Women could see if a man was a good hunter, but she had to do more than look to see whether he would hunt for her.” To play the field, you’ve got to understand what you’re up against.
In online-dating speak, these inactive users are known as “date bait.” Their presence on the site inflates the number of messages sent.
Webb studied 96 women in all, an experiment that allowed her to unearth “a trove of insights.” Some statistics were less insightful than others—for example, Webb found that half the women she observed used the word “fun” in their opening sentence.
But one universal goal of every online dater emerged: to “get offline as quickly as possible.” In other words, online dating is survival of the fittest.
Not simply because they create “culturally relevant communities,” Slater writes. Williams, chairman and CEO of Dating Factory—a platform that helps companies to build new dating websites—says the key to online dating begins with recognizing that everyone else you’re interacting with is in the same boat. Textbook example: Andrew, a 31-year-old architect bruised from an eight-year relationship that went sour, gained confidence after more than 1,000 women looked at his profile.
More importantly, sites like and Large and Lovely Connections create “judgment-free zones where the like-minded can mingle freely and furtively.” Convinced you’re a vampire? Mojo restored, he added a witty ultimatum to his Ok Cupid profile: “Contact me if you can ride a horse.” Sure enough, Jennifer, a 30-year-old horse trainer, sent him a message.