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The Problem With Internet Dating's Frictionless Market

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the friction-jokes-excluded-for-obviousity dept.

The Internet 453

Hugh Pickens writes "Peter Ludlow writes in the Atlantic that the internet has turned the dating marketplace into a frictionless market that puts together buyer and seller without transaction costs. And that's a bad thing. 'Finding a partner used to be expensive, and the market was inefficient. If you lived in a large city, there were always people looking for partners, but the problem was how to find them.' But one advantage of inefficient dating markets is that in times of scarcity we sometimes take chances on things we wouldn't otherwise try while in times of plenty, we take the path of least resistance (someone who appears compatible) and we forgo difficult and prima facie implausible pairings. Another problem with frictionless online markets (PDF) is that assume we know what we are looking for. But sometimes we simply don't know what we are looking for until we stumble across it in a search for something else, says Ludlow. 'The result is often unexpected and beautiful. So it is with relationships; compatibility is a terrible idea in selecting a partner,' concludes Ludlow. 'We often make our greatest discoveries and acquire our greatest treasures when local scarcity compels us to be open to new and better things.'"

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lube (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526185)

well, lets hope it's as frictionless as possible...inadequate lube leads to broken condoms and accidental babies.

Re:lube (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526361)

Perfect lube is bad though. If there's no friction at all, there's less sensation.

Re:lube (5, Funny)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526387)

Never run short of lube again:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005MR3IVO [amazon.com]

Re:lube (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526441)

"Customers who viewed this item also viewed: LOTR Narsil Sword"

Re:lube (1)

Oflameo (2806007) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526531)

I'm good. I can make as much lube as I need with xanthan gum and water. Chemistry for the win!

Re:lube (5, Funny)

oztiks (921504) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526869)

The customer reviews are even more disturbing

1.0 out of 5 stars Hazard for cats, December 2, 2011
By Mark A. - See all my reviews
This review is from: Passion Natural Water-Based Lubricant - 55 Gallon (Health and Beauty)
This is a hazard! I've already lost two cats in this thing. There should be a warning sticker or something. I assumed the cats would float, but they sunk like rocks into the lube. And no, it's not what you think. Don't be disgusting. I was trying to create my own cat lube wrestling league. You know, for sickos.

Re:lube (1)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526763)

But then how are we going to keep the birth rate up?

How is this news? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526189)

I don't understand how this is even /. related news.

Re:How is this news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526283)

I don't understand how this is even /. related news.

It negatively matters.

Re:How is this news? (1)

buswolley (591500) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526847)

Complexity theory obviously. Anyway, I also think that the problem with these kind of markets is that effort to find the best deal has reduced economic payoff. Thus, it reduces the number of footholds small up-and-coming enterprises can use their ingenuity to climb faster than the competition. Also, the lack of market inefficiencies pushes consolidation to the biggest (i.e. Amazon). Also, it makes shopping boring. Seriously.

Re:How is this news? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526333)

I don't understand how this is even /. related news.

They must be trying to lure the /. crowd of fat middle-age american geeks who think they are smarter than everyone else because they read Slashdot like it's the holy bible.

Everyone knows the real geeks are actually found doing something constructive with their lives or have higher standards like blow-up dolls and chicks with dicks...

Re:How is this news? (4, Funny)

Kergan (780543) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526457)

I don't understand how this is even /. related news.

Consider the number of young readers who live at their parent's place. Or the number of more seasoned readers who might be divorced, or still single, and aren't going as much as they should.

Re:How is this news? (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526721)

Right, but considering the recent corporate buyout at Slashdot and the degrading subject matter we are forced to bless with our craftiness, can this website AFFORD to lose many of us right now to girlfriends with Sex & the City boxed sets?

Re:How is this news? (5, Insightful)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526925)

Consider the number of young readers who live at their parent's place. Or the number of more seasoned readers who might be divorced, or still single, and aren't going as much as they should.

Or Widowed. Together at 22 (she was 41) for 20 years (married for 16 years, 3 weeks). She was diagnosed w/a brain tumor the day before Thanksgiving 2005; spent our last Thanksgiving, Anniversary, Christmas, New Year's together in the hospital. Coma started on Jan 5 and she died on Jan 13, 2006 at 3:00pm; haven't dated anyone since. (P.S. The Winter holidays suck now.)

Re:How is this news? (2)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | about a year and a half ago | (#42527091)

Interestingly (or not) this happens to also be how one of the founders of match.com died...

Re:How is this news? (4, Interesting)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526571)

It tries to solve a mathematical problem. How can we maximize marital bliss – or at least one night stands - when the users have a heuristic basis which leads to a suboptimal selection process?

Re:How is this news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526973)

Does it matter? It's a free service. /. is NOT obligated to post anything and everything that you want them to.

Re:How is this news? (5, Interesting)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year and a half ago | (#42527055)

I don't understand how this is even /. related news.

All Slashdot topics are there because we don't understand. Like things that are so cold, that they have negative temperature and might be actually hot again. We don't understand, so we discuss it here.

Nobody is better than Slashdotters, at discussing things that they don't understand.

Dating, is something that we definitely don't understand.

Tell you what, though, (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526195)

AOL was the best tool for getting laid ever created. RIP.

Re:Tell you what, though, (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526221)

sigh, yeah, I miss all the pussy I got on AOL.

Re:Tell you what, though, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526519)

I used AOL Chat Rooms to pick up hot teenage boys... Now you can't trust anyone on the Internet.

Settle? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526209)

Did the author just tell us that sometimes it's better to simply "settle" for whoever you can find instead of finding someone compatible? :)

Re:Settle? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526311)

Not quite. The author suggested that finding a masterpiece is difficult when we are distracted by a sea of merely pleasant art pieces. Sure, you'll find someone compatible when it's easy to match constraints, but you will not have the opportunity to discover someone different than what you were superficially looking for.

Re:Settle? (0)

ckedge (192996) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526709)

> finding a masterpiece is difficult when we are distracted by a sea of merely pleasant art pieces

I don't think that's quite it either.

In a big city with online dating, everyone is aware that we have unlimitless pool of choices. So of course we look for the "perfect match" and get way more picky (especially women, imho).

But in a small town you KNOW there are only 5 or 10 others who are a) single and b) even remotely near your age and/or interesting to you. So you are much more willing to choose from the limited selection available, because you KNOW that if you don't, you're going to be alone.

Frictionless -- spend forever looking for the perfect match, according to what you think is perfect.

opposite -- you have 10 choices, and a limited amount of time to choose. Fail to choose quick enough and you end up loosing the game of musical chairs.

Re:Settle? (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526903)

Ah, but settle is what we often do. Partnerships for procreation are based on the most fundamental of motivations. Perhaps only a hundred years ago at the ranch in West Texas, my prospects for a baby-mama were limited to the range, "A day's ride." Technology, even the taken-for-granted internal combustion engine, has amounted to a genetic diversity impossible in the recent past. For a tired old working fellow who owns his home and figures his children will leave him eventually, it seems like this faddish interwebs thing might be just the ticket.

One question (5, Insightful)

joeflies (529536) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526245)

Are the divorce rates changing or staying the same? That would lend some credence to his arguement that the old, difficult method produces a more beautiful and unexpected match. The problem with the old method is that it's often a game of attrition, namely you keep dating until you give up on finding someone that you are lifetime compatible with, and settle whoever's around at the time.

Re:One question (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526285)

Are the divorce rates changing or staying the same? That would lend some credence to his arguement that the old, difficult method produces a more beautiful and unexpected match.

The problem with the old method is that it's often a game of attrition, namely you keep dating until you give up on finding someone that you are lifetime compatible with, and settle whoever's around at the time.

If divorce rates are increasing (which I suspect they are), you'd be hard-pressed to convince me it has more to do with internet dating than simply a large shift in the way people find marriage to be a temporary commitment these days as opposed to when our parents were children. Divorces have been on the rise since the 70s and 80s, long before plenty of fish and match dot com and all those sites.

Re:One question (5, Insightful)

Vaphell (1489021) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526693)

Feminism is partially to blame. Many women feel entitled to good lives with plenty of thrill and whatnot so they simply dump their boring husbands who slave away 12hr/day to support the family (women initiate divorce in 70% of cases).
Ever heard women saying men have it so good, they live their sweet patriarchical lives with obedient housewives, dinners every day, sex every evening and whatnot, yet whining that there are no good men willing to marry on the horizon? The truth is the marriage is an increasingly lousy deal for men. Due to decades of lobbying based on 'will somebody please think of the women', the law is heavily stacked against men, when they marry they are literally at the mercy of their wives.
Wives are entitled to half of wealth just because, can get their husbands arrested on their word alone (domestic violence even if it didn't happen), in case of divorce get child custody (and have men by the balls if they ever want to see the children), child support and/or alimony (material situation of the man doesn't matter at all and he can be forced to pay more than he earns).

Re:One question (5, Interesting)

miroku000 (2791465) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526965)

Feminism is partially to blame. Many women feel entitled to good lives with plenty of thrill and whatnot so they simply dump their boring husbands who slave away 12hr/day to support the family (women initiate divorce in 70% of cases). Ever heard women saying men have it so good, they live their sweet patriarchical lives with obedient housewives, dinners every day, sex every evening and whatnot, yet whining that there are no good men willing to marry on the horizon? The truth is the marriage is an increasingly lousy deal for men. Due to decades of lobbying based on 'will somebody please think of the women', the law is heavily stacked against men, when they marry they are literally at the mercy of their wives. Wives are entitled to half of wealth just because, can get their husbands arrested on their word alone (domestic violence even if it didn't happen), in case of divorce get child custody (and have men by the balls if they ever want to see the children), child support and/or alimony (material situation of the man doesn't matter at all and he can be forced to pay more than he earns).

While it is somewhat true that marriage is not as good of a deal for men as it used to be, that is not entirely a bad thing. Women have more career options than they used to. When you have no way to survive without the marriage, you are less likely to initiate a divorce. But, it is true that women more often are awarded alimony and custody and such. But this may be because often men are making more money than their wives. Here is the paradox though. Women's value on the dating market peaks at age 21. Men's peak value on the dating market is at age 36. So, after the divorce, men stand a much higher chance of finding a better mate than women do. http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/the-case-for-an-older-woman/ [okcupid.com]

Re:the law is heavily stacked against men (3, Insightful)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about a year and a half ago | (#42527019)

Don't forget the "professional" Child Support moms.
They seduce guys, get a baby, put in a token two years because they need Dad to cover the other half of the diaper stage, then divorce them and collect child support. Then they get new boyfriends for the cuddlin' and help under the table but get to collect the child support as free cash.
Posting as AC because this comment will get pummeled in 12 minutes. But it's true.

Re:the law is heavily stacked against men (0)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about a year and a half ago | (#42527035)

Haha I missed the AC button. Oh well. I can take the karma hit.

Re:One question (0, Offtopic)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year and a half ago | (#42527061)

Marriage and divorce are very much an economic issue. Used to be a woman got married and she didn't have to go to work, she'd stay home.

Now there is no such advantage (and for most women it was a welcome advantage), now the wives must work to pay their husbands' taxes (post tax revenue of an average couple is about the same as pre-tax income of the husband). What's the point in getting and staying married if it has no clear economic benefit to the woman?

It's all about economics. Women went into the work force in the late seventies, that's what allowed the economy to restructure and prolong itself a bit, but it's not a good consequence of the worsening economy obviously that people have to work more to get less, but you can thank the government for that, with all the inflation, taxes, regulations, which pushed productive jobs elsewhere.

Or just stay single. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526383)

Staying single is more popular than ever before.

This is probably because of a few factors:

1) being wealthier means people don't need each other as much. Being more able to survive and find entertainment alone makes your time worth more and your need for a partner diminishes, so we would expect fewer people would date.

2) the culture of equality has made dating a lot harder than it used to be. Modern couples are no longer a leader and a follower, but rather two leaders. Naturally, that doesn't work well in most cases.

3) People, by virtue of being able to afford more luxury, develop a sense of entitlement that drives potential mates away. Men expect that their greater wealth means that hotter women will throw themselves at them, and women expect that their independence + beauty should result in even more devotion (or obsession, as some seem to demand) from even higher quality of men. So, nobody is willing to settle, and when people find someone willing to date them both parties feel like they are settling and expect the other party to act like they are "dating up," and be more devoted....of course THAT doesn't work well either.

Unless breeding is an important goal for you, these days you are usually better off single.

Re:Or just stay single. (5, Insightful)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526487)

I'm separated, and I can't think of any good reasons to be in a relationship again.

The reason (4, Insightful)

sjbe (173966) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526731)

I'm separated, and I can't think of any good reasons to be in a relationship again.

Probably because you haven't met the reason yet. It's ok to be single. If the right person comes along, wonderful. If not, enjoy whatever suits you.

Re:Or just stay single. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526579)

If you want to add less misanthropic options, here's a couple more:

4) Economic instability combined with people ranting about starting families you can't afford leads to people not starting families that they can't afford.

5) Economic instability combined with employers' preferring unattached employees that can be expected to put in a few extra hours leads to people not starting families that they think will limit their economic chances

Re:Or just stay single. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526911)

it's still cheaper to live together and pool resources compared to staying single.

Re:Or just stay single. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526927)

The only downside is dealing with the crushing depression that inevitably comes from being alone.

Re:Or just stay single. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42527075)

Well, there is also

4) Freedom from having to stay/be with one person for the rest of your life. When you're single, you can go out and date around and not enter any long-term commitments. This is nice, because people get boring after a while. Every relationship dynamic is different, but nobody stays interesting forever. I for one would never want to be with one person for the rest of my life. It would be torture. There are so many beautiful distractions; the grass is always greener on the other side. So when you're single, you get to have your cake and eat it too.

Re:One question (5, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526495)

The problem with the old method is that it's often a game of attrition, namely you keep dating until you give up on finding someone that you are lifetime compatible with, and settle whoever's around at the time.

Agreed. Mr Ludlow has the whole premise upside down to me.

When dating is expensive you are LESS likely to date around till you find a closely compatible person, and more likely to settle.
He has the whole situation upside down.

It will take a few years to find out if internet dating will produce more enduring relationships, but the old method wasn't working
all that well either. Some sites claim internet dating works better [washingtonpost.com] for the marriage minded. Other sources ask the divorce question in their headlines [go.com] . (So we must invoke Betteridge).

One service actually publishes some numbers [eharmony-blog.com] from an internal (and rather self congratulatory) study. They claim: "eHarmony couples had a 66.6% lower risk for divorce than would have been expected given eHarmony’s share of marriages in the population".

I suspect the study is rather flawed, but its the only one out there that I am aware of.

Re:One question (2)

TXG1112 (456055) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526981)

All relationships take work. When the cost of replacement is low, you are not committed to putting in the effort to make a relationship work and instead find someone else that you refuse to commit to because thee might be someone better out there and you don't want to feel like you "settled".

Re:One question (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526735)

Are the divorce rates changing or staying the same? That would lend some credence to his arguement that the old, difficult method produces a more beautiful and unexpected match.

The problem with the old method is that it's often a game of attrition, namely you keep dating until you give up on finding someone that you are lifetime compatible with, and settle whoever's around at the time.

This is called synthetic annealing.

Not necessarily true... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526275)

Internet dating might help find prospective partners easier, but does not guarantee success. Not everybody is looking for a 100% compatible mirror image.
Trust me, I found my husband on the internet but that was the first approach,then real world interactions take place and we're back to square one.
"Chemistry"(whatever that means to you) , the sound of someone's voice, their smell, their quirks, eventually sexual compatibility and millions of years of instinctual darwinian stuff will intervene.
I call this one bull IMHO. You still have to kiss a lot of frogs...maybe less than before 1994... but a lot nonetheless!

Re:Not necessarily true... (1)

dlingman (1757250) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526313)

And worse, you get goats pretending to be frogs in hope of free kisses.

Re:Not necessarily true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526851)

Or worse.. you get goatsees! ;-)

Re:Not necessarily true... (1)

GeorgeMonroy (784609) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526323)

This is Slashdot we are talking about. Nobody is even kissing frogs here.

Re:Not necessarily true... (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42527111)

Internet dating might help find prospective partners easier, but does not guarantee success. Not everybody is looking for a 100% compatible mirror image.

Regardless of what you are looking for, (or THINK you are looking fo)r, the question under discussion is which method is likely to lead to success.
If you were looking for an exact opposite, or a mostly like minded individual, or a Knight in White Armor, the question remains the same:
          Did the internet work better for you than the bar scene or chance meeting?
          Did it serve as a first sieve?
          Did you have to work your way past a number of rejects prior to finding Mr Right?
          Did you find Mr Right or settle for Mr OK?

Unless you are already divorced, or have moved on to your second or third husband, your situation seems to suggest internet dating worked for you, in spite of your protestations to the contrary.

And this is why libraries are better than ebooks (2)

dlingman (1757250) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526291)

Go to the stacks looking for stuff, and bring home stacks of non related but vastly interesting reading material you had not thought to look at.

Re:And this is why libraries are better than ebook (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526375)

Saying "libraries are better than ebooks" is like saying "Video stores are better than movies"; you're comparing the distribution model with the product it's distributing. Also, the "discovery" aspect of libraries (and bookstores) is present with online bookstores too. Have you never been to Amazon.com?

Re:And this is why libraries are better than ebook (1)

dlingman (1757250) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526407)

And does amazon let you come home with a big armload of books to read at your leisure for free?

Re:And this is why libraries are better than ebook (2)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526491)

I know my library doesn't, they close as soon as school is out, and are not open on the weekends. I have never even been in the place and I am starting to wonder if they actually do unlock the door once in a while.

Re:And this is why libraries are better than ebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526541)

Again, that's the distribution model, not the product. But the answer to your question is "yes" if you simply replace "Amazon" with "the internet."

Re:And this is why libraries are better than ebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526543)

It doesn't, but that doesn't make my counterpoint any less valid. I wasn't making any particular claim that Amazon is better than your library, I'm saying that the reasoning you used in your OP was faulty.

But since you seem determined to have that debate, does your library have thousands of titles that you can keep forever, free of charge? And are you aware that there are also free ebook lending sites? And that you don't have to remember to make a trip to return such books lest you eat a late fee?

Re:And this is why libraries are better than ebook (1)

Qzukk (229616) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526587)

No, but Project Gutenburg does.

Re:And this is why libraries are better than ebook (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526719)

My local library has the 'Freegal' service that allows patrons to download any 3 drm-free Mp3s each week. A lot of libraries use it, I think it's the entire Sony catalog (get revenge on them for their locked down Playstaions!).

Re: libraries are better than ebooks (2)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about a year and a half ago | (#42527005)

>> bring home stacks of... vastly interesting reading material

Binders full of women?

Get out more. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526293)

You meet interesting people when doing interesting things, when 'meeting people' is the interesting thing you do to meet people conversations can get very short.

Re:Get out more. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526943)

People always say this, but in my experience this is completely untrue.
For instance, if I go swimming I don't meet anyone, even though there are plenty of women at the swimming pool.
Why? because at that point we are all swimming and not interested in making small talk.
The same is true for other interesting things.

The best way to meet people is to go to boring places, where the women are so bored out of their minds they'll talk to you to pass the time.

To an extent maybe (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526303)

To an extent maybe but I KNOW I don't want someone who smokes and there are other traits that I damn well know without any doubt that I don't want. Matchmaking can weed out the chaff.

Free online dating is awesome! (4, Insightful)

NeoMorphy (576507) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526327)

I met my wife through a good, and free, online dating service. The problem with the ones you pay for is that most of the members(95%?) can not reply back and they make it impossible to tell who is a paying member or non-paying member. But a good service allows you to find someone that is a great match. Without online services you have what? Bars, work, church? Even then you have to hope for good timing and the geographical range is limited.

The articles statement about you taking people for granted is BS. Some might, but that's because they have issues that exist outside of online dating. Know what you want and don't be afraid to set deal breakers. If you hate smoking and can't deal with it, no smokers, or the reverse if you love smoking. You need to be honest with yourself and your potential mate.

Re:Free online dating is awesome! (1)

kinocho (978177) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526485)

So, what service did you use or recommend?

Re:Free online dating is awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42527101)

I heartily recommend Ok Cupid; I dated a few girls off there with whom I'm still on good terms, and (more importantly!) met my fiancee there.

Re:Free online dating is awesome! (3, Informative)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526559)

POF and OK Cupid are about the only two actually free widely-available services I've run across. What did you use? The Freemium ones are bad, xdating even has in their TOS that they'll fabricate profiles and communications "for entertainment value" and any female you'd be interested in is a fraud.

Re:Free online dating is awesome! (1)

NeoMorphy (576507) | about a year and a half ago | (#42527081)

OKCupid, before they were bought by match.com. Not sure what they are like now. They also have some pretty good articles.

Re:Free online dating is awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526665)

Even with the "good" services, you get duds. The last match from a "reputable" place got me a woman who asked me if I could pay for her boob job so her husband would like her better.

Most of the dates I've found were pretty much similar, revolving around how their lives would be made so much better if they managed to get a partner who could give them a vehicle they felt like they deserved, to fit their station in life.

I tried to show interest because I try respect people, and try to know the others as a person, but what I got back was curiosity on the size of my wallet, and how good my credit record was. Nothing more.

Re:Free online dating is awesome! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526737)

Most of these services also have profiles for the same people because they are unsuccessful on one service and move on to another one that promises to be better. Often many of the profiles are fake and/or you will get messages that have been automatically generated by the service, not the person, so if you do reply, they treat it like spam because they've never even looked at your profile to begin with. They are generally a waste of time and money. If you do happen to meet someone, you will usually find out that they are not like what they've posted and/or discover what defect is causing their failure in "real world dating".

Re:Free online dating is awesome! (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526885)

I emailed ChristianMingle.com telling them that they're basically running an unethical dating website. The way it should work is if a paying subscriber messages someone, the recipient(Who may or may not have a subscription) should be able to message back as much as they want. I use POF.com now because ChristianMingle.com never has anyone reply. I know I'd get people replying to me too if they paid because they send the,"I can't reply in text, here have a free flirt back."

At the very least there should be a 1$ option,"Allow this person to respond to me if they don't have a subscription."

It isn't that I'm cheap that I use POF.com. It is that 95%(or more) of people can't reply on paid sites. It is beyond me how the paid places feel they're running an honest business when it is all deception to make it seem like there are more people to reply to you than there really are.

10 years ago the internet was isolating everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526329)

This is the same bullshit, different day. Someone types up an opinion on the internet, based entirely on their own dissatisfaction and frustration, and the loser media all cites it as a controversy because controversy is news.

Get off my lawn.

Re:10 years ago the internet was isolating everyon (3, Informative)

broohaha (5295) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526673)

Exactly what this guy says [bostonreview.net] , as well. From the article:

I don’t know if the editors of The Atlantic have found a goldmine of reader interest in the topic or if they are just irritated by their kids being online all the time, but once again we read in their pages that the Internet is destroying the good life. In 2008 Google was making us stupid; last year Facebook was making us lonely (it isn’t); and now online dating is “threatening monogamy.”

Hookers are prostituting themselves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526347)

Just settle for a trick via Craigslist. Relationships, feh. Incidentally just today was reading an old /. article about prostitution on CL and came across this very amusing comment: [slashdot.org]

by Midnight Thunder (17205) Alter Relationship on Thursday March 05 2009, @03:11PM (#27084405) Homepage Journal

...and now you've got to sue the interwebz for ruining your business

No, no you have got it wrong. These are tubes ruining your business ;)

ParentShare Re:Here we go again (Score:5, Funny) by Feanturi (99866) Alter Relationship on Thursday March 05 2009, @04:51PM (#27085661) Craigslist isn't just a truck you can dump a bunch of hookers on.

Don't Do That. Do This.. (2, Insightful)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526385)

Just move country.

You will be an interesting foreigner. With or without the internet, this gives you an edge.

Re:Don't Do That. Do This.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526479)

Meh, that only works unless you're an American. If the latter case, you're the laugh stock of the party.

Re:Don't Do That. Do This.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526685)

Not true at all - Just don't be *that* kind of American. 6 years expat and in almost every country being a foreigner makes pulling incredibly easy.

Re:Don't Do That. Do This.. (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526963)

That only works if you're an American .....in the former case, your English loses something in the translation.

the problem with dating (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526393)

...says the great big nerd.

We don't know what we want (4, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526417)

We know what we are looking for, and look for what we are looking for, but we don't know what we want. Would a person who shares 20% of our interests be more interesting than someone who shares 80% of our interests because they drive us to new things? Maybe, but when looking, we look for the 100% match because it's easier to find someone who likes the same movies, rather than arguing or trading off preferred movies. Scarcity drives us out of our comfort zone, and our best match may be outside our comfort zone.

Re:We don't know what we want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526799)

Scarcity drives us out of our comfort zone, and our best match may be outside our comfort zone.

Maybe, but scarcity definitively limits choice. If our best match is in our 'comfort zone' or outside it then scarcity means a greater chance that we'll never encounter them anyway.

Re:We don't know what we want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42527007)

Scarcity drives us out of our comfort zone, and our best match may be outside our comfort zone.

As romantic as that sounds in most cases it just isn't true. The whole "opposites attract" thing makes for great movies and sitcoms, but there is a lot of evidence that similar attracts more. Your best match "may" be outside your comfort zone, but probably isn't.

Yea, there are plenty of anecdotes to make movies and books out of, but for most people living their boring lives, having kids, growing old and dying isn't about getting pushed out of their comfort zone.

Meh (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526419)

The market be damned. If I can tell at a glance whether a woman spells 'you' as a single vowel or not, society, traditional marriage, the divorce rate, whatever - it can all go to hell.

Re:Meh (5, Funny)

turp182 (1020263) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526613)

"At a glance" seems awfully superficial, taken at face value.

Re:Meh (1)

mjwx (966435) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526713)

The market be damned. If I can tell at a glance whether a woman spells 'you' as a single vowel or not, society, traditional marriage, the divorce rate, whatever - it can all go to hell.

Unless you're in the market for a non-western woman, then the lack of English and Grammar skills can be considered a plus.

Frictionless dating is awesome. (5, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526443)

Specifically, for those of us who have figured out what we want. No more spelunking in bars, hoping the local gaming night has a single female available, or hitting up women in sports clubs. Just a simple hang-out shield. Also helps when being hopelessly shy - email/messaging is much easier than just randomly walking up to someone.

All in all, this is looking really hard for a drawback to online dating. Kinda like the people who argue about how bad it is to have 1 million in the bank, and how simple life was when they had only 1000 dollars in the bank.

Re:Frictionless dating is awesome. (1)

mjwx (966435) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526757)

All in all, this is looking really hard for a drawback to online dating.

You're not looking very hard then.

Catching up with my sister at a coffee shop last week, hearing "you look very different from your profile picture" said quite a few times was hilarious.

I've always found online dating sites dodgy. The western oriented ones like OK Cupid end up pushing something. Some others like Date In Asia are often free advertisement for working ladies.

Re:Frictionless dating is awesome. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526881)

Yes, the potential and ease of meeting people you would never meet otherwise is nice, but I can see the article's point. People really don't know what they want, and the abundance of people just makes it too easy to chase after an ideal that won't really make you happy.

expanded pool is never a bad thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526445)

choice and diversity is a good thing in pool of potential dates.

For geeks, consider the situation I found myself in before the internet. A geek might find it hard to find partners for dating where they live out in the suburbs or in rural area, but by moving to a large city women are falling from trees Even a geek could find a date (and later a wife) there. the same can happen going to large college or university. That was my experience, and many of my friend's experience.

So the internet can provide the same thing, without even having to move! Behold the power of the series of tubes!

sounds like a reasonable point (3, Informative)

Cederic (9623) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526449)

Dating sites come with a bunch of filters. Find me a well education intelligent white catholic girl (hey, I'm atheist but catholic girls' schools seem to produce my sort of woman) who's a good cook, likes to dance, can put up with 4 hours of computer gaming on non-dance nights and has a slim or athletic build.

Or skip the dating site and find yourself with an interesting person that has few of those attributes but is great to spend time with. Bonus if it's a girl and she fancies you.

That said, I'm still reluctant to ask out the intelligent female dancer that's about my age and fancies me, purely because we have the same dress size. Sadly I appear to be sufficiently superficial to want someone slimmer than I am.

Re:sounds like a reasonable point (0)

lsllll (830002) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526727)

I know this is flamebait, but you'd have to wonder what an educated girl would want to do with you. Let me turn on the grammar police.

Dating sites come with a bunch of filters. Find me a well educated, intelligent, white Catholic girl (Hey, I'm an atheist, but Catholic girls' schools seem to produce my sort of woman) who's a good cook, likes to dance, can put up with four hours of computer gaming on non-dance nights and has a slim or athletic build.

Or skip the dating site and find yourself with an interesting person that has few of those attributes, but is great to spend time with. Bonus if it's a girl and she fancies you.

That said, I'm still reluctant to ask out the intelligent female dancer that's about my age and fancies me, purely because we have the same dress size. Sadly I appear to be sufficiently superficial to want someone slimmer than I am.

Bad English turns a lot of folks off. I only hit on the punctuation, but there's a lot of room for improvement in sentence structure. Let me also say that I agree with what you've stated.

I fully expect the higher ups in the grammar department to correct some of my bad English as well, but truth be known, English is my second language.

Re:sounds like a reasonable point (2)

lsllll (830002) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526769)

Holy shit! I just noticed your low ID of 9623. Please don't delete my account! I'll make all sourts of GRAMITTICAL mi$stakes just to pr0ve that I'm no graWWar police. *ducks*

Re:sounds like a reasonable point (1)

Cederic (9623) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526781)

I'll give you 'educated' but 'catholic' isn't a proper noun in my vocabulary, I'm happy using 'hey' in informal writing (I wouldn't use that sentence structure at all in formal writing), "I'm atheist" is legitimate and '4' instead of 'four' is lazy but acceptable.

But thanks for the feedback :)

I kind of agree (1)

Omnifarious (11933) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526453)

I've always had really poor luck in dating other girls who were in a technical field of some kind. I think it requires people with different kinds of minds to make a good relationship.

Re:I kind of agree (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a year and a half ago | (#42527097)

No, it's just that finding that unicorn, the mate you'd really like to be with who also wants to be with you, is as statistically improbable as having sex with a dancer who's really working her way through college on the couch in front of your mother. Throw in an additional variable like employed in a technical field, and, well, you would have better odds winning the Powerball and having sex with a Grizzly on the same day.

Translation (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526529)

'The result is often unexpected and beautiful. So it is with relationships; compatibility is a terrible idea in selecting a partner,' concludes Ludlow. 'We often make our greatest discoveries and acquire our greatest treasures when local scarcity compels us to be open to new and better things.'"

Translation : I got.stuck with loser an now I really regret it because now I realize how much better off I'd be if had held out for someone better. I'll write an article to try and convince myself I'm happy.

Professor Frink? (1)

Intropy (2009018) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526625)

The computer matches are so perfect as to eliminate the thrill of romantic conquest?

Where have I heard that before? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DE7mi-gdIYw [youtube.com]

What about the rest of us? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526645)

This was not my experience with online dating AT ALL. I spent two years on online dating sites every day and only got three dates with three different girls out of it (finally met my current girlfriend on OKCupid, have been dating for over a year, yay me). I got three more on the phone and found them to be uninteresting. For those of us who don't live in the biggest metropolitan US cities, I imagine there just aren't as many options if you're looking for a relationship and not a lay. In my area, one or two new girls would pop up every day but most of them weren't very interesting (didn't seem terribly ambitious, bright, or well read). When I see personal op-eds lamenting the state of dating, it always seems like these people are dealing with the dating culture of hip metropolitan cities. The rest of us are probably having a very different experience. Or maybe I'm just really picky.

aka: beer goggles... (1)

KrazyDave (2559307) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526707)

...or everyone looks prettier by last call.

Beautiful accidents from random dating (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526791)

Yes, random relationships can produce beauty. They can also produce heartache, rape, theft, and divorce.

Just because meteor strikes make beautiful sunsets doesn't mean we should welcome them.

What frictionless market? (5, Insightful)

erice (13380) | about a year and a half ago | (#42526795)

Now you go online, select a partner, and you are immediately dating someone who is at least interested in you. Of course online dating is still work, but the emotional labor and risk of failure has been significantly reduced.

Methinks TFA is complaining about a problem that doesn't actually exist. At least from the male perspective, online dating has a great deal of friction.

You can't just select a partner and immediately start dating them. You need to message them. It better be good or they don't respond. Actually, they probably won't respond even if it is good.

You need to do this over and over again until you get a response.

After you get a response, you need to carry about a conversion for a little while until you can arrange a first date. Most will stop replying before you reach that stage.

Only after you've met and your date hasn't stood you up or canceled at the last minute for no reason are you dating. Everything before that is just a headache.

The market has just as much friction as before. It has just moved from the finding to the getting part. It's like shopping online where there are many shops selling but hardly have stock and none will tell you one way or the other until after you've filled out a detailed order form.

Online darting or is it dating (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42527063)

Hi if anyone wants to date leave a message after this comment :) because i can't find me a decent man and i'm a thoroughly lovely lady who's fed up of online dating....Hey what about slashdate? a site for slashdotters who date slashdotters and because its opensource its free?

Lilli Samurai xxxx

Re:Online darting or is it dating (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42527087)

bet even theregister.co.uk never thought of that one eh?

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