Human behavior in online dating

Submitted by freedom on
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I'm trying to figure out if there are any patterns in human behavior in online dating and how I might adjust my actions to maximize potentially favorable outcomes. I'm going to say any real world interaction is a favorable outcome as at that point you can assess all the human attributes one can't assess online. Sites that let you track when others view your profile, read messages, etc. might be able to shed light on what one might tweak. I'm not talking about being fake. Just adjusting methodologies.

One issue for me is my refusal to put a picture up. This sort of works in the sense that the women I've met who have been brave enough to meet me without ever getting a picture have been more compatible people. On the other hand, women at the other end of that spectrum that won't even engage in dialogue without a picture are probably not compatible. No picture is a valid choice and a good filter in some respects. I would get more traffic with a picture and maybe more women contacting me. Almost everyone I've met in person contacted me first. I'll more or less meet anyone that can engage in an email conversation. I don't have an inherent goal and some people I've met have led me in random non-dating directions. Still it is frustrating to not be into her. We both deserve me to be into her.

How are others doing in terms of response rate and actually meeting? I sense some people on these sites don't want to actually meet. Perhaps it is too unnatural a forum for some people.

My own partial solution. Use

My own partial solution. Use a free site such as google sites. Toss some photos on there. Send that link as requested because people are uncomfortable with email. This can also be used when contacting people. I can explain I don't put photos on this site, but I'm happy to email a link. I'll see how this idea goes.

That's a pretty good partial

That's a pretty good partial solution. Are you in a small town and dont want your picture to be seen?

I would encourage you to post a picture. Women go through so many profiles and messages, not having a picture make the prospect of them considering you even less. They have a hard time with trusting through an anonymous site anyways, so not having a picture can make them wary. I listened to a good podcast recently about making online dating successful, starting with the profile. I have a hard time keeping these podcasts in order, but I remember quite a bit from it as attraction methods in general have been an interest for me. Once you understand the landscape, it makes things a little easier and you do not take things so personally. There are types of pictures that appeal better- the mirror ab shot doesnt work by the way. there was a guy who statistically studied the responses and clicks from his photos on these sites. He got pretty into it, I wish I knew his name. If i find it Ill give it to you.

I actually met a girl that I like and I am dating now via interscape dating, so they are not all lunatics. In fact, I have found a majority of educated (but a little bit socially awkward) women on these sites, but good people nonetheless.

Go with human nature, it may seem superficial, but its actually a pretty beautiful thing. Are you going to be in your head when you are making love to these women? Better not be!

If one way be better than another, that you may be sure is nature's way.

Near NYC is hardly a small

Near NYC is hardly a small town to be found. It's just me. I'm not on facebook. I have very few pictures of me anywhere online.

I have a hunch I listened to that same podcast as I've been listening to the ones you posted when I have time. It's better than the garbage on the radio. I've yet to meet any lunatics anywhere. Some online certainly have their social quirks, but then I'm sure I have my share too. The problem is getting people interested enough to meet and then having that actually go somewhere instead of wash out. claims the ab shot is good if you've got the muscle. I can't see that being good for a relationship seeker, but their stats might be correct given that many are not there for relationships.

I don't take it personally. I find it a bit odd that anyone needs a picture before any communication. That has happened. It's her deal so I roll with it.

I don't see how this is in my head. Maybe I'm missing something. 2D photos tell you very little and are at best binary filters about whether or not one is interested. I'm not only interested in dates so photos are less important. I'd kind of like to show up and be surprised in a good way. I'm willing to risk the bad if she is. What happened to blind dates and trust? When did everyone become a serial killer? Why is online any more sketchy than a bar?

Yes. However, something

Yes. However, something seems wrong with a world where many people think other humans are too sketchy to meet in real life despite interacting with countless humans they no nothing about on a daily basis. And it’s not a crime to meet someone and not be attracted. One is probably more likely to be not attracted than attracted despite pictures and communication. One can still gain from friendly interaction. One might even lose out if one only dated people one is highly attracted to, especially if basing that on photos alone.

The photo conundrum

I refuse to date online for several reasons. However, if I did, I would be extremely uncomfortable with a potential date knowing what I looked like unless he also had photos up.

I've faced a LOT of objectification. I've had several guys demand to see a picture of me first, and I really don't think it's fair to expect one, especially if they haven't sent me one first. I know all too well that I'm already in a lot of 'spank banks' through no fault of my own.

There's also the matter of safety. Several women I know, if meeting an internet date, will send the guy's name, phone number, and photo to a friend who will agree to call them at a specified time during the date to check in. If the call isn't answered or returned and the recipient cannot be accounted for the next day, the friend will give the guy's name/number/photo to the police. (I have no idea how many online daters turn out to be serial killers or sexual predators, but it DOES happen, and the victims are almost always female.)

It's a perfectly fair hypothesis that you are attracting less superficial, more compatible dates by not listing a photo. However, it is also possible that you are "screening out" potential mates who - like me - have a good reason to employ some practical paranoia.

Good luck.

Given the prevalence of

Given the prevalence of facebook and other online photobanks, online dating doesn't add much additional spank bank risk and is more anonymous.

Why does it matter who sees a photo first? Arguably, most women expect the man to approach and that requires the man to see her first. That doesn't bother most women. With online dating, I actually read the profiles, perhaps paralleling how I observe a woman in her environment to sense my interest. Why should a man feel diffidently about exchanging his photo first?

I understand that there can be a real fear, particularly for women. Yet, I find it a little scary that humans fear each other so much. A bar is less safe and yet women do that all the time. Your safety measures don't make you safer. If I were an evildoer, I could easily use someone else's photos, a prepaid cellphone, a public web access point, etc. And evildoers come in various forms. I've met women that nearly married a conman and such. She thought he was safe.

You wouldn't even communicate online with someone that doesn't have a profile photo? I say in my profile why I don't have public photos and that I'll share photos privately. The people I've met without exchanging photos were because they either didn't ask or didn't particularly care.

In my experience, the more interested in a photo the woman is, the less likely I am to actually meet her. I'm not sure why that works out that way. I'd love to unravel that mystery.

Maybe I'm misperceiving the reality. It seems many women are approaching this from a place of deep distrust. From there, I don't see how any guy can be good enough or how the woman can relax enough to enjoy herself. I'm saying that an interesting woman is good enough to interact with without knowing exactly what she looks like. I'm willing to check out some less pretty foundation before admiring the paint.

freedom wrote:

[quote=freedom]You wouldn't even communicate online with someone that doesn't have a profile photo?[/quote]

I have no idea what you look like (it's of no concern to me) and I'm still talking to you, aren't I? Wink The dynamic is VERY different with dating.

Since you ask...

When I attempted to meet men online, they ALWAYS misrepresented their true ages. I won't get into the reasons why, but older men repulse me.

How do you prove you're not my dad's age? Pictures. Yes, there is Photoshop. Yes, some people might put up old pictures of themselves, or even pass off a sibling's pictures as their own. I can often tell when a picture has been substantially edited, or when it's more than 10 or so years old. I have no easy fix for people using someone else's pictures, but if the guy coming toward me doesn't look like the picture he sent me, it sure begs the question of what else he's lied about.

(This isn't the only reason I quit online dating.)

I'm hearing you used the

I'm hearing you used the pictures as tool to weed out men who misrepresented themselves. Does that mean that someone without a picture is automatically misrepresenting himself? Aren't women also misrepresenting themselves to some extent? Obviously, makeup isn't the same as lying about age. What about pushup bras or bras in general? Even heels? What about sucking in one's gut? What about the choice selection of the photo? Or people who happened to change weight a little without intent to trick anyone? What if they look better?

The best way to know anyone is to meet the person and use all our senses. That's why photos don't help all that much. We're also limiting ourselves as we're used to air brushed celebrity photos or photos of people we already know and like to some extent. A random photo of a new person can only be so attractive.


Not necessarily, but you are probably a rare exception. Bras don't exist to titillate men; they exist to support the breasts. (I don't wear padded or push-up styles.) Heels - obviously you can tell when a woman is wearing them and subtract the height, although men usually prefer shorter partners. Women don't so much dress for men as they do for themselves or to establish their place in the female pecking order (trust me, I used to sell shoes!). And I sincerely hope you didn't just compare weight fluctuation to some guy telling me he was 21 and turning out to be 33 (with two ex-wives and a criminal record).

My primary reason for quitting online dating is my "bad guy radar." I can sniff out a man who is bad news, but it doesn't work online or over the phone - he has to be in the same room or I can't "pick up the signal" (if that makes sense). Photos are irrelevant when you're looking at the actual person, so it's not an issue for me anymore.

Pinup wrote:

My primary reason for quitting online dating is my "bad guy radar." I can sniff out a man who is bad news, but it doesn't work online or over the phone - he has to be in the same room or I can't "pick up the signal" (if that makes sense). Photos are irrelevant when you're looking at the actual person, so it's not an issue for me anymore.[/quote]

If the pictures are useless and one wants to actually meet people from online dating, why pretend they help to the point of not engaging without them. It reflects something about a person in my view. Maybe women want to show the pictures to their friends. I've had guys ask me what a women I'm seeing looks like so I assume women would be similar.

I'm also moving away from online dating. There's just too much nonsense and time wasted. That said, I've yet to figure out where women I might be interested in go. In the nicer weather, all over I guess.


Very few women are THAT shallow. With my own friends, I typically don't find out what their boyfriends look like until I actually meet them.

I wish I could help you there. Anyone know where all the good men are?

Pinup wrote:

I've faced a LOT of objectification. I've had several guys demand to see a picture of me first, and I really don't think it's fair to expect one, especially if they haven't sent me one first. I know all too well that I'm already in a lot of 'spank banks' through no fault of my own.
Good luck.[/quote]

vicious circle?

Some people will always

Some people will always focus on the negative aspects of life regardless of how good their life is. I call it the toilet bowl syndrome and its a metaphor for liking being around your own shit constantly. It's an addiction to insecurity but still an addiction just as porn and drugs are, insecurity has been shown to produce anxiety/OCD responses which have been shown to release dopamine. so don't let people troll you freedom. Regardless get off the damn computer!!!! Your in new york? Last time I checked there was a couple million girls in that area and im sure one or two wouldn't mind being talked to :/, hell I bet A couple would like to come up and talk to YOU.

Sometime kicking porn is a perfect Segway for kicking other less than favorable traits. What is causing you to not want to go outside and talk to women? There's honestly nothing wrong with saying hi, not one thing. Ya it's scary at first but the more you do it the less you start to care about rejection, which is what were all afraid of! Girls will always reject guys and it's nothing to take personal. It's not a personal attack on you, maybe they just are having a bad day, or there dog just died and they just aren't interested in guys right now, heck maybe there married. Point being get off the computer! you won't have to worry about not posting a picture when someone is seeing you face to face and still decided to talk to you

The online world was a side

The online world was a side experiment. My profiles must be years old. I only started recently really trying it, perhaps because my life got more isolated for a while or maybe I felt more open while trying meetups. This socializing diet I'm trying is an interesting concept. There's some withdrawal.

Rejection doesn't bother me too much. I've done a lot of rejecting of good people and opportunities so perhaps I can fully process that it was me and not them. I've contributed to limiting my current life. There was an easier street. It just wasn't the one I wanted then or even now.

For me, perhaps it's more about shifting my processing of the process from it being frustrating to fun. The ways in which I relate to others versus how most interactions take place make a lot of interactions unsatisfying, even with friends. My batteries run low from the draining process. If it is satisfying for me, it can be draining for the others. Something's imbalanced.

If I only focused on the negatives, life might be intolerable.

Women do talk to me, hit on me, contact me, etc. It just hasn't worked out. Maybe it's been me. Or it just hasn't happened often enough. There are not a couple million women I'm interested in as partners here. It's hard to determine the pool size. Certainly, it's less than a million. It gets smaller in a hurry when I overlay even basic filters. That said, I only need one so there are plenty to choose from.

Remember life and

Remember life and relationships are only as complicated as you decide to make them. You might enjoy living and thinking simply. Coming from an ex "deep thinker" and all the jazz personally it makes my life a whole lot easier. I will never go back to over thinking the shit out of stuff. It overcomplicated things that in nature are actually very simple. Like relationships :)

Ha ha!

Some people will always focus on the negative aspects of life regardless of how good their life is. I call it the toilet bowl syndrome and its a metaphor for liking being around your own shit constantly.

Ie: Instead of thinking

Ie: Instead of thinking beforehand and talking myself out of asking out a chick I say "fuck it" and say hey wanna hang out? regardless of her answer it doesn't matter. I have enough confidence to know that regardless of her answer I'm a cool person.

Instead of doing all these "experiments" why don't you just live your life and keep mental notes of what you have learned instead of creating little experiments on yourself. Introspection is good but your not a lab rat, your a human. If you think back to how we are biologically designed as hunter gatherers do you think we had time to think deeply into things? I would assume not, when your hanging with humans constantly(as you would be as a hg) you don't have time to think things through. Humans are naturally impulsive for a reason. Split second decisions were key to survival. I just think are brains are more suited to flowing through life and just letting things come as they come. A lot of the most unhappy people I know are people who think too deeply. Focus on others more than you focus on yourself and you might find yourself more balanced

That's not what I mean by

That's not what I mean by deep interaction. That's over thinking approach. What I mean is that more real interaction can make people uncomfortable. I also am willing to listen or invest time which people can misperceive.

I'm of course doing and watching too. It's not all or nothing.

In some ways, I function better when forced to continuously interact. There's an adjustment period.

I can be other focused to a fault.


If your swagger and social sensibilities matched your brain, you'd be a dangerous character:) as much as I give you a hard time, I ultimately side with the rational at the end of the day. But the least rational thing to do is stay in our minds and be perfectly rational in a world that operates in unpredictable ways:).

I went on an interdate last week and it was just plain horrible. She mentioned how her male friend kept being dumped by wild girlfriends and how he was such a "nice guy" and I made a reference to the nice guy paradigm and that was it for me. She thought I was the scum of the earth for even thinking that the man was responsible for attracting dumpers into his life:). I didn't attempt to recover from that because the match was wrong to begin with and I just wanted to chill.

Rockhardington wrote:

[quote=Rockhardington]If your swagger and social sensibilities matched your brain, you'd be a dangerous character:) [/quote]

I've been called Clark Kent. Never dangerous. How dangerous?

Yes, one day I might pull myself together and let everyone see that what they see isn't half what's possible. Iceberg syndrome?

I'm beginning to see that I seem so rational because I'm pressed to the wall by everyone rationally. They think rationality is my gift. It's a curse. I've somehow come to express myself in this rational way that is too much for many to deal with including myself. Few understand what is going on. I might as well speak another language. In many ways, I'm not much of a fan of the rational and with a few gentler emotional words people could win me over. I might even be a sucker for those few simple words. They can move internal flood walls that seem to have no key.

I've yet to have a horrible date or a no show. Many didn't go anywhere. No disasters. I've never run out of conversation. This might mean I've not tried enough.

I was chatting with a woman about the intellectual gateway to the emotional. Some people are wired more that way.

Maybe I could benefit from taking some acting classes.

All can benefit from this advice

And it's built on what Thegdub mentioned about simply living:

A friend, long ago, when I was in a slightly different state of mind (and he had been there) offered this advice: Death is permanent, there is no backing out, how about trying to live first?