Last year I did some coaching calls with a guy living out in the states who only used apps to meet women. We were talking mostly about texting and Inner Game but I thought that I ought to walk the walk so I could talk the talk when it came to apps (or at least not just be pulling recommendations out of my arse!). It happened that winter was just coming up and so I decided to run a little online experiment and use dating apps up until 1st March 2023 and then report back on what I thought.
The other promise I made as part of this new age Faustian bargain was not to pay for anything, so please keep that in mind. I guess it comes from doing Daygame in that I felt a kind of injustice at the thought of having to pay to get better access to girls. Not to mention the cost itself: Tinder Platinum costs something like £40 a month! And if you’re using multiple apps then the cost could really add up.
I had only used dating apps once in my life – I had Tinder for a few months back in 2016 but deleted it once I got my first Daygame lay – and so I figured it would be interesting to see how things had changed. Were apps a good way to meet girls? What effect would it have on my mindset? Was Daygame the bestest foreverest or should I incorporate apps into my life? Let’s find out.
I am no master of apps so don’t take what I’m about to say as prescriptive. I do, however, have some decent pictures and think that’s 99% of meeting women via dating apps*. I’m naturally polarising: very tall, long ginger hair and a viking style. Lastly, I’m not interested in anything more than ONS’s. Given all that, I didn’t choose pictures with other people in them and those which would give off boyfriend vibes and specifically chose pictures which would highlight my strengths. I figured that if a girl was into my archetype she would see me and swipe right and would see me as a fast sex guy. I think, though, that if you’re less polarising and don’t have a specific visual hook then you’d be better off incorporating more K-selection to get girls via the potential boyfriend angle.
I initially set my age as my real age (30) but quickly deleted those accounts and changed it to being 26: an age girls would easily believe. It seems that unless you pay, you’re going to mainly get matches with girls who are two or three years younger than you, and the profiles I was encountering at and around my real age primarily wanted boyfriends/husbands/to start a family.
When it came to the apps themselves, I downloaded Tinder, Bumble, Hinge and Feeld and had roughly the same profile on each one, and would swipe right on any 6+ profile. I did, for a few days, try to be more selective with my swiping – swiping right on girls who I thought would like my archetype or left on those I knew clearly wouldn’t or were fake accounts (especially a problem on Tinder) – but it took too much time. In the end I found it was better to follow the simple 6+ strategy and then unmatch later on if needed.
And finally, when it came to messaging, I would open with a tease based on something in their profile and once I had three responses I would go for the date request. From there I would try to get her off the app.
* I think that any guy who is offering to improve your results from dating apps who doesn’t explicitly state that your pictures define 99% of your results is a conman. You’d be much better off hiring a photographer. The talk of still needing charm and charisma once you’ve matched with her is neither here nor there: she selected you based on your looks and so texting and dating is naturally going to be easier. It’s not a true test of your personality. As long as you’re not running anti-Game on her then it’s yours to fuck up. I’m definitely not saying that you will lay every match you get, far from it, but you always have to keep the fact that she selected you for your looks in mind.
Let’s go through each app in turn and what I thought of it:
Tinder: the worst app for fake accounts: girls promoting their Only Fans, actual hookers, girls in South East Asia looking for sponsors, bots, trannies, etc. But apart from that, Tinder is the generic swipe app experience.
Bumble: didn’t see the fake accounts that I did on Tinder – an improvement – but the girls on Bumble just aren’t the kind of girls who usually like me. Bumble felt more mainstream and K-selected and of course there’s the roadblock of her having to send the first message.
Hinge: I thought Hinge was the best app of the four I tried and is what I would recommend guys use if they are going to be on apps in the long run. Specifically, for me, it was good because it had more alternative girls, plus if you pay for their premium service their filters looked very useful and so it would be easier to find girls who would be into your archetype. Hinge also limits you to only eight likes a day (if you’re using their free service) and so you see less profiles and generally use the app less, which I think is a good thing from a dopamine point of view.
Feeld: a bizarre place. Feeld is an app for kinks and so I had to Google quite a few things to find out what they meant. But given the nature of Feeld, it truly is a hookup app. I think if a guy was using this permanently he would be fine to make his first message a date request along the lines of “better off getting to know each other in person over a drink yadda yadda yadda.”
To put it bluntly, there was always something wrong with the girls from online, whether that was a small thing – she needs to change her style to something less avant garde to become a decent seven – to something much bigger – she needs to lose 10 pounds, not have got all those tattoos and/or get a boob job. And I’ve never encountered so many left leaning girls before in my life. I guess that’s the power of Daygame in that it’s an inherently dominant thing to do which tends to trigger and filter out those girls.
It reminds me of something Torero used to say: “be the chooser, not the chosen” (or something similar). When it comes to dating apps, you as the guy are definitely the chosen. Guys are, by and large, going to swipe right on the majority of profiles they see; they are projecting a generic sexual interest to the world. Then the women come along, knowing that the guy already finds them attractive, and chooses the one she likes the most. That sets an unfavourable frame from the off: the sense that she’s doing you a favour by selecting you and that you should qualify to her. Unless you’re sufficiently better looking than she is and she drops the need for qualification and makes it very straightforward.
Online tends to highlight, quite starkly, where that line is, and you’ll rarely get a chance to even talk to the hotter girls (relative to your own looks). That’s the magic of cold approach: it gives you the opportunity to talk to the hotter girls and impress your value on them (being somewhat “the chooser”) and to do so on an even footing i.e. not under the qualify-to-me online default frame. It just feels better, as a man, to go directly to the source.
The elusive algorithm. Everyone has their own little hack or special understanding of that mythical beast. In fact, it shows how far online dating has come given how people talk about The Algorithm™ in tones which, centuries prior, would have been reserved for spiritual entities.
The thing I had to keep on reminding myself throughout the experiment is that these apps aren’t designed to help you meet people; that’s just a byproduct of their actual aim: to make money. Whenever you’re questioning something on a dating app, you have to ask yourself “how does this encourage me to pay?” And it’s that feeling of subservience to The Algorithm that makes this point come under Inner Game.
As I said above, it’s more manly to do cold approach. Sorry if that statement bothers you, and you may be in a situation where you can’t do cold approach, but that’s just how it is. Sitting at home and swiping, praying to The Algorithm, doing your little rituals in the hope that The Algorithm will smile on you, is pussifying behaviour. I found it disturbing on a primal level to give up power in this way.
Commodification of Women
I remember Kaiser talking to me once about what he told a girl about using an app versus talking to someone in real life: “How many girls do you think I can talk to in an hour? And how many girls do you think I can swipe on in an hour?”
Dating apps turn what should be an intensely personal process into a conveyor belt on a factory floor. Some might say “well isn’t it good that you have all that choice?” I’d argue no, that this is an example of the Paradox of Choice; that having so many options introduces anxiety in the form of “but what if something better is only a few swipes away?”
Furthermore, you don’t think of the girls you’re swiping on as real people because you’re divorced from all their real life behaviours. They become abstract entities in our minds and so we act more callous towards them, like how people get into forum flame wars and say things they would never say in real life. I think that if a guy uses dating apps for long enough this will become his default manner of interacting and seeing women.
This is the issue that comes from interacting via avatars. Much like social media, you’re seeing only the absolute best version of the person. Or at least what they want the world to see and think of them, not who they really are. This further commodifies women because they often try to fit themselves into a neat pod which the world will approve of and they all start to resemble each other.
Altogether, as well as seeing women as a commodity, you just become lazy. You already know that the girl has selected you based on your looks. You haven’t had a personality test like you would have had if you met her in real life and you know that it was more a test of “did the photographer take good pictures of me?”
Dopamine and Desire
We all know that these apps are designed to get your dopamine firing so that you become addicted and come back for more (and eventually pay). That, in and of itself, is fucking with your head and sending you a bit crazy. Then there’s the fact that for every swipe you’re implying “I want.” But of course, you’re only going to get a tiny sliver of everything you want. When desire goes unfulfilled, you get frustrated.
Who Should Use Apps?
As you’ve been reading this I’m sure you’ll have picked up that I’m against dating apps. However, I know that that shouldn’t be a hard and fast rule and that there are some people out there who should be using them rather than doing cold approach. This list isn’t exhaustive:
- Chads: if you’re very good looking then you might as well run apps since you’ll still get hot girls from it. But of course, you’ll miss out on all the character building elements of cold approach and perhaps you’ll get hotter girls from cold approach too.
- Travelling guys: if you go somewhere where you are considered better looking than at home then you’ll start to match with girls who are above what you’re anchored to.
- Guys who purely want to amass notches, though this should get old after a point
- Guys who are on the spectrum/strange guys who turn girls off with their strangeness if they did cold approach, but who could get some lays online with girls who sell themselves on their looks before meeting them
- Guys who have some kind of specific kink such as an interest in BDSM could use Feeld
- Genuinely time strapped guys, though I think that if you can go out for two or three hours on Saturday and Sunday, plus one hour on two weekday evenings that you don’t have an excuse and aren’t genuinely time-strapped
And there’s the question of “why don’t you do both cold approach and apps? Just leave them on in the background?” I would still delete them, not just for all the reasons in the sections above, but because it gives your brain an out. Cold approach is hard, but that’s good, and by becoming good at it you develop your character and grow as a person. Online dating has a ceiling which is really easy to reach and then you’re stuck there and yeah it might be fun to amass notches but that gets tiring after a certain point. I would much rather take away that line of least resistance so that my brain focuses on the thing I really want.
Getting laid via cold approach gives you a sense of achievement – it proves a lot about you as a man – whereas getting laid from online is just “meh.”
If I had to summarise everything I’ve said here: it’s better to serve in heaven than reign in hell. You will probably get laid more via dating apps than through cold approach, but that’s not what draws us to cold approach. What draws us to it is the sense of achievement, the sense of fulfilment: that you did an inherently manly thing and succeeded and your success is the gold medal proving you had it in you. Online dating, on the other hand, is a soul sucking experience which I wanted to give up on after a month or so, but soldiered on for the sake of a blog post.
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4 thoughts on “Online Dating”
I’ve never opened a dating app in my life. Not once. I always found the whole idea of dating online absolutely repulsive. Part of it I think is generational. I am in my mid 40s and always thought I’d feel ashamed meeting a girl online and having to explain to others how we met if things got serious. Another reason is I have strong libertarian views. I like to ask myself: What would Jesus Snowden do? The idea of putting my photos online is a little scary to me to put it mildly. But most importantly, I find the whole idea of letting a girl choose you emasculating.
Reading this post was both fascinating and reassuring as it confirmed exactly my views about online dating. And then you added:” I’ve never encountered so many left leaning girls (…) Daygame (…) tends to triger and filter out those girls. “. Believe it or not I never thought about this before reading it here. Mais c’est bien sûr!!! It seems so obvious now it’s hard to believe I never made that connection. You just gave me another reason to avoid online young Jedi.
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I agree with 95% of what you are saying but would like to add some thoughts.
From what I heard it is more or less pointless to use the apps without paying for the subscription/gold/platinum/whatever it’s called these days. Which makes quite some sense from a sales perspective.
Regarding paying I agree that somehow it leaves a bad taste, but let’s put this in perspective. You mentioned 40$ a month.
How much time does a fairly serious daygamer spend on the streets? I’d say aboyt 40 hours a month. If we swallow the maxim that time is money, for me personally that’d translate to about 2000 euro (after taxes are paid). Yikes! Admittedly I’m in the tail end of the income distribution but compared to even a fraction of that amount 40$ really is a piss in a pool.
I’m really not an online dating guy, but like you I did experiment last year and tried Tinder gold(?) for… 3 months? Didn’t swipe a great deal and had only quite crappy amateur photos, but I had 2 lays from it. One 22-year old and one 28-year old. I’d rate both as somewhere in the border between weak 7’s and strong 6’s.
For the record I’m in my early 40’s and would rate myself as…let’s say 6.5.
Both of them came to my place directly for the first date and seduction was easy, interactions pleasant and sex good.
My guess would be that hitting the ceiling of the quality I got from daygame would be very hard using the apps, but then again, if I had invested all the time and energy into swiping/optimizing photots etc, who knows?
Like you, I personally love daygame and all the personal gains I got from it. And I agree that swiping in the shelter of your home somehow is a pussifying activity. I simply don’t like it.
But the way I see it, daygame is sort of like extreme sport. It takes an outlier type personality to even consider it. Daygame would be the equivalent of Iron man, swiping the equivalent of going for a soft jog/workout at a gym for a fee 2-3 times a week; you won’t reach top results but it will get you some goodfeelz and help you maintain decent health.
A final comment. I think us daygamers like to think that we found a glitch in the matrix, a life-hack, and that people that aren’t doing daygame are somehow missing out and making bad life decisions. But let’s be honest, take 100 guys giving daygame a fairly serious try. How many of them get better results than they would get using the apps? Few, is my feeling, maybe 5ish?
This is my favourite PUA website these days, keep up the good work. 🙂
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Yo bring excellent points Christian.
It’s hard for me to give an informed opinion on this topic as I have never tried online.
With that caveat I find your comment very interesting but I doubt your experiment would apply to someone like me. I rate myself around 6 or 6.5 but I also am 5’9 and mid-40s. These 2 factors are probably a death sentence online, especially considering my targets from daygame are around my height and usually 20 to 25 years younger. 5’9 is average height in Canada where I live, so I am not an outlier in that respect.
I am pretty sure even if I paid for the premium service my results would be pretty poor. I can still lie about my age and pretend I am in my mid to late 30s but not about my height.
Regarding the time spent daygame. That is a very good point I haven’t considered. But it is possible to incorporate daygame in your day to day activities (hitting on a customer while running your erramdsin a grocery store for instance) so it’s not a net loss of time.
Its time to expose you daygamers. There is only one advice I can give in terms of dating and daygame: Be yourself. That’s what really helps 🙂
Back to reality:
Very good article. Very good comment. I agree with all of the comment, less two little points which should be added.
As I read through the lines (as well as I know from you), you first started heavily and very successfully daygaming for several years. After that, you decided, lets make a little experiment with Bumblebee/Tinder/whatever. Here is the important bias. You already built your character. The very (very, very, very) few advanced daygamers I know, you included, go to the gym, stay in shape, style well, etc. Means, everything is on point, look wise, what is important for Bumblebee. Whereas, this is almost impossible to be the case, when starting with daygaming: If not, why starting daygaming?
1.) Now you draw a scenario, mentioning your baseline value at 6.5, pulling YHT, around the same baseline SMV. The question is, what was your SMV before starting daygame? Let’s be unrealistic and let us subtract only 1 point (Its definitively more). Now, your initiation baseline value is 5.5. What will you pull? Right, 5.5, in the best-case scenario. Now, you have not gotten the girl on a date, you have not texted the girl, you did not “venue” the girl, you didn’t have sex with the girl yet. Where did you learn all this stuff? Right, daygame and dating. Now, back to the scenario: 5.5 baseline-value, not having a tiny bit of an idea on how do adequately handle any YHT girl. You, at best (if all odds are in your favour) will pull a 4.5 or maybe a 5, what I don’t believe. Is Bumblebee (online-dating) really an option?
2.) You mention from 100 daygamer 5 will be fairly good. I highly doubt that number. We have seen many daygamers come and go. From the 100 to which I had the pleasure to talk to, nobody passed, less you. But you are a highly focused freak anyway. At best, 1 person will survive.
3.) Is it a glitch in the matrix? Yes, it is. And we are happy about that. The glitch is accessible for anyone. Nevertheless, almost nobody uses it, as its too painful to find the glitch and get a passport to pass it frequently. And I am happy about that. Less competition means more steak for us.
Tom: Thanks for the article. Great work. Suspicously good.
What are your thoughts on storytelling? I would have not problem to read a 20.000-word article about that.
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