Dating site theory

I have a theory about why it’s hard to succeed on dating sites.

It seems to me, in the scheme of things alike attracts alike but provide too much information and people start seeing things they feel are unalike or they don’t like the sound of. Ironically a lot of what people write on profiles isn’t wildly relevant but people can’t help judging what they see before them.

Since in real life actual words make up only 7% of communication and a dating site profiles being made up of lots of words and usually a bit where people write lots of their own and 93% of normal communication is missing, it’s doesn’t seem surprising that people have trouble rationally interpreting profiles.

Having rewritten my own profiles endlessly I’ve eventually discovered what works best is lower on fact and higher on other forms of expression (photos/humor/attitude) This I reckon is more closed aligned with how people judge other people in real life.

Certain dating sites positively encourage lots of information to be provided but this seems crazy to me if people can’t handle too much information.

There may be a scarcity principle angle in here somewhere too as that relates to more or less choice. Which is kind of the same as more or less information.

comments/thoughts on this?

6 thoughts on “Dating site theory

  1. BreckEffect says:

    [I agree with your hypothesis up to a point – the less detail you give, the more people can fill in the gaps with what they would like to believe about you. This may make for more success initially, but I’m not sure about in the long run.

  2. Happy Pants says:

    [I think part of the reason people are hyper-critical on dating sites, especially free ones like OkCupid with literally millions of users, is that there are simply so many people to choose from. If you come across someone who for some reason doesn’t do it for you—and this could be anything from a major dealbreaker to something extremely minor—you just click on through to the next person, no harm, no foul.

    And I have quite a few awful dating stories to support the theory that people put too much faith in the written word when it comes to online dating. That’s why I try to limit my messages to a few before I meet someone in person or talk on the phone. I don’t want to build it up to be this great, awesome thing and then be disappointed when I realize he’s a socially inept narcissist with no ping-pong skills.

  3. ebees says:

    [I agree with you. I think the selectivity that online dating allows you causes most people to look at others’ profiles with a very critical eye. When you’re with a guy and you like his vibe and find him attractive, a lot of his traits and interests that don’t match up with yours can seem cool or amusing or interesting, because they’re HIS traits, and you find HIM to be cool or amusing or interesting. When you have no chemistry or real knowledge of his personality to go on, though, you’re just looking at the bare facts, and differences seem like incompatibilities. And the fact of the matter is, most guys you date aren’t going to be exactly the same as you. I think more general things about yourself are probably a better idea. You won’t really find out if you’re compatible until you hang out anyway.

  4. Joanna says:

    [When I was on a couple dating sites, I found that messages would not come to be on my own if I sat back and did nothing. I had to actively message people with my own words to get any kind of response out of the site. And those that actually did respond, I went out on dates with. Most of those people just seemed desperate and needy though. I think it’s a bad thing if you message someone who has been on the site for a long time. (ie. there’s something wrong with dating that person, like they are nothing like their profile makes them out to be, they have incredibly high standards, they have a demanding work schedule, or they are a serial dater without ever committing.

  5. EricaSwagger says:

    [“Ironically a lot of what people write on profiles isn’t wildly relevant but people can’t help judging what they see before them.”


    I actually made a dummy account on okcupid just for fun/to see what kind of people are using the site (this is the type of thing that entertains me) and I was shocked at how many of them I would never want to date. Like at first glance, they looked attractive, their profile read well, etc… but there was always one little thing I just didn’t like about them. Like if a guy seemed generally normal and cool, but then listed a movie I hate, or a band that’s just awful, or had a typo, or liked sushi, or said “I’m looking for the one,” or…

    Totally judge-y of me. Maybe if I had been actually hoping to meet someone, it would have been different. Or maybe I’m just a judgmental person. I’m sorry, but Nickelback is terrible.

  6. karlos says:

    [I think all dating sites would function a lot better if people were only able to just post pictures of themselves as they’ve just woken up or when they were drunk. If you still dig someone after seeing that. That’s true love right there.

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