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WSJ "Smart Money" on on-line dating services - Life is strange...

Feb. 14th, 2009

01:04 pm - WSJ "Smart Money" on on-line dating services

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Hi! Someone I'm not dating sent me a link to a Wall Street Journal: Smart Money article on on-line dating. It's about what the services don't tell you. Having been a customer for some months of more than one of these, I can tell you that it's mostly correct, and the parts I can't say are correct I just have no information about (yet). I certainly can't say they're incorrect.

Without further ado, here's the link (and cover picture):


RE 1: “Keep your hopes high and your expectations low.”: The odds aren’t in your favor, says social-sciences researcher Jeana Frost. “People respond to so many attributes that have to be experienced”

Yeah, no kidding. It's why meeting people early on makes sense. It's why speed dating works better for me than true on-line dating.


RE 2: “We’ve yet to meet two people who aren’t a potential match.”: fuzzy math

Well, all I can tell you is that 70%+ of the people that Chemistry matched me up with, I'd never have considered dating. Judging from how few people have answered me there, I think it must be mutual.


RE 3: “Everyone’s lying about something.”: lying...

Sure. I do too (I'm really 5'9", not 5'10"). But I haven't run into any important lies yet other than the woman I met whose pictures were all taken before she gained a recent 25-30 lbs. Or maybe the one that had a persistent very-rapid twitch/blink/quiver in one of her eyes.


RE 4: “We don’t have as many members as it seems.”: number of members...

These are open secrets. Most people understand what's going on, and why. It's still frustrating to be on the receiving end.


RE 5: “Fall in love too quickly and you could end up with an empty wallet.”: scammers...

They exist. They message me. I ignore them. End of story.


RE 6: “Our guarantees are only guaranteed to keep you here.”: useless guarantees...

Another open secret.


RE 7: “Don’t expect quick results.”:results (quick or not) and "say less in your profile"

Yeah, it's not quick or easy. It's definitely not the mail-order bride type of panacea (and those aren't panacea either, of course; the horror stories are legendary!) Going out for dinner as a first thing seems too heavy, but it's harder to schedule other things. On the other hand, it's very entertaining!

RE "say less"... that one's really hard!! But I'll bet it works, at least for a while.... I'm trying to revise my profile to say less, so that my readers can fill in the gaps with things they like, not with what I actually am. It seems more gradual meetings and more gradual mutual exposure works better.


RE 8: “Once you log in, you’re pretty much on your own.”: no service at the on-line dating services...

Um, yeah.


RE 9: “You might not need all these extras—but we do.”: extra ways to spend money

They're businesses. Of course they'll try to convince us to spend money, whether we need to or not. Why is anyone surprised by this?


RE 10: “Good luck trying to break up with us.”: breaking up (with on-line dating services) is hard to do

I've never tried, so I don't know. We'll see, when I do. I hope it's sooner, rather than later.


Cheers! generalist

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