A married woman writes:
I have a 40 year old never-been-married brother who spends much of his free time mountain biking and rebuilding vintage tractors. Not exactly hobbies loaded with potential female mates. My unmarried 37 year old sister in law's big hobby is ice skating. My other, twenty-something sister in law spends most of her time with her horse. Neither of these activities is loaded with eligible guys either. I don't have much hope for any of them to find mates.
What did my sister and I do to find a guy? First, we chose a profession loaded with men: engineering. Second, we moved to locations loaded with young, single people: me: Los Angeles, her: the greater Portland area. Third, we took up hobbies and activities that have abundant men: me: the company softball team, downhill skiing, golf. Her: mountain biking, wind surfing, and rock climbing. We both married fellow engineer employees (me at the advanced age of 33) but sharing the same hobbies as them is what sealed the deal.
I've told my brother many times to try taking some cooking or photography classes, join Habitat for Humanity, the Sierra Club, or Catholic Singles but he is unwilling to exit his comfort zone and make the effort. He is also unwilling to look at someone who isn't really good looking. I've tried to tell him that a slightly overweight, 30-ish woman whose clock is ticking would see him as a great husband but he won't bend his standards.
From a NY Post article by Reed Tucker about the upcoming comedy "School for Scoundrels," in which Billie Bob Thornton teaches Jon Heder What Women Want:
- Never pay a woman a compliment: All guys whisper sweet nothings to pretty girls. You want to be different. It will grab her attention. [In his autobiography, physicist Richard Feynman claimed this worked.]
- Parallel her values: If she's a vegetarian, you're a vegetarian. If she thinks Jon Heder will never be as good in any movie as he was in "Napoleon Dynamite," so do you. The goal is to make it seem like you're kindred spirits. [I suspect that my readers are especially vulnerable to the mistake of thinking that opinions should have some basis in fact and logic. Women don't care about stuff like truth when it comes to public issues. Opinions just serve as fashion statements. If she likes you, she'll later on adopt your opinions - until she stops liking you.]
- Be dangerous, it's cool: No chick wants a boring guy. They want the bad boy who'll do wild things - like wearing a vial of blood around his neck. [Well, maybe not that.]
- Wherever you are, the place is lame: Your goal is to get the girl alone, so no matter where you are, suggest the two of you take off. Preferably on your Harley.
- Lie, lie and lie some more: Pretty self-explanatory, and without this rule, the other previous rules wouldn't be possible. Just make sure you don't get caught in your lies...
- When all else fails, give her a sob story: Nothing warms her heart like that yarn about how you were born a penniless orphan in Serbia.
A reader writes:
The plain fact is online dating services don't come anywhere near the same level as a face-to-face meeting, there's tons of information they don't provide, and it's a lot easier for people on both sides to reject contact on the flimsiest of reasons (where a personal interaction would get you past that and maybe show it isn't such a big deal) - and it's entirely based on the photo and numbers. Looking like Brad Pitt is a big help. The chemistry of personal interaction is entirely nonexistent until you meet, and you have to convince them to do so based on other factors. The sheer number of women's ads I've seen who insist that a man be at least a head taller than them while they're wearing high heels ... it makes sense, but it also doesn't work. Average height is somewhere around 5'8 for men I think? It's equivalent to my insisting that the only women I look at have D-cup breasts. I'd like that, but I also know it ain't gonna happen.
Past few years, I've been doing a sort of experiment with various online personal services, answering every single ad that looks even vaguely appropriate (not with form letters either) and seeing what kind of results I get. Not much better than when I pick just the ones that actually look interesting. Response rate somewhere in the 2%-5% range, I think, of which the vast majority aren't of further interest. Maybe I just really overrate myself.
I'd like to see some reliable statistics on how well they work. I don't think that exists though - all I have are anecdotes.