You’ve heard it before. The band-aid, no-fail solution to a single person wanting to be in a relationship: ‘You should try online dating!’ The main reason cited is that everyone has a cousin’s, brother’s, next door neighbour, who met their partner online. I am not denying that people can meet online. Hey, if you really wanted to push a boulder up a hill, you could probably do that too. But, for the amount of time and effort expended, and the sheer number of people participating in online dating, why isn’t the number of people meeting higher?

And, it’s even worse if you are a smart, successful woman. Look at the average ratings of men and women from OK Cupid.

There are two other important reasons why online dating is a waste of time, particularly if you are female.

  1. People often make the mistake of thinking they are too busy to find time for this area of their lives, so online dating seems like an easy solution. Nope! A sample of users reported that they spent, on average, 12 hours a week, browsing profiles and responding to messages. This resulted in 1.8 hours of face-to-face interaction (Frost, 2008). Now, think of how many dates you would need to go on in order to meet Mr/Ms Right. That is A LOT of time spent on this. The Flirtology way is about maximising opportunities, in the real-world, whilst you are out and about living your life!
  2. What’s more, studies show that men are more likely to punch above their weight online. On internet dating sites, people often pursue those of high desirability rather than those of an equal calibre (Lee, Lowenstein, Ariely, young 2008). Why? Because rejection is muted when it’s coming from a computer, so why not aim for as high as you can get? According to the chart above, the end result is ‘above average’ women competing for ‘average’ guys. Since average guys getting more attention from women then they ever would in the real world, there is another negative consequence for women; the men, loving the unprecedented attention, don’t want to choose amongst their suitors, thus string them along.

Hopefully you will have realised that it is not in Flirtology style to call people ‘average’ and ‘above average’. I don’t think it’s helpful to think in these terms. However, when you are online dating the only way to find matches is to quantify people and put them in boxes. Is this what you want to do to people? Is this how what you want others to do to you?!