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Meet Singles

By Shamus
on Thursday Apr 24, 2008
Filed under:


I’m sure most people have seen those ads for dating sites that proclaim, “Meet singles in your area now!” The ads always show a half dozen pictures of hot women purportedly from whatever town you live in, but the lie is so clumsy and halfhearted that I doubt many men are even able to imagine it to be true. I’ll see the girls supposedly from my little town near Pittsburgh, sitting next to a cactus or a palm tree or at the ocean. More absurd is that the ads always show women. How are these dating sites so chock full of gorgeous girls if they never even bother advertising to them?

The dating sites seem to be in a war of escalating lies. Whoever tells the most brazen fib to the most people, wins. They have been selling the fiction that your town is packed with hot, lonely women who are comfortable uploading pictures of themselves in provocative underwear, and who want to meet “you”. The next step seems to be in telling men that not only do they have women who are hot, young, lonely, and minimally attired, the women in question are precisely of the type you’re looking for! Goths, Republicans, Democrats, Jews, African-Americans, Left-handed Redhead Vegans who enjoy wakeboarding. It doesn’t matter how esoteric your tastes run, they want to assure you that they have an entire database of exactly your sort of woman.

I submit that this has now gone too far:


This was an actual ad my wife saw yesterday.

Pentecostal women, you say? And they want to chat? Sounds good, but what kind of pentecostal girls are we talking, here? Are they Trinitarian, Oneness, or Evangelicals? Are any of them Restorationists? These are things I need to know before I go jumping into live chat with a chick in her underwear. I don’t want to get half an hour into things and suddenly realize I’m dealing with a girl who likes to “experiment” with Calvanism once in a while. I have standards, you know.

The internet is a veritable fountain of silly. It makes me happy.

Comments (44)

  1. Deoxy says:

    Actually, my theory is that they advertise to get men for all the women they already have.

    Of course, yes, they brazenly lie about WHICH women they have and where they are, etc, but I don’t think internet dating sites have difficulty filling their female membership quotas.

    Note: I have not tried any of them myself, as I’m in a long-term relationship (married), but I have a friend at work who’s tried several, and there seems to be no shortage of women.

  2. Rowan says:

    Deoxy: That’s the next part of the scam. Luring the guy to pay for premium membership to get a phone number or email. Of course all the girls chatting with the guy are sock puppets paid by the owner of the site.

  3. Avaz says:

    Deoxy: That non shortage of women you speak of. It is a lie. There are no women on the internet. That’s why it seems like there’s no shortage of them – because lots of 45 year old guys pretending to be girls are quite abundant, indeed.

  4. Christopher says:

    Having tried internet dating for several years, I think there are more men on dating sites than women. It’s really competitive out there. The women I talked to said they routinely had inboxes full of messages from men. I, however, was lucky to get one a week.

    And after awhile, you start to see the same people over and over. I live in a pretty large metropolitan area, you’d think there would be women overloading the internet looking for a guy like me, but there isn’t.

    I’m seeing someone seriously now, but I didn’t meet her on the internet. Go figure, I wasted hundreds of dollars on those sites.

    Edit: I was on one of the more reputable sites, mind you. Just so you don’t go thinking I fell for one of these cheap scams. :)

  5. ClearWater says:

    You mean those scantily dressed white women that all live in Singapore (where 99% of the population is Chinese, Malay or Indian) don’t really want me?

    Btw, I met my wife in the Internet but not on a dating site. And she didn’t live in my area. At all.

  6. Zukhramm says:

    No idea what pentecostal is, but sure, these ads putting my town’s name in them can be funny sometimes.

  7. JFargo says:

    Wait, you mean there aren’t hundreds of women in my small town that are just waiting for me to join every single dating community in order to find them, meet them, and date them?

    Next you’re going to tell me that Dr. Wajafarious isn’t really selling me pills to increase my size.

  8. Xelloss_poo says:

    As a girl, I’m always sad that its always advertising the girls to me. What really cracks me up now is that I’m in Asia, and all the women advertised are caucasian. This makes me laugh. Because really I doubt they are actually in my town as I think I’ve met all the foreigners here. *laughs*

  9. Adam Bloom says:

    In eight posts we’ve got two people in asia commenting on caucasian women, which makes my post from Japan positively boring.

    Yeah, I see them too. Apparently the Kansai area is just full of gorgeous white women who are desperate for dates.

  10. Derek K says:

    If you look carefully, those almost always have a very tiny disclaimer (some times in the alt text) that says something like “images and usernames not necessarily representative” or the like – the “Yeah, maybe not *these* particular ones” disclaimer.

    And to the other point – I did in fact meet my wife on a dating site. She would get any number of random (and bizarre) propositions from men. I was only on for two weeks before I met her, and received 1 message from a (presumed) woman out of the blue, and two messages from people I’d done whatever it was – wink or smiled or flagged or what-not (one of them her).

    So my completely anecdotal evidence suggests that there are in fact more men.

    This was also back in 2002, so my research may be dated.

  11. Hal says:

    Look, you losers can sit here and discuss dating scams. Me? I’ve got a Nigerian prince who’s going to make me a millionaire! I’ve just gotta forward him some funds, and he’s going to release some cash that’s been frozen and make us both very, very wealthy!

    So long, suckers!


    No, in all seriousness, I always figured a lot of those “Meet ___ women now!” ads were “escort” services. Perhaps I’m wrong.

  12. Roleplay says:

    Real geeks don’t see ads. They use adblock.

  13. Stu says:

    Roleplay… you’re not supposed to admit that ;) :P

  14. Tango says:

    FWIW, gay dating sites work the same way too. It’s more amusing when you move and the location updates based on your IP address, but they are pictures of the same guys with the same randomly selected username, except now they live 400+ miles from where they used to.

  15. Joe says:

    I *have* seen females I recognize in more than one ad similar to that. So it’s not always a lie, just most of the time.

  16. J Greely says:

    Geolocation errors make these ads entertaining. For a while, not only did they all think my company was in Canada, even Google thought so, and insisted on redirecting all employees to google.ca unless they forced it to the US site with a cookie. Western Union once rejected a money transfer I sent from their web site, because they insisted I was in Canada, and must be a crook trying to defraud myself.

    Then one day we got to work and found ourselves being offered Washington women. “Ah, they’ve moved us a few feet across the border!”, we thought, but then we read more carefully and discovered we were now in DC.


  17. Zerotime says:

    Roleplay: Adblock? Real geeks condition themselves to not see the ads in the first place.

  18. GAZZA says:

    I met my wife online – sort of – but not via a dating site. I’m surprised nobody has mentioned this yet: I thought it was common knowledge that most of these so-called dating sites with the hot women are actually porn sites. Aren’t they? I mean, nobody really believes that women that hot have trouble meeting men, do they?

  19. Log082 says:

    Heh. These websites aren’t ALWAYS a lie, as another person said. My friend was looking at dating sites and mail order bride sites for an English presentation on love (he tends to go for the sarcastic) when he stumbled across one of these sites with a picture of a girl he recognized from his middle school. My friend being my friend, he of course included this in his presentation.

  20. scragar says:

    Zerotime: real geeks turn flash, images and javascript on/off for specific sites as required, part of the whole “I don’t have the memory to learn anything new, last week I learnt some obscure Python functions and forgot how to tie my shoes…”

  21. Mike R. says:

    I met my wife on Match.com.

  22. Derek K says:

    There are two kinds of dating sites that we’re intermingling, I think.

    There’s the match.com, eharmony.com type – that’s the kind I used long ago, and had success using.

    Then there’s the “meet hot XXXX singles in YYYY” type that come up on random webpages. I’m betting those are, in fact, scams and thinly hidden porn.

  23. Tango says:

    Even the Furry Fandom has a dating site – Pounced – that works for some people. I know of one (M/F!) couple that met through pounced and are getting married. Mike R. is right, there are legitimate sites out there, but I don’t think those are the focus of this rant.

  24. Squash Monster says:

    What really makes me laugh is when I recognize the photos of women in these ads. The pictures are pulled from all over the internet, so occasionally I run into a picture that was originally in Maxim or the like back when I was a teenager and looked at such things.

  25. DNI says:

    The other day I came across an ad on a webpage showing off Aishwarya Rai as a sample woman to meet. I would’ve signed up, but I have some concerns about what her family’s reaction would be to having more than one husband.

  26. YaVerOt says:

    No, no no.. Its Left-handed Redhead Goth Vegans who prefer emacs over vi and enjoy skydiving. Really, if you’re going to work so hard to target me with ads by recording and analyzing my clickstream, you could at least get it right.

    Oh wait, I use noscript, adblock, some other cookie tool; so you have to follow me by IP address, when I actually hit one of your severs, and even this it is unlikely for your ad to hit my screen… I don’t need to se your identification, carry on, carry on.

  27. Taellosse says:

    I think others suggesting that there isn’t really an overabundance of women on dating sites are right, though I’ve not looked at any of them in many years now (happily married, so no reason to). But I’m reminded of those chat lines that get advertised on TV late at night. Women always get to talk free. That’s because they have trouble getting women to call in, relative to the number of guys. I doubt it’s any different online.

    S’kinda like that old joke, “Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place.” I think it’s sorta similar for relationships. I know single women are often unhappily so, but it is rarely due to a lack of options–it is far more frequently that they haven’t found a guy that meets their standards (which isn’t a bad thing, mind–I have much less respect for men who will date anyone who says yes). The only ones that seem to have trouble with finding any warm body are the ones that have trouble with social interaction.

  28. Craig says:

    As a college student, this reminds me of frat parties. They usually let anyone in, as long as they bring enough girls to fit the “ratio”: 3 girls to 1 guy or whatever. The later in the night, the higher the ratio. One of the reasons that I do other things where women do not need to be lured in as admission price.

  29. Lanthanide says:

    The gay ones are just as bad, although I think I may have stumbled across one that wasn’t completely bogus. I live in NZ, and there are a lot of names that are common for Americans that you simply don’t see around here, and those are usually the names attached to the pictures. But the one I saw had many NZ looking names, and a lot of the men in the pictures were definitly not your average beefcake (whom there are very few of around here, anyway) or surfie types that most gay men seem to be into.

    Perhaps that’s the new tactic now – instead of showing ridiculous photos that sensible people know aren’t real, they show just as fake photos that are somewhat believable.

  30. The Defenestrator says:

    Tango, they just want to meet you so badly that they’re following you around.

  31. Thijs says:

    On the non-shortage of women on dating sites: my girlfriend was asked to conduct research to find out why mostly women signed up for dating sites, and how a dating company could attract more men. I should add that the kind of dating company that asked her, is very different from the sites that have these kinds of adds on-line. There are several serious dating sites around, who do not spam you with naked women.

  32. Nihil says:

    Bah. I stopped looking at other dating sites after finding one that satisfies all my possible needs.

  33. Huckleberry says:

    I don't want to get half an hour into things and suddenly realize I'm dealing with a girl who likes to “experiment” with Calvanism once in a while. I have standards, you know.

    Wonderful, Shamus! Love it.

  34. Jeff says:

    Grace Park (BSG) is famous now, but she didn’t use to be. I recall seeing her image used for club posters and personal ad sites, and thinking “Grace Park? Sure, I’d sign up to meet her!”

  35. Rustybadger says:

    Hey, what’s wrong with Predestination(ism), anyways?

    I used to find it amusing when I lived in a Canadian Aboriginal community of 300 people, and my banner ads would show a sweet blond in black underthings lounging in a hot tub. “Meet single women tonight in Kincolith” the ad would proclaim. Unfortunately, my daughter was the only single white female in the village, and she was 12, and brunette. Sorry, folks!

  36. Namfoodle says:

    I know a few couples who met through internet dating sites. One couple was embarassed to admit it too, so that was pretty funny. If you asked them where they met, they would both turn red, look down at their shoes and mumble “internet”. Another guy moved cross-country to be with his new internet girlfriend and didn’t contact any of his old friends for a year. And another guy imported a bride from another country; they’ve been married a few years and have a kid, things must be going alright.

    It all seems a bit weird to me. I’m more of a traditionalist, having met my wife in a strip-club.

  37. dagbrown says:

    There sure do seem to be an awful lot of white chicks in “my area”–which is to say a random city within about a couple of hundred miles of me.

    The odd thing is how I never ever see any singles sites ads featuring Asian women, which is quite odd considering I live just outside Tokyo.

  38. Zerotime says:

    scragar: import shoelaces :p

  39. Marauder says:

    Sure, the “meet hot women now” are obvious scams/porn/whatever. Even the ads for “True” make me hesitant.

    I tried eHarmony several years ago (only Internet “dating” site I ever tried) after hearing talk about them on a local Christian radio station. About a year and a half ago I met my soon to be wife through them (our wedding is in less then a month!). It took several years and hundreds of dollars, but once I met her and got the “return” on that investment, it was all worth it. She is incredible and I wouldn’t have met her otherwise.

  40. ArchU says:

    Just cork it, stop analysing the ad and click it already – you know you want to chat to pentacostal women…right now XD

  41. john black says:

    Generally I do not post on blogs, but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so! really nice post.

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