Why don’t online dating “surrogates” work?

You may have caught wind of this story, first broken by BetaBeat, about a NYC dude who wants to pay a “pretty, thin” lady to review singletons from multiple online dating services, favorite or bookmark them for him, and then message and set up dates with the ones whom he deems worthy of meeting in person. A LOT of different outlets have picked this up and mocked the guy who posted this ad, but you know what? This isn’t that uncommon. I get requests like this all the time. I don’t work with people who desire this approach, and there are a number of reasons why.

It’s skeevy.

First of all, we’re doing a delicate morality dance here. I think it’s disingenuous and dishonest (does anyone else sometimes read that as “dish-onest” like me?) to have an assistant booking your dates like a dentist appointment. The tone/vibe of those messages is a HUGE part of what women rely on when they’re deciding whether or not they want to go out with someone. (Remember, as high and mighty as this guy sounds, he’s going to be messaging women who receive TONS of messages every day and who are not going to be drawn to just any old request.) The guy really has to learn how to bring his wittiest, most charming A-game in that message, and if you’re outsourcing that work, you’re kind of bullshitting your potential dates. That’s not something I support.

BetaBeat credits photo to Futurity.org

BetaBeat credits photo to Futurity.org

It backfires and makes you come off as creepy.

The realistic flip-side of this is that girls he meets are totally going to notice this shift in tone. They’re going to be able to tell that your profile, your message within the dating site, your texts/emails, and your calls/in-person conversation have different tones. They’re going to sound like they were written by different people. She’s going to maybe mention some charming detail of the message she received (because again, it’d need to be damn charming to get her to reply in the first place), and the guy is not going to remember that detail or is going to be caught off-guard. It’s going to seem smarmy, and the smarter, savvier girls are going to perceive the tone difference as a red flag, even if they aren’t exactly sure why their hackles are up.

It skips all the fun parts and makes you less likely to really connect with your dates.

And, of course, he’s not going to get as much out of this entire round of online dating, because part of the process is self-discovery. Part of it is realizing that your incredibly stringent criteria filtered out someone awesome who winked at you or messaged you. Part of it is realizing that, in the act of going through and starring/faving a bunch of girls, you get sick of that and so you start to either cull your list or just make dates with whoever, which is often a more effective strategy at really helping you connect. Part of the process is building up a little excitement and anticipation about a date because you took the time to really read their profile and craft an opener that you thought would totally crack her up or delight her, and you get all proud and pleased as punch when it works and she compliments you on your writing when she meets you. Part of the process is all those little fun details which make the entire online dating process more personal, and which this guy is trying to hire someone to circumvent.

I wish him luck in his quest for a meaningful relationship, but I kinda don’t think it’s gonna work that well for him with this approach. Perhaps he’ll prove me wrong!

If you’d like help figuring out how to tackle online dating in a way that DOES help you make real connections, get in touch!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *