Online dating is horrible

Over the years I’ve had MANY people (pastors, friends, and relatives) recommend that I use online dating to help me find my future bride and over the last 10 years I’ve done just that with no luck. I have communicated with a couple of ladies, but nothing beyond that.

Whenever I’ve complained about how bad online dating sites are, most people have mentioned how many people they know of (or have heard of) who have meet online and ended up getting married so obviously online dating works. Sadly, the statistics don’t seem to agree. Eight years ago I heard the stat that only 1% of online members ended up meeting someone online and marrying. A better way to say that is 99% of the members failed at finding a spouse online. 99% of the time all of the money and hundreds of hours people spent online looking was wasted.

So that is 8 years ago you say, things have improved, what about now?

OK, some real and personal data that happened to me over the past year (Feb 2014 – Feb 2015).

I was a member of one of the larger online sites from Feb 2014 to Feb 2015 and over those 365 days I received 924 contacts from women (2.5/day). In one month I had 171 contacts (5.7/day). That may sound really really good, but when I say that all of them (100%) were fake, those numbers take on a totally different meaning.

Most were obvious fakes (their profiles were already gone/disabled in the 5 minutes it took the email to arrive and me trying to view their profile) so I obviously ignored those. There was another group where the profile “seemed” somewhat real, but when I compared the city (her home town) mentioned in the email I received to the city in the profile they were different and if I waited a hour, the profile would change showing yet a third city. Obviously fake.

Of the 924 contacts, roughly10 seemed real enough that I contacted them. Half of these quickly showed as being fake by their horrible grammar and spelling. English was obviously not their first language (which meant their profile saying they were US citizens was false). The remaining had somewhat good grammar and spelling, but quickly showed as fake when they all had a similar story. Her parents lived in a foreign country (Africa) and her father had gotten sick and died and she had gone to support her mother through the grieving process and was now stuck there wanting to come back to the USA.

Ads for online sites never mention percentages, only the number of resulting marriages. Most recently I heard a well known online dating site advertise that over 950,000 marriages have resulted and that sounds wonderful until you look at the stats. The site was started in 2000 so has been in business for 15 years which works out to roughly 63,333 marriages per year. I see some say that this site has 15 million members and if you do the math, that works out to 4.2% in a year get married (assuming a new/different 15 million each year — so 63333/15000000 = 4.2%). If some of those 15 million stay past a year, that percentage goes down. And if you combine all of the online sites (and take into account how many people are on multiple sites simultaneously), you can easily see how the percentage of marriages is in the 1-2% range.

So why does everyone recommend such an obviously failing solution? Ignorance is the biggest part of it since we only hear about the successes and not any of the many failures. Like the latest diet trend where you only hear about the successes but never hear how many people it didn’t work for since if you did you’d realize the diet is a hoax.

The other reason people believe in online sites is they are desperate. Even if they are aware of the poor success rates, they hope beyond hope that they will be included in that small 1% success rate, but that makes as much sense as investing thousands of dollars in something with only a 1% chance of making it big (or a 99% chance of losing all of your investment).

Online dating sites are not selling matches, they are rather trying to sell hope.

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