Internet dating for men

24-Sep-2017 13:00

So I'm back on Tinder again (don't know how long that will last), I've discovered Hinge (join that one, really, you'll thank me later), and I'm giving OKCupid one more chance (why the hell not, right? Despite the differences in all three, there's one truth all these dating sites have in common: Everyone is lying on all of them.

Even when the person you're talking to is being honest about all their basic physical characteristics, the lying happens in all that goes unsaid, what my friend Dr.

There’s been a revolution in sexual practices that passed me by (have you seen Tinder? I’m a dinosaur – a missionary man in a reverse-cowgirl world. Inane openers do break the ice, but stop you from reaching anything deeper. I crave male company so go home and watch Expendables II. I discover that coffee dates can work when you’re not in the office headspace. I tell her I was running late and had to elbow a granny out of the way to get off the train. The scatter-gun concept works: by the time I meet my fourth woman, the jitters that can ruin a more conventional date are gone.

I meet a former colleague, C, who I’ve been lusting after for years. It’s a pretty good pie, too, but she doesn’t go over.

I used to, and I think at times I might even have enjoyed it. S from Tinder is smiley and chatty with faultless social skills. Wine with M from Lovestruck – the first date I’ve really enjoyed, and the first woman I found attractive just by looking at her photo.

But there’s a lot of catching up to do, as I discover when I sign up for a dozen sites, apps and singles nights. A couple of hours beforehand I have a pep talk with dating expert Hayley Quinn, who warns me that coffee dates often seem like job interviews. Not a single one of my marathon dates contacts me for a second meet-up. I head to a Mayfair nightclub for speed dating (, counting each four-minute contact as 0.25 of a date.

A team led by Elizabeth Bruch, a sociologist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, tapped into this torrent of dating data.

Because of a nondisclosure agreement, the researchers can't reveal the exact source of their subjects, describing it only as an "established, marriage-oriented, subscription-based dating site" from which they randomly selected 1855 people, all based in New York City.

Those 30 million people have generated billions of pieces of data.

And because most dating sites ask users to give consent for their data to be used for research purposes, this online courting has played out like an enormous social science experiment, recording people's moment-by-moment interactions and judgments.

Besides photographs, each user's profile could include any number of personal details including age, height, weight, education, marital status, number of children, and smoking and drinking habits.