the talk about “The End of Men” and how gender roles have been obliterated and women can write to men first, blahblahblah, here’s what ACTUALLY happened after four months:

– The women as a group received over 20 times more messages than the men.

– The two most attractive women received 83% of all messages.

– The two most attractive women probably would have received several thousand more if their inboxes hadn’t have reached maximum capacity.

– It took 2 months, 13 days for the most popular woman’s inbox to fill up. At the current rate it would take the most popular man 2.3 years to fill up his.

And what do men write? Well, you’ve seen this a few times before:

“Most men compliment the attractive women a lot, they make reference to something in the woman’s profile (you would not believe how many times men mentioned the party tricks and ‘Arrow’ the cheetah from the generic profile I wrote), or they ask a general question about travel or something equally boring.”

What SHOULD he write instead? In case it’s not obvious: Demonstrate creativity, intelligence and a great sense of humour

– Be totally different to anything she may have received before
– Be obviously unique and not a cut-and-paste job
– Show that I’ve read her profile and absorbed facts about her
– Not be needy!

I have dedicated an entire volume of my bestselling audio series, Finding the One Online to how to write emails just like this.

Online dating may be a jungle, but it’s a jungle with a LOT of single people, so it’s best to learn how to master the process.

As a woman, your takeaway is that while you may get frustrated at the lack of quality responses, put yourself in a man’s shoes. He has no idea what to write in his first email to you, and he’s competing with hundreds of men for your attention. Be patient, write a better profile, and learn not to get so frustrated with men, and you can enjoy online dating a lot more.

As a man, your takeaway is that the competition is fierce, and thus far, you have not been up to it. Stop blaming Match or women or your city for your failures and learn to market yourself more effectively.

If you’ve been frustrated with your online dating experience, click here and I’ll help you change your tune.

The full study can be seen here.

Join our conversation (298 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 1

    Or do what I did and skip the whole mess, and find someone in the real world, doing what you love and meeting someone doing the same.   That is how it has always worked for me.     

    1. 1.1

      Agreed. Online dating, has been very depressing for me and I am a female! I would get so many emails of old, dirty, men who are of 50+, older than my father (I am 30 years old! I specifically said on my profile, I want a man around my age range). They would write me and ask me out and I just got disgusted and deleted my account. I am having better luck in the real world now.

      1. 1.1.1

        Id also turn down George Clooney . I feel turned off when men exclude women their own age.    Why do guys have such a hard time believing that a 30 year old woman wouldn’t want a guy at least 20 years older…. Denial is a river in Africa LOL

        1. George

          Hugh Hefner is 90, and he is married to a woman who is 60 years younger (that’s 60!) We can all agree that that is an abomination, it is a mockery of the most venerated institution we have. But the sheer fact that there are members (female) of that fringe demographic with souls dark as night does not fill my 42 year old heart with confidence. I met once a model of 22 who was going out with a 65 year old, Rod Stewart 45 married Rachel Hunter 21, Chaplin 56 married an 18 year old. Donald trump . . . say no more.   It kind of makes you wonder. Last month I was in Russia for a business trip and to my shock I was getting hit on by 19 year old girls. I was aghast, telling them that I was old enough to be their father. And don’t get me started on Thailand where 17 year old girls are dating 60+ douchbags. So sad. Personally I have no idea as to why a secure man in his 40’s in a right state of mind would want to marry a woman 20 years younger. By the way, my grandpa 56 married my grandma 35 so not such a good example there.

        2. Amy

          @George, well, of course women in foreign countries are going to marry men older from America. They are trying to escape from their lives and get a green card. They know how these men live in a fantasy world so can be easily manipulated.   It is not a compliment,  they are using you.  Why do you think they are desperately seeking you out? For love?   A 20-year-old wanting a 90-year-old so  badly?  Yeah, right.  Also, these old guys in Hollywood should never be compared to regular old guys. These men have money and fame. Everyone is  attractive  if you have money and fame, lol.   Majority of women, especially these days, will not settle with someone who is a million years old because we have so many options. Like Evan said in an article awhile back, why settle with an old man who works, has a nice personality, has health and fertility issues, when she can marry a man close to  her age with the same qualities and has better health?   Not all women are attractive to older guys old enough to be their great-grandfather.

        3. astgfsdgdfjasdgdfhngd

          Bullsh*t. I wouldn’t turn down clooney and I’m a straight male.

        4. Hubert

          I am not sure about 20 years, but certainly the idea of women dating men older than them isn’t out of the norm.

        5. Joe Blow

          You’d turn down Brad Pitt and George Clooney they are both over 50…what ever

        6. GoWiththeFlow

          Celebrity rules don’t apply to the billions of people on the planet who are not celebrities.   Yes, many, maybe even the great majority of younger women would not turn down Brad Pitt or George Clooney.   They’re wealthy, famous, talented, and still physically attractive (although they are past their physical attractiveness peak of their 20’s and early 30s).   But you can’t extrapolate that experience down to   the guy who is an average looking accountant or plumber.   Just like women don’t get to say, “Hey Christie Brinkley was in SI’s swimsuit edition, so I too can rock a bikini at 62!”   Extreme examples are not proof of what is true on average.

        7. Emily, the original


          Celebrity rules don’t apply to the billions of people on the planet who are not celebrities.  

          Very true. Someone made a comment about Hugh Hefner being able to land women in their 20s. HELLO, all of those women want to be famous and he publishes a national magazine that could help facilitate their quest for stardom. They wouldn’t be with him otherwise.

        8. Betsy

          I love this. 🙂 I totally agree with you. I’ve 50 years old and even have a hard time with the idea of dating a guy os is 8-10 years older than me. Guys are completely clueless.

      2. 1.1.2

        I’m in my 40s looking for a guy at least 5 years older but preferably 10-15 years older. Who do I hear from? A lot of guys 10-20 years YOUNGER!! I wish they would have contacted you instead and the older guys contacted me! I also hear from a lot of losers I would never consider. Yes, it’s depressing for sure. But I work remotely from home, extremely busy working and pursuing a Master’s, have a business I’m trying to get off the ground as well, AND am shy. So finding someone “in the real world” is simply not an option.

        1. Jason

          I mean…you could literally just message those men yourself. I don’t really see the issue here.

    2. 1.2

      spoken like a woman…

    3. 1.4

      And please explain where you going to meet people in real life besides bars lol

  2. 2

    Just to add, from a female perspective one of the biggest turn-offs when receiving responses online is bad spelling, poor grammar and the use of text speech – delete, delete and delete! Evan, you also make a great point at the end “Stop blaming Match or women or your city for your failures and learn to market yourself more effectively” It’s so easy to blame others for your lack of success rather than reflect and look at the ‘common denominator’ in the situation – which is yourself – and work at improving that to get a better and different result.

    1. 2.1

      So what’s the quality of the messages you send to men? The biggest turn off for me apart from looks is women who are looking for a “hard-working” man.

      1. 2.1.1

        Not to sound rude but I don’t send any messages to men or if I do they are very very few.    Women receive so many that we barely have time to respond yet alone send. And of course when I respond I make sure to spell things correctly and use good grammar but do I spend time crafting extensive lengthy messages that show I’ve read their profile, no I don’t have to.   Sorry guys men are so freaking superficial they don’t care what we say.   I guess unless we say we are looking for a hard working man which I think I am going to start saying because I personally don’t see why that would be a turn off for any man?    Please explain.

        1. Russell

          A few things.



          Some men care very much what you say.   Those are the men you want.   The aren’t looking for a pair of tits.   They are looking for a person…a person they click with.



          Why would a man care that a woman says she wants a “hard-working man?”   To a man that is the same as if a guy said, “I want a woman with at minimum, a firm D-cup.”   In short, it is clearly code for, “I’m looking for a man to provide me with material goodies.”



          Men are no different than women in the fact that they want to be seen as a person, not a piece of meat.   But, what makes us feel like a piece of meat is different.   Women don’t feel comfortable when a man puts too much emphasis on her looks and body.   Men don’t really have a problem with is if you do that with us.


          Imagine this…A person asks a suitor why they wanted to date them, and the response is, “Because I thought you were so hot, I just had to have you.”   You get two very different reactions if it is a man saying to a woman, or a woman saying to a man.   Women will think the guy is a creep if he said it, while the man will feel good about himself if the woman says it to him.


          Now take that to education or employment.   If the response was something like, “Because you do X job, or have X degree,” the feelings will be different.    If the man said that to a woman, she will feel respected and taken seriously, but the man will feel creeper out, because we understand women’s hypergamy.


          It boils down to the fact that you won’t feel good about a guy who you believe wouldn’t date you if you didn’t have big enough tits, and we don’t want to date a woman who would not date us if we didn’t make a certain level of income.


          A little advice would be to use the 5 love languages quiz to build your profile, as well as talking about things you see yourself doing with this partner.   Maybe you don’t go camping alone but want that to be something you do with that person.   Stay away from things that cost a lot of money, however.   I love to travel, but if you word it wrong, it can sound like you want to travel A LOT, and I may not be able to afford that.   Even to a man with money, that can sound like a sneaky way to measure his monetary worth. Big turn off.   If you are a toucher, say so.   A man who likes that will see it in bold letters because he IS reading, and searching for what he wants.


          You probably wouldn’t be offended by a guy saying he wants a woman who is in shape enough to go on long hikes, but if he intimates that he is looking for somebody who is hot, that doesn’t feel as good


          Same for a man.   You can say you want a man who is employed (leave out the word “gainfully”), but when it appears that you are trying to measure his monetary worth, it’s a turn off, and you can’t be sneaky enough to get away with it.   We see your attempts a mile away.   I would say that if anything, we are too sensitive to it such that we are more likely to misread something innocent, than not see a sneaky attempt to look for a man of considerable means.


          I should note that some men are more than willing to trade their money for what they want in a woman.    You will find them on Sugar Daddy sites.   They want young, hot women that they won’t have to marry.   They understand that it takes money to get that.   But that’s the kind of man who is OK with being wanted for his money.

          The rest of us want a woman that would live in a tent with us if we lost it all, just as you want a man who would still live you if you lost your looks, say from a horrible traffic accident.



        2. Craig

          I find it all to be a dark, tragic comedy. Women ignorantly go for the alpha male and then complain when they’re treated like just a pair of tits an ass, when in reality they have a heart in-between just like anyone else. And men just shoot bullets in the dark…erecting (and that’s another word for building. Congratulations you’ve learned a new word) difficult barriers for us nice guys. God, as a man, reading the basic, common sense rules about online dating, I am absolutely flabbergasted at how simple it is; even a 5 year old would get it. My problem is I don’t know how to follow up once I’ve reached a successful starting point (and many of these starting points were initiated by the woman). I’m not ashamed to admit that. I’m going to strengthen my shortcomings like the article says. Does anyone have any SOUND advise to give so I can reach that goal? Specialized counselors etc.,

        3. Chris

          Just remember these people on dating sites are also in real life that’s how bad society has been getting in the last 10 years our society in general the USA was ranked one most highest countries
          on the planet for rudeness and none Manor people all I know is I hope that I don’t ever have to hire anybody off of dating site for a job cuz they be looking for a long time

      2. 2.1.2

        When I see a man with “hard working” on their profile I skip it. I can’t stand a workaholic. Every time I’ve met one, they were too serious, negative, complaining about work the little time they were around, and didn’t understand the importance of having fun because life is short. I couldn’t care how much money the guy makes either as long as I don’t have to financially support him and he’s independent. Retired guys are the best!

    2. 2.2

      Not true, and I don’t mean this in a condescending manner. With the sheer overwhelming number of men messaging women, even if one ‘markets oneself better’ or even if one ‘finds the common denominator’ instead of ‘blaming women or Match’ as a man you still have very little chance that your message will even get read by the woman. The odds are stacked against men. But on the flip side of the coin, how are women to be sure that the ‘well marketed man whose grammar was English-perfect’is the right man? What if the man whose grammar was less than great happened to be Mr.Right and he just never got a shot simply because of the pre-conceived notion that the women who read his message denied him a chance?

      1. 2.2.1

        @DavidJ:   You state that a woman might miss out on her “right” match bc she won’t respond to a guy with poor grammaer & spelling.   Well, I’m guessing many men miss out on wonderful matches bc they won’t contact a woman who is fat and missing a tooth or two.   Fact is, all of us overlook people whose superficial traits turn us off.   This is not a “only women are shallow” issue.

        1. Amy

          @Henriette: Love this!!! It’s funny when men want these attractive super models (when they don’t look healthy or are not well put together themselves), but expect us to settle with just ANYBODY. We have preferences and want to marry someone put together too. Sheesh!

        2. Hubert

          interesting. So you are saying if I were 100 lbs overweight with teeth missing, somehow you would contact me? Bullshit!

      2. 2.2.2


        I’m probably horribly late to this party, but for the sake of anyone who’s equally late getting here, here goes…

        I turn down men who use terrible spelling and grammar because of what I call the Norrington’s Sword principle. In “Pirates of the Caribbean”, James Norrington said, “This is a beautiful sword. I expect the man who made it to show the same care and devotion in every aspect of his life.”

        To apply that to sloppily-crafted messages in online dating, “This is a piss-poor message. I expect the man who made it to show the same care and devotion in every area of his life. Which is to say, none whatsoever.”

        Can a guy with awful spelling and grammar be a good partner? Possibly. But relationships take effort, and a man – or, for that matter, a woman – who puts zero effort into their initial message is strongly hinting that they’ll treat the rest of the relationship with equal carelessness.

        1. Rc

          You realize they get ignored 1000+ times before the effort goes to nil right?

        2. blogster

          And what initial message do women send? Ohh that’s right, nothing.   Men do that.

        3. Bryant Georgen

          Women do the same. I’m seen some fairly poorly crafted women’s profiles, without any punctuation whatsoever. Run-on sentences in paragraph form, etc. I’ve been engaged in online dating on and off for 7 years. I am 49 now and about ready to throw in the towel and resign myself to being single for the rest of my life. I’m getting really tired of meeting a woman that I like only to find out that she settled for me just until the next guy came along. what hurt me the most is to get a text message sometime later stating something to the effect, “I met someone else I have a connection with and I like better than you so I’m going to pursue a relationship with him instead. good luck”. Getting really tired of that. It’s not fair that women have the advantage in online dating. there has to be an answer to make it more equal. I don’t think any man comes out of an online dating experience thinking of women quite the same way. I’ve been looking at women in general with a jaundiced eye. I just don’t trust any of them anymore. Not many surprise or impress me.

    3. 2.3

      The common denominator here is that most women are man-hating feminists who behave like narcissistic entitlement princesses & reject good men all day long for no good reason. You even do it yourself in your post here, implying there is something wrong with most men. This is a huge lie & completely untrue. So stop spreading this feminist poison. No self-respecting male believes that crap anyway. Men are now ignoring this sort of stupidity & ignorance from bitchy women & treating them with the contempt that they deserve, especially in Japan.

      1. 2.3.1

        100%. Why are we empowering women and trying to condition men? Zero equality or accountability.

      2. 2.3.2

        Is it possible you choose the wrong woman?

    4. 2.4
      Anthony Bolduc

      Says the female. Make a guy profile and just for fun try hitting on someone prepare to be shocked and amazed that your not getting anywhere. Especially in a deadend town!


    5. 2.5

      @Evan & @ AS. Y’all are right. I’ve blamed the Texas born & raised men and their Texas culture. I need to find ways to market myself better w/out loosing my sense of self. Good advice!

    6. 2.6

      I have had some guys express interest who I would have responded to if their profile didn’t look like they either don’t care or are clueless. Like their profile is one canned-sounding line, or they have one good photo and a thoughtful profile but when you look at the rest of the photos they have horrible backup photos (why even bother putting those up? If it was just the one I would have responded.) Grammar and spelling is a dealbreaker – who wants someone who communicates like a 3rd grader? It’s a shame – there are guys with potential who don’t realize it – and they are probably complaining a lot that no one responds to them.

  3. 3

    I’ve had a great experience with online dating. Most of the men I’ve gone out with are attractive, employed, intelligent and pleasant. Never met anyone who had obviously misrepresented themselves. No one tried to jump down my pants on the first date. I didn’t feel that any less than ideal behavior on any of my dates’ part was beyond what I would encounter if I was on a date with someone I knew from real life ( and I date many men from real life too). I write to many men online first to get higher quality dates. Sure, sometimes you get annoying messages, but I just laugh it off as part of the game.  

    1. 3.1

      Wow. You are So lucky! I try to screen the men I meet from online very carefully and yet my experience is nearly opposite to yours. I’ve been on about 9 dates in the last 9 months and 3 out of those had grossly misrepresented themselves. Two tried to jump me on the second date, two turned out to be felons. Of the remaining two, both were attractive and intelligent. One evidenced strange drunken angry behavior after texting for a couple of weeks (we lived far apart so couldn’t meet up often) and the other turned out to be a 50 year old living with his mom (and not in a “taking care of HER” kind of way). he was looking for a sugar momma. It’s enough to make me want to give up

    2. 3.2

      So why are you still single?

  4. 4

    EMK wrote, “As a man, your takeaway is that the competition is fierce, and thus far, you have not been up to it. Stop blaming Match or women or your city for your failures and learn to market yourself more effectively.”
    So true. I also can’t stand poor spelling and grammar, canned messages, blurry and badly exposed photos, or messages that only comment on my looks. Act like you’re taking the process seriously, and make a genuine effort. You’re better off writing fewer, more carefully crafted messages, than cutting and pasting, “your hot”, to lots of women. One guy wrote to me and mentioned how much we had in common (without saying what that might be), and he hadn’t even filled out his profile! I asked him what he thought we might have in common (since there was no way to tell), and never heard back…big surprise.

    1. 4.1

      I wish I could be a woman and have the option to not do anything but sit back and judge men’s responses. Even in online dating men still initiate the vast majority of interactions. Why? Because it is so easy for women to do nothing and wait for him to do it. I was  just was at a site where I could brows females but had to pay to talk. Guess who initiates the discussions there? men Guess who pays for the vast majority of hook ups? Men. Guess who pays for the first date? men (usually). Where the hell is feminism now?

      1. 4.1.1

        Feminism hasn’t been about equality for years mate. It became about avenging the wrongs done to women. It has since become an exercise in ensuring women get whatever they want. It’s so rare to see a feminist writing about true equality (ie also giving a damn about the male perspective) that I’m shocked every time I read it. Equality is all well and good when it benefits women, but suddenly the cries for equality stop when it comes to women asking men out, proposing marriage or paying for dates. Those things aren’t inequality, they’re “tradition”.

        1. Christine

          If asking men out and paying for dates actually worked more often in getting women relationships, perhaps more women would do it.   However, from what I’ve personally seen, it typically doesn’t.   Out of all the women I know, only one got a marriage with a man she pursued.

          For better or worse, right or wrong, whenever me and/or my friends tried to ask men out, pay for dates, etc. it just wasn’t effective.   In fact, I got a lot of weird looks when I tried paying for dates!   After getting shot down like that, it was hard to motivate myself to keep doing it.   Last weekend I practically had to wrestle my boyfriend for the check to treat him dinner for his birthday (he really likes to pay for me).   It isn’t just women who created this situation, but the (many) men I’ve seen who aren’t actually receptive to women taking on the pursuer role.   We can argue all day about whether that should be or not, but that’s just what I’ve seen.


        2. Karmic Equation

          I’ve never done the ask out and pay on first dates. I’ll wait to be asked out first and then offer to go dutch from date 1 onwards.

          That seems to be enough, to make a genuine offer.

          So  don’t listen to the guys who post on this site and follow PUA philosophy  who  encourage or shame women into paying for dates.

          Remember, the PUA industry was created for NON-alpha men who had little to no success in dating. The natural-born  alpha men that most women want feel weird about women paying before a relationship begins. Most are ok with women chipping in or reciprocating (e.g., cooking) AFTER a relationship has started.

          Just like any other industry, there has to be measurable results. For most, the measure is how many women will bed them. For others it will be how many women they get to pay for them. Otherwise how else can one measure the “ROI” of dating for people who had  no success in dating?

          Naturally alpha men have always had success in dating. It probably never occurred to them to ask themselves  why they were successful. They just were.

          These alpha men want to remain independent. Having a woman insist on paying for him makes him feel obligated or he feels he’s taking advantage of her or that she’s desperate. Or any combination thereof. None of which makes him feel good about himself.

          Again, that said, making a genuine offer to pay, “How much?” when reaching for your purse, and following up with “How about if I leave the tip” if he says it’s on him, will be appreciated, whether or not he takes you up on the offer.

          The best answer I ever got on a first date was, “No, I got this. You get the next one, okay?” I grinned and looked him in the eye and said enthusiastically, “Deal!” Without asking for date 2 directly we both agreed to it.

        3. Christine

          Thanks Karmic, that gives me a better understanding of why men I’ve dated (and my friends have dated) have never really liked it when we take on any “pursuer” type of role. My dating life became a lot more effective when I really learned to lean back (at least at the beginning) and respond to the man’s lead, rather than trying to lead myself.   I’ve learned to try to let go of control.   That birthday dinner was the only time I ever did a check-grab with my boyfriend, because I thought it seemed tacky to have anyone pay for their own birthday.   However, even there we eventually compromised by me paying for the meal, him dessert!

        4. Gillbott

          I won’t go into what feminism is or isn’t, but I have to say that my approach on online dating (hmm…he seems pretty cool…I bet we’d have a lot to talk about) and actually messaging first always gives me a five second feeling of “Oh, but I’ll just seem too aggressive or whatever” No, I’m confident and outgoing, and not worried about my jeans size, and I’m going to go about it my way.

          My 17 year old daughter heard the guy fixing the kitchen sink talking and laughing with me. She came out after he left and said “Was that guy in his twenties or something?” I smiled and said no, but it seemed kind of like he was flirting, huh…and then told her I’m not sure what I’m not supposed to do though…”Just do what feels right mom…” I smiled.   It was her way of saying if he’s the right edge, just go for it.

    2. 4.2

      You sound pretty entitled and rude to be honest. Those guys will find happiness before you with that kind of petty behavior.

  5. 5

    I am not in the top 10% of women, I am attractive but no 9 or 10. When I was on dating sites I would typically get 7-10 messages a day, when I changed something around it would jump to about 20. Out of all those messages I might respond to 5-6 a week. So guys, it really is important write an intriguing first message and don’t cut and past some message from PUA online game forums. I can’t tell you how many guys sent me the “I already married and divorced you in my mind.” message.

    1. 5.1

      so you admit you’re not a 9 or 10 yet expect something intriguing and erudite in return?

      1. 5.1.1
        Karl R


        She’s receiving 50  to 70 messages per week, and she’s responding to about 10% of them.

        If Julia  wants to pick the 10% who are intriguing and erudite, rather than using some other criteria (like wealth, height, or hottest pics), that seems completely sensible.

        1. blogster

          No one said she should do otherwise.   However, it’s a bit rich to complain about a lack of intriguing and erudite when she’s no in the top 10% herself.   It’s a common theme – as the receptive sex, women overestimate their market value on the basis of the volume of messages they receive, which in large part is only indicative of the role men play in the game.

        2. Karl R

          She’s complaining? It seems to me that she’s offering advice.

          Perhaps you should reread what she wrote.

        3. sylvana


          how do you know she’s not in the top 10% of intriguing and erudite message writers?

          What do her looks have to do with a man’s message writing skills? Does an average woman only deserve an average man with zero communication skills and dull pick-up lines? Since her market value isn’t high enough to attract an average man with at least a little intelligence?

          And what exactly is it that triggers you so much? So what, if women overestimate their market value. Why does that make you so angry? What is it that makes guys like you feel so wronged by this? Why do you feel the need to point out that women are much more worthless than they think?

      2. 5.1.2

        thank you you took the words right out of my mouth there’s a lot of obese women on dating sites that want Ken for kids looking for Barbie and Barbie doesn’t have an attitude or have tattoos lol. too many superficial men and women on these dating sites that’s why they’re not successful some women have even expressed in their profiles if I don’t like you I won’t worry back to you what’s a simple gesture of gratitude that’s the problem nobody has integrity in this world anymore be decent is a respectful person and write them back at least

        1. Marika


          I agree with you that politeness in dating is important. I respond to the issue of women not writing back, only to give another perspective and to explain that there is often a reason – beyond a woman being rude or having a bad attitude – for not writing back.

          When I first started online dating, I wrote back a polite, thank you reply to every man who contacted me. Women in general get far more messages than men, and women who are new online get the most. So there were a lot. I slowly started to find that, if we weren’t going to meet, more often than not, my polite reply wasn’t received well. Most wrote multiple follow up messages pressing me on why and weren’t happy with me making my own judgements about whether I thought we should meet. Some even got abusive.

          I can completely understand a man (or anyone) wanting acknowledgement of their message, but at the end of the day a back and forth with someone you’ve never met and are never going to can be difficult and draining. We all have jobs and other things going on and the best use of online dating time is contacting the people who you *do* want to meet.

          Putting it in their profile that they won’t write back is ridiculous. There’s no need for that. And I’m not suggesting it’s ‘poor us’ that we get more messages than you to deal with. I’m just trying to explain it’s not necessarily outright rude to not respond to someone. Sometimes it’s impractical.

          The best thing any one of us can do is make our own profile stand out, and think about the likelihood of the person who we are contacting seriously considering us. Personally, thanks to some of Evan’s programs, my profile is funny and very well written. I have about 6 photos, all different angles and in different contexts, full length as well as head shots, with friends and by myself. If a man contacts me with a two line profile and one grainy photo – how likely is that to appeal? Similarly if he’s 15 years older or younger? I sometimes get very attracted to a man’s photo, but before I contact him I think through his age, the age of the other women who are likely to contact him and read between the lines of what he’s after based on the types of photos he’s posted and the tone of what he does write (which usually isn’t much). And then decide if it’s reasonable to expect he may be interested.

          I have friends who only contact the guys they think are hot (who most other women, including younger and fitter women, do too), without considering any of the above. They get frustrated and most quit dating online after around 6 months.

        2. sylvana


          You assume that the men who write her actually had an honest interest. And that’s your first mistake.

          A friend of mine couldn’t figure out how to delete her profile once. So she went in, removed all pictures, changed all her stats to exactly the opposite of what she was. Then entered random letters in the headline and about section. It literally read…. alkhweorhsdilafhsiofhisfl

          Until then, she got a few responses here and there. A week later, she checked the e-mail she had created for the profile, and she suddenly had over 1000 messages. We couldn’t figure out why. When we checked, we figured out that by going as far away from who she was, she ended up turning herself into a young, petite blond.

          1000 messages! All from men who apparently didn’t even care that she was now an alcoholic drug user with 10 kids as well. All because the first three things read young, petite, blond.

          I guarantee you that most women’s messages are full of those kind of men as well. There is no sense in replying to all them, the majority never even bother to read more than the first lines of the stats, let alone the profile. And sadly, some of the good guys who should have gotten at least a thank you reply end up getting lost in that ocean of idiots.

        3. Yet Another Guy


          Online dating is a land of haves and have-nots, especially for men. The reality is that women are more selective than men. They can afford to be more selective because men have traditionally been the pursuers. The only thing a woman has to go on is a man’s photographs and what he wrote. Quality photographs and a good command of one’s native language in written form are critical to being successful on a dating site. Why? Because there are so many men from which to choose and most people enter the world of online dating under the illusion that everyone is available to everyone (that is how online dating sold). I am one of the lucky men. I am taller than the average man in my country, much better educated than average man as well, and I am not too hard on the eyes. I also took time to compose a well-written profile, which is even more critical than having good photos because once a woman likes man’s photos, she begins to parse his words (trust me, most of the women I met commented on what I wrote). You would not believe how much emphasis quality women put on a man’s compositional skills. Men are nowhere near as critical. I do not know if it is nurture or nature, but women tend to be better writers than men. They pay attention to sentence structure, phrasing, and choice of words in addition to basic grammar.

          The reality is that dating is an assortative process, that is, like seeks like. Men who are not successful on dating sites have themselves and other more desirable men who are dating down for easy sex to blame for their lack of success. Dating down for easy sex furthers the illusion that everyone is available to everyone for women who are new to online dating. Most learn very quickly that this practice is rampant on dating sites after they have been played a few times. However, some women never learn and maintain unrealistic expectations. The same is true for a smaller, but quite dense segment of the male online dating population. If a man is striking out time after time, he is writing to a lot of zombie profiles and/or attempting to shoot above his pay grade. A man needs to know exactly where he resides in the male social hierarchy to be successful on the dating sites, that is, he must realistic assessment of his sexual market value. How does a man know if he has identified his sexual market value? Well, his response rate climbs to over 10% for starters.

          Anyway, I found my current girlfriend on Match. I had to meet over one hundred women in person to meet her, but dating is like anything else in life, no pain, no gain. Trust me, while I did not experience difficulty in getting women to write back or initiate contact, I reached the point where I either did not desire to initiate contact or respond. Like anything else in life, one has to set a goal, establish a reasonable set of requirements that need to be met, and be persistent until that goal is met while incorporating feedback into the process. My girlfriend is not the first woman I met on a dating site that I dated more than a handful of times, but we are approaching a year together and we recently moved in together. So far, things are continuing to get better, but only time will tell. We are both older, divorced, have grown children, and are not in a rush to get married.

        4. RustyLH

          YAG, your post is a good one, but let me add a note. Women can be more selective, because those men in the upper tier, are not selective. They use online dating sites to date many different women. Most of those women, they know they will never marry. To them, this is just the shotgun method to getting sex. They know that some will not sleep with them, but by not being overly selective, they increase their chances of having sex. Lot’s of sex.

          What is broken in the system is simple, but women have been sold on some ludicrous idea that the fix is somehow to the benefit of men, and their detriment. The simple fix? Stop sleeping with men you are not in a serious relationship. Dare I say…not married to? Or at least, that you are engaged to.

          When men have to settle down to get sex, it forces them to better themselves. Forces them to be better people. Forces them to be serious about their romantic life. They can no longer afford to waste the time of women they have no long term interest in. This allows those women to then understand better who is truly available to them, for long term relationships, especially marriage.

        5. chris


          here is a good question for you ?? seeing how we will never meet and we all hide behind comps and smart phones … how many people have you never walked up to in PUBLIC and asked them how there day was or just simply give them a compliment .. is it really that hard to to anymore !!!

        6. Chris


          Well what are we doing in dating sites if we’re not trying to find somebody apparently there’s nine of social events in this country where people feel safe enough to go and attend without being shot up we live in a society now toward nobody has integrity everybody wants wants wants but nobody’s willing to give I recently met a 37 year old female in Detroit Michigan for a dinner date I paid for the meal and she walked out without saying even one thank you so where are the manners of the people at the last time I checked as somebody ever gave you something you said politely thank you I appreciate that not anymore b I have read more profiles on plenty of fish OkCupid and of more negativity that any positivity I’m glad they’re not applying for a job because I’d be searching for a long time in fact I had a female tell me two months ago she has a fear of rejection that’s the problem in this world everybody’s bigger and better than everybody else unfortunately I had a circumstance in the middle of the summer time of 2019 I actually did run into a female I’m plenty of fish and I’m glad I never wrote to her her demeanour told me everything I wanted to know

        7. Chris

          Yet another guy

          It doesn’t matter what you put in your profile I can tell everybody I’m Donald Trump but until they find out I’m not nobody knows the difference the fact of the matter is we all live in a judgmental society no matter if you’re fat skinny tall short blonde hair brunette red hair gray hair or anything like that we all judge is a human race and it’s sad the majority of our citizens living United States have more negativity going through our systems that we’ve ever had in the last 15 to 20 years there’s no more respect and there’s certainly no integrity left in the United States

        8. RustyLH


          From a man’s perspective, I can agree that it’s not an ideal situation for women, but it’s a vicious cycle. Men often spend a lot of time reading profiles, then write a well thought out reply, only to get a No Thank You, or no reply at all. Meanwhile, we have friends who could be male models, who don’t even have to try. All they need to do is sit back, and let the women reach out first, or they can reach out with a simple, “How you doin'” type of message, and get happy replies.

          This happens in real life also. An average guy gets caught looking at a girl’s butt, and he gets a glare, and maybe her calling him a creep. But, our hot friends can do the same, and she will blush, and smile.

          While in the Navy, me and some friends were in a club. One of our friends was with a woman he was dating, and she brought a friend. All of the guys at the table were trying to chat her up, with her showing only minimal interest. Then one of the guys in our squadron, who was without a doubt, a 10, came in and sat down. This guy was actually a better looking version of the Latino guy on Chips…the motorcycle cop TV series.

          He literally sat down, and within a minute, looked right at her, and asked her if she wanted to go F_ck. Literally just looked at her and said, “Wanna F_ck?”

          I watched her face. She was obviously disappointed that he was so crass, but she said yes, and they left together. Never in a million years would that work for 90% of the men. It might get them slapped, or at best, a glare and some nasty words. But he knew it would work for him. Why? Because it HAD worked for him…many times.

          You lament that it is different for the young petite blond, but is no different for men. The rules are different for the hot guys as well.

  6. 7

    “write a better profile”
    Ladies really take that to heart. While I did hear the advice to ‘man up and stop sucking’ please throw me a bone. If I read one more profile that is more or less ’empty’ except for cliche and photos and an admonishment that I have to do better than, hi, hello, you’re hot or lame PUA schtick, I’m going to have to struggle mightily to not kick a puppy. Give us something to work with.
    And note how few unsolicited approaches men receive and send out a few of your own.

  7. 8

      I have had both positive and negative experiences with online dating. During my last run,  I received a lot of men who just want to text or    email even though I’ll playfully    encourage them call and use the advice in the Finding the one Online program.   Sometimes they’ll ask me out through the website or through a text and when calling is brought up, they disappear. A few years back it didn’t seem to happen so often either
      Interesting  thing is I don’t encounter this with men I meet in person at singles events, 90% of the time   they do   call. I chalk it up to luck and timing but I also know my profile can be improved.   It felt really frustrating so I took a break but I’m ready to go back to it and put up a professionally taken photo up as well..although I got a lot of  positive  feedback from the one OK Cupid survey that allows users to review photos.   The coincidence that when I decided to sign up for the photoshoot, there was a sale on 11 shots for only $11.   So I’m feeling excited to see what difference the professional ones will make.   ^_^

    1. 8.1

      if you are frustrated try taking the initiative and contact men or ask them out. Then you have more choices. You won’t though. Modern women only want to be equal when they are earning money. They do not care about fairness during courtship.

      1. 8.1.1

        Exactly. No room to complain about a man’s effort when they put in even less.

  8. 9

    I’ll have to agree with the first part of Frimmel’s #7, post.   If I read one more generic “my friends describe me as (pick 5 of the same 10 adjectives)” profile, I’m going to have to rip my eyes out.   If you want to attract great guys, include a few things that are unique about you in your profile for us to write to you about.   I don’t write a lot of emails, but I have a great response rate because I write to the unique things that women offer up.   I often come across certain women that I am initially attracted to, but when I read her profile I am stumped about what to say.   Should I say something like “I think it’s great that you are witty, high energy, love to travel and look as great in a pair of jeans as you do a little black dress….”   Because that is all there is to go on.   Thoughts immediately turn to ‘hopefully you are not that generic in real life’.   Moving on.   Ugh.   Someone shoot me.   I guess that’s why I don’t write that many emails.

    1. 9.1


  9. 10

    Frimmel @7
      If I read one more profile that is more or less ‘empty’ except for cliche and photos…
    Agree with you on this one.  Many women  feel that they can put up 3 photos and a 2 line paragraph  which doesn’t  give us anything to work with. I just bypass those women. They aren’t taking the process seriously. I have found that when a woman writes a decent profile and gives something to work with, she is much higher quality. Fortunately there are a decent number of them also.
    In short, I think guys have it harder in that we have to do most of the initial legwork. But that legwork can be very fruitful if you just stick to well written profiles of women that are in your league.  Once I figured that out, the sex and relationship possibilities came rolling in.

  10. 11

    “Or do what I did and skip the whole mess, and find someone in the real world, doing what you love and meeting someone doing the same.   That is how it has always worked for me.   ”
    Was inundated with loads of copy and pasted messages. Asking me to check out their profile blah blah blah. And also sent messages from men who clearly had not read my profile and just looked at my pic.
    Was a learning experience one that opened my eyes. Not one I would want to repeat, real life   authentic in the moment experiences worked better for me.

  11. 12

    @ Magnolia, Rose (ahhh my favorite flowers… now we need a Lilac and I’ll be a happy camper)
    This is all good and well, but what about the fact that my bf lives 70 miles from me, in a town where I don’t know anyone. We work in completely different fields (IT and academia). We had zero mutual friends or acquaintances. We’re an amazing match, but would’ve never met “in the real world”.
    Another thing I find is that for my age group, opportunities to meet people in the real world are limited. Basically most guys I meet in the real world these days are my coworkers, which is a no-no for me. 40- and 50-somethings don’t go to bars and other social settings where younger singles meet. I’ve been to meetup groups (and know a few couples that met there), but IMO it’s not that different from online dating in that it also boils down to meeting new people online (where they all have to join the group and sign up for events first). I had a lot of guy friends “in the real world” when I was married. After my divorce, many of them asked me out. I went out with a few, and dated one for several months. None of them worked out, and after a year or so, I ran out of guy friends to date. So in summary, I’m a big advocate of online dating, at least for people my age. It’s a pain, but so is dating in general; but it does work.

  12. 13
    Karl S

    Almost all my relationships have come from meeting women online because I prefer the straight-up nature of it. You can both meet at least knowing for sure that the other person is single, looking and willing to allow for the chance to hit it off with you.

    I’ve written countless messages to countless women over the years. Generally I avoid the truly generic ones that only say “I like to have fun” and “I love a good laugh”, or “I like to stay in OR go out”. You will have a much easier time composing a message to somebody who actually mentions tastes or passions that you both share, because you can ask more nuanced questions about them using your own knowledge of those interests. However, you can also end up writing to people you have loads in common with and they still won’t be interested – maybe because they’ve just met someone, you don’t appear attractive to them in your profile pic or whatever other reason. It’s pot luck.

    One other thing I’ve also realized is that its not really worth writing to interesting people you don’t have things in common with, even if you like what they’ve written and they seem intelligent. I’d like to think there’s a chance we could *both* take an interest in each other’s passions, but if you don’t have that solid basis of shared tastes to discuss in detail, it just doesn’t go anywhere (or at least, not in my experience). I should have saved myself time and effort through being yet more discerning in who I tried to contact.

    1. 13.1

      Good response. The reality is that the world is a diverse place and everyone is different. Look at the mentalities of the commenters here. Many differing viewpoints, and certainly many who would argue theirs over others. Everyone has a different philosophy and you have to find someone that is aligned with yours. The only way to do that is put yourself out there and make no apologies. However, my suggestion would be to   have someone else read your profile that has no stake in the game, to act as editor to make sure you don’t come across sounding defective. Too many people list their requirements and too often they come across as seeming difficult, having too high expectation, or a little off their rocker.

  13. 14

    I bought Evans guide “finding the one online” which gave me great new ideas to think about   I recrafted my profile from a catchy user name to a very “unique” and original profile without the list of adjectives.   I probably get a high level of contact for a 54 year old.
    On a daily basis i get tons and tons of winks and likes to my photos which baffles me because i would presume if they are interested they would write at least a one liner. Im not sure if they are expecting me to take the initiative from there ?????,   who knows… Most photos are not clear so i can’t get a great idea of who the “winkers” are anyway.  
    Messages can be “hi” or a novel which is cut and paste that has absolutely nothing to do with me. I had to laugh once before i posted the body of the profile , a guy said he liked my profile. I told him he must be psychic to intuit what I was about to write.  
    There are so many men who write to me who are   50-79 years old who are looking for a 30-45 year old , and for me it a turn off because they seem delusional. I think Id get over that is they seemed attractive LOL.
    I love getting a message that is tailored to my profile   I don’t care if its just one line, Im much more likely to respond .  
    I find the online thing very entertaining.  

    1. 14.1

      I wish I could be a woman and have the option to not do anything but sit back and judge men’s responses. Even in online dating men still initiate the vast majority of interactions. Why? Because it is so easy for women to do nothing and wait for him to do it. I was  just was at a site where I could brows females but had to pay to talk. Guess who initiates the discussions there? men Guess who pays for the vast majority of hook ups? Men. Guess who pays for the first date? men (usually). Where the hell is feminism now?

    2. 14.2

      Guys send winks because they are offering up an open door to contact them. It is a way to softly initiate that they have a basic level of interest without committing too much into getting no response. Next time, follow your own advice and write them something of substance, instead of complaining about it.

  14. 15

    I’m in my 30s and I’m very social and usually love to complain about online dating.   However, the other night I went to a social event with people my age and a topic that interested me and I actually appreciated having online dating as an option.   The event was outnumbered with other women, the one man I found attractive was talking to another woman the whole night, the girl my male friend hit on told him she had a boyfriend (in a nice way), and so on.   After standing in my heels for hours and paying a ton in parking I went home without anything more than a few minute conversation with a new man.   I know it doesn’t always work that way.   But at least with online dating, every time I go on a date, it’s with someone who at least initially has some interest in me and I get to spend some quiet time getting to know them somewhere.   After going on about 5 less than stellar online dates in a row, I do tire of it. It was just a reminder that it’s nice to have one more option, outside of bars and social events especially since I have very few unattached friends left who are willing to come out with me.

    1. 15.1

      You just described every experience Males have going out in the “real world”. Going somewhere where men outnumber women 8 to 1. Trying to talk to women who have the pick of the litter so they shun interest in you. Watching as women talk with themselves mostly, or if with men, the Alpha man in the room – 6-3, good looking, douche bag. When you do talk to a woman, they say they have a boyfriend – yeah right. And then go home smelling like a bar with your tail between your legs.

  15. 16

    Dave yes I can see what you mean it’s is surface level social rubbish which feels about as exciting as reading a laundry list or to do list. Neither of those make me feel connected, engaged, tuned in or   turned on. I want to see and hear and connect to what is under that surface level meaningless social rubbish that tells me nothing about who they are.

  16. 17
    Valery North

    Just a couple of quibbles:

    every guy and girl is still in direct competition with every other person of their gender

    That’s just plain wrong.     For instance, I can’t date a smoker (it’s a physical necessity) so automatically a woman who doesn’t smoke is not competing with the smokers in terms of attracting me.     Likewise, I am not in competition with any of the men who only want smokers, and generally not in competition with the men who are smokers (since like tends to seek like in these matters).     For whatever dealbreakers there may be for each person, it reduces the field significantly of who is actually in the competition.

    I seem to recall you had a principle about “being the sort of woman that the sort of man you want to attract would be attracted to”.     That’s basically the core of my objection to the point above.     It’s worth noting that the person portrayed by the fake profile was someone I would not contact, because they sound like a pretentious stuck-up jerk who I wouldn’t want to spend any time on.

    Show that I’ve read her profile and absorbed facts about her

    That just sounds like, “make reference to something in the woman’s profile” which you’ve quoted as a boring and unoriginal approach.     It sounds as though the men referenced by Jon Millward (incidentally, it looks like it’s his personal perception of “boring”, not something tested on a range of people) were trying to do exactly that and just not quite getting it.

    It’s also worth noting that I disagreed quite a lot with the ordering of attractiveness on both the men and the women (being bisexual, I feel qualified to comment on both!) and on both, the pictures I found most attractive had been placed lower on the scale – not bottom, but 3rd and 4th.

  17. 18
    Sparkling Emerald

    Not trying to be a scold here, but I think OK Cupid SPECIFICALLY asks that you ONLY use the site if you are looking for someone and NOT to conduct research.  
    I was only on OK Cupid for 3 days.   Didn’t care much for that site.

  18. 19
    Sparkling Emerald

    I got EMK’s e-book, Finding the One Online, and I changed my profile accordingly and what a difference that made !   I am currently hiding my profiles on both sites, as my plate is full right now.   I hope eventually I can close my profile down all together, I really don’t want to be a serial dater, but until I find a relationship, don’t know what else to do.

  19. 20

    I met my last three boyfriends online. As I’ve gotten older, it has become more difficult to meet men online because I am weeded out due to being over 50 since many men my age prefer younger women. I was spending lots of money to post ads on various websites and got tired of the whole thing. I now   spend my time and energy participating in my singles group at church (the single men come up to me and tell me that I am attractive, but they don’t ask me out), as well as various meetup groups in the S.F. Bay area. I have not met anyone romantically, but I am having fun and enjoying meeting new people (both men and women) and going on different outings in and around the city.  

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