Date-me, Doc!

Tired: flirting with girls in person

Inspired: publishing a “Date Me” doc online

Today in WIRED:

Olah is 29, with the grin and just-finished-hiking complexion of someone even younger. The title of his Google Doc gets right to the point: “Male, Straight, 5’7″, Monogamous, Wants Kids.” His photos draw the eye, but it’s the sidebar that’s remarkable: Olah’s Date Me doc has four “chapters,” and 15 subcategories. […]

Not all Date Me docs are as long as Olah’s. A few are designed to be hyper-efficient. The writer and rationalist Jacob Falkovich has a Meet up/Date me page on his blog, which links to Google Forms for each category, so you can sign up to meet platonically or, you know, go on a date.

Nostalgic for the simple days of arranged marriages and/or circa-2013 OkCupid, Rationalists have taken to writing “date me” documents online. Some are focused on selling the author as a partner, some on what the author is looking for, some are so cringe I couldn’t read past the first few lines. Many of them share two ironies:

  1. They do not, in fact, seem to be getting their authors any more dates than one good photo with a puppy would on Tinder.
  2. They credit me as inspiration. This is ironic because A, I stole the idea from Aella and B, neither Aella nor I posted dating advertisements. We posted dating applications.

The issue at the heart of date-me docs is the same as that of dating profiles: the first thing they put forward about you is your desperation to find a date and inability to do so through the usual channels. This desperation and frustration are the absolute least attractive things about you. And while on dating apps this is ameliorated by the fact that anyone reading your profile admits to being in the same boat, putting your plea for TFW GF on platforms like Twitter where people go for mockery and indignation will, in fact, likely earn you some mockery and indignation.

Now of course, I have used both Twitter and Putanumonit successfully to find incredible romantic partners. But I don’t host my dating profile on these platforms. They are, in their entirety, my dating profiles.

I don’t write or tweet about who I want to date. I write about what I’m obsessed with, what I’m passionate about. I write insightful and funny things because I enjoy insight and humor. I write with absolute candor, not in service of an agenda or some artificial persona.

I don’t write to find dates. But if you have had your mind blown away by something I’ve written then you would almost certainly have a great time going on a date with me simply because my company is very much like my writing. My date-me page is an opportunity for you to show me what is real and interesting about yourself, to reciprocate the seduction. The page doesn’t have any information about me (aside from a link to some photos); if 7 years of my mind’s curated output didn’t impress you then I doubt a few biographical tidbits would swing it.

None of this is about Chris Olah, the author of the main date-me doc profiled in the article, or Lauren Goode, the author. I don’t know Chris personally but he seems to be a celebrity in the field of AI research and universally-liked by everyone who knows him. Lauren is a popular and talented writer, strikingly beautiful, and suave enough to let you know in her article that she’s single and looking without making a big deal of it. Their value proposition as romantic partners is demonstrated by everything else they are and do, not by a random document or article.

But if your own value proposition isn’t quite up to that standard, I would suggest focusing on improving that and not on your date-me doc.

21 thoughts on “Date-me, Doc!

  1. These date-me documents are better than the predatory apps, but won’t compensate for the massive damage done to the inter-gender dynamics in the last decade. Such individual solutions can’t solve systemic problems, primarily the one of large gender disproportions in agency and choosiness (even the woke acolytes stop denying that).

    The best option for 50-80% of straight men with basic self-respect is to peacefully leave the dating scene and seek happiness somewhere else. I would actually love a post dedicated to the effective ways of doing so! Contemporary achievements (drugs, mental techniques, tech) should be helpful in renouncing related needs and facilitating a satisfying exit.


    1. I really don’t understand why you men don’t “go your own way” away from a blog that’s dedicated to dating-positivity. Spamming the same “dating is hopeless for 80% of men” copypasta in reply to every single post I write about dating really doesn’t suggest that you’re happy and fulfilled and not butthurt at all about romance.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. While it’s a different subject, your comment shares the logic of an author complaining about the “Spherical Earth copypasta” on his flat-positive blog. What’s the point of rationalist blogging if you expect no polite counterarguments?

        There’s a subtle difference between “hopeless” and “not worth it/traumatizing/humiliating in many or most cases”, and many men deserve to know that the dating success is largely determined by factors beyond their control. Nobody said that suppressing the basic human needs and instincts is easy, and the attempts to dismiss critical comments by associating them with the (indeed largely cringeworthy!) online MG.TOW circles looks like a poor rhetorical trick.


        1. If someone has a flat-earth blog then I think round-earthers probably should mostly stay away, and shouldn’t expect anything positive to happen when they post “so then why do ships disappear over the horizon as they sail away? Checkmate, flat-earthers!”. (Even though that in fact is good evidence against flat-earth theories.)

          A flat-earther (at least a hypothetical flat-earther anywhere near as smart and well-informed as Jacob obviously is) is not going to be simply unaware of the standard arguments used to show that the earth is round. Maybe they think they have strong counterarguments. Maybe they think the round-earthers are possessed by devils and should be expected to be convincing but wrong in ways we can’t see. Maybe they just don’t care about logic. (Those last two aren’t so likely for our hypothetical smart flat-earther, of course.) In any of these cases, posting standard round-earth arguments is not going to change their minds and is unlikely to lead to a productive discussion.

          In a one-to-one conversation it might be a bit different. You can say “So I’m sure you’ve heard this argument before and have a counterargument that convinces you, but I don’t know what it is…” and have some chance that they’ll listen and offer you their best response, and something useful might develop. But, for whatever reason, I have never seen this sort of thing work out in blog comments sections.

          And, more to the point, unless what you’re reponding to is something along the lines of “I think the earth is flat. Prove me wrong!” it’s rude because it’s just ignoring the actual topic of the blog post and diving in with the Thing You Always Say To Flat-Earthers. Or, in this case, the Thing You Always Say On Jacob’s Blog.

          (I don’t know whether it’s actually the same people saying “most men will never get a partner because women are too picky, and they should just give up” every time. Maybe each time around, a different set of people turn up to post the same sort of comment. Regardless, in many cases — including this one — it doesn’t actually have anything to do with the post. Yes, I know, in this case the comment begins with some words that sound like they’re connected to the post topic, but that’s just flim-flam: the connection goes no deeper than “This is a post about dating, so now I will say the only thing I ever say about dating.”.)

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Not sure, but many readers may simply notice that discussing the otherwise interesting secondary topics (date me docs, local demographics) does not help in solving the core problems of dating world. In fact, it might be used for obfuscating them.

            There are two issues people seem to have with Jacob’s dating-related posts and comments. One, he repeatedly avoids addressing valid criticisms and denies uncomfortable truths. Two, stereotypization and condescension he expresses towards the disadvantaged men start to reach the r/FemaleDatingStrategy levels. The first goes against the rationalist pursuit of truth, the second against the altruist concern for all human beings. What is left then?


          2. Felicia, to me this reads as “Jacob is writing about other things, not my pet hobby-horse, so I will try to bring the discussion around to my pet hobby-horse topic again”. You say that your pet hobby-horse is the “core” and Jacob’s topics are “secondary” but I don’t see any particular reason why anyone else should agree with you about that. You say he “avoids addressing valid criticisms and denies uncomfortable truths”, but to me it looks like he chooses not to respond to sealioning and disagrees with you about what the truth is.

            Let’s stick with that flat-earth analogy. Suppose that in fact you and the other people saying the exact same things in Jacob’s blog-comments are in fact correct: most men should give up on dating because only the lucky top few percent of the male population have a hope and what puts you in the lucky top few percent is outside your control. Suppose this is, to any sufficiently smart and well informed person, as well established as the roundness of the earth. Well, then obviously Jacob is as crazy as a flat-earther, fixed in his ungrounded beliefs by some weird sort of irrationality. And, further, obviously he has heard your arguments before, if only because you (or other people with the same ideas) keep making the exact same arguments, even with links to the exact same “dating is over” YouTube video, in his blog comments. So … what is supposed to be achieved by keeping doing it? If there is some line of argument that will convince Jacob, it plainly isn’t the same “hey, haven’t you heard that most men should just give up because only the top 20% have any chance of getting good partners?” spiel that keeps coming back again, and again, and again, in comments here.

            It is stupid to keep posting “But everyone knows the world is round” in comments on a flat-earth blog, or “But just look, you can see the earth is flat” in comments on a not-flat-earth blog. It is stupid to keep posting “But everyone knows God isn’t real” in comments on a Christian blog, or “Why don’t you just accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour” in comments on an atheist blog. And it is stupid to keep posting “This is bad advice because most men have no chance of ever finding a good partner” on Jacob’s blog. And all these things are true regardless of who is actually right.

            If you are right and Jacob is wrong, then it would be better for him to change his mind and perhaps it’s possible to convince him. But you will never do it this way. All you are doing it clogging up his comment section with irrelevancies.

            (Also … “Felicia”, “Amanda” — what is it with people who are obviously disgruntled men posting here under female names?)

            Liked by 1 person

          3. people saying “most men will never get a partner because women are too picky, and they should just give up” every time.

            You’re claiming it’s not true? In my country, 47% men under 30 were single, in 2019. I expect the number to be >50% by now. For women, it’s 20%.

            Even if it doesn’t mean they’re all ~permanently romanceless/sexless how long do we have until these will be majority?

            I just hope they won’t be desperate enough to pair-up with women when they’re old & no longer attract men they’re primarily interested in.


  2. “Date me pages” can be really fun to read, but often increase reputational risks. Most importantly, they probably won’t work for guys already and soon-to-be excluded from the game. No amount of wit and humor expressed online will ever triumph the current power of looks and, to a lesser extent, largely pre-determined psychological traits.

    Here’s a a decent (even if a bit clickbait-y) reality check:


      1. Doesn’t that work for you?

        [Sorry, it was either witty or made me hotter :)]

        I would recommend a simpler strategy: guys, simply recognise the male “dating caste” you’ve been born into (genes + formative life experiences), and act accordingly. These estimates might have been brought earlier, but are probably worth mentioning once again:

        Bottom 40-60%: give up, it’s either impossible or not worth it
        Mid 30-40%: improve, strategise, radically lower your standards
        Top 10-20%: just be there and dodge the risks (e.g. false accusations from some women competing for your exclusivity)

        Very high effort on your end indicates you’re not acting accordingly – it doesn’t improve your chances much, and makes the entire experience not worth it anyway. The gradually developing male caste system in the West is probably not a recipe for the healthy society, but well, the powers have already decided. I hope you’ll appreciate the honesty and won’t nitpick on generalisations, understanding how they work.


  3. It’s fine and good to have a date me doc and we (you) should stop trying to induce status anxiety in those who (want to) create them.

    My friend got a boyfriend from her date-me doc, and it’s the longest-lasting relationship she’s yet had. I am a regular non-celebrity rationalist, and my date me doc has got me two dates for the upcoming month.

    Filtering out the people who think ‘writing a google doc makes you weird and smelly’ is part of the value proposition.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. How did you publicize it? It sounds like these docs could work for the first handful people to make them, but would be unsustainable if widely adopted.


  4. They do not, in fact, seem to be getting their authors any more dates than one good photo with a puppy would on Tinder.

    A) I’m allergic to dogs and cats, so posting a cute pet photo is more dishonest than I’m willing to be in my dating profiles.

    B) Plenty of us are physically unattractive enough that a puppy photo isn’t going to get us more than the zero Tinder matches we get now.


    1. your survey also contains the type of info people put in a dating doc, and is effectively one

      and it’s okay

      it’s like your in 1920 and you’re afraid that driving a car will signal you have difficulty moving around using the usual methods


  5. Hi Yashka, could you please share your insights on a practical example? For example, what would be your advice for the guy who wants to use his own “date me site” to seek a long-term mono relationship?

    Suppose the content is appealing and honest, and 0.05% of women visiting the website will find the guy attractive enough (and will find his standards acceptable) to the point of contacting him. Suppose he will find 2% of these women attractive, compatible, and maintaining interest while they get to know him better. With these numbers, he would need 1 million unique visits from promising target groups to end up with 10 great matches, and among these 10, he could likely find a near-perfect match based on high compatibility and strong mutual feeling, resilient to multiple external challenges.

    The question is: how could one get 1M unique visits from the most promising demographic groups? And how to manage the associated reputational risks? I assume the used guesstimates (0.05% and 2%), while seemingly very low, might be reasonable.


    1. I have a question in response to your question: why on earth would those figures of 0.05% and 2% be reasonable?

      This scenario is not so different from that of traditional face-to-face interactions, where it does not usually take 2000 tries for someone to find someone who will go on a date, and usually they find someone sufficiently compatible before they have been out with 50 different people, and very commonly they find a reasonably happy long-term partnership before they have been out with 500 different people.

      If someone is really so uninteresting and unattractive that only one person in 2000 among those visiting a “date me” page they’ve made is interested in looking further, and so fussy that they only find one person in 50 among those who have looked at their “date me” page and decided to go further worth considering as possible partners … well, that person might indeed want to consider lowering their standards a lot or giving up, as various people keep advocating here that most men should do.

      It looks to me as if in fact that is your real point, and you aren’t really asking Jacob for advice on how to get a million visits to one’s “date me” page. After all, Jacob is not and doesn’t claim to be an expert on web advertising and such. But in that case the real core of what you’re saying lies in those “guesstimates” and I think they are ridiculous.


      1. Sorry, one bit of wording there was suboptimal. I should have said: … so uninteresting and unattractive to the people they might hope to form relationships with. It isn’t uninterestingness and unattractiveness in some absolute sense (if that even made sense) that’s relevant.


        1. I’m not sure if you’ve recently been active on the dating scene, but the situation is, well, kind of difficult for men. 0.05% and 2% do not seem ridiculous to me, given that they include everything: taking the first and somewhat effortful step by the woman + logistics (desired traits on both ends, location, values, life circumstances, plans). Compare it to the number of swipes on Tinder required for a regular man to end up in a lasting and happy long-term relationship – it’s frequently in the 10-100k range, and it doesn’t indicate being particularly ugly and/or picky. So, even if we were to increase the original estimates to 0.2% and 5%, you would still need 100k unique visits from relatively promising groups to go on a date with 10 very promising matches. So yes, the question is how to make one’s website so popular while maintaining some privacy and without damaging one’s reputation/social status in any way. I’m not saying that to discourage anybody from trying in the MGTOW-like manner, I’m just genuinely curious about the practicalities.


          1. “Swipes on Tinder” feels to me more like “number of women seen” than like “number of women asked out“. And my impression is that a lot of Tinder use isn’t at all aiming for lasting and happy long-term relationships. (Where do your figures of 10-100k swipes come from, by the way?)

            I haven’t recently been active on the dating scene. Maybe things there are really as bad as you say, but I have trouble believing it. (Those numbers seem to imply that either there is some very dramatically better way for people to meet prospective partners, or else the population is going to be crashing in spectacular fashion because no one can find a partner any more.) Do you have some sources you can point me to, preferably ones that aren’t YouTube videos with clickbaity titles?


  6. The idea “write a blog or sth.” (youtube channel?) , show your creativity and looks and wait for them to come – sounds very fine. But may be hard for 97% of us. As in: nope. (at least doing it in a way that attracts a meaningful number of users/prosp. dates). Yours is great. Still the comment section smaller than ACX. I would get … none, best guess. If we all did it – … – nope.

    I sure am happy to have found my wife by okc in 2012. ;) And I still would recommend free dating web sites. (or the best reasonably paid one in your country/subculture).

    google docs now – a very special niche. Might change, if all did it, + decent search functions. I have only seen those linked at acx. Would never got the idea.
    I agree with all else.


  7. Sharing to amplify this piece of wisdom. Remember guys, this is the thinking of people who belittle you online or charge for dating advice.


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