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My online dating research

Posted Sep 26 2010 6:44pm

I’d read data that said 50% of men listed on dating sites never get one contact from women.

Yet my experience is that men rarely respond to my being the one who makes the initial contact, or for the few who do, it’s nearly all “thanks but no thanks.”

So I decided to set up an experiment. Granted, it’s not very scientific, as I only posted one profile and set of pictures. Had I been more scientific, I would have posted various ones to see if it was my looks or writing that was alluring or repelling.

For the last 3 months, I’ve regularly emailed men I thought had some chance of being a match. The results are dismal.

I emailed 100 men, all within a 50-mile radius. I met their age, height, education and body-shape criteria.

Out of the 100 men, 47 looked at my profile, sometimes more than once.

Ten sent a “Thanks, but I’ve just started seeing someone and want to see if it works out” email. Has this become the new standard message for “We’re not a match”?

One struck up an email and phone conversation and we met for a drink. We were not a match.

So what’s up with this data? If men rarely receive contact from a women, why would 53% of them not even look at my profile? Were they already seeing someone but haven’t hidden or removed their profile? Too busy to even look at what someone sent them?

Ten percent had the decency to acknowledge my overture. I believe if someone has taken the time to reach out, I owe them at least a response. Obviously, that’s not a common feeling.

People ask me if I’ve been successful with online dating. I always say it depends on your definition of “success.” In this example, I had a 99% failure rate — 100% if you count the guy I met that wasn’t a match. Is that success? In the past, I’ve met nearly all my guys through dating sites. Some have become beaus. Most were one-meeting only encounters. Is that success?

My feeling is I would have gone out with many fewer men if I depended on the “natural” way of meeting in a class, at a coffee shop, or through friends. These methods have resulted in nearly no dates. So online dating has allowed me to meet many more men, with some working out at least for a while.

So what’s a woman to do who wants to be proactive rather than wait for a man who interests her to make contact? I will still email interesting men, just not as diligently now knowing the odds. It is frustrating to realize that men still like to initiate, yet my experience reflects that with nearly all of my beaus being the first contacters.

Gals, what’s your experience with being the initiator online? Did you have good luck with that? Men, how do you feel about women who contact you? Are you flattered or is it a turn off?
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I’ve just learned that Adventures in Delicious Dating After 40 is one of the few blogs read by bestselling author Gina Barreca. She lists http://www.DatingGoddess.com in her recent article, “ Everybody Blogs .”

If you want more info on what to expect from online dating, get your copy of Winning at the Online Dating Game: Stack the Deck in Your Favor.

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