Can't get a date? Blame the dating sites

Popularity can have a double edge: looking online can mean millions more potential mates, but it can also mean millions more rejections.

The popularity of online dating sites has soared as people become more comfortable with the idea of meeting someone online. But that popularity can have a double edge: looking online can mean millions more potential mates, but can also mean millions more rejections.


Dating sites have added new features that let users rate one another. But that's brought about "an emerging caste system, where highly rated daters see a lot of action, and others are deemed undateable," according to a Wall Street Journal article (subscription required). Some are being tagged for poor behavior or unattractive photos. But others are being scorned for seemingly innocuous attributes like an unpopular ZIP code.

"They're not liars or criminals, but eligible single men and women who are being sidelined by the system. They're hitting the wrong note by listing hobbies that scream shut-in--fantasy football for men, scrapbooking for women--or by including shots with their heads obscured by skydiving helmets," the article says.

But there are worse things then being unpopular on an online dating site--you could see your name end up on

Blog community response:

"When it comes to actual online dating, this piece, researched as it is, seems more mythic than actual to me....there are great bits of advice on how to do a good profile (shameless plug) but on-site popularity just isn't a critical factor for people looking for a genuine fit."
--Susan Merrit's Blog

"What do I conclude from this? I'm glad I'm married. ;)"
--Adam's Blog on Foxbase Alpha

"Sounds like eBay; a broken feedback system that encourages mutual backscratching (with the threat of mutually-assured destructive bad ratings as its counterpart). The whole thing sounds like an ebay-style pseudo-popularity contest, to be honest."

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