From a post about interviewing developers, comes this interesting supposition about dating sites:
We register with a dating or personals site. We use the search facility to perform a fairly simple screen for “qualifications” like age, gender and gender orientation (presuming you care). Now, we contact every single person matching our search. How many are worth a second date? How many are, let’s be honest, completely unready to date?
After a few months of “dating,” people can become very cynical. “Where are all the good men/women/womyn?” They plaintively ask. The answer, we all know, is that good people are rarely looking. They are already in relationships. If they become single, after a reasonable period to recover from their experience, they date very briefly and then get into another relationship. They have a good network of friends and family that introduce them to eligible mates, so they have very little need for dating web sites.
People with “issues,” on the other hand, spend a lot of time dating and searching for mates but relatively less time in relationships. Their friends and family are reluctant to introduce them to potential partners because, deep down, their friends and family know they are not ready.
At face value, this seems plausible to me. It’s true that often when I hear someone talk about signing up with dating services, deep down I feel like they might be better served by getting out of the “game” entirely and pursuing friendship and spiritual growth instead. On the other hand, I’ve had decent luck making friends with OKCupid.