The Predators of Online Dating

I’ve seen online dating as a social horror story for years. The people trying to find matches are just the surface. The dating business is even more predatory.

If you’ve been trying online dating, STOP! You’ve been set up to fail right from the start. (Free sites too – the longer you stick around the more ads they can sell).
From Thought Catalog:

After a few bad dates and misplaced emotional investment in the wrong guys, many of these women decide that all men are like this. So, when a genuinely nice guy comes along, she’s not interested, or else she decides that he’s “just like all the rest”. The nice guy then laments that women only date the jerks, and he sets out to become a jerk in order to garner a woman’s interest.

You can’t read the forums of dating sites and not find men and women posting about how discouraged they are by the people they try to meet on dating sites. Men who say anything just to get a screw. Women who don’t put out fast enough. Kind of a theme there – long before the dating sites but – the dating sites make money by encouraging it.

This is what you really need to know about online dating sites:

According to “Sally” (name has been changed), a senior consulting programmer who’s assisted in the creating of compatibility algorithms at a number of online dating sites, it costs the average dating site approximately $120 to generate a new customer. (In the subscription-based services world, this is called the Cost of User Acquisition, and includes the fees associated with advertising, promotion, sales bonuses, transaction fees, and more). But if the monthly fee is only $20 a month, the dating site needs to keep you using their services (read: unmatched) for at least six months just to break even. To show a profit, they need to keep you unmatched even longer. According to Sally, this is how it’s done:

“When a subscriber completes their online questionnaire and profile, the site’s technology matches them up with compatible potentials, and the subscriber is shown a selection of matched profiles. However, although the algorithm is capable of matching based on compatibility, only one of the profiles shown is actually a match based on their algorithm; the others are either random profiles of other users, or fake profiles entirely. If the subscriber doesn’t happen to click on the profile generated from the algorithm and instead selects one of the other randomly generated profiles, the algorithm shuts off for the next 4-5 months in an effort to recoup the cost spend of acquiring that subscriber. It’s been done like this for years, and is the way the business works.”

Are you really surprised? I suspected the dating sites were not all lovey dovey but this went beyond what I really believed they would do, deliberately. But, business makes money by preying on the consumer while pretending they care. Stop falling for it, stop getting your heart broken and thinking meeting someone is entirely hopeless. It isn’t. You’ve just been getting played by the dating sites and the people who use them (like parasites).

There are other ways to meet people, even online. Join social groups based on your personal interests, hobbies, location and career. Avoid sites which ask for paid membership (with exceptions for associations and societies which actually do host events for their members to meet and greet). Outside of the dating sites you are likely to find someone far more sincere about having a relationship.

If you’re a woman who just wants to get screwed – the dating sites are your playground! Bring your own condoms.

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