I apologize for the heinously long title, but this post is a double feature. Not only am I giving final thoughts about Valentine’s day, but today I’ll be starting… an experiment!! Mwahahahaha!!!!
You see, one month from today is my birthday. I will be turning 23, and I figure it’s about time I start looking for a serious relationship. Problem is, I have a grand total of 0 prospects in the dating department. And now that I’ve gotten over being terribly depressed about the whole situation, I’ve decided to turn it into a unique opportunity: ladies and gents, I have found a way to meet women and at the very same time satisfy a curiosity I’ve had for quite a while now. That’s right, CLUBBING!!!!
Yeah… nevermind. Let’s answer a scientific question instead!
Which works better— online dating or Tinder?
This is a question I’ve had since Tinder, the brave little app, came out in all its unashamed and slightly perverted glory. Can you really form a meaningful relationship from such a shallow premise? Or did they just figure out that online dating was way over-complicating things? To make a case for online dating, studies show that people respond well to the emotional disclosure and intimacy that can be had in the non-threatening online environment¹. On the other hand, we (humanity) are honestly a bunch of shallow neanderthals who form lasting impressions based on initial attractiveness². And while studies also show that picture-based selection can’t always be trusted³, apparently nether can information or online conversation⁴. I guess when it comes down to it we’re all just a bunch of cynical, deceptive animals. Isn’t dating fun!?
I really do want an answer to the question, though (and I want to meet women, let’s not forget that), so here’s what I’m going to do— first, a hypothesis: I think that I will have more fun meeting lots of people on Tinder, but that I will find somebody I actually like on an online dating site. And, using the very scientific method of Googling “best online dating site for a 22 year old male” I have chosen OkCupid as my potential matchmaker.
I’ve also set up some rules to keep things fair in love and war. Just so you know I’m not being a dirtbag or anything.
1. I am evaluating the services, NOT the women I meet. If I have a bad time or something doesn’t work out, it will not reflect on the person, but rather the service’s inability to match me up with the right woman.
2. I will be completely forthcoming about the experiment. I’m not going to lead anybody on. I will tell anyone I meet that this is just to see which service is better so that I can tell all my loving and non-judgmental fans.
3. I will not post anything without consent. The idea is to keep track of this whole thing with y’all, but only if (and what) any woman I meet gives me permission to say about the experience. And I won’t be using any real names.
4. No hookups. This has nothing to do with sex. I’m purely looking for an intellectually and emotionally compatible relationship, and if I don’t find that with whoever I’m matched with, we will part ways (no matter how attractive she might be).
The timeline I’m giving this experiment is the month before my birthday. If neither OkCupid or Tinder comes through for me by the time I turn 23, well I guess that’s some kind of answer and maybe I’ll have to repeat the experiment in the future using different services. I suppose we’ll find out. Anyways, this will probably mean more frequent posts to keep you up to date, so feel free to follow along and comment on whatever the heck you want! Yeah science!!!!
Some sources for ya, cuz I didn’t pull all this out my a**
1. Rosen, L. D., Cheever, N. A., Cummings, C., & Felt, J. (2008). The impact of emotionality and self-disclosure on online dating versus traditional dating.Computers in Human Behavior, 24(5), 2124-2157.
2. Berscheid, E., Dion, K., Walster, E., & Walster, G. W. (1971). Physical attractiveness and dating choice: A test of the matching hypothesis. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 7(2), 173-189.
3. Hancock, J. T., & Toma, C. L. (2009). Putting your best face forward: The accuracy of online dating photographs. Journal of Communication, 59(2), 367-386.
4. Hall, J. A., Park, N., Song, H., & Cody, M. J. (2010). Strategic misrepresentation in online dating: The effects of gender, self-monitoring, and personality traits.Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 27(1), 117-135.