I just read Amy Webb's online dating memoir Data, A Love Story: How I Gamed Online To Meet My Match. In short, Webb is a frustrated singleton who's tired of a slew of bad online dates. She gets the idea to pose as her ideal man to get an understanding of how females react to him and learn how to reposition her own profile to gain this type of man's attention.
Spoiler alert: Her efforts work out for her and she meets her dream guy via online dating. I loved Webb's story and there were some very universal truths to it for anyone looking to increase their odds of finding love via online dating. There were some things that were specific to Webb's story though (she acknowledges this as well), as well as a few points that I disagree with her on as a professional online dating coach.
1. Webb's story revolved around attracting a man specific to her. Webb realized the folly of her initial online dating attempt. She took for granted how men would respond to her profile and she wrote it like a resume. This is a point I scream from the mountain tops to my readers: Your profile needs to be positioned to attract the type of person you are interested in. This is marketing; consider your audience and how your audience interprets what you say. When she rewrote her profile and chose pictures, she made sure to keep in mind the man she was trying to attract. Her type of man may not be your type, so put your audience first.
2. Webb did not initiate contact as a "man". While posing as her own dream man, Webb only responded to females who contacted "him" first. This doesn't necessarily replicate the way men online date. Most men are initiators in online dating because they have to be (probably because most men in online dating aren't fictional dream boats). Therefore, her pool of women she decides to base her stats and advice on were only women who initiated, which isn't the majority of women or even the most successful online women daters.
Furthermore, we can't forget Webb is a woman. She can't say that she understood what men would be attracted to in a female, she only knew what she would be attracted to in a female. But she's a she, so does that help other females? Ultimately what she did helped her a attract a man, there's no contest about that. But I'd like to take her points a step further.
I do online dating with men, speaking to them and learning what makes them pursue one woman over another. What Webb got right are the importance of attractive pictures and seeming friendly. What she doesn't know is the importance of the written profile to getting contacted by men.
3. Correlation does not necessarily equal causation. Webb found a ton of very important data and changed her profile and behaviors to reflect the information she learned. Ultimately, Webb also met her dream man and married him. While Webb's story has a happy ending, it is important not to confuse her tactics with being a roadmap to love. What is important is that she increased her chances of finding the right guy. There is no telling which factors contributed to helping her meet her husband. The best you can do is position yourself in the most advantageous way possible. Keep reading ...
More dating advice from YourTango: