Not getting matches, likes, or messages from women on online dating sites and apps? If so, you’re probably wondering: Does online dating still work for guys? My short answer is: Yes, it does, but you need to approach it differently as time goes on, because it constantly changes.
Over the past few years, online dating has gone from mainstream to overwhelming. There seems to be a new dating site or app every month, each one claiming to be bigger and better than the last. If you’ve been using online dating sites since the early days, you might be used to just doing a simple online search for potential matches. But now, with the addition of things like GPS matching, compatibility algorithms, social networks, in-app texting, and swiping features, online dating has become a whole new beast. And it’s still evolving.
You would think all of those improvements would improve your chances of success. But the funny thing is, many of my recent male clients have still reported difficulty getting high quality dates from online dating sites. Maybe in your case, you get very few matches. Your message might not be returned very often, or the real-life dates you manage to set up don’t really go anywhere. So what can you do to improve your chances of hitting your dating goals this year? It depends on how you approach online dating and how much you keep up with it.
Below, I’ve listed five questions you should ask yourself if you’re not having success with online dating, and suggestions on how to turn things around. Take your time to think about each one, and see what changes you can make.
How Many Online Dating Sites Are You Using?
Here’s an exercise that can shed some light on how you actually use online dating sites. Make a list of the most recent 5 or 10 women you’ve dated. Next to each woman’s name, write down where you actually met her.
Did each of these women (or a majority) come from your Match.com account? If you rely solely on one online dating site to find all your dates, you’ll likely fail. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Why?
When you use one online dating site, you’re limited to only those women who use that site. Not only that, but once you start filtering for matches, the amount of people that meet your requirements goes down even further. In fact, compared to the total number of single women out there, the number you will see on one dating site, after using filters, will be pretty low. One study found that only 1 in 562 people in the entire UK matched the average person’s requirements.
So, with odds like that, you should at least be on several dating sites, not just one. I recommend that you use at least five.
Are You Using the Right Online Dating Site for You?
If you’re not getting the results you desire from online dating, you might have signed up for a site that doesn’t really do well for your demographic. The strengths and weaknesses of a dating site depends on a lot of things, including your:
- Geographical location
- Dating goals (casual vs. long-term)
- Special interests (hobbies, culture, religion)
Here’s a look at some popular dating sites and their strengths. See if the one you’re using is really the right one, considering what you’re looking for.
Match has a huge user base, probably because it’s one of the most recognizable names when it comes to dating sites. It may even be the most popular dating site in your state — check this map to find out. Also, since you have to pay to be on it, you’ll probably find more people who are interested in serious relationships.
Tinder is the most popular dating app in several states. The swipe feature and lack of emphasis on profile information gives Tinder a more casual feel. If you want to quickly “see what’s out there” by checking out a lot of profiles, you’ll probably find it interesting.
That might make it sound like it’s still a “hookup app,” but remember, it also has a huge user base, making it also worth trying if you’re looking for something serious. Outside of large metro cities and in more rural areas, more people looking for relationships tend to find success with Tinder.
POF (aka, Plenty of Fish) is a free dating site with a ton of people on it. You’ll probably see all kinds of profiles and will have to weed through a lot before finding quality ones. However, if you’re looking for something casual, you could use this site to widen your dating pool. I’ve seen this site work occasionally for my clients in the Midwest, while research shows it’s also the #1 dating site in Utah and Maine. Watch out for fake profiles and scammers though.
Bumble seems most effective in larger cities and with younger audiences — I’d say between the ages of 25 and 45. The site gives women control over messaging, meaning you can’t talk to women on Bumble unless they contact you first. This kind of set-up would likely attract higher-quality women who are tired of weeding through their maxxed-out inboxes, and are ready to be in the driver’s seat. Not surprisingly, many of my clients tell me that the women on Bumble are more attractive.
Hinge has been the best for my clients nearly across the board, but I’d say it hasn’t attracted a large enough audience for my 60+ clients. For everyone else though, Hinge surpasses nearly every other app in number of responses and dates it generates. If for some reason you’re not having success with this one, don’t give up — here are a few things you can do to increase your likes, because it’s worth the investment.
Coffee Meets Bagel
Coffee Meets Bagel matches you with friends of friends on Facebook, rather than using an algorithm. That said, while I was enthusiastic about it in the beginning, I now find it to be very hit-or-miss. I’d say it works best in San Francisco. Users tend to be educated (they claim 96% of their users have a bachelor’s degree). It has more women than men, most of whom are looking for relationships vs. a hookup.
eHarmony uses an extensive compatibility questionnaire to find you matches, and markets itself as the best site to find a spouse. Sadly, eHarmony hasn’t had positive results for any of my clients in at least three years.
Zoosk, Silver Singles
I’ve found these two sites to work better for people who are over 60. Zoosk actually walks you through how to use all its features, which could be good if you’re fairly new to online dating. Silver Singles specifically targets people over 50 who are looking for long-term relationships.
I honestly don’t know anyone who uses Elite Singles, but it tends to skew toward a more mature, professional crowd between ages 33 and 50. When you join, you have to take an extensive personality assessment, and then they will send you 3-7 matches per day. Also, they don’t let you search profiles on your own, so you have to rely on your matches. This could be appealing if have a demanding lifestyle and don’t have time to endlessly scroll through profiles. This site is a bit on the expensive side.
Are You Meeting Women in Real Life?
While dating sites can help expand your reach when it comes to meeting women, you should focus an equal amount of time on meeting them in person. Why? Because it will naturally take some pressure off of your online dating experiences. If you’re anxious or over-eager while using dating sites, it shows. This is why I also recommend MegaDating (dating several women at once) as much as possible, so you diffuse that energy and come off as more confident.
It will also naturally expand your social circle, which then becomes another source of potential dates. This is especially true for millennials, who typically meet through friends. According to a recent survey, 39% of couples 18 to 34 met through mutual friends, and 22% met while out in a social setting.
So, look back at your list of women who you dated in the past. How many of them did you meet on dating sites? Now, here’s a reality check: Of the total number of women you date, you should meet 33% or more of them in real life. Yes, that means meeting women at coffee shops, at farmer’s markets, in workout classes, through friends, at meetup groups, volunteering, etc. Any activity or place that you already enjoy will likely attract women who feel the same. And if they’re single, you may just meet your match that way.
Is Your Online Dating Profile Up to Date?
They say the definition of crazy is when you keep doing the same thing while expecting a different result. When it comes to online dating, you might be hoping for better results someday, even though you’re using the same profile that you did when you started. Then, you ask yourself, “Does online dating still work?” And you find yourself landing on this article.
If you’re not getting the best results from online dating right now, maybe it’s time to update your photos or profile text. Here are some quick tips.
- Update any old photos — It’s easy to think that you look “basically the same” as you did a few years ago, but that’s not always true. If some of your photos were taken over three years ago, people can probably tell — especially if you have recent photos in your profile that they can compare them to. Eliminate any photos that are at least three years old so your photos are consistent. You’ll come across as more honest.
- Eliminate low-quality photos — Blurry photos never help anyone. Just because it was taken on your best day, or at a great angle, won’t make up for the fact that she can’t see you. Find clear photos that also show off your best features.
- Hire an online dating photographer — If you don’t have enough photos of yourself to choose from, you can also hire a professional to take some — no one will ever know. Do a google search to find ones in your area.
- Work with a dating coach — Do you have a hard time talking about yourself when it comes to your online dating profile? You could hire a dating coach to help you add genuine details that appeal to women.
Are You Being Realistic About Online Dating?
Asking “does online dating still work?” is a fair question. Yet at the same time, the answer isn’t simply yes or no. It may work for you, but maybe only to a degree. Most likely, you’ll still need other dating tools and skills in your back pocket if you want to find someone.
In other words, if you’re realistic about online dating, then you know that it’s only ONE tool for finding women. Don’t overuse it. After all, compared to the entire history of our planet, online dating sites are incredibly new. It appears like they’ll last, but you never know. As often as I hear about couples meeting on Hinge, I also hear about couples finding each other in the real world.
Does Online Dating Work for Guys?: Wrap-Up
In my experience, the answer is yes, online dating sites still work for guys. However, they’re only 10-20% of the equation when you’re looking for a girlfriend, long term partner, or wife. I teach my clients other critical strategies that get results, such as how to structure your first three dates, communicate in person, communicate in between dates, escalate sexual tension, and eventually turn her into a love interest.
In my Signature Program, my clients are successful at online dating. With my help, they discover what’s really holding them back. For some men, it’s their photos. For others, it’s their messaging skills, profile section, or something else. If you’re struggling with making online dating work for you, then feel free to book a 1-on-1 new client Skype session with me so we can figure out how to help you attract the women you want. The answer could be simpler than you think!