I do a lot of online dating.
Because I work with you introverted guys who are trying to learn how to meet girls?
I’m always experimenting.
As you know I date girls in all age ranges.
When you meet a girl in your normal day to day activities, your age isn’t relevant to making a connection.
You simply meet each other.
There is a mutual attraction or there isn’t.
And you go from there.
It’s all very natural.
But online dating skews this.
You are required to provide your birthdate so they can publish your age. This means many girls either will never see you due to search algorithms and filters, or they will potentially brush you off when you approach them, because of a perceived age difference on their part.
Completely contrary to how things work in the real world.
Now of course some people love this.
They think they don’t want to date people outside their preferred age range and it helps them monitor that.
But it also means they could be missing out on meeting someone great.
Too many times I’ve seen girls rethink the age question, when they actually experience an older (or younger) guy in person.
There is a reason cross-generational relationships happen.
So I have some interest in allowing nature to take its course and unskew what the dating sites are doing.
This has led me to perform a perceived age experiment with my online dating profiles.
Since I’m older than some of the girls I’m interested in, I’ve set my birthdate so my age shows as what girls normally perceive me to be, when they first encounter me in person.
Obviously that’s a bit subjective and any individual girl will see me as a bit younger or older than that.
But usually I find girls perceive me as much younger than I am.
That’s how I want them to peceive me online too, so it’s more like how things go in the real world.
It has been interesting to see the results.
I’m getting a lot more expressions of interest when I first contact girls online now than when I wasn’t using my perceived age.
And I’m getting more dates.
You may be thinking though what a girl I dated recently thought, when she probed for my real age on our first date.
“Kel, why are you lying to people?”
“How can you expect to start a relationship with a lie?”
What she didn’t recognize though is how completely unnatural it was that she was asking this question at all.
Because if she and I had met at a coffee shop or bookstore, she would not have been probing me for my age.
And if she did probe my age on a first date, I would likely just play “cocky funny” and tell her that is a mystery she’ll have to solve!
Again, all completely natural.
Publishing your percieved age is not a lie. It is returning things to normal by having online dating girls perceive you the way they would normally perceive you, if they met you in person offline.
In other words, you’re correcting the lie that online dating creates.
That your age actually matters, when first getting to know a person.
Once a girl experiences you in real life, she can decide what she thinks of you then.
Because now she’s actually meeting you and not functioning on some preconceived notion she has about your age.
If a girl is not willing to make such a small investment as meeting up, before knowing everything about you, she shouldn’t really interest you anyway.
I’m about genuine connection but online dating skews the process on the pathway to something special.
Of course you cannot completely eliminate the problem, since you have to put SOME age in there.
My preference of course would be to put nothing at all about age in my profile but I’m not given that choice.
That’s why I still faced the awkward experience of this girl feeling the need to probe out my age and thinking I was lying.
Asking you to publish your age in online dating is like asking her to publish her weight.
Should you require her to do that too?
There often is a place where people can indicate “body type.”
But that’s never a REQUIREMENT and many people choose not to do so.
Entering your “birth date” is ALWAYS a requirement on these sites.
I think you should not be required to publish any personal information about yourself, that you do not wish to divulge up front.
Everything about yourself should be something you reveal when you’re ready to, as you go along in the dating process.
Again, just like it works in the real world.
Until online dating catches up with natural human relationship dynamics, you’re stuck with what you’ve got.
So don’t feel any obligation to share any information about yourself online, that nobody has any right to know.
Wait until you’re ready to share it.
If they require you to provide information they have no right to ask for, put whatever you want in there.
It is not a lie to withhold information or misinform someone, when they ask you something they shouldn’t ask in the first place.
Especially when you cannot avoid providing an answer.
When you meet up and really see you have a connection, you can figure out such logistical details then.
As I’ve said many times, there is no such thing as online dating.
It is just a tool to quickly meet a number of people expressing interest in connecting.
The quicker you get off the dating site to an in person meetup the better.
What do you think? Am I just rationalizing, or is there an unnaturalness to online dating requiring a creative work around here?
Like what you’re reading? Sign up!