Online Dating

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Posted by: | Posted on: June 13, 2019

Is it Cool to Have a Ghostwriter Write to Men for You on Dating Apps?

Is it Cool to Have a Ghostwriter Write to Men for You on Dating Apps?

I started e-Cyrano online dating profile writing in 2003.

We were written about in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and hundreds of other publications. 

The story was juicy. Online dating was going mainstream for the first time, and specialists were popping up to serve a growing population.

The story was juicy. Online dating was going mainstream for the first time, and specialists were popping up to serve a growing population.

I came up with the idea when I took my George W. Bush $300 tax credit and used it to have a professional resume writer take a crack at my resume (even though I was a writer). Next thing I knew, I was working for JDate in 2002 and saw the same lame profiles you see today. A business was born.

Online dating profiles led to online dating coaching, which led to dating coaching, which led to relationship coaching, and well, here we are.

Then I readthis New York Times feature on a woman who handles your dating apps and I felt a negative energy. It’s not that I was envious (which is true) or that I should spend more time promoting e-Cyrano (which is also true), it’s that this business model feels out of integrity to me.

e-Cyrano involves a questionnaire that takes hours and a phone interview where we compile all of your words into a profile that’s 95% you and 5% e-Cyrano.

These companies involve a literal Cyrano – someone pretending to be you, writing your emails and texts, actually interacting with another person under false pretenses.

Put another way: how would you feel if you discovered a man hired someone to flirt with you under his name? Pretty creepy, no?

I’ve long had the opportunity – and many requests – …

Posted by: | Posted on: May 30, 2019

Why Dating Apps Are Bad For Your Love Life

Why Dating Apps Are Bad For Your Love Life

My thoughts about Tinder have been documented.

Tinder – and other dating apps – are exactly what society craves:

Something free, quick, easy, effortless, and frictionless

Something that caters to our shallow impulses, short attention spans, and desire for variety.

Something that would take our need for love, sex, attention, affection and validation and turn it into a dopamine heightening video game that we can play anytime, anywhere, with little to no thought beyond whether someone is hot or not.

As a user, you may prefer Tinder to Match, and if you do, I don’t judge you nor blame you. If anything, I understand you and empathize with you.

You want to meet more people. You don’t want to read through long profiles. You don’t want to write long emails. You don’t want to invest time in getting to know someone, who, quite likely, will not be a great long-term partner. You want to swipe right, text, meet quickly, and see ASAP if there’s compatibility.

I get it.

But what are the downsides of this process?

You don’t need me to tell you.

For all the positives we associate with dating apps, there are equal negatives.

For all the positives we associate with dating apps, there are equal negatives.

If you’re swiping right on dozens of people, it becomes more overwhelming and confusing.

If you are not reading about people in their own words, you don’t really know the first thing about them before getting each other’s phone numbers.

If you don’t have long profiles, you won’t have many interesting things to say in your communication beyond, “Hey, you’re hot. Cute dog. Want to hang out sometime?”

If you don’t invest time in getting to know someone before you meet, you will go on more bad dates than you …

Posted by: | Posted on: February 7, 2019

Are Dating Apps and Texting Working For You? If Not, There’s An Alternative.

Are Dating Apps and Texting Working For You? If Not, There’s An Alternative.

You ever hear someone say, “Dating sucks in (fill-in-your-city-here)”

I do every day. I’ve written, ad nauseum, about the value of connection, of slowing down a beat, of screening men prior to first dates, to using conversation instead of text as a primary form of communication. And yet people still insist they have no choice but to Tinder and text because that’s what everyone else is doing.

Well maybe – just maybe – people are starting to think for themselves and are ready to take more control of their destiny. Witness this Wall Street Journal article on “slow dating.” (Personally, I just call it “dating.”)   Here are the opening paragraphs:

“Dating sucks in New York,” says Casey-Leigh Jordan, a 31-year-old manager at a hair salon New York City. “There are so many options, and it can be really overwhelming.”

Millennials like her who have spent years rapidly swiping through singles are looking to slow down dating. Zeroing in on fewer possible partners with more potential feels like a relief to them.

After struggling to meet people without apps, she downloaded the app Hinge, which seemed like a happy medium. The app’s incorporation of icebreaker questions and more detailed profiles made her connections feel more substantial…Millennials like her who have spent years rapidly swiping through singles are looking to slow down dating. Zeroing in on fewer possible partners with more potential feels like a relief to them.

When my clients work with me, we rebrand them online and suddenly they’re getting more attention than ever before. That doesn’t mean they’re going on more dates though. With my help, they go on fewer, high-quality dates with men who sustain an effort.

The guy who gives you his number, tells you to text him and pushes you to meet him ASAP for

Posted by: | Posted on: January 24, 2019

Why You Must STOP Texting As Your Primary Form of Communication

Why You Must STOP Texting As Your Primary Form of Communication

I’ve gotten a lot of flak on YouTube for my No More Bad Dates TEDx Talk, in which I lay out my keenly observed theories that:

  1. Most people’s online dating profiles suck.
  2. Men get rejected more than you can possibly imagine.
  3. Because of this high rejection rate, they’re disincentivized from spending a lot of time on each individual woman.
  4. As such, men want “speed” – to spend as little time as possible on phone/email/text and meet in person to see if there’s chemistry, preferably without spending money.
  5. This system is not good for women – who deserve to have a man make some time and energy investment before meeting him for a first date – lest she go on an endless series of blind coffee dates with swipe-right guys on Tinder.
  6. Because men and women have slightly different goals, there needs to be a middle ground where men can move quickly AND women can screen for trust and comfort.
  7. The best way to do this is outlined in Finding the One Online, Volume 4 and is called the 2/2/2 Rule – a couple emails back and forth on the dating site, a couple emails back and forth on Gmail, a couple of phone calls (or even just one), followed by a date. That ensures a real personal connection BEFORE you meet and makes a first date feel more like a second date.

2/2/2 is designed to AVOID TEXTING because texting is the death of healthy communication.

Unmentioned in all of that is this: 2/2/2 is designed to AVOID TEXTING because texting is the death of healthy communication. This is not some old, married, luddite position; this is literally what I hear from thousands of women who have text-only “boyfriends” and who have all their serious relationship discussions by …

Posted by: | Posted on: December 10, 2018

What Do I Say to a Guy on the Phone If I Don’t Want to Go Out With Him?

What Do I Say to a Guy on the Phone If I Don’t Want to Go Out With Him?

Hi Evan, I follow your 2-2-2 rule, which is great, but I’ve had a couple of awkward moments and need your advice: during the screening phone call, if it’s not going well and I decide I don’t want to meet in person, how do I tell the guy without hurting his feelings?? Especially if he thinks the call is going well and suggests a date!

Gabrielle

If you’re not a longtime reader or a Finding the One Online consumer, the 2/2/2 Rule means I encourage you to exchange a couple of emails on the dating site, a couple of emails on Gmail and a couple of phone calls before meeting for a first date.

I discourage swiping. I discourage coffee dates. I discourage texting.

All of those common dating methods treat people as if they’re disposable and lead to more flakiness, less screening prior to meeting  and higher volume/lower quality first dates.

The common pushback is that apps make it impossible to do this, people don’t like email, the phone is stilted, everyone uses texting, and it’s best to meet as quickly as possible.

Those are all partially valid excuses for continuing the swipe/text/meet method so I will say, once and for all, that if you LIKE dating this way, keep on doing your thing.

I didn’t and pretty much all my clients hate swipe/text/meet, and yet they don’t do a thing about it.

The 2/2/2 Rule is my best advice — and while it can be modified (say, 5/3/1), the principle of making a connection on the dating site, avoiding being part of a guy’s texting harem and building excitement and trust before meeting remains paramount.

Anyway, I’ve written a longer defense of the 2/2/Rule here and don’t need to do it again.

To answer Gabrielle’s question, I think …

Posted by: | Posted on: November 15, 2018

Are You Trying to Date Out of Your League? Probably.

Are You Trying to Date Out of Your League? Probably.

 

Whether you’ve ever labeled someone a “10” or are well-versed in the concept of “sexual market value” doesn’t matter.  It may be crude and it may be un-PC, but according to a study cited in a  recent Atlantic article, leagues DO seem to exist.

The study, conducted with the help of an online dating site and over 186,000 users, points out what should seem obvious to anyone with a modicum of self-awareness:

“Three-quarters, or more, of people  are dating aspirationally…and users of online-dating sites spend most of their time trying to contact people “out of their league.”

Most online-dating users tend to message people  exactly 25 percent  more desirable than they are.

So when you make the pithy observation that every guy you write to doesn’t write back, while you ignore every loser who dares write to you, you’re merely codifying what long-time observers already suspected but never measured until now.

“Most online-dating users tend to message people  exactly 25 percent  more desirable than they are.”  

Sorry if you find that statement offensive.

“Who’s to say what’s “desirable?” Different people have different tastes! How dare you make value judgments like this?”

Alas, this is no value judgment. It’s pure economics and supply/demand.

“Your specific desirability rank would have been generated by two figures: whether other desirable people contacted you, and whether other desirable people responded when you contacted them. If you contacted a much less desirable person, their desirability score would rise; if they contacted you  and you replied,  then your score would fall.”

The piece further goes on to outline other unfortunate things you’d suspect if you’ve   ever dated online:

  • Men initiate 80% of first emails. Women only write back to less than 20%.
  • White men and Asian women are consistently more desired than other users, while
Posted by: | Posted on: November 5, 2018

Online Dating is the Worst. What Should I Do?

Online Dating is the Worst. What Should I Do?

 

I am so discouraged by online dating. Seems after 1-2 exchanges, men get vulgar and aggressively sexual. If you retreat, they call you uptight and dump you. I don’t think it’s anything I’m doing or saying. I’m left feeling drenched in ick.

Jessica

Aw, Jessica, I hear you.

My first book was about online dating.

My first company was an online dating profile writing site.

My first audio program was a comprehensive how-to-guide to meet better men online.

My first TED talk was about online dating.

To say I have thoughts about online dating would be the understatement of the year.

Every day, I listen to women complain about the realities of 21st century dating — and their complaints are 100% valid.

Online dating was ALREADY shallow when I was doing it from 1997-2007.

Then Tinder, Bumble, Hinge and CoffeeMeetsBagel happened and the only vestiges of depth — longer profiles and longer email exchanges — were removed, leaving a fast, frictionless medium where everyone is judged on looks and everyone is disposable.

Contrast that to a time when men went out to a party and spent the entire night trying to procure one woman’s phone number written on a napkin, and yeah, we’re in a different time right now. One where everyone is overscheduled, texting ten people, and looking for any reason to dismiss the next stranger.

You are mistaken if you draw the conclusion that online dating is a pure waste of time.

It’s not just icky men either, although they are disturbingly prevalent. I have friends who are so fed up with flaky women from dating apps – women who bail in the middle of a text exchange, women who cancel plans at the last minute without explanation, women who are so busy as to be …

Posted by: | Posted on: August 27, 2018

I Followed Your Dating Advice for the First Time and WOW!

I Followed Your Dating Advice for the First Time and WOW!

I am a long time reader. I am a tall, educated, beyond athletic, attractive woman who is successful and age 42. I entered college to get my higher level degrees later in life, and my classmates assumed I was in my 20s (whilst in my late 30s) and I was asked out often by them (Just painting a picture. While looks are not everything, I volunteer with children and animals, my degree is higher level medical, I am into sci fi, nerdy things, and all kinds of music. I have my life together.) I am told by friends and family I am the ultimate catch. I am open to all kinds of people and not judgmental.

Up until recently, I did NOT follow your advice.

I was married in my 20s up until age 30, and that fell apart for the reasons marriage typically do. For the last twelve years, I’ve navigated the online dating battlefield. I have gone on more coffee “dates” than a human should go on. I probably have you beat.

I am not one to get physical right away (I need to know the person), but I’ve had my share like others of meeting people who have lied about their marital status, and hid lifestyles that were dealbreakers for me. n one way–that’s flattering. They wanted me so badly they lied.

In the last ten years  I have been proposed to SIX times. Every person that I allowed into my life was high passion, high fireball energy with immediate “high drunk on love” feelings that escalated into an insta-relationship immediately.

I never saw someone proposing to me in the first  week in as a red flag (now I do). All of these relationships ended in a supernova.

I would fall in love fast

Posted by: | Posted on: June 18, 2018

My Fiancé Controls All of My Money and I Feel Trapped

My Fiancé Controls All of My Money and I Feel Trapped

 

My fiance and I have been together for three years. About 2 years ago, I quit my job to work with my fiance and his business. Things were decent, but I didn’t make even close to the kind of money I was making before. Later on down the road, he decided he wanted to start a new business with me, and I agreed at the time, thinking that the business was going to take off and we would be more financially set. Fast forward about 6 months, and we are barely making enough to make ends meet. He gives me money periodically for my own bills, but I want the financial freedom of my own.

We aren’t making any money and when we do make money, he has all the financial control.

I told him I was considering taking a day job to make more money, so I’m able to go out and do more things as well as help take the financial burden off of our shoulders. He didn’t even consider the idea and flat out told me that If I took a day job, I would be choosing between him or the job. If I chose the job, I would have to move out and that would be the end of our relationship. My question is, what do I do? We aren’t making any money and when we do make money, he has all the financial control. I can’t keep living wondering when I’m going to get paid again. Please help.

Alice

I don’t know enough about you or your fiancé to address his charms or the merits of your relationship. But your story provided more than enough information to render a judgment.

Get out.

One of the interesting things about relationships (including friendships) is that you …

Posted by: | Posted on: June 7, 2018

Will You Use the New Facebook Dating App?

Will You Use the New Facebook Dating App?

 

It was inevitable.

After twenty years of online dating sites competing for eyeballs, only to return a subpar experience, Facebook recently dropped the bomb  that it’s getting into the dating business. It may not be good news for me but it should be great news for you.

There are only two major players in the world of online dating: IAC, which owns Match, OkCupid, PlentyOfFish and Tinder, and assorted dating apps (Hinge, Bumble, CoffeeMeetBagel, etc). Facebook will make a strong third player, given the leverage, infrastructure, money, and volume it will instantly bring to this space.

Where conventional sites struggle to entice you with pay-per-click ads and photos of hotties who may or may not be using the site anymore, Facebook has a semi-permanent database of over a billion people.

Where conventional sites struggle to entice you with pay-per-click ads and photos of hotties who may or may not be using the site anymore, Facebook has a semi-permanent database of over a billion people. And since dating sites are only as strong as their databases, there may be a point where you don’t need to go anywhere else than Facebook in order to meet someone. Why buy at the mom and pop store when you can get everything you need at Target, Costco or Amazon?

I’ve been using Facebook a lot less recently – a combination of burnout, negativity, bad press and better time management – but I still think this is a boon for single people who are looking for an inexpensive way to meet other singles. From the article:

“The opt-in feature will match users specifically with people they aren’t already friends with. Facebook users can build a dating profile – which friends won’t be able to see.

The dating feature is likely to be a