Posted in Dating / Relationships

Which Gender Has It Easier Online Dating?

I could just make this a short post and say “neither but there are advantages and disadvantages for both that bring their own plus points and problems” but that wouldn’t make interesting reading and it wouldn’t really explain anything other than make me look like somebody who sits on fence for the sake of not creating a stir. Hackles rise whenever I hear somebody complain that the opposite gender has it easier online dating – because it is strictly not true. Their reasons for saying so and arguments they’ll come up with after often valid but it never takes account of the drawbacks that the other half of the human species has to put up with. Here’s a quick run down of typical arguments

Women Say Men Have it Easier

Men don’t have to deal with the volume of messages

Indeed this is true. An OKCupid experiment in 2010 showed that the most attractive women receive infinitely more messages than the most attractive man. In a world where men do the most approaching and are still expected to do so, the old problems of many men chasing the most desirable women is increased while we can hide behind the semi-anonymity and the relative safety of our computers. There is also a degree of arrogance from women in assuming that where women are approaching men, then it must be automatically of higher quality – I have had my fair share of unsuitable women and it is as high as 50% of all first approaches – proportionally, that’s probably the same as the average woman online dating.

Men Get Drawn in to the “Sweet Shop” Mentality

The idea is that men have so many available singles means that they are always looking to trade up on the last one, searching for that perfection. A date might have gone well but there’s a few more he wants to meet first before he decides. Well ladies, I hate to break this to you but this issue is not gender specific. It’s too easy for either gender to get sucked into that mentality – always hanging on for something better… looking to trade up to see how high they can go, just in case something better comes along.

Men don’t get abused / stalked / approached by weirdos

Yes, we do. The fact that it doesn’t have so often or happens in smaller numbers doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen or that it is somehow less bad. Unwanted attention and a person who will not take “no” for an answer is no less intimidating, irritating or dangerous because of their gender.

Men Chase the Slimmest and Prettiest, What Chance Do I Have?

Every chance if you make the effort. Shallowness is not gender specific despite the myth that men only chase young, slim and most desirable women. If you go in with a defeatist attitude then you’ll get caught up in a self-fulfilling prophecy. You need to accept that you have competition in the online dating world – a lot of it – and you are entitled to nothing so make the best of what you have instead of blaming men for shallowness.

Men Juggle Multiple Women

Yes we do – why? Because we have to. If we are fortunate enough to get several responses at once, then we are not stupid enough to limit our options early on. If you are going to keep your options open then so are we, because while you are talking to multiple men at once you don’t have the right to expect exclusivity and act indignant because he’s doing exactly what you are doing when there’s a strong chance you might choose one of your other options. It might be “romantic” to expect him to wait forever for you while you dither over your feelings, secure in the knowledge that there is no competition and can make him hang on while you decide – but he knows competition is stiff and he doesn’t like women who play games

 

Men Say Women Have it Easier

Women Can be Far Choosier

And they usually are more so than they might be in real life – and they have to be because of the volume of messages they get. Your ignored messages are rarely personal. Yes, it can knock your confidence and you might end up giving it up as a complete waste of time but you need to accept that this is a numbers game and just move on to the next one – waste no time on it. I know it gives rise to the feeling that women demand perfection and write somebody off as a potential suitor because of something minor that she might overlook in the real world but that is a perception, not necessarily true.

Women Don’t Make an Effort Because They Don’t Have To

This is true. Because of the volume of messages they get, a lot of women indeed do not bother to make that effort in their profile while lamenting the fact that their matches are unsuitable. Pictures are minimal and the profile consists of three sentences that read precisely like the last one you read – and it’ll read precisely like the other twenty you are going to look at today. But guess what? You don’t have to play that game – read the profiles of women you like. If it makes you laugh and you have stuff in common, message her. So what if she isn’t “hot” – those women get the lion’s share of the attention, just as in real life. By hedging your bets you might turn up a diamond in the field of cubic zircon.

Women Get Drawn in to the “Sweet Shop” Mentality

Guess what? Yes they do! But no more or less than men do. If a woman is talking to 5 or 6 men at the same time, in theory she could keep them dangling until she’s stopped playing games or they get bored and move on to somebody else. This is the worst case scenario and I am under no doubt that it happens. But again, you don’t have to play that game. Keep your options open because you never who you’ll meet – refer to my comment above on cubit zircon and diamonds.

Women are in it For The Ego Boost

“Time waster” is an accusation directed by both genders at the other but there is a strong feel that a lot of women are on there purely looking to clock up many messages to make her feel good about herself. She might respond to your message but trail off when she thinks she has your attention and will be too busy to meet you. After the third time of asking she will block you without explanation – all because (and only because) you asked to meet her. 1) Don’t take it personally 2) learn to identify the time wasters and 3) ignore them.

There are More Women than Men

It’s oft repeated – most often by the dating sites themselves. If true then an dating marketplace that is already stacked against men is going to be fiercer. It is a well-known fact that women who have struggled in the dating game in real life will have much more attention online than she might expect in the real world. That’s how the playing field levels for women. But guess what? It has levelled for you too – you have a lot of competition but that gives you the opportunity to make yourself shine. In a bar you might be awkward and she’ll give you a quick once over before dismissing you. Here you can dazzle her with your personality, your humour (if you possess it) and a level of interaction in terms of wordage you might not have got elsewhere.

Online dating can work and does work – my personal journey documented on here has discussed the highs and lows, the oddballs and the flakes but also the amazing people I have met, made friends with and dated. So internetz, let’s please stop with the cries of “you lot got it easy”? Please?

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Author:

I go by the name of Frank Speaking. My blog "In the Mind of Men" (former name Chin Up, Chest High) started out as a chronicle of my mental health recovery. Now it is a forum where I discuss issues related to male mental health.

15 thoughts on “Which Gender Has It Easier Online Dating?

  1. I’m glad you wrote about this, because it makes a lot of sense and also explains somethings. My online experience has been very different than what I imagined it to be. The one thing I find a little unsettling is how many man do not respond at all to requests that I send to communicate. But as mentioned, you just have to move on and not think about it.

    1. My online experience has been very different than what I imagined it to be.

      It is for most people – the adverts make it seem as though you’ll meet your perfect match in a matter of weeks. Reality is that it often takes months or years with some very false starts.

      The one thing I find a little unsettling is how many man do not respond at all to requests that I send to communicate.

      It could be for a hundred different reasons 🙂 I’ve found “feast or famine” and you can guarantee in a week where I already had 2 or 3 dates, I’d be approached by another 2 or 3 new women. The weeks where I had none, my profile and inbox would be like a ghost town. I couldn’t juggle more than three at a time and ideally, I would want to reduce it to two that I’d like to see again.

      In general, women who approach first do better than most men who approach first because of traditional rules of the dating game – most women don’t approach so those who do will be at an advantage. A number of male friends of mine who also tried it out said they responded favourably to women who messaged them first.

      On average, what would you say your response rate is when you message men? And what percentage of men would you say you respond to who approach you first? I’m curious to know if it is similar to my experiences and that of my friends.

      1. When I signed up, I told myself that I had to be open. The thing about online dating is that you are meeting someones profile, not them – so its only fair to give someone a chance. Maybe they are great on real life, but not great at writing there “about me” section…right? So, so far I have responded to every request I have received. Which I believe is somewhere around 15. I have sent somewhere between 10-12 and only one has responded back. Some have viewed my profile after I have sent the request, but still never responded back.

        I realize its competitive, but it also seems a tiny bit silly. Lol!

        1. I would be happy to look at your profile (are you on OKCupid or POF?) if you think it might help. We are in the same age range and you seem like the sort of person I would message if we were at least on the same continent! I won’t share any of your details, strictly confidential, but if you’d like me to take a look then please email me on chinupchesthigh at gmail dot com.

          Offer’s there if you need it but I’ll understand if you don’t want to 🙂

            1. Ah ok. Ummm, I probably can’t access it as a non-member then (possibly?) the best way might be to open your profile press the print screen and then paste it into Microsoft Paint.

  2. Online dating should be a methodology in one’s overall love/relationship/mate seeking strategy. I think once we start to have a reliance on it as the method, we will sum up our experience like the scenarios you described! Kudos to you for covering the areas that people have issues with.

    Understanding that taking apart what we say only contributes to semantic differences and does not change the end goal. People want to find love and not be frustrated by it. When you are dating you are seeking people that you can relate to, that you admire, that you trust, that you can work collectively with to reach your common goals. In a sense it should be an extension of what you are and someone who enjoys you for who you are and what you will become. After all, you’re trying to find someone that compliments you and that makes you a better version of yourself. How can that occur if you’re working from a deficit from the very beginning?

    An excellent article! Thanks for sharing it!

    1. People want to find love and not be frustrated by it.

      But hasn’t it always been frustrating? Women getting frustrated at being approached by unsuitable men, and men being frustrated at building their courage only to be knocked back before he has even opened his mouth? All online dating really does is intensifies what takes place in the real world. It makes it easier to approach and easier to knock back. It’s biggest drawback is also what is levelling the playing field.

  3. I agree that women will always say men have it easiest (and to an extent I agree), but it’s great to see someone point out some of the pitfalls of online dating for men. Great post and I look forward to reading more!

    1. I wouldn’t agree that an average of a 5% response rate is any easier than being bombarded with messages. Both lead to frustration and eventual disillusionment.

      Thanks for commenting!

  4. I just want to address two of you arguments. 1) When women complain that men only look for the prettiest and slimmest. I agree with you that they should just get out of that mindset. The guys that only are looking for that are not worth being with, so they should just think of it as a favor. Just put your best foot forward and display your values, you want to attract someone who values what you value. Just focus on that!
    2) Men complaining that women are choosier. That partly because of volume for some women. But also, women rely on an interaction, an experience, or chemistry for attraction. That’s hard to get when browsing through profiles. So it’s harder to tell how attracted you are to guys, ergo become more picky. Again, put your best foot forward and display your values. Women can only respond to what they value in life and/or in a man.

    1. You are absolutely correct on both of those points. It really is a different game. Men and women, instead of lamenting the competition, should realise that the opportunities that online dating is giving them. The old ways don’t work.

      As you say – put your best foot forward, recognise and play to your strengths and you’ll get there.

      1. I also liked what you said about it not being about pushing a button and BOOM, you’ve got your date. It may take some time, it may take a lot of time! But it’s another option to meet people, especially if you don’t have a lifestyle to meet new people on a regular basis.

        1. Absolutely! It took me over a year, dates with 20 different women and a handful of false starts to finally get to the stage that I am at with Mirror Image now.

          So yes, be patient everyone and it can work for you too

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