Plentyoffish conquered online dating
It made me feel that I was more likely to find someone with whom I actually connected—not just another pretty face.
Some people disappear after a few exchanges—sometimes even after you’ve made plans to meet.Among my single friends, and even in the conversations I overheard between strangers in coffee shops, women using dating sites described being “overwhelmed” and “flooded” with communication.On the day I completed my profile, I received one message; four more appeared over the next two days.Over the following months, I would play with this slightly: I variously described myself as a dreamer, book lover, learner, educator, and writer, someone who views the world with a glass half-full of optimism and a dash of sarcasm.I noted that my friends describe me as “sincere and hilarious,” “fun to do things with,” and “a great trivia partner.” I peppered my profile with jokes and references to climbing, yoga, learning, eating all of the things, and drinking all of the drinks.I mentioned my penchant for ’60s soul, ’90s hip hop, indie rock, and the writing of Kurt Vonnegut—and alluded to my fondness for the board game Settlers of Catan to attract hot nerds.
That first night, after crafting what I thought was a suitably witty, cool, and interesting profile, I let the site’s algorithms work their magic.
My filter settings are pretty generous—if you have a compatibility rating of higher than 70 percent, are of at least “average” attractiveness, and send more than a three-word message—“Hey” and “Yo girl” are not acceptable—your message will make it to me.
(Filters are common—especially for women, who often receive a high number of lewd or casual messages from spam profiles, and generic messages from men who send the same note to a swath of profiles.) Of the 708 messages I received over the next fourteen months, 530 ended up in the filtered inbox, which left me with about one message of decent-or-above quality a day.
The most mathematically promising one—at 99.5 percent—turned out to be one of my existing friends from law school.
But almost immediately, I began to notice peculiarities about my experience.
I was searching for a committed relationship with a supportive partner, someone I could love deeply and who shared my values and goals.