I stopped by a local dating advice forum the other day and a bunch of guys were debating whether online dating was useful if you weren’t tall, good looking, white, etc. I’ve actually gotten this question a LOT recently so thought I’d finally put it to rest.
A lot of guys tell me the same thing — that they’ve run experiments where they put out two profiles with the same content, only one of them used their pictures and one of them used a picture of some random good looking guy. Rather predictably, the better looking guy got better results. Girls messaged them more, responded more, etc.
Their conclusion was that online dating didn’t work unless they were good looking or tall or white or whatever factor they deemed important. That seems like a logical conclusion.
Here’s the thing, though — from a critical thinking perspective, they haven’t really proven ANYTHING by that experiment except that attractive guys are more attractive than less attractive guys.
Of COURSE everything else being equal, a more attractive guy will do better than a less attractive guy in a superficial environment where the picture is the only thing you see of the other person. Anything else wouldn’t make sense.
But that certainly does NOT prove that online dating doesn’t work. It would be akin to saying that everything else being equal, the taller basketball player will win, so thus, no one can ever get good at basketball unless they’re tall.
Starting to see the logic flaw?
The fact is, looks DO matter, especially in an environment where the other party can’t initially see your wit, humor, confidence, etc. But even in the online dating arena, looks aren’t everything. Which is particularly good in my case, because otherwise online dating would be impossible
I know online dating can work for guys like me, because *I’VE* made it work, and I don’t really have any natural advantages in the online dating game. I’ll be the first to point out that I have a lot of inherent DISADVANTAGES when doing online dating. I’m short, I’m Asian, I’m not traditionally attractive, and I’m certainly not rich.
So you can imagine my results when I first attempted the online thing in 2001 with zero social skills on top of that.
Zero. Zilch. Nada.
Without game OR looks, you’re going to have a lot of trouble with online dating. Though if we’re being honest, you’re probably going to have trouble with ANY kind of dating so it’s not that surprising that online dating would be similar.
But when you start to add “game” (game in this context meaning the collective charm, wit, humor, charisma, etc. that attracts women) into the mix, the tables start to turn. You start to realize that game is one of the big equalizers if you don’t have other inherent advantages (fame, fortune, looks).
The key is to realize that in order to excel in this type of environment, just like a bar or club, you must surpass your competition. In the online world, your competition isn’t particularly effective, but they do have immense quantity.
The key distinction to online dating is that it’s easy to “approach” — there’s no approach anxiety to sending a message to a girl online. That sounds like a good thing but it’s actually bad because it means EVERY guy out there is doing “approaches” to hundreds or thousands of women. It means that your approach is no longer special. You’re now just one of 5000 emails in her inbox. And that’s nearly EVERY semi-attractive girl who uses online dating sites.
So if you want to even be in the running, the first thing is that you better stand out. That means forget about subject lines or messages that are even remotely boring. Here’s a good test. If you sent the email to a female friend and she didn’t laugh when reading it, it’s probably not very effective. Remember, you’re trying to get noticed in a sea of other boring guys, a lot of whom are likely BETTER looking than you. If you want to have a fighting chance, you need to outgame your competition.
The other aspect is your actual profile. Do you have pictures taken by a pro? If not, you’re going to lose out to all the guys who are better looking than you OR who actually took the time to get pro photos. And I don’t mean studio photos at the mall. I mean photos taken by a professional photographer who knows how to take flattering shots of you that DON’T look like you paid a photographer to take shots of you.
And then we have your profile description. Is your profile hysterically funny to the point where you get regular messages from girls saying how much they liked it and how much they laughed? If the answer is no, you’re doing something wrong.
The bottom line is that online dating does work, but you have to be skilled in it. Don’t give me a sloppy profile with bad pictures and boring messages and tell me that online dating isn’t working because you’re Asian. Because the real reason it’s not working is because you suck at it.
Try that with job hunting. Go try to get the job equivalent of a 7 or an 8 — let’s say, 70 or 80k/year. Hell, search for the job online so we can keep that aspect the same. Now do it with a sloppy resume, bad hygiene and presentation, and poor communication skills. Then tell me job hunting doesn’t work because you’re a minority, or short, or whatever.
See what I mean?
All of those things make a difference in terms of whether you’ll get the job — or the date. You can’t expect to screw up everything else and then out-compete a better looking or taller or otherwise more attractive guy. If anything you’ll need to be BETTER skilled than your competition if they have a natural advantage you don’t have. But when you have that… online dating turns from “impossible” to “fun.”
It’s going to take some work, but it pays off. And if a 5’4″ Asian guy can make it work, so can you..Posted on November 8, 2012