In part one of this two-part article we looked at a couple of the larger myths relating to online dating. We addressed the issues of exaggerated height and income in some detail and the end result was clear that a clear majority of online dating site members are prepared to stretch the truth. In part 2 we explore a little further into the myths of the online dating world.
How Old Is Your Profile Picture?
Next point of order is the “recent photo” issue. I really liked the catch-22 connotation of the findings relating to profile photos. The more attractive the picture on a members profile the more likely it is to be out-of date. The implications are that the more enticing a photo is, the more reasonable it is to assume deceit. What most readers would be unaware of is the fact that digital photos have appended text tags to the jpg file. These tags are known as EXIF metadata, and they can define information such as the exposure, f-stop settings, GPS coordinates of the location of the photo and of course the time and date the photo was taken. It all depends on the camera used to take the photo. Anyone who has used software such as iPhoto will be aware of this, as the program will produce this data on request.
Further analysis discovered that most of the photos assessed in the study were relatively recent. Overall the median age of a profile photo was found to be 92 days. Not too bad really! On closer examination of the most attractive photos however, it was found that they were in fact much more likely to be outdated well beyond the 92 day mark. Over a third of the photos reviewed were a year old or more. Of those, more than twice as many of the most attractive profile photos were in fact over three years old. A notable finding was that 1 in 5 average looking photos is around 1 year old, for the more attractive photos the same ration found photos to be at least two years old. One has to assume a sense of vanity creeping in here as people cling to the pictures that present them at their best. The older the member is the older the photo they upload was found to be. Again, this suggests a rather desperate attempt to hang on to ones youth though the action may well prove to lesson you end user experience.
People generally don’t like to be deceived and what may seem like a harmless act is likely to be viewed by potential dates as fraudulent on your part if you don’t post a recent photo. I realize for those of us pushing the barrow up hill now it may be hard to let go but I really can’t stress enough the importance of honesty in your Online Dating experience. When you’re struggling with the notion of avoiding exaggeration just consider how you might feel if you were on the receiving end.
Now what concluding advice can I suggest on this issue? I guess it’s simple, consider these points when viewing profile photos on any dating sites. If you spot an attractive photo of a male over 30 years of age, assume it’s out of date. If you’re guilty (as many will be) of posting and older photo, re-think your position even if may mean receiving a few less replies or messages. It’s far better to be seen as 100% honest about yourself. Especially when you get that chance to actually meet with a potential partner, as there are few things worse than staring into the face of obvious disappointment.
Are You Really Bi-Sexual?
Now I know this next issue is going to prove a tad emotive for some readers. The matter is obviously stirring for certain individuals who fit into this category, as was evident in the blog responses related to this study. The subject at hand here is the assignment of sexual preference known commonly as Bi-sexuality. What seems to have made this issue so emotive is clearly identified in the study results. Nearly 80% of self-identified bisexuals are actually only interested in one gender. Essentially what this is saying, at least to me, is that close to 80% of bisexuals are actually either straight or gay.
Most general Online Dating sites are in fact gay and bi-friendly environments. And it would only be against good business practice for them to call into question any members sexual status. The study was conducted to define relevant factual information. The conclusions that were drawn from the recorded data seem to have surprised a great number of people, including those who actually conducted the survey. Members who define themselves as bisexual overwhelmingly messaged either one sex or the other, not both as would be expected. These are the basics of the findings: 41% of bisexuals send messages to men only, 36% of bisexuals send messages to women only, and only 23% send messages to both.
Perhaps what these findings suggest is that bisexuality is some kind of hedge for gay people or a title adopted by straights to come across as more sexually adventurous. This is of course making at least the slightest assumption that bisexuals are attracted to both genders equally, which is a massive generalization. It’s reasonable to assume though that they should be into both genders to at least some degree. The findings suggest this may not be the case. Roughly 48% of bisexual men send all of their messages to women only, around 28% send all of their messages to men only. The study went on to say that by their mid thirties most men are more comfortable to self-identify as gay and alter their profile status to the fact. It also found that by age 50 three out of every four bisexual males are in fact straight.
The figures showed a slightly different trend for women: Around 40% sent messages only to men, approximately 35% sent messages only to women and the remaining 25% sent messages to both sexes. From the study group, some 12% of women aged under 35 identified themselves as bisexual. The conflicting results of the study showed however that 1 in 4 of these women is actually messaging both sexes. The numbers suggests that as it was for the men, the women are not observably bisexual. A fact that is sure to deflate the myth and destroy a few male fantasies along the way. I particularly liked the final passing comment from the studies author that “The primacy of America’s most popular threesome, two dudes and an Xbox, is safe”.