Wednesday, August 27, 2014

If Women Ran the Dating World

A new dating app called Siren is all about not letting men view the posted photos. Instead, women control access to the profile pics. Too many women complain that men they don’t want to know fixate on them based on their photos. On the other hand, an unflattering photo causes a man to ignore the woman.

The game plan is to get men to know the woman through text interaction. If, and when the woman wants to, she can reveal her photo. They might even meet without the woman ever showing her photo. Men can react to a talking point. A woman can choose a man whose answer she liked best. This is supposed to be more authentic. Some men will be better at this, especially literate men, and those who spend a lot of time in their heads. This doesn’t translate to being a great date though. It is similar to people who can ace job interviews, but never actually do any work once they’re hired.

The premise is men base their reactions on photos, and not the actual person. This is true to a certain extent. When I asked dates what we had in common, I often drew blank stares. They’d never read my profile. Men do look for types that appeal to them. They aren’t necessarily looking for a beauty queen. Many are looking for non-supermodels types, well aware of their own ordinariness. Women assume men want drool-worthy women, but they really want someone in their own league who won’t leave them.

Would women go for men that didn’t reveal their photos? I did. I conversed with two gentlemen who didn’t want to show off their photos immediately. Most people assume if a person doesn’t reveal his or her photo they must be an ogre. Not true. Out of the two men who wouldn’t post their photos, one was an average guy, but the other was model worthy. Ironically, their cloak and dagger attitude scared me away from both of them. My immediate reaction was, why not show a photo? Unless they were already in a relationship.

Dating websites advise both men and women not to post photos with other people. The potential date wants to imagine how he or she would look by your side. It’s hard to imagine this, when the place is already taken. Harder to imagine it when there is no photo.

Women work to make a style statement. Everything from their hairstyle to their shoes tells people if they’re practical and down to Earth or trendy or in between. Not too surprising, a trendy guy would be attracted to a trendy girl. The photos establish some connectivity. If a man started a conversation with a woman he hadn’t seen and it went well, the belief is when they meet all will be well because their minds united first.

Ever watched the television show Catfish? The basis of the show is people meeting on social media and falling in love with an image.  Often, they have no photo, a much younger photo, or a photo of someone else. Even though some of these people communicated every day, depended heavily on their Internet friend for support and direction, and often continued the relationship for years, actually meeting for the first time destroyed the relationship.

The usual culprit is the person didn’t match the image in their head. This same issue occurs often in social media. Some people are good at manipulating their image via text or cleverly worded answers to a prompt. When you meet in person, it’s as if someone else showed up.

Siren users will have these same problems. There’s a good chance that they’ll weed out some of the creepers. Then you have to wonder how many men will be willing to put their profile out, complete with photos to be ogled and discussed, while the women reserve the option not do likewise. Will the women meet a better caliber of man? They could end up with fearless narcissists who are incapable of believing that every woman doesn’t want them. Then again, maybe not.

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