A friend forwarded me an article about looks on the dating site OkCupid.com. It blew my mind.
Okay, maybe it didn’t blow my mind, but it did validate everything that I’ve ever said about online dating. I’m going to do my best to summarize— and explain what you can learn from it. According to this article…
1) Men have a very fair assessment of women’s overall attractiveness. This doesn’t mean that they’re not shallow (they are), but rather, that they are consistent and reasonable in terms of “rating” women’s looks.
Like in a normal bell curve, 5% of the women were found to be the least attractive and 5% were found to be the most attractive, with most women falling in the middle 90%.
It’s women, not men, who have unrealistic standards for the “average” member of the opposite sex.
2) Women, on the other hand, rate 80% of men as below average.
Let me repeat: It’s women, not men, who have unrealistic standards for the “average” member of the opposite sex.
After coaching women for many years, I already suspected this, but this was a stark realization when you see just how few men you even find to be average looking.
3) This doesn’t let men off the hook at all. OkCupid reports that the most attractive women still receive 5X more email than average women and 28X more email than unattractive women. Literally 2/3 of male messages go to the best looking 1/3 of women.
As OkCupid observed, the medical term for this is “male pattern madness”.
4) Women engage in similar behavioral patterns, just not as extreme. The most attractive men get 11X more than unattractive men.
To sum up, women find most men ugly, but write to them anyway. Men find most women reasonably attractive but spend their time writing only to the hottest ones.
Yep, that sounds about right.
As for how this affects YOUR online dating experience?
– The average female sender gets a 30% reply rate from the most attractive males.
– The average male sender gets a 27% reply rate from the most attractive females.
In other words, if you’re getting 1 out of 3 people writing back to you, you’re doing okay.
A huge problem with online dating is that we have an unrealistic set of expectations about how things work.
– The most attractive men get a 53% reply rate.
– The most attractive women get a 66% reply rate.
Once again, proving that attractive women are at the top of the online dating totem pole.
So, what do you DO with all this information?
First of all, count your blessings that you UNDERSTAND this. A huge problem with online dating is that we have an unrealistic set of expectations about how things work.
If you’re writing to a very attractive person, you now know you’re competing with everyone else on the website. You can’t be too disappointed when you don’t get a reply.
Next, you could say to yourself, “Hmm…if all the other women are writing to the top 5%, that means those men in the 50-90th percentile are comparatively being neglected.”
Thus, you’re going to have a lot more success writing to the proverbial “6’s” and “7s” than the “10’s”.
Finally, you’ll see that since you can’t force people to write to you (since most men and women are chasing younger, more attractive people), ALL you can do is open up to others and improve the way you interact on your dating site.