The 2/2/2 Rule or (Should I Change My Online Approach To Feel More Chemistry on First Dates?)

First of all, I want to say that after reading all of your blog articles and your book, Why He Disappeared, I feel more empowered than ever in my dating life. Like you suggest, I am actively online dating. I spend an hour or so every day chatting with guys I find both physically and emotionally alluring. Like most of your clients beautiful, funny, caring and have a great job (I’m a bit younger though, 26 years old). Being young and cute, I get quite a bit of male interest online and I typically go on 2 to 4 dates a week. Unfortunately, most of the guys I go on dates with I end up having no interest in going on a second date with. There’s nothing inherently wrong with these guys or with me, but it just feels like neither one of us is very into it. I’m getting pretty frustrated at the whole situation and I’m beginning to think that maybe I’m just picking the wrong guys, but when we chat online it seems like we really hit it off. That chemistry just never seems to translate into real life interactions. Am I doing something wrong or am I just picking the wrong guys? I suspect it might be the latter, but I have no idea how to go about picking better guys. Are there specific factors in someone’s profile that I should be looking at? I normally look to see if the guy is interested in trying new things, what his stance on having a family is, how serious he is about finding a relationship, etc. If I’m doing something wrong, is there a way I can approach dates so that we both feel more chemistry when we meet in real life?

Looking forward to your input!

-Allyse

September 1998

I’m new to online dating. I’m doing what most everybody does: emailing lots of people short emails and encouraging them to meet as quickly as possible for coffee. I’d have 3-4 dates a week because they were low cost, and low investment. Quickly, I realize that I hated this way of dating. That I never had a great coffee date. That I never made out with someone at Starbucks. That meeting at 2pm in plastic chairs isn’t that conducive to romance, and feels more like a business meeting. It was from that point on that I decided to put a little more time into getting to know someone prior to the date, to ensure a better date.

It couldn’t be too long. After all, who wants to spend a month getting to know someone, only to find out there’s no physical chemistry? At the same time, meeting someone after writing “Hey, you’re hot. Let’s meet. Here’s my phone number,” was yielding nothing but these boring coffee dates with total strangers.

Total time from first email to first date: 1 day

April 1999

I write to a superstar on JDate – PhD in neuroscience, quick wit, burlesque dancer. Emails are lengthy and magical. Phone calls breeze by like time was standing still. A week later, with great anticipation, I show up at a bar for the first date, convinced that this was “the one.” Less than an hour into the date, she tells me, “I’m not that attracted to you.” It was like I got punched in the gut. My fantasy didn’t match my reality. Lesson learned.

My fantasy didn’t match my reality. Lesson learned.

Total time from first email to first date: 1 week

July, 2000

I receive an email from a woman without a photo on Match.com. I engage her in conversation. It’s fun. It’s flirty. It’s easy. She lives about an hour away. We exchange emails and she sends me a photo. She is the most beautiful woman I’d ever talked to online. Breathtaking. We start talking on the phone. Conversation is effortless. I call her a second time. We set up a date for Friday night. We continue to flirt during the day. We have another phone call the day before the date. She shows up at the restaurant and she’s glowing. We’re connecting. It’s incredible. We go out dancing. We come home and fool around a bit. I’m smitten. She takes another 2-3 weeks to decide she wants to become exclusive. It’s on.

Total time from first email to first date: 1 week.

December, 2002

I write to a cute girl on JDate, right before I’m about to visit my Mom on the East Coast for Christmas. We exchange emails on the site, then off the site, then move to the phone. The first call was good enough that – since I wasn’t in LA to take her out – I decided to call her by phone from Florida. The three hour time difference meant that I called her at 10pmEST (after my Mom had gone to sleep) and 7pmPST (when she was home from work). Every day for a week, we spoke for 2+ hours. Finally, even though we’d never met before, she picked me up at the airport. We were pretty much instant boyfriend/girlfriend.

Total time from first email to first date: 10 days (7 of which were on different coasts)

By 2003, I had become a dating coach and spent a lot of time listening to people complain about what was “wrong” with online dating. I was also still single and looking for answers myself. But I’d had enough experience to realize that I had a “system” going that seemed to work very well for me.

Basically, if every other guy was going to zig, I was going to zag.

While other men would write aggressive first emails and try to procure a meeting as quickly as possible, I realized that since I had LESS success being pushy and LESS success going out with total strangers, it was in my best interests to slow down just a little bit.

Basically, if every other guy was going to zig, I was going to zag.

I’d write a couple of emails on Match, write a couple of emails off Match, talk on the phone once or twice – all the better to assess our connection PRIOR to going on the date. If I discovered that emails were boring or conversations were flat or weird or tense, I wouldn’t ask her out.

As a result, instead of going on four blind dates a week with strangers based on their photos, I went on closer to 1 or 2 dates a week with women I’d gotten to know for about a week.

Sure enough, dating became more fun. It wasn’t foolproof. Sometimes, there’d be no chemistry. Sometimes, a woman would be great on the phone and bad in person. But, for the most part, I enjoyed meeting women after a week of flirting – it always felt more like a second date than a first date.

When everyone else was sipping lattes in plastic chairs, I was hooking up like crazy – all because I put in a LITTLE more time up front for quality assurance.

So while everyone else HATED online dating and got burned out on it, I LOVED it. I knew there would be ups and downs, but, for the most part, the more I stuck to my process, the more comfortable the women were when we met and the more fun we had on those first dates.

Candidly, when everyone else was sipping lattes in plastic chairs, I was hooking up like crazy – all because I put in a LITTLE more time up front for quality assurance.

In 2007, when I was creating my comprehensive online dating program, Finding the One Online, I had to come up with a name for the thing I’d been doing effortlessly for the past five years.

I called it the 2/2/2 Rule: Two emails on the site. Two emails each off the site. Two phone calls. First date. Takes less than a week. Saves women the horror of meeting douchey strangers, spares men the cost of taking out women with no personality, builds up trust and rapport, delivers better first dates than blind dates at Starbucks.

Pretty soon, 2/2/2 became a “thing.” Pretty soon, I was doing a TEDx Talk about it.

2/2/2 Rule: Two emails on the site. Two emails each off the site. Two phone calls. First date. Takes less than a week.

Pretty soon, emails started pouring in from around the world about how something so simple revolutionized their online dating experience.

I know all the objections: Men don’t want to do it. I don’t want to do it. I just want to see if there’s chemistry. It’s a waste of time. I don’t know what to say. What about texting? What if we don’t like talking on the phone? I got it, I got it, I got it.

There are answers to all of those questions, but I suspect those who aren’t open to this will not be persuaded by my logic, experience and success.

In short, if you’re a guy who is happy with spamming women with your phone number and getting one out of 50 to write back, go on with your bad self. If you’re a woman who has 3-4 dates a week and doesn’t see value in making men work a little harder to meet you, by all means, keep up your good work. But don’t complain that online dating isn’t working for you. Because online dating is doing EXACTLY what you’re asking it to do – it’s feeding you men that you refuse to vet because you’re impatient and they’re impatient. The results speak for themselves.

You don’t need to be an expert profile reader to succeed in online dating. You just need a different way of moving men from the dating site to the first date in less than a week.

In short, my dear, Allyse, you don’t need to be an expert profile reader (although I’d personally go for longer profiles, sincere profiles, and self-aware profiles) to succeed in online dating. You just need a different way of moving men from the dating site to the first date in less than a week, to make sure that he’s a good guy BEFORE you meet instead of AFTER.

Volume 4 of Finding the One Online is about that ONE subject – how to flirt with men, initiate contact, and effortlessly screen 7-10 men into 1-2 pre-screened dates per week.

Check it out and let me know if it makes a difference in your experience, okay?

Join our conversation (56 Comments).
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Comments:

  1. 1
    Tracy

    I think Evan makes a good point about taking more time to get to know and vet the guys before you go out on a date. That being said, I have found that you can properly vet a guy, and go out on a date where there is chemistry, and he still will not ask you out again. I have never found that to be true with a guy I’ve met in a more “organic” way offline. My only conclusion is that you can go out on a great date with a guy there’s a lot of potential with, but he’s probably communicating with several other women at the same time, so he feels less invested in the date with you.
     
    I don’t think there’s a solution to this. I think online dating is a numbers game, and one day you just have to hope you meet a good guy who wants to invest in you and isn’t lured in by the countless other women he can start communicating with at the click of a mouse.

    1. 1.1
      Joe

      you can properly vet a guy, and go out on a date where there is chemistry, and he still will not ask you out again

       

      “Chemistry” on a first date is just a word to make you feel better about what is really mostly just infatuation.  Sometimes the allure goes both ways; sometimes it only goes one way.  Sometimes a woman feels it but doesn’t get asked out again.  Sometimes a man feels it and gets refused a second date.

    2. 1.2
      Al

      I think some people get starry eyed over the perceived number of mates online, especially the newbies. They get that grass is always greener syndrome and keep seeking that better deal.  The problem with that is they miss out on compatible people and find their chance is long gone when they finally realize their mistake. I usually take a pretty long time talking to a guy before meeting just because my schedule sucks. I’d much rather meet sooner than later because physical attraction is impossible to gauge electronically. Plus, so many people misrepresent themselves so you never really know who’s going to show up. I’ve had guys end up being 15 years and 50 pounds past their pictures before.

      1. 1.2.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        Sooner than later is fine. I recommend less than a week of email and phone calls. Most people meet after a right swipe and a couple of texts. There is a difference.

        1. Al

          I really wish I could meet people sooner. Unfortunately, I always have to schedule dates ahead of time. Maybe one day that will lighten up and things will be easier. As it is I only go on about one date per month because I just can’t fit in more. Makes digging through that haystack so much harder.

    3. 1.3
      Sydney Chick

      If I were single, I would date 5 times a week. A coffee /drink isn’t going to hurt you. You’re in public.

      Start lining the men up. You wont feel bad if he has just paid for a drink and there is no chemistry. It has given him some practice and you too.

      Go out there and enjoy the game.

      1. 1.3.1
        Kyra

        In reality, unless you’re one of the 10% most attractive females online, “lining men up” and dates “5 times a week” isn’t possible. One, maybe two, for some of us zero. For some of us, one date a month is average.

  2. 2
    Clare

    Evan,

     

    I enjoy what you’ve said here. And I enjoy your enthusiasm about online dating.

     

    My personal system is not exactly like your system, but I do have a system and I adore online dating. I have met plenty of good guys, almost all of whom asked me out again and a number of whom asked me to be their girlfriend (the ones where it didn’t progress were in the vast majority of cases because I turned him down) and I am now in a wonderful relationship with an adoring, intelligent, attractive, caring man whom I met online.

     

    It’s all about what you make of it. To those who don’t want to make the most of it, well good luck to ya, I couldn’t care less, I’m enjoying my wonderful boyfriend!

  3. 3
    Still-Looking

    Evan gave some great advice but part of the problem might be the vibe the OP gives off when meeting her date.  She stated that neither she nor her date seem to be into it.   Since this is a recurring problem she might be sending a “I’m not interested ” signal from the start of the date.   I’ve had dates that were preceded by hours on the phone and great chemistry. That great chemistry is at times completely dissipated by the time we get to the restaurant table.  If I detect a lack of interest then I probably give off a signal that I’m not interested and the downward spiral begins.  Sometimes it’s just nervous jitters and the date can be saved. Other times it can’t.

    1. 3.1
      Christine

      This is something that just about everyone runs into with online dating.  I’m wondering if her expectations might be too high, for a first date?  As it’s been discussed on this blog plenty of times–people can sometimes develop unrealistic fantasies in their head about what someone is like, while having those great online chats.

      Then, when that other person doesn’t live up to that fantasy when you meet them–you get disappointed and give out that “I’m not interested” vibe.  The other person senses that, reciprocates that “I’m not interested” vibe, and down we go.

      I did a lot better, and got a lot more second dates, when I gave both myself (and the other guy) a break.  I tried not to expect instant fireworks on a first date, but just expect a nice time getting to know a nice person.  Even the first date with my boyfriend now wasn’t like a romantic comedy (but luckily, we both understood the first date jitters and gave each other more chances).  I also know many other happy couples whose first dates weren’t instant fireworks–but who grew to love each other over time.

       

  4. 4
    HollyTx

    I’m really glad to see this post. One of these days I’ll read all the books and courses. I probably get asked for my number 10 times a day online. I give it and then more texting, so much fun (not) when I am trying to work, go to gym, drive, etc. and then the same day a few ask for drinks/coffee and sometimes dinner. I was going out and realized I couldn’t keep up. It was taking over my life, ruining my diet and exercise regimen, taking up my spare time, I was exhausted. Getting a date I’m actually looking forward to is my goal now. It should be fun and not so much work.

  5. 5
    Mandi

    26 year old woman here doing online dating and can relate to the OP.

    Totally agree with Evan’s advice of putting time into getting to someone prior to the first in-person meeting. I think the online dating landscape has changed quite a bit since Evan’s time as a single guy, though. Most of my single friends on dating apps like Tinder tell me it’s the norm to meet up after a few brief exchanges. Part of the problem is the medium of dating apps like Tinder — the texting format is tedious and not conducive to getting to know people on a deep level. It’s for this reason that I’ve stuck to using sites like OkCupid which encourage longer messages, making it easier to get to know the person on the other end before an initial meeting. I’ve got a date tomorrow with a guy I’ve been messaging for a week and am really looking forward to it — his messages have been thoughtful and effortlessly funny (something difficult to pull off!) and I know that even if there isn’t that in-person chemistry, I’ll at least enjoy his company on some level. That said, I’ve found that guys who can make me laugh online are the ones I have the most chemistry with on a first date.

  6. 6
    Rebecca

    My problem with the 2/2/2 rule was I didn’t know how to filter guys out.  Two messages on the site and two messages on my personal email and I still felt like I didn’t know much about the guys.  If I got a dozen messages a day from guys who were interesting and attractive, and I lost interest in half of them at each contact (I didn’t – generally the messages affirmed my sense of them from their profiles) that was still 157 thoughtful messages to write, 8 phone conversations and 1 or 2 first dates per week.  I know I won’t get any sympathy from the men who are frustrated that women never seem to write back, but I had a guy get mad and ask why I kept putting off going out with him and the truth was I already had three dates that week and needed time for the rest of my life.  And I was 45 and pretty plain.

    I quit online dating because it was overwhelming.  Honestly, I think I’d have liked it better if I’d had some silly filter like height or education to make it more manageable.

    1. 6.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      157 thoughtful messages to write? Why?

      If you get 10 emails a day for 10 days, then hide your profile, delete 90 guys and communicate with 10 of them. Only 1 or 2 will make it through 2/2/2. Not so overwhelming.

      1. 6.1.1
        Rebecca

        But delete 90 of the guys on what criteria?  Unless I read their profiles or exchange messages with them I really don’t know much about them on which to sort between the 10 and the 90.  That was my problem.  In real life it’s so intuitive and effortless, because there’s so much more information in the first 30 seconds of a face-to-face conversation than in a few hundred words of typing.  Even the poet I dated wasn’t as evocative in his writing as in person.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          On whatever criteria you want. Unless you want to write to 157 men at a time.

        2. Rebecca

          You’re right – I don’t want to write 100+ men at a time. So my criterion was men I met online – gave up on all of them and met men in real life instead.

    2. 6.2
      Caroline

      Hi Rebecca.  IMO your first filter is guys who get mad when you don’t write back right away! I had lots of messages when I first started online (46-I had been separated 3 years and went ahead before divirced-wasn’t ready). I filtered by realistic distance (I had kids and really couldn’t travel often), messages which just said hi, rude, etc)., I had many guys 20 years my senior-filtered them out, profiles poorly written or didn’t reveal much, profiles with no pic (these guys like the older ones tend to write back-I think they realize they’re at a disadvantage), etc.  Also, you may find that your age now being over 45 might filter a lot of guys out. Men set their age parameters low IMO (not all men). And they tend to set them at 5 year marks. If you’re unsure whether to filter -just take a screen shot of the message and file it in a folder in your phone-you can enlist that message when you have an off week. I think many guys realize it may take more than one message to respond.  It sounds rude, but it’s a nice problem to have:).

       

      1. 6.2.1
        Buck25

        Caroline, that last sentence made me think of something I did when I was online, and it made me curious. I would send one message. If there was no response, but the woman had viewed my profile, I’d send one follow-up message. I had the impression women were offended by repeated messages if they weren’t really interested, so I always stopped if there was no response to the follow-up. I thought that was the courteous thing to do, but the way you said that makes me wonder if I was quitting too soon. Thoughts?

        1. ScottH

          I don’t think you were quitting too soon.  If you send a message and she looks at your profile and is interested, she would most likely respond then and there.  If she looked but didn’t respond, I would occasionally give her a 2nd message but would either get no response or a reason why she didn’t respond the first time.

        2. Caroline

          Hi Buck-what you did sounds good. You never know what someone else is thinking.  Following up is good IMHO.  I actually had guys who said they waited to write me in order to let the feeding frenzy of guys who basically assault a woman with a new profile the first day/week. Instead of being lumped in with all the (usually) insincere guys who just spam every new profile thinking its a numbers game. I also had guys who a month later emailed me since I still had my profile up. But I will say the majority if the time I wasn’t interested and like the other ladies in here that commented; I learned quickly to not respond at all instead of getting a nasty email from a guy. But I in NO way wrote a warning sign that if I didn’t respond I wasn’t interested! What a turn off. If a guy wrote that in his profile; I’d totally blow him off. Sorry, it just sounds very arrogant-like “I’m too good to respond to nobody’s”.

          Besides, I am personally notorious for changing my mind. 🙂

          i like to think of it as being willing to have a changing/growing perspective in life.

      2. 6.2.2
        Rebecca

        I agree, Caroline. I had several filters I felt good about: I didn’t correspond with men who

        whined or expressed rage at women
        weren’t local
        wrote something generic or purely sexual
        were closer in age to my dad than to me or young enough to be my child
        set their age range to not include women their own age
        wanted to have children
        didn’t post a picture or fully fill out their profile
        smoked
        just didn’t seem interesting or smart or kind enough to intrigue me

        Oh, and I passed on one guy who said he thought interracial dating is immoral since I am biracial.

        I didn’t sort on education or height or income, even though the site I was using made that a possiblity – I didn’t think I cared much, although the truth is I’ve never been in a serious relationship with a man who didn’t go to college, so maybe I should have used that filter. Mostly I filtered guys out because once I got to know them a little bit I just didn’t feel any excitement about meeting them. But it took me some time to know one way or the other and that’s why I stopped meeting men online. I sound so odd and indecisive describing my online dating, when I feel like I read people really well in real life. I think IRL dating is just a better fit for me personally.

        1. Caroline

          Rebecca-all those filters make sense to me. I just found your problem with getting so many emails interesting. In my personal experience the number of emails DRASTiCALLY fell off after 1-2 weeks. Definitely not insurmountable. But I am pretty average and am in a smallish market. I actually had to discover ways to increase my n just numbers of emails as I aged out of what men seem to desire.

          I also feel I can gauge people must better in person.

          Good luck in your search!

    3. 6.3
      Al

      Most dating sites DO have criteria like height and education. If men leave either one blank that usually means they think the answer will turn women off. It may be considered rude, but I usually ask them to finish filling out their profiles before I invest much time in them. Those questions are there for a reason, because it helps people with this very issue.

      1. 6.3.1
        Caroline

        @Al-I personally used the ‘No Preference ‘ in many places in my profile. Of course, like anyone I have limits but I was sincerely open to dating in a wider range of folks. Besides, in my personal experience, much of that stuff didn’t matter because guys “fibbed” so much ( just like women). I was just wary of profiles with no pics it obviously out of date pics. Heck-one of the best guys I met online-neither of us had a pic up. We just went for it. We dated 8 months. We still get together once or twice a year fir a beer and see how life is going. We both learned a bunch from each other. Even though I hesitated with guys who didn’t have pics (my biggest worry was that they were married) I did dàte another guy who turned out to be quite handsome for a few weeks. But with both guys the enails were great and we met quickly

        1. Al

          Oh, that post was in response to Rebecca who mentioned that she wished she could screen for certain things. I also choose “No Preference” for a lot of criteria but there are a few that do matter to me. You’ve clearly had FAR greater luck than I have with finding a good match without a lot of details. Part of the problem is that there are so, so many people from all walks of life on these sites and I’m already so strapped for time. I simply can’t afford “mystery dates.” I have to have some way to narrow the search.

        2. Caroline

          @Al- I was responding to your post about asking men to fill out their profiles further. Imho- it’s
          1) they’re not worth replying to if they have very incomplete profiles (they’re not showing much investment by being lazy.
          2) they may have left their preferences blank because they were undecided. Haven’t you ever met someone in person you really liked but they didn’t meet your online “criteria”?
          I’m in no way saying it’swrong to have wants in a mate. I just think when one goes online at first, one tends to fill out their profile with their ideals not realizing those ideals can actually be insignificant compared to things like loyalty, kindness, mutual respect, etc which there are obviously no blanks to fill out in profiles.
          I just feel like if a guy asked me to fill out something I left blank before he considered me; I’d totally blowback off. Now , if he seemed genuinely interested in me and asked how I really felt about ____. I would respond if interested.
          It just seems like if ( if this is what you do)you reply back fill out your profile- he’d probably think “b#tch”.  If so, why even bother replying?

        3. Caroline

          Forgot to give an example:

          I had more than one guy who contacted me (after I had looked at their profiles in my search with age criteria)- even though I wasn’t in their age criteria ( guys tend to not even consider women their own age)

          Online dating has a learning curve- why not give each other a break.

    4. 6.4
      MKM

      Online dating can be overwhelming at first if you just keep swiping and matching on every good looking guy.  157 messages?  Get two matches at a time and go from there.  Even two guys can get overwhelming, but you’re trying to juggle way too much and now you’re giving up.  You just need to set limits for yourself so you don’t get overwhelmed.

      1. 6.4.1
        Rebecca

        Why assume I was swiping and matching hundreds of guys?  I found it overwhelming because my inbox was deluged.  You’re suggesting I “get two matches” and but the issue of how to select two matches from the heap of guys who contacted me.  Evan said use whatever criteria I like, but all the criteria you can sort by online are the shallow things like height that Evan also encourages us not to take so seriously.  Learning about men by clicking through their profiles took an enormous amount of time and wasn’t really fun, while meeting people in real life is incredibly fun and the sorting happens subconsciously.  So, you’re right, I’m a quitter to online dating, but IRL dating is working for me, so why not play to my strengths?

  7. 7
    Karrie

    1-2 dates a week? I’m lucky I get 1 date a month. I must attract the wrong guys. Most either start with just a message of “hey sexy how r u?” (I have no bathing suit or even any cleavage revealing pics), or have horrible grammar, run-on sentences, no punctuation, or just rude/crude. Guys with no profile filed out and no pictures that just leave a phone number and say text me. I’m also young looking and get a lot of messages from guys 15 years younger or 15-20 years older. Of course most of, those are timestamped between 1-4 am. Most that are a well worded message, from an age appropriate guy, that shows they read my profile, when I respond there is no response back and the profile is usually shown as deleted within days. I usually have a rule that I message on the dating website at least 3 nights with a guy, during decent hours like 6-9 pm, and he starts talking about wanting to meet. Exchange numbers and text/talk a couple days, and then talk about meeting up. But a turn off is guys who want me to plan the date or talk about time in general like,  “let’s go out this weekend”. When I ask when and where, it’s like there’s no response for a couple days. Then on Sat or Sun at 3 pm there’s a text “want to go out tonight”. I don’t sit by the phone waiting for a text, I have a life and I live it. Then they act mad I’m not available and then it doesn’t go anywhere. Or the guy picks a night and says they will think of something to plan. Then day of I get a lunchtime text asking where I want to go or what I want to do. Most guys that make it to the first date seem that they have run out of things to talk about, even if the date happens in the first week. Only 2 guys in the past year made it to a second date and after I’ve gotten home all of a sudden the guy’s text and conversations instantly turned to sex, as if third date must end in sex. Big turn off as I feel they aren’t looking for a long term relationship. I’m just not sure what to change about my selection. I like to have found some common interests, shows patience and good communication skills, and be somewhat physically attracted (photos aren’t always flattering) prior to moving to exchanging numbers.

    1. 7.1
      Karrie

      Oh, and I have a caveat in my profile that says if I review your profile and I’m not interested, I will not respond. Too many times I’ve been attacked back in a message because I wanted to be nice and say I wasn’t interested. Some were pretty foul and brutal.

      1. 7.1.1
        Stacy

        Karrie,

        I can relate and I dont get it? I met a fella ONCE after chatting for a week and a half and I was really nice about it and said basically, hey, it was awesome to meet you but I don’t feel like we are a match and I got told off! He said I was ‘just like every other chick’ and went off about a bunch of ‘stuff’. Damn if you do and damn if you dont.

        I kinda understand why people just disappear sometimes because rarely have I gotten a cordial response to telling someone I am no longer interested.

        Anyway, I just recently got off the market so hopefully I wont have to deal with this for a long time.

    2. 7.2
      Kyra

      Same. I average, perhaps, one date a month when OLD. I get about 5 messages per week, half with bad grammar/unreadable.

      I’m Black, so it accounts for the dismal numbers. When Evan says a woman should be communicating with 7-10 men at a time I’m flabbergasted. Usually, 7-10 men’s profiles I read exclude Black women. So, getting 2-3 men to message at a time is daunting to near impossible for me.

      And, sadly, because of my “build” (big boobs/big butt) 90% of men I date push for sex with me on date one.

      I don’t bedgudge this. I just get where you’re at and where you’re coming from. For some of us, the struggle is a bit more difficult and the work showing less results. Just the way it is for some of us, but we can offer one another stories and support. Doesn’t mean OLD dating doesn’t work, it just may not work for us.

      1. 7.2.1
        Christine

        Kyra, I’m Asian so I don’t know exactly what you’re going through as a black woman–but I do feel for you. Unfortunately, I have not seen one study, anywhere, saying that race doesn’t matter in online dating. For better or worse, some demographics really do have an easier time.

        I’ve read studies about Asian women supposedly being so highly desired–but I had my challenges with online dating too.  I did eventually meet my boyfriend on there, but it was a very long and tough road getting here.  The vast majority of men excluded minorities of any kind, so I couldn’t even get my foot in the door with most men.  The men who did specify Asians as a preference were often the ones with a “fetish”, who had stereotypical ideas of what they think Asian women are like (they really expected me to be some geisha or courtesan for them.  I realize it’s not quite the same but yeah, Asian women also often get oversexualized in their own way)

        Hmmm, have you tried any niche dating sites geared specifically for African Americans? (Although I don’t know what your own preferences are and if you’re seeking black men) I have seen those advertised before and often thought that if I were black, I’d give something like that a try in conjunction with “mainstream” dating sites.  The problem with those is that they’re often small, and won’t have as much selection since they’re not as well known–but at least you know the people who would sign up for such a service are open to dating black women.  It’s just a thought.

         

         

        1. Kyra

          I absolutely under, Chritine. My best friend is Asian and, though she is long-time married, there was a two year time frame she and her husband were separated and she was hit with a barrage of men who classified as the type of men seeking her company due to their fetish.

          I think I read somewhere Asian women are the most desired women online. Posts as such generally go hand-in-hand with the ones you mention of race being a very large factor in OLD and one’s success at it. However, I can absolutely understand individuals of any race having difficulty for not meeting specific stereotypes people have or expect of them in the dating process. Asian women may “have it easier,” in OLD but they can still be victims of the same issues that hold a lot of us back, especially those of us who are of color traversing a world that hasn’t come so far racially as we tend to believe.

          Now that 2016 has ushered itself in I’ve been single, technically, for 11 years. I had a four week relationship about four years ago that, really, was nothing more than a narcissist/avoidant rushing in and rushing equally as fast out, but I don’t count it as an actual relationship. In those 11 years I’ve attempted many, many, many sites. I have moderate communication success at the get-go… about 2 or 3 messages a day. Most of those mention or include something about my race or how they’ve never “Been with a Black woman.” They’re immediately filtered out. Like you, I want nothing to do with fetishism. About 1 of those men become someone I have back and forth messages with. 1 to 2 move to texting with a little time. I’ll have maybe 1 to 2 dates after the first month before it slows down and messages eventually stop entirely.

          I always attempt the 2/2/2 rule, though, as a writer, I like to increase the second 2 to perhaps a 3 or 4 to get a sense of someone intellectually before moving to text/phone.

          The only niche site I have attempted was one for interracial dating. However, after several days surfing the site I realized it was an affiliate site that pulled profiles from their other entities and many profiles were LONG abandoned. I knew this was the case because I came across my ex boyfriend’s profile.  And, even more sad his profile featured a photo of us at an event… with me cut out.. at the age of 25. (I’m 40 now). We hadn’t been together in 10 years so I knew the profile they were attempting to sell as active was YEARS old. To make it even sadder I know he’s been married for about 7 or 8 years. So, I knew if there was an profile THAT old on the site it wasn’t a site I should be using.

          I date men of all colors, probably White most primarily over the years. I am absolutely open to changing that. I don’t tend to gravitate to Black dating sites. I’m open to dating Black men, but I find there is a huge gap in class/religion/morals that can be frustrating when getting to know one another. I’m an atheist. I’m pro LGBTQ. I listen to rock music primarily. I’m private school educated. This has led to quite a few men of color in my history labeling me “uppity” or “bougie” and quickly communicating that not only can they not relate to me, but they find me “different” or “odd” or “weird.” The men of color that I find online that share my interests, I have noted, seek women who are not Black quite possibly because, in their experience, finding a woman of color who shares such interests/background/class level has been difficult to nonexistent. It’s an odd scenario I once discussed with a former therapist. There’s a huge issue with colorism and social class in the Black community that can often bring about dating disparities between men and women.

          Thanks for your kind words and for sharing your story as well. I used to hurt tremendously from a lack of a dating life, but as I’ve aged I’ve thoroughly found and understood my beauty and worth as a woman. And, for now, I’m ok not OLD now because of the dismal results women of color do get. One day that might change and, if so, I’ll be one of the women forging that change.
          Until then, I keep the idea of a great man in my mind. Maybe he’ll come. Maybe he won’t. I just very much doubt it will be through OLD and I’ve grown to be ok with life if he doesn’t. Lonely, yes, but ok.  I’ll live and live well with myself. I’m pretty awesome.

        2. Christine

          Kyra, I really do feel for you and am sorry you went through that.  I’ve gone through some similar experiences as you so really do understand.  I even went through a similar experience with a narcissist blowing in and out of my life!

          It sounds like you’re in a good place in your life, mentally and emotionally.  Even with all the inequities, and all the challenges, I eventually found a wonderful man and hope you do as well.  I kept myself going by telling myself, over and over, that I only need to succeed at this once, since I only want one partner. Whether you have 100 suitors or just 10, you only need just one in that group you’re compatible with.  Best wishes to you!

        3. Rebecca

          I wonder if the men who write expressing their fetishes realize just what a turn off it is! I guess maybe they’re not thinking how we’ll react since they’re not thinking of us as humans, but I’d think they’d learn to they have better chances fulfilling the fetish if they don’t lead with it. I once had a man who had “never had a black woman” proposition me saying he always wanted to try “something a little exotic.” He also used the N word in his regular speech. Racism aside, I cannot imagine myself ever trusting anyone who could refer to me as “someTHING.”

          LOVE your last line, Kyra. We should all get to that place.

        4. Caroline

          @Kyra and Christine-

          I was “eavesdropping” on your conversation and found it very enlightening. This helps me understand much better my good friend’s personal plight. Kyra, like you she is a private school educated, black woman desiring a healthy relationship but faced with men of differing values. She actually went back with a man that locked her out of their home in her pajamas after she had gotten rid of her old apartment and furniture when he asked her to move in. She actually lived with me for a bit until she could get anither place. Now she’s back with him again but living separately. She actually hid it from me and it caused a huge rift in our friendship. We finally have gotten together as friends again and I want to be there for her. I just thought it inspirational how you don’t settle against such odds. You being so transparent about your dating life helps me to grasp better what she is going through. Hopefully, I can be a good friend. She certainly is to me 🙂

        5. Christine

          Rebecca, that is truly horrid and I’m sorry you went through that.  I really do know how that feels when I’ve had men say the same thing to me!  We’re people, not ice cream flavors of the month to “try”.

          Caroline, I appreciate that and am glad our discussion helped you understand your friend’s situation.  Best wishes to her!

        6. Kyra

          Awww, I’m glad my sharing helped both find individuals who understand and have gone through similar situations as well as have a better understanding of friends who may be going through the same.

          @Rebecca – Yep! Yuck! I’ve never had someone use the N word… wait, yes I have. So, I feel you. I do. I’ll never understand why men objectify and fetishize in writing to women, thinking it will be a turn off. Someone, somewhere needs to create a course telling them it absolutely is not.

          @Caroline – You sound like a wonderful friend and I’m sure you friend will appreciate you taking the time to truly understand the difficulty she may face in dating as a woman of color. I had a friend — blonde, busty — whose had a new boyfriend every year since I met her until she married several years back. To make it even more complicated, she began dating Black men and married a biracial Black man. We had a group together and all of the Black male members of the group were married to/living with White or Asian women. (Keep in mind, I believe love is color blind and have dated men of all colors my entire dating life). But, when my friend said to me one day, “You can’t come to me anymore and discuss why you can’t find a man,” well, I truly understood that some people don’t understand how difficult online dating (and dating in general) is for Black women and just how much, as documented in statistics on dating site blogs, Black women are not contacted, not replied to or singled out for the cold shoulder (I’m using OKCupid’s words verbatim).

          Your commitment to understand your friend, the difficulty she faces and the reasons why she may go back to a former relationship out of loneliness or a need for comfort, romance, sex, etc. make you a really dedicated and good friend.

  8. 8
    SMA

    I spent one month messaging with a guy. First, we were both travelling, then he broke his leg and had a surery. Then we finally met. We spent 5 hours chatting. I felt great. It’s been a week since our date. He hasn’t called. I wont call either. Shame.

    1. 8.1
      Still-looking

      I too have invested many hours communicating before a date and then had a great date/bad date with no contact afterwards.  Sometimes she wasn’t interested. Sometimes I wasn’t interested. Now I try to meet quickly before I invest too much of my time and hopes.

  9. 9
    Bill

    Who are you people having all these coffee dates?

    I’ve been on Match over a year and haven’t had four responses, period.

    My sent mailbox indicate I wrote thought out, response to their profile messages to 64 women over that time, given a response rate of 6.25%.

    Something’s amiss if everyone is getting all these responses and is having to whittle down or better qualify who they meet with, and I don’t even hear back…

    1. 9.1
      Buck25

      Bill,

      Take a good look at your pictures (hopefully you’ve posted more than one), and your profile. Are your pictures current? Do they at least resemble you? Do at least some of them show you enjoying an activity you like? Are you well-dressed in at least some pics, and well-groomed (even if casual) in all of them? Are you smiling? (You should be). No “bathroom selfies”, no shirtless pics (women really hate that). No pics of you with other dates, either (a social group shot or two is ok).

      How about your profile? Is it just like every other guy’s? You can find out on most sites, by hiding your profile, then go female-seeking-male (it’s ok, a lot of people do it, and no one will know). See what the other guys in your age group are putting out there; it’ll give you some idea what your competition is like, and maybe give you some ideas on how to make your profile stand out from the crowd. Most profiles are so bad, that it’s not really hard. Unfortunately, online profiles and emails are something of a creative writing contest. If you’re not good at that, consider a profile writing service. Evan offers a good one (E-Cyrano),; and there are others. Also, check out the thread here “A well written online dating profile matters”. That may give you some ideas as to what you need.

      Emails, especially first contact ones, are an art in themselves. The first email needs to be a lot more than “Hi, I think you’re cute”, but don’t write a book, either. Generally keep it to four or five sentences, stay away from talking about her looks, find something interesting in her profile or pictures and  and ask about it. Keep it light, and put some humor in it if you can. You’re trying to be a little different from what she usually gets, pique her curiosity and start a conversation.. There’s a lot of advice on doing this  online, some of it good, some not. Evan offers a book with some good advice that applies to both genders; you might want to check that out.

      Be sure you’re writing to women who are likely to respond (i.e. in your own age group, and not just the very best looking ones). If you’re not a “10” in looks, and you’re only messaging 9s and 10s, especially the ones a lot younger than you, you won’t get much response (every other guy on the site is writing them too).

      Do it right, message women who are not out of your league, and you should be able to generate at least a 20% initial response rate. I don’t know what age group you’re in, but I’m 67 ( which is as close to invisible online as a man can be) and when I was online, I was doing that or better pretty consistently; better than fifty meet-up “dates” in three years. It’s not an easy environment at all, but you can get a better success rate than you have been getting.

      1. 9.1.1
        Bill

        The photos are normal – no bathroom or shirtless selfies – as is the profile – both have been vetted both by friends as by more than one “we’ll check/rewrite your profile” service that I trust.

        The introductory messages perhaps aren’t their best, but even if they were poor I would think random luck would cause a woman or two to respond to me.

        I look in my age group – just under 50 – and don’t go more than 9 years younger so it’s not like I’m messaging 21 year-olds.

        1. Buck25

          Bill,

          Ok; sorry to ask about the stupid stuff, but you’d be amazed how many guys do some or all of that. First thing I’d do is update your  pics at least every three months or so, and have enough good ones so you can change out your main photo weekly. Gets you more views. Also, update your profile frequently, and keep tweaking it, until you find something that seems to work better. Look for the things that make you different, and work from those. Try to weave those into brief little stories that illustrate, rather than just tell. Lots of opportunities for a guy your age with that forty-something age group, but it’s a crowded marketplace; you’ve got the young guys who aren’t doing well in their own age group messaging older women; you’ve got all the forty-something divorced men, and you’ve got older guys trying to hit on women twenty years younger; so you have lots of competition for the attention of average or better women in your target group. Your pics and profile need to be outstanding, not just “good enough”.

          Same with your emails, and sorry to burst the bubble, but random luck is not going to cut it. If you’re messaging quality women, they get a lot of attention online, which often means they are looking at your pics, your profile and you initial emails just looking for reasons to disqualify you. There’s no changing that; it’s what they do, so we have to deal with it. Amuse them, make them laugh, intrigue them; you have to be something more than the usual they see, to get a response from most. The good news is, it’s anonymous,and there’s a high turnover rate, so don’t be afraid to experiment; you really have nothing to lose.

  10. 10
    Daisy

    I wonder what you mean by “e-mails”. Everybody who contacted me or I contacted treated it as chat. I had an expectation of messages being like letters, so I wouldn’t need more than two before exchanging e-mail addresses and so on just like you said.

    In a month online I didn’t have any long answers, only a lot of messaging and no dates. I am early thirties in Vancouver, Canada.

  11. 11
    FG

    The principal problem with online dating, or auditions, is the completely erroneous impression that there are vast quantities of available potential matches out there. It simply is not true! A younger friedn (late 30s) and his wife asked me WHY I didn’t have a current gf (a couple of years back), as they considered me a good catch, so I explored the numbers to formulate a cogent answer.
    I’m not solely seeking a warm body to lie by me in bed. I want a decent match.
    In the upper middle-class+, for 35 y.o.+, 88% of people already are in a relationship. A repetitive pattern, it seems, is that very many of the women I’ve met online raised a lot of red flags. Now I have no claim to perfection. And do not seek perfection, but, there are some reasonable expectations or criteria that must be met. In terms of compatibility, age (I’m mid 50s), finances (and assets; not seeking a match, but come on, you have nothing?), education, culture, some accomplishments, IQ, EQ, and eventually, yes, sexual compatibility as well. By my age, we have (or should have) covered a lot of ground. Unless you’ve led a 9-5 job, tv evenings life, an apparently easy lifestyle to match, commonality is more difficult to find. Also, in my age group, there are some raging feminists, or deluded feminists, and I wish them well in casting their particular brand of toxicity in to other people’s lives, as long as it’s not mine.
    The female dating “pool” seems rife with the “prince charming” fantasy quest.
    I’ve had some itneresting encounters, and a few short-lived relationships since my divorce.
    – Recent case, many phone convos, few dates (time issues on her side), enjoyable company, 5 weeks, 5-6 dates (2 sleepovers) encounters into this, the lady has a mild stroke. They also find “masses” when doing MRI. More tests. The relationship had not accumulated enough history to go down that particular avenue. She even stated she didn’t want me to endure this, as it was unfair to me. Sad circumstances.
    – Two enjoyable dates w a shrink, consecutive days. Drinks, dinner, walk, art galery. My soul was not talking to her. OK!?! Over… 12 hours?
    – A very pleasant but brief (a few months) relationship w a U prof. She spends a few months a year in town. I didn’t want to move where she lived, and she didn’t want to settle here permanently. We still talk, email, and enjoy each other’s company. Not on a benefit arrangement. Friends.
    – A longer stretch, ’08-’10, so, 18 months or so, but her kids got in the way, and she was very temperamental. Which sometimes alludes to “mental”!
    – An interesting case of an adventurous  free-spirit who had little time on her hands and a  (then) 5 y.o., so we did have a telecom friendship, in spite of no other developments
    As to the auditions, came across many cases of “daddy issues”, self-esteem problems, tiddly-winks PhDs,
    Many women with older progeny seem to have imbalances. One gal who would spend all day cooking on Sundays because her 30yo son and his 27yo gf would come over for dinner (they llive together, have their own place, have decent jobs). The day-long cooking was to send him home with a homecooked meals for the week. Are you nuts!?! Have other seen other cases.
    There is a dearth of decent potential matches animated by common-sense.

    1. 11.1
      Bill

      I agree with most of what you have to say and have to say that no factor seems to prove this more than the fact that many of the women I see on these sites have been there at least since I first logged on over five years ago.

      Now you could say “right back at you,” but I am not getting 100 or more responses a day as many of the women I have successfully contacted (meaning I was able to exchange messages with) do.

      Granted most of those may be the proverbial shirtless selfie jerks writing “Yer hott!!!” messages but at least there it seems less illusory.

  12. 12
    Not Jerry

    OLD is disheartening.

    FG, that was an interesting post.
    Like you, I am older and I have seen a lot of what you have seen.
    No assets at all, at your age?
    Bipolar.  Too much baggage.
    An amazing number of people who are just uninteresting to talk to.
    Not a good conversationalist. That’s the most important thing!

    I personally often take longer than 2/2/2.  Some go away in disgust, which is fine with me.
    This actually is auditioning.

    EMK, how about like buttons for the blog?  I still think there should be dates on posts, because as interesting as this blog is, it’s ungainly to use, with hundreds of thousands of posts with no dates. You never know if you are responding to a zombie thread that is years old. As a result I don’t read this very often. If I could read the new posts I would.

    I was blogging way before it was kewl.

    1. 12.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      There are like buttons on the original post, not on comments.

      If you want to read new stuff, you can subscribe to the blof on the right sidebar or just read here every Monday and Thursday.

      Old posts don’t have dates for the very reason you pointed out. The content is largely timeless and I don’t want to “date” it.

      Thanks for reading and your suggestions.

      1. 12.1.1
        Not Jerry

        Yeah, it’s just so big. Interesting, but ungainly.

        If there was only a button for new posts. That would entail either logging in, or a cookie, which then would not work across clients. I read your blog on up to 4 different computers. Heh.

        Subscribe in the right sidebar? You mean the box to enter your email, that doesn’t say what it does, with the button that says “Sign up now.” That subscribes to something somehow? I didn’t really understand that.

        As I said, I was blogging before it was kewl.

        Well, in DOS mode with a dial up modem.

        I said I was older. Heh.

      2. 12.1.2
        Not Jerry

        I actually love RSS but I couldn’t find one for this blog. I use an old, obsolete aggregator that can keep track of everything.
        But I admitted to being an old nerd.  Alpha Male too, which Karmic always disputes.

  13. 13
    Chiela

    There’s so many goodlooking people ot there its just you must know what you want and statistically stick w/ it. Learn from your mistake, read and pray.

    You’ll get burner out dating so just get a top 10 whom you really like 😊

  14. 14
    Danielle

    Dating online is really difficult sometimes.  I have gotten lucky and have met a few boyfriends online including the current one. But the journey was hard. I received a lot of responses that involved sex or something physical.  There is a reason I won’t show my body online until I am sure about the guy. Because I have a large chest.  It has always made it difficult to find out if guys like me or my assets.  Just keep going and stay positive.

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