Friday, August 13, 2010

A Technical Foul for Dr. Neil Clark Warren

So, as usual, correct me if I'm wrong and/or simply responding to something from my very limited, very feminine view of the world, but I think that online dating websites are sexist.  Yup, I said read correctly.  I'm calling them out and here's why:

Let's recall my eHarmony newsletter "advice" article from a few days ago.  As I continue to get these (they're pulling really hard for me to renew my membership right now...all these summer romances must put a kink in their usual steady stream of business), I've noticed that so many of the articles are telling women what they need to do to "snag" a man, essentially.  So, before I wrote this post and basically tore into one of the highest grossing internet businesses of all time, I decided to check out their main page and see if this fact continued to be true.  I very uncharacteristically gave them the benefit of the doubt and thought that maybe, just maybe, their online newsletter database knew that I was a female and catered their articles to fit my pursuits.  Upon further review, I'm pretty sure that's not the case.

I'm surprised at you, Dr. Neil Clark Warren.  Your website seems to be teeming with links to sexist articles insinuating that our Singleton-status is somehow related to something that we have or haven't done.  "Five Photos that Make You Look Undateable," "Top 5 Male Turnoffs," "5 Types of Women Men Avoid" are all actual, real titles of articles on the main Dating Advice Eharmony page.  At first glance, these articles seem helpful.  "Wow," you think, "I sure hope I don't fall into one of those five categories."  And unless you're a certified, card-carrying psychopath who has never been in the company of the opposite sex, you probably won't.  They're so far-fetched and so ridiculously obvious that they are anything but helpful.  You open the link thinking that you may find the answer to the reason why you haven't been on a date in two months or why you can't get men to move past the text messaging stage of communication only to learn that none of these things apply to you, leaving you still wondering, still frustrated and even less excited about dating.  It's not that easy, but Dr. Warren wants you to think it is...and if you buy into this article, realize what you shouldn't do anymore to be successful, sign up for the automated draft of $60 a month from your checking account, you too can connect with someone on 29 levels of compatibility. (<- have you guys picked up on my sarcasm yet?  Sometimes I write it and wonder if it comes through as I intended!)

So many of these articles seem to both point the finger at the female and put the burden of responsibility on her.  I think the whole online dating business model is meant to attract females.  It's like Ladies Night at a bar.  Bring in the women and eventually the men will realize that the objects of their affection are hanging out there and they'll join in too.  How did this role get reversed?  Maybe that's why I have had absolutely zero success with online dating.  I believe in tradition and as a female, I am looking forward to meeting someone interested in pursuing me, not the other way around.  I don't want a passive guy who is sitting on his laurels waiting for me to make every move.  I'm a fan of the romance of courtship, not the female pursuer.  I know some women enjoy that position...but this one isn't on that bandwagon. 

The more people I talk to who have had any success with online dating the more I hear that it had almost nothing to do with online compatibility and almost all to do with luck.  Most of the time I hear things like "Well, he was actually my friend's match" or "He messaged me right before my membership ran out and I figured I'd give it one last shot."  So, I've decided that I don't want to leave it up to luck anymore and I'm tired of the exhausting searching, email exchanges, phone number exchanges, limiting text message conversations, only to end in aggravation and prayers that this stranger out in cyberland will just go away and leave me alone.  I'm officially taking a break from online dating altogether and going to try my hand at the old fashioned way.


  1. I was one of the online daters that just had a stroke of luck when I met Adam. I was his "lucky spin" and I met most of his criteria but was about 200 miles away from where he lived. He gave it a shot and emailed me before his 7-day free trail was up and I just happened to get the message in the nick of time. I don't know other people's stories but I'm sure mine is not the only one out there like that. I also agree with you about being pursued. If you still want a man who ACTS like a man, he's going to have to come after YOU, not the other way around. It's hard to find a man that actually acts like one!

  2. I can't wait to hear how your real-life dating adventures go. I'd love to get away from online dating, but just don't know how to meet men in real life, so I'm rooting for you, and hoping to draw some inspiration from you how make it happen! =)

  3. @Becky, those are the exact words I've been trying to find for months! I want a man who "acts like a man." Whew...thank you!
    @Anonymous, well, we'll see how it goes! I hope that I can be an inspiration and maybe we can all share ideas on where to meet men in real life. Of course, I'll keep you posted.


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