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 didn’t just wait to be noticed: I also actively messaged others.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.A message from a prospective mate every day may sound like a lot.But given the extremely low probability that any given message will lead to a serious relationship, it’s not.On the whole, users said they liked my profile and my pictures.One man called the post “incredible,” noting that he was himself a former “serial online dater [who] really longed for this kind of vulnerability, authenticity and depth.” At the time, he was in a relationship, but he also commented, “You sound like you’re intelligent, fun and genuinely have your shit together.” Nonetheless, I hired a professional photographer and tried out different variations on my profile text.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.Some of my friends pegged my situation to an intimidation factor.I’m a lawyer working toward a Ph D in management, and I am a serious athlete, competing internationally for Canada in Ultimate Frisbee.