Humans are social creatures and so have a strong need to physically interact with other human beings. Even introverts need to be around other human beings every once and awhile. An older online term “meat space” was coined to describe real life out in the physical world. “IRL” (In Real Life) is the newer term. Regardless of the nomenclature, the difference between online life and IRL life is very, very different. This very applies to the changes going on in online dating.
Online dating has likely reached a plateau and crossed a threshold. Singles are no longer getting the results they want and are finding increasing disappointment from response rates (and the messages received) and from the people they actually meet via online dating. Response rates are so bad for many guys that a few are turning to automated computer scripts and macros that blanket Plenty of Fish accounts with “Meet Me” requests. Such automation makes that PoF feature pretty much useless.
As well, a simple profile and any online interactions don’t really match up with meat space chemistry. Here’s a little something with a good quote: “The scientists also note that online profile photos are poor proxies for the chemistry sparked by meeting in the flesh. Which leads to a lot of disappointing coffee dates. And many potentially successful matches never happen.” This, in spades.
Given our social nature, the marketplace is stepping up to fill a growing need for real life meet space. PoF has had live events for awhile and now that online dating website is getting into the speed dating market. It only makes sense for PoF because it’s got a bad reputation as the “Plenty of Freaks” online dating website. Match.com has also spun off live events.
Howaboutwe.com started with the premise of meeting in real life before the craziness and disappointment of online dating messaging really starts. Even Tinder can be considered a meet space enhanced online application because of the geographical element to it. I’ll be doing more research regarding Tinder.
Looking at the Pick Up Artist community, there are all sorts lessons about “day game” where a man actually ventures out during the day to meet women away from the sometimes awful night club scene. A fellow in the UK, Krauser, is just one example of a PUA who is doing the Day Game thing and teaching other guys about it. Of course, Roosh has a whole book on the subject.
For a social context to meet the opposite sex, Meetup.com singles events are exactly what is necessary. Such Meet Up groups are growing – at least in my neck of the woods, South Florida. The two groups I joined three years ago have since increased in membership over ten fold. My email inbox receives invitations for events almost daily. Speed dating is also a fine approach for meet space dating options. Such events are far more choreographed, so be warned. For guys over a certain age (after 40 or so), speed dating events often have too many women signed up. Bonus!
Online dating will always have its place. Indeed, it continues to grow. It can be convenient and successful. But online dating should never be considered as a replacement to actually meeting the opposite sex in a public setting for the purposes of getting a future date. This is why I recommend – to men, especially – that only 25% of overall “get a date” activities be focused on online dating. I also still recommend that the services of a professional online dating coach be strongly considered. Bobbie, Evan, and Moxie are three to check out. The ability to simply start a social interaction is part of our human nature and we’ve lost too much of that by using too much technology as a proxy.
TL;DR – We’re social creatures. Scale back your online dating endeavors. Go be social with IRL singles groups.