Sample Online Dating Email Messages

Lately I have been getting really good at having great flirty conversations on PlentyofFish. I've found that the most successful email message exchanges, regardless if I initiate contact with the girl or she does, is all about banter.

What do I mean by "banter?" Well to put it simply, it's a kind of humorous, playful, seemingly spontaneous conversation in which both parties are in good spirits. It is also kind of like teasing in a sense, you know, like when you were a little kid on the playground and that girl or boy would punch you in the arm for no reason, it's because he/she really had a crush.

I'd like to share one sample conversational email thread with a cute girl who had actually contacted me, asking a simple question about my dating profile, which is filled with interesting conversation bait as any good online dating profile should. The names and certain details have been changed to protect the innocent and not so innocent (I'll let you decide who's who:-). Also, I will be adding my own commentary afterward in the blue writing to explain what is going on in my diabolical mind.

Email Message #1: From Jane
I'm curious how your marathon went. Did you find minimal padding was ideal or were you aching afterward?
You seem very unique, and interesting.


Now right off the bat, I have a cute girl contacting me all because I put in a ton of effort into my dating profile. There's all sorts of interesting stuff that I've written and re-written, one of which is about my running/marathon hobby that baits her into sending me the first email message. Also note that she calls me "unique" and "interesting" so you know that I've got her attention, which makes the whole process a heck of a lot easier.

Email Message #2: From Me
Hi Jane,

The marathon went well and though I was sore afterward, the recover was shorter than usual. I do believe that minimalist shoes allow your feet to move more naturally and is beneficial to creating a more efficient foot strike. I've done a lot research and self experimentation in this area; it's pretty interesting stuff. Are you a runner?

Also, I've been trying to figure out what the heck that costume is in the third picture of your profile... lion king outfit??? :)


Ok, there are two parts to this and both are pretty important. Most guys royally screw up here by either saying something sexually offensive or spilling their guts with a boring ass life story, possibly professing their love for this girl that they haven't even met.
First thing I did was to answer her question briefly but also in a way that shows I know a lot about my hobby, running, without being arrogant. Second thing I did was to make sure I ask her a question or two. This step is important because it allows her to easily continue the conversation and keeps things moving. Also, if you ask her a specific question about her profile, it shows that you actually read it and paid attention to something other than her boobs!

Email Message #3: From Jane
Amazing, but I suppose it shouldn't be so surprising. In high school I was forced to be a runner, and sort of continued after but to a much lesser degree.

I have nooo idea what it is, it has horns so maybe a mountain goat of sorts? I was in charge of organizing an attic full of costumes that the high school drama club and the local community theater uses and...that happened :-P.


Ok good, she took the bait from the last email message and responds with some more interesting things about herself, yet still she doesn't do much to keep the conversation rolling, so in my next email I'll have to get more creative.

Email Message #4: From Me
Ha ha, well, whatever it is it's funny. You seem like you might be prone to getting into mischief... like the kind of girl who'd explore their parents' forbidden attic or that old creepy abandoned house down the street.

Pop quiz, where would you rather go exploring: a distant mountain range, a tropical paradise, a vast wilderness or the urban jungle of a foreign city?

Extra points for being creative:)

This is where I drop the bomb and go all in. This is what I like to call a qualifying email message. The reason it's called a qualifying message is because it's designed to elicit an answer that will allow me to either filter her out as a girl that is not my type or gives her a chance to show me that she is my type. Note that this is designed for me personally and would be different for other people based on whatever their preference in dating type.

Email Message #5: From Jane
A little trouble is good for the soul. I love abandoned houses, I just try to avoid the illegal actions (breaking and entering and such).

I love mountains, last month we went to trail days in damascus,va and that is a beautiful place to explore, but what's more interesting is digging through the people. There were so many different "types" of people all with fascinating stories. I adore cities also, back alleys and finding those amazing restraunts that no one else realize is there, or the authentic belly dance shop that draws you in (or whatever your passions may be at the time). I find it's a lot like antiquing, when you find something that looks like junk but inside is marvelous (I greatly enjoy going to garage sales like that too).


Wow, she sounds super awesome right? She really gets into it and was able to elicit a personal and emotional response. She is revealing stuff about herself that she wouldn't if she wasn't attracted and interested in meeting me. She passes the qualifying question and the only thing left to do is to put the nail in coffin and arrange the meet up.

Email Message #6: From Me
Wow, you are adventurous, I think we need to start an explorers club, what do you think? How about we make our first adventure to get some ice cream cones?

There's no need to keep the conversation now, the only goal is to get her number, real email or other contact information. Too many people get stuck in the online dating forever zone which seems to be a consistent problem. Your goal with online dating on sites like Plenty of Fish isn't to make a pen pal, it's to get dates in real life! So rather than let things fizzle in the virtual online realm, you need to move the interaction to an actual real date as soon as you've created attraction.

Email Message #7: From Jane
That would be great, you can call me this evening, here's my # (555) 555-5555


It worked!!!  Not only did it work but it was done in only 7 email messages.  There you have it folks, one of my best examples/sample of successful online dating email messages from where else but the PlentyofFish dating site.

Vegetarian Singles vs. BBQ Singles

Are you having trouble looking for dates with high I.Q.s and great bodies? Well, all you have to do is a search on your favorite online dating site for the word "vegetarian." Yup, that's it, one simple search for vegetarian singles and you easily narrow down the gene pool to the hottest and brightest. What's that? You think I'm full of crap? Well ok, this might be a little controversial but hear me out and let me tell you about my not so scientific research.

So there I was poking around my favorite free online dating site, PlentyofFish.com, when I stumble upon a little known component of the Plenty of Fish dating site. Buried in it's advertising section is a page in which you get a demographic breakdown of members based on the interests listed in peoples dating profiles. Yea I know, if you're a stats junkie like me this is a pretty sweet find.

Naturally, my curiosity got the best of me and I started plugging stuff in. For some reason the word "zombies" popped into my head and figured that was as good a place to start my search as any. This search brings up a whole statistical breakdown from gender, income ranges, education, marital status, height, body type and even drinking ability.

So lets see, people who are interested in zombies are mostly: males, making less than $25,000 a year, are big and tall/BBW, and drink more than 3 times a week. Awesome!

You might imagine how much fun you could have with this thing just plugging in random weird crap. For instance, did you know that people interested in necrophilia have a 300% divorce rate? Who would have thought that?!

Despite my juvenile usage of this neat Internet tool, I decided to put my mind to better use.

Recently I had an argument with a friend of mine which I declared that the overall population of vegetarian females was hotter than the overall population of omnivores. It was a heated debate and my friend being anti-vegetarian for some reason refused to believe my theory. In addition, I wrote a post a few weeks ago about how vegetarian dating should be one of the categories in which to filter potential dates by.

However, now I have a chance to somewhat prove my point. I did searches with the Plenty of Fish demographic tool for interests involving the words vegetarian and barbecue. I figured people don't write "omnivore" or "carnivore" in their interests section so I had to go with a more round about word, thinking that a majority of people who like "barbecue" are big meat eaters.

I plugged all the data from my searches into a nifty spreadsheet, made some graphs and this is what I got:

So as I suspected, a large majority of vegetarians are female, which shouldn't be much of surprise to anyone. Of course, men are all about the BBBQ's. For those Simpsons fans out there, you know what the extra "B" stands for.

The education level is certainly interesting, showing more vegetarians with higher levels of education. I'm not sure if this means that smart people are deciding to take better care of their bodies or whether eating a vegetarian diet makes you smarter. Either way there seems to be some correlation there.

Of course this was the graph I was most interested in. You see, I'm a bit of a drinker myself and it's important to me that I can drag my female dates out to my favorite watering holes with me. Even when I'm browsing chicks on the Plenty of Fish site, I tend to filter by drinking habits... is that wrong? Anyways, I'm a little disappointed to see that a large majority of the vegetarians on the site don't drink at all. Is there such a thing as being too healthy? Although, I suppose you could always use your date as a designated driver...

Last but not least, the characteristic that I'm sure most guys filter in their online dating searches is body type. Come on now, don't lie fellas, we know what's up. According to this chart, if you like thin, then you'll love dating vegetarian singles.

So there's your Online Dating Stats 101 course for the day.  That is all.

10 F*cked Up Online Dating Stories

Sure, plenty of people have found love on the Internet. Some find promiscuous flings. Some even end up getting married. This article isn't about those types of online dating stories. This is about those once in a life time circumstances, when the person you meet online turns out to be a compete disaster of an experience, you know, once that "real life" thing kicks in.

Without further ado, I present the 10 most F-ed up online dating stories you've ever heard.

1. Quasimodo Needs Lovin' Too

Bobby Finstock from the Pointless Banter blog has had plenty of adventures in the online dating realm and fortunately for us readers, they almost always end up in disaster.

In one of ole Bobby's finest intimate encounters, he provides us with his hilarious night with a girl/it that he dug up from the Adult Friend Finder site.

"When we got to the restaurant my “date” got of the car and walked liked Quasimodo half bent over. One of her legs was severely longer than the other, giving her a very interesting gait. We went into the restaurant and ate, while the conversation was good all I could think about was that she was freaking me out a little bit."

Read the Full Story

2. Your 7th Grade Teacher

So, there you are filtering through a bunch of skeevy emails from a bunch of skeevy dudes all thanks to a prank. This is what happens when your best friend decides to post a casual encounters ad for you on CraigsList. Well this exact story happened to one girl and what she found was pictures of her 7th grade middle school teacher in her inbox. Yea it was awkward when she called him out on it, but after he offered to send her MORE pictures, then it just turned out-right F'ed up!

3. So... What's Your Sign Again?

While perusing the Plenty of Fish forums (always interesting) I found this little gem of an online dating story:

"The saddest (therefore, worst since I find all women nice in some twisted way) was a woman who showed me her X-rays on the first date. And I offered to take her to the hospital the next day, and then to a doctor's office not far from the hospital. She had terminal cancer. I doubt if she is still alive. I suppose I was the last guy who treated her to Chinese take-out."

Yikes! Talk about a weird situation. Not that I'm making light of Cancer or anything, but man that's one hell of a first date to deal with.

4. Missed Connection or Just Missed?

This little tidbit I found on the You Suck at Craigslist blog, which is hilarious by the way. It's not exactly an Internet dating story, really more of an Internet dating fantasy. Because really, what's worse than a creepy guy sending messages on an online dating site than a creepy guy who fantasizes about dating then posts it online?

Read the blog post here.

5. The Handicapped Hater

E from Geek's Dream Girl shares one of her weirdest online dating stories. The guy is pretty normal at first but then he drops a prejudicial bomb on her. Nope, he's not racist, not homophobic, he's anti-handicapped.

"Now, I can understand hating racists, rude people, the willingly ignorant… but the handicapped have no choice in the matter. You choose to be racist. You choose to be willingly ignorant. You don’t choose to be an amputee."

Read the Full Story.

6. You Want Me to Drink What?!

Like the previous story, this guy turned out to be pretty normal at first, even offered to buy the gal a plane ticket to come visit him. Every thing went great on their dinner date, which eventually lead to kissing, and then to the bedroom. Unfortunately this is where things started to go downhill. Apparently the guy turned out to be a self-righteous douche-bag and the night ended with the following:

"Then he says, 'you know what, if you can do this little thing for me we will work out and you can have all the credit cards you want. DRINK MY PEE, baby.'"

Read the Full Story.

7. The Shark Attack Girl

The video speaks for itself.

8. Well, We're Not Blood Related...

So you meet a real nice girl online, you have great chats, she has a sparkling personality and for some weird reason you get along like you were family. Oh yea, did I mention neither of the two parties had pictures on their profiles... so you can imagine the awkward moment when you go out on your first date to meet your sister!

Now granted she was only his step sister but that's still a little weird, right? Well apparently she was into it!

Read the Full Story.

9. Would You Like Some HIV in Your Coffee?

This one is just truly scary. Imagine that you've found the love of your life through an online dating site. You are really sure she's THE one. You finally fly across the Atlantic to meet her when upon your arrival, you find out that the love of your life is really a level 9 psychotic bitch. Here's what this poor sap had to deal with:

"I found a note on the kitchen table saying that she wanted me out of her house and if I didn't get out by midday she was going to call the cops. This is even though I had been cleaning her dust infested apartment and looking after her daughter. Next to this note she had also left another note which horrified me. She claimed she was HIV positive and that she'd been putting her blood in my milk and food."

Read the Full Story

10. You Got the Right Stuff, Baby...

Jami from Date Wrecks has tons of ridiculous online dating stories but this one really takes the cake. Again, this guy starts out to be a completely normal nice guy in the beginning but by the end of the story you can't help but feel bad for how pathetic the guy is. Here is one text message she got from him after their third date:

“I want to turn into a metal monster and pierce you with a drill penis killing you and having to assimilate with me so we can be one.”

Wow, just wow!

As you might imagine, this sends up a major red flag. The worse part is that trying to get rid of the schmuck just makes things worse, to the point where he sings New Kids on the Block into her voice mail. The actual sound recording is in her post.

My summary isn't doing this any justice, just go read the full shit show right now.


If anyone can beat these 10 stories then please post your messed up online date in the comments or shoot me a link to the article.

My Cougar Dating Story

One year ago...

She's sitting down the bar twirling a tiny straw around in high ball glass of what I presume is a gin and tonic. She's got a tight body and is all prettied up with make-up, hair and a sexy outfit, a bit overkill if you ask me, well at least for being in a small dive bar on a Tuesday night. She's definitely older than me, probably in her early forties, about ten to twelve more years than myself. She keeps making eyes at me; those extra long stares, some people might call it the "fuck me eyes," but whatever it is I know there is definitely some attraction.

I flash her a few smiles and acknowledge her flirtation. At this, she rises from her bar stool and walks directly over and sits next to me. Her legs crossed in a way that exposes her upper thigh and her cleavage stretching tight against a thin black blouse. She immediately opens up to conversation, introducing herself and exclaiming how she never approaches guys at bars like this...yeaaa right! It's at this moment that it dawns on me. She is on the prowl. Oh my god, it's a cougar!!

I had often heard many great cougar dating stories from some of my more sexually active college friends, stories that seemed beyond the realm of possibility to me, but tonight it looked like the cougar was finally attacking my scrawny nerdy boyishly handsome self... alright maybe I'm embellishing a bit but hey, I look young!

By the way, for those that don't know, a "cougar" is a slang term for an older woman who pursues and dates much younger men, with the age disparity usually having a gap of at least ten years or more.

The cougar dating scene has really only become in vogue recently, within the past decade, as previously this type of behavior was taboo or socially unacceptable for older women at the time. However, now cougar dating is almost catching on as a fad. It seems to evolved to the point where it's a sign of power and individuality for those older women. Some of them are divorcees simply looking to have fun, not ready to settle down again. Some are high powered executives who are more dominant and looking for a boy toy. I can't really say where the term cougar came from but it seems to fit well as a metaphor for this type of womanly behavior.

Ok, lets get back to my story...

Finally, after she buys me multiple rounds of drinks and we have a lengthy yet flirtatious conversation, we end up back at my place...yadda yadda yadda... I now have my own cougar. Well actually she has me.

The next couple months go great. Basically she calls me on random nights when she's feeling energetic, it's always on her terms, but the best part is she always buys when we go out, or brings me beer or wine when she comes over. It's almost like have a sugarmama I suppose.

Whatever type of relationship we have, it's certainly not a serious one and it can't last. And as with most cougar dating stories this one ends up with an unemotional and mutual ending. I can't say that it was one of the most meaningful relationship I've had, it wasn't at all, but holy shit, the sex was fantastic!

Present day...

So that little gem of a story occurred well over a year ago now. I'm not really looking for anything like that now. I really want more of a committed relationship a little closer to my age range, which is why I am still scouring the online dating scene. The experience was certainly nice though for a little fling and I learned a lot in the bedroom as well, which really helped me out. So in that respect, for you single younger guys out there looking for a little more experience I actually recommend finding yourself, or at least being prey, to lovely older woman.

There are even niche online dating sites popping up these days devoted particularly to cougar dating to help make the process more efficient. Hell you could probably even find plenty of them on free dating sites like Plenty of Fish if you look hard enough.


Vegetarian Dating Options?

It just occurred to me that Plenty of Fish doesn't has an option to categorize oneself as a vegan or vegetarian. There are plenty of other things to categorize oneself by like religion, body type, preference for children, your drinking/smoking habits and even if you have a car or not. All of these very clear lifestyle choices that one would certainly consider when looking for a potential relationship. Yet the one thing that isn't categorized is a person's eating habits.

Now maybe it's just me and I live in a large liberal city, Boston, with tons of mostly liberal college students with a pretty good chunk of them, from my observation, being vegetarians or vegans. I'm not sure why I'm relating liberalism with the propensity towards vegetarianism but it seems to be the case. Anyways, from this growing trend I think that it is apparent that more and more people will want to date and be in relationships with people of similar eating habits.

It makes sense to filter dates in this manner, particularly when on large dating sites like PlentyofFish.

For example, the last girl I dated was a vegetarian. Though I tend to lean towards a mostly vegetarian diet, I'm still an omnivore and consume meat on an occasional basis. This got pretty tricky when we'd go out to eat on dates. Sometimes I would forget that she was a vegetarian and take her to places with little options for that kind of diet... oopps! Luckily for me, she was pretty easy going with having to deal with restaurants filled with voracious carnivores, but I have heard some stories where the omnivore/vegan dates really butt heads.

There was a good New York Times article last year called, "I Love You, but You Love Meat," which nicely illustrated the potential dating conflicts that meat eaters and vegans can have.

"...many vegetarians say they cannot date anyone who eats meat. Vegans, who avoid eating not just animals but animal-derived products, take it further, shivering at the thought of kissing someone who has even sipped honey-sweetened tea."

Sometimes it probably goes a little too far but I certainly don't blame people for only wanting to date others with the same eating habits. After all, eating is a pretty big part of our lives, it ranks way up there on the needs scale, right next to stuff like... breathing. When you're eating three times a day, at least one of those meals is probably with your spouse, doesn't it make sense that the two should be on the same page diet wise?

As far as online dating sites go, there's one for every niche out there. Of course, this certainly means that there are vegetarian and vegan dating sites to cater to this crowd. Take the site VeggieDate for example which caters to people with all kinds of variations in veggie like diets from lacto ovo vegetarians, vegans and even macrobiotic diets... whatever that is.

So here's my thing, with the rise of preferences for a certain dietary lifestyle in a relationship, shouldn't this be a category choice added to the mainstream online dating sites like Plenty of Fish? Isn't one's choice in food just as important a quality in a date as their drinking habits? Perhaps I'm nitpicking a bit but I think I just might be on to something here.

A quick search in the PlentyofFish forums with the word "vegetarian" brings up a crap load of threads, over thirty, all with the same heated debates about dating vegetarians, vegans and the like.

What do you guys and gals think? How does ones dietary choice affect your online dating habits?


Examples of Good Male Dating Profiles

Over the past week, I have been scouring through tons of Male Plenty of Fish online profiles. Not that I'm checking out guys or anything (I love the ladies) but I was trying to look for some examples of great male dating profiles. To do this, I browsed through as many guys as I could and anyone that had 10 or more favorites, I jotted down in my spreadsheet for later analysis.

First off, I would just like to say that finding male profiles with more than 10 favorites was quite a difficult task. There are not many at all. Just a rough calculation, I'd say that for about every thirty male online profiles I visited, only one would have 10 or more favorites.

Now on to my findings, which will basically be a quantitative and qualitative analysis of about twenty different mens' Plenty of Fish online dating profiles that indicated a high female attraction rate.

Age Level

The first thing that stuck out to me was that the age range of all the men were almost all between the ages of 30-35 with a couple in their late twenties and a couple over 35. This makes some sense to me as it would seem that the 28-35 is still young enough for women down to their early twenties to date, yet at the same time much more mature than your typical college frat guy. In this age range they are likely to be down a solid career path and have experience in the dating scene.

Height Level - Tall Guys and Short Guys

One thing that I was expecting was the heights of the 20 men to be tall but this was not true. Though there were certainly a number of guys that were all around 6 feet, there was a decent group of shorter guys from 5'4 to 5'8. So, even though taller guys have an advantage in online dating, it is not unheard of for a shorter guy to attract women on PlentyofFish.

Profile Pictures

I know what your going to say, these guys were all naturally handsome. I thought of that and yes some looked like they were borderline male models, but not all of them. I'd say half of these guys were average looking at best. Some even had their picture ratings averaging around 4 on a 1 to 10 scale! However, the one thing that they all did have, were decent pictures of themselves. None of the typical cellphone in the mirror with your shirt-off picture, nor the grainy, "I'm half in the bag at my favorite bar picture." They weren't professional looking but they were good pics, usually with a simple profile shot looking relaxed with a nice smile.

Body Type

For the body type category, a large majority were "Athletic" with the rest being listed as "Average." One guy listed "Thin" but his pictures actually looked pretty athletic to me.

This brings me to a personal issue that I just realized. I am a competitive long distance runner and though I am quite thin, I am pretty lean. This whole time I've been listing myself as thin, when really I could probably get away with listing athletic if I wanted to, after all my abs are coming along quite nicely:)

So the lesson learned here is get off your asses guys and get to the gym. If not for your Plenty of Fish profiles then at least for yourselves!

Relationship Type or 'Looking For

For the relationship type, "Long Term" and "Dating" were the two most common listed in the "Looking For" section with one guy listing "Friends." This was interest that long term relationships were valued almost equally as the guys just listing the dating option. I suppose this would prove that women are looking for guys that can be in a committed relationship. Also, it's important to note that the other categories like: intimate encounters, activity partner, hang out, talk/email, and other relationship were none existent in this group of guys.

Example Male Dating Profiles

Now on to the written part of the PlentyofFish profiles, the 'About Me' section. These are a little harder to quantify and there wasn't anything specific that stood out, with the exception that all 20 profiles had excellent spelling and grammar. None of them were overly long, usually only two to three maximum of paragraphs, while a couple were shorter with only about one paragraph. Positivity and good outlook on life were typical and most men seemed to have "confident" profiles as in, they knew what they wanted out of life and out of a relationship.

In the interest of privacy, I'm not going to link to all the profiles, but I will give you some excerpts from some of the About Me sections that I thought were good. Also, PLEASE, do not copy these, they're just examples, you need to write your own unique online dating profile that is congruent to your personality.

Sample Male Profile #1

ABOUT ME: As a person I like to think of myself as confident but not a ****. I'm a very humble man. I understand that there's a time to give and be loving and understanding. I also believe in standing up for what I believe and not being walked on. I'm always there for my friends and loved ones. I don't run from adversity. I care what people think of me because I believe in being the best man I can be. I want people who come across me to think "hey what a cool guy". It's not about attention for me. It's about the importance of ones own honor and respect for those around him.

GOALS: Looking to find a way into the music business. At what capacity, I'm not sure yet but I'm exploring many ideas. I really want to find a woman to love and share in the beauty that is life. I also want to continue to help those around me I care for to achieve their goals.

WHAT MAKES ME DIFFERENT: I was raised by a single mother. Watched her get hurt many times. Made me believe how important it is to treat a woman right. My mother also taught me how to have inner strength and not to get walked on. I'm covered in tattoo's and it's made me understand just how fickle society is. I'm a TRUE heavy metal fan. I've had to overcome some shitty things in life and in doing so it's made me a much stronger man.

Music: As I've already stated I'm a huge Heavy Metal fan. I'm a guitar tech (in training) for the signed band --------. I'm very passionate about the tattooed and heavy metal communities. We get a bad rap sometimes and it's a shame cause there's some really beautiful people within these realms of society.

What I like about this guy was that he really showed a lot of passion for life and compassion for women. And mentioning his mom in there was pure gold, who wouldn't want to be around a guy like this?

Sample Profile #2

A little about myself…

I am a very hard working dedicated person and I live life to it's fullest. I laugh often and am very optimistic. I think my smile is contagious :) I have young children, ages 8 and 11, that I simply love. My 11 year old is soooo smart that we are able to have intellectual conversations (or does that mean I have the intellect of an 11 year old?). My 8 year old is fun too but is the complete opposite of the other.

I am a lifetime student and I have 2 undergrad degrees, one graduate, and I'm working on my MBA now. I tell myself I will stop after this one. I guess I just like the challenge :)

In my free time I spend lots of time with my children (they don't live with me, but they live very close by), play the piano and drums, exercise daily, mountain bike, ride jet skis and 4 wheelers in the summer and snowboard in the winter. I always try to keep busy doing something. Oh and I LOVE to cook.

I enjoy helping others more than anything else. I would put everything I'm doing on hold if someone I know needed help with anything at all.

I love to travel (the Caribbean being my favorite) and while my immediate family all live here, I have family on the east coast, west coast, and in Southern France. I visit them all as often as possible.

I am incredibly honest and trustworthy. I would expect my match to have the same qualities. That is extremely important.

I have a great, maybe sarcastic, sense of humor (some would say disturbing). My humor is along the lines of Simpsons, Reno 911, Chevy Chase, Naked Gun, Seinfeld, stuff like that.

By the way, this guy is 5'6 and had about 40 favorites on his PlentyofFish profile. What I like about this one is that you can tell he's a super great Dad, which is important for a lot of women and he shows how active and fun his life is.

Sample Male Profile #3

Who am I? . . . I'm Spider-Man. Wait, no, that was a movie! . . . . . I would describe myself as stable in my career and goal-oriented. I enjoy making people laugh. I am intelligent and can carry on meaningful conversations. I care about other people's feelings. . . . . . When I'm with someone special I like being spontaneous, adventurous, romantic, surprising them with little gestures, sensual, playful, and basically having that type of fun you see two people who just met in the movies having! Someone to laugh with, hang out with, be spontaneous with, and have fun with! I'm looking for someone who has similar qualities and desires someone who they can connect with . . . . . . I feel there has to be mutual physical attraction for there to be good chemistry between two people. So being fit and having good looks are important, as well as sensuality and affection. . . . . . Having some similar interests helps--some things I enjoy are fine dining, walking at the beach at night, going dancing, watching movies including foreign films, travelling, going snowboarding, going on day trips to local attractions, having romantic nights at home, cuddling, and basically having a blast together. . . . . .

This one was my favorite out of all of them. He really hit everything on the head, covering a great deal about him and what he was looking for in a short amount of space.

Final Statements

So there you have it folks. It's a lot of information to cover, especially since the sample size of this was 20 male profiles, but please keep in mind that these guys were the cream of the crop... or shall we say the sharks of the sea. Also, I know I left out a bunch of categories like religion, race, have a car, etc, etc, but that would take up way to much time right now and I think I already covered the basics.

In the future, I'll likely expand on this study to include both a larger sample size and include more category data. Collecting this type of information on Plenty of Fish takes a long time, so if anyone out there is interested in collaborating on a larger scale study similar to this, please let me know.

As far as helping figure out what the perfect online dating profile is, I suppose we can say that it helps if you are a 30-35 year old male, good profile pictures, athletic, looking for a long term relationship and have a well written profile, then you are golden. For everyone else, don't despair, take what you know and adapt as best you can to compete, after all, there are plenty of fish in the sea.


Social Proof in Online Dating Profiles

What if there was a way to influence potential online daters to perceive you and your Plenty of Fish profile as more attractive? There is a way, it may not be up some people's alley, but we're going to take a look anyways.

There is a concept in psychology called Social Proof. Social proof is essentially a phenomenon that occurs when the consensus of others has an influence on the thoughts of a person. Hence, it is society giving us proof of a decision. This concept was made famous by Robert Cialdini's book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.

A good example of social proof is the idea of "canned" laughter that we often hear on sitcoms. Though we probably tend to think it is annoying, at least I do, there has been research conducted by television producers that say canned laughter in a show will have a higher perceived "funniness" than the same show without the canned laughter. This is social proof at work, as the laughter is the proof that is influencing a person's decision on whether the show is funny or not.

So what does this have to do with online dating? Actually the better question is, how can social proof help me in my online dating?

Luckily there are a number of dating gurus who have been testing this concept on a number of social media and online dating websites. Let's take a look at some of these concepts and see how they can be applied to your Plenty of Fish dating profile.

Using Prop Profile Pictures

A prop picture is a picture with you either doing something really interesting or in an interesting place. The point to using prop pictures in your online dating profile is to help convey higher value or status. 

For example, if you've ever been on vacation or traveled to an interesting place, lets say Paris, then putting up a picture of you standing in front of the Eiffel tower is going to help convey desirable qualities about you. It shows that you like to travel, that you are adventurous and that you like to have fun. And displaying these values goes a lot farther using pictures than it ever would by simply writing it in your 'About Me' section.

Getting Testimonials on Your Profile

We've all seen sales pages or commercials with testimonials from various people about how great a product is. This is a common marketing tactic which uses social proof and there is a reason that testimonies are commonly used for these purposes - because they work! Well, what if we applied the same principle to our profiles?

On the bottom of every PlentyofFish dating profile there is a section in which other people can write a testimony about you and it can be from anyone who has an account on PlentyofFish.com. Now this might be a problem for some people because they don't know anyone who would write a testimony for them.

One way to get these is to simply ask a good friend of yours of the opposite sex. For example, I recently asked a girl I've known for about ten years now and is one of my best friends if she could quickly sign-up for Plenty of Fish and write me a glowing testimonial of how super fun and awesome I am:) Well, because she is such a great friend, she pulled through and wrote a great testimony which now acts as social proof for me.


Another form of social proof which I've talked about in the past is the number of Favorites that is listed at the bottom of your profile. Favorites are essentially like a bookmark for people who find your profile attractive or interesting. It's almost like a positive vote for your profile and the higher the number your Favorites is, then the more it is likely to act as social proof. For instance, when someone scrolls down the page and sees that you have a huge number of favorites than they will be more likely to take a closer look at the profile.

Of course, there isn't really any good way of manipulating this number to make it higher, so you'll just have to work hard on creating a great dating profile and let that number increase naturally.


Plenty of Fish Serious Member Effectiveness

It's been about 1 month now since Plenty of Fish launched it's serious member upgrade option. This new feature basically included nothing more than having your profile search results appear in a different color along with having a star badge next to your profile.

Being the curious kind of guy that I am, I decided to do a little digging today and try to get some statistics on how effective this new Serious Member Upgrade was for those participating.

To start I searched through 600 male profiles and 600 females profiles for everyone with a serious membership.

These were the results. Out of 600 male profiles ONLY 3 had upgraded to a premium membership. Out of the 600 female profiles, 53 had upgraded. It seems like quite a big difference but keep in mind that it is only 1% and 9% respectively of the total sample size. Also, it must be noted that there were quite a few females on the message boards awhile back that indicated they were getting their profiles upgraded automatically (free of charge). So this could also account for a wider margin between the male and female paid option.

Now that we have an idea of the number of people participating in the Plenty of Fish premium accounts, is it possible to determine how effective these "Serious" members are in attracting more online dates?

This is hard to say because the point, in my opinion, of the paid membership is simply to draw more visitors to your profile. There is nothing that a shade of yellow and a star next to your picture is going to make you any more or less attractive. However, one could say that if "Serious" members are indeed having a higher click-through rate to their profiles, those members with good profiles should have a higher amount of "Favorites."

As some readers may know, I use the "Favorites" metric on each member's profile as an indicator of interest or a sign of attraction.

Before we get into the Favorites analysis of serious vs. regular members, I'd like to first take a closer look at the three lonely guys who actually ponied up cash to have their profiles highlighted in yellow.

Upgraded Plenty of Fish Male Profiles

Guy#1 had 1 favorite

Though this guy's little yellow star badge says he's a serious member, his profile says the opposite. He had one picture which was blurry and poorly done, as if taken from a cellphone. His "about me" section was three sentences long, with horrendous spelling and grammar issues. This guy is anything but serious and is obviously wasting his $5.99 per month on this sorry excuse for a profile.

Guy#2 had 8 favorites

This guy had what I'd call an average profile. A couple of decent pictures and a typical "about me" section that explains how he's a nice guy looking for the right girl, etc, etc.

Guy#3 had 26 favorites

This guy had the full 8 pictures, all pretty decent, except three of which were solely of his pick-up truck taken from different angles. Now, I don't really get the whole picture of your truck thing, but I'm just city boy, so what do I know. In addition to the pictures, the guy's written profile was pretty slim, only about two sentences of "about me," which is why I find it amazing that he has 26 favorites (that's really high for a guy). Perhaps the Serious Member badge is helping him out, or perhaps there is more to this pickup truck thing than I thought.

Upgraded PlentyofFish Female Profiles

Since there were 53 upgraded female profiles in my sample I'm not going to go through each one. However, from my general observations there wasn't much of a pattern, the profiles were similar to the men where some were really bad, some were average and some were really good.

The first thing I think we can conclude from the profile observations is that being a "Serious" member does not necessarily mean that you are serious about creating a great Plenty of Fish online dating profile.

Favorites Analysis

Now lets get our hands dirty and take a look at how the Serious Members' favorites compare with the Regular Members. I basically recorded the number of favorites for each serious profile for each gender. Then I took the average and the median of each gender. Also, for comparison purposes, I took an old set of data from my Profile Picture experiment, and found the same thing.

I want to note here that I am using old data because I am comparing the average and median to typical member profiles before "paid" membership was implemented to the "serious" profiles of now. I feel that this is a better way of seeing how effective a paid membership is.


As you can see in the above graphs, the men seem to do better with the paid memberships where the women don't have much of a difference at all. The big glaring problem though, is that there were only three paid male memberships in the sample, so it's difficult to say how good those represent all men who are premium members (it's difficult to find paying members who are males).

So as of now, I'd say that paid memberships on Plenty of Fish really aren't worth it. Not until we can get some better metrics on something like the Click-through rates of Serious vs. Regular profiles. Perhaps this is something that Markus could provide in the future.


Online Dating Profile Word Clouds

I noticed an interesting experiment on another blog the other day which utilized word clouds to examine online dating profiles. For those that don't know, a word cloud is a graphical representation of the frequency amount of each word used in a given text. For example, a word that is used 10 times in a body of text will appear much larger than a word that is only used once or twice. Many of you will have probably seen similar displays as a "tag cloud" on various other blogs and websites.

Using this concept, I decided to conduct my own little experiment using the profiles on the Plenty of Fish dating site, specifically the "Interests" section of the profile.

I went on to PlentyofFish .com and copy and pasted the Interests sections of 50 female profiles and converted them into word clouds using the Wordle web-site. I repeated the same process again using 50 male profiles and converted those into their own word cloud.

Female Online Dating Profile Word Cloud

Male Online Dating Profile Word Cloud

As you can see there are both similarities as well as some big differences. Lets see if we can analyze this a bit, shall we?

First, lets take a look at the biggest/most used words in the female profiles, which are:

music, movies, friends, dancing, beach, reading, family, concerts, traveling, shopping, laughing, fun and tattoos

Now lets take a look at the biggest/most used words in the male profiles, which are:

sports, music, movies, fishing, camping, cooking, outdoors, golf, football, beach and travel

Obviously, everyone likes music and movies, so it's no big surprise that those are two of the biggest interests for both profiles. Also, no big surprise that 'sports' is the biggest word in the men's' online dating profile.

What I find interesting though is that the female dating profiles tend to be more about emotions and bonding, with words like: friends, family, laughing and fun. While the men's' interests are mostly activity based and typically some sort of outdoors activity or sport.

A few more interesting observations:

  • The word 'cooking' is used more as a male interest than a female interest
  • Tattoos and piercings is a fairly common interest for the ladies. Does this mean that they enjoy getting tattoos or do they like guys with tattoos?
  • The word 'bars' is used more on female profiles than on males
  • Though cooking is a big interest in males, the females tend to list specific types of food like: sushi, Mexican, chocolate, and cookies

It really is interesting and I've been studying these for over an hour now.

So, how does this help you with your own Plenty of Fish profile? I'm not exactly sure, but I could say that you get a pretty good idea of some of the generic interests that most people list. And if you are trying to generate a profile that is unique and really sticks out, then it might be a good idea to avoid the generic 'movies', 'music', etc.

A good strategy might be to list specific types of music or specific genres of movies. Even listing a bunch quirky fun things that barely anyone else would add to their online profile would help to spark curiosity and attention.

I saw a good example of someone mixing up their interests section so that it was interesting, funny, and unique:

It has some general interests as well as some that you wouldn't normally expect. It definitely helps to make the online dating profile more fun.


Criticisim of Plenty of Fish Premium Dating

A reader has emailed me with a critical look at Plenty of Fish's new premium "Serious Member" upgrade, among other general faults on the workings of the online dating system. The email raises some good points and deserves a post of it's own, so here it is:


Mr. Savage:

I've reviewed nearly all the content on your PlentyofFish weblog with interest, being myself a veteran of that date site pond and many others. I disagree with some of your advice, particularly when it fails to account for the multiple kinds of goals and postures people bring to these sites. I also don't think your statistical musings rise much above speculation. But you do raise valid concerns and are spot-on regarding the "garbage-in-garbage-out" cycle which results from what I see as widespread misuse of this resource Mr. Markus Frind has nurtured.

This new enhanced profile status idea disturbs me, and it would even if charging a fee was not an issue. I'm not crazy about creating a perceived caste system on a site which has been so much better than others at providing a fair platform of self expression. I'm opposed to the notion that money equals seriousness of intent. That idea works if you're an independent contractor facing a tire-kicking client. It does not make sense for a member of a social community in which everyone is offering something very personal and slightly different. This can only excite those who judge the thickness of a wallet or purse before deigning to make a friend, which will make for ugly encounters indeed.

What I've seen time and again on both subscription and sponsor model sites is that the members themselves dictate their own "serious" behavior, and most clearly are not willing or able to put in the effort dreams often require. Among PlentyofFish's many attractions is how it sidesteps the fraud built in to the paid sites, and utterly eliminates the "closing bell panic" which may set in as yet another billing cycle ends without yielding anything to warm one's bed. I have scowled and barked for years that a majority of users have the dating site concept confused with a vending machine. Stripping the monthly fee grants the gift of time for relationships to develop on their own, just as they might in real airspace between people if online dating did not exist.

My other objection to this dubious new feature is more alarming and functional. Here is today's result of following the site's "call to action" link, a browser warning:

"- The certificate for "VeriSign Trust Network" expired Jan 7 23:59:59 2004 GMT. The webmaster should update the certificate(s). "

FIVE YEARS out of date? I'll pay to "seriously" subscribe when _they_ are serious about online security.

All said, I am not opposed to Frind charging for some premium benefit. No one outside the Billionaire's Clubhouse is immune to our current thorny financial problems, and I'm not certain how long click-through revenue was going to be sustainable in an era of phishing scams and spam gangs hogging four of every five emails. But gold stars and background colors? How infantile. This is worse by far than those gawd-awfully tasteless "virtual gift" JPEGs you "purchase" with the equivalent of arcade prize tickets. Some forum posters have suggested more constructive benefits, such as profile counseling, or identity verification.

I'm not sure yet what I would want for a monthly fee, but pictures of huggy-bears and rigged search results do not address the site's essential lack of personality, which is traced directly back to the lack of personality contained in many profiles. There may be women finding their bliss on a coin-toss percentage, but I can attest to many others who soon give up trying when they have their fill of the running theme of despair and empty gestures found throughout the membership. Perhaps the site is like an amusement park with a half mile midway and one ride. It just needs more junk to do and get people mingling, like on the nearest rival OK Cupid.


Good stuff. Thanks to the reader who sent this in and thanks for providing your 8 cents :)


PlentyofFish Gets Serious with Paid Memberships

Owner and founder of Plentyoffish.com, Markus Frind, announced today on his blog that the online dating site will be offering a new paid premium feature. Of course, the main site will remain absolutely free with all it's current features, the only difference between the free membership and the paid premium membership is that it will have a "serious" button. Yes, that's right, you pay to have your profile stick out in the vast ocean of members and signal that you are SERIOUS about dating.

Take a look at the screen shot below to see what the changes will look like:

It is still unknown how much the paid "serious" upgrade will be, however, Markus has indicated that the length will likely be for periods of 3, 6, or 12 months at a time. Though, given Markus' competitive nature in the online dating industry, I wouldn't be surprised if this premium membership feature is quite cheap and significantly undercuts paid memberships for other online dating sites.

This is no big surprise considering that in the last several months, Markus has indicated on his blog that he was either looking to buy a paid membership dating site and/or integrate premium features into PlentyofFish. It will certainly be interesting to see how many current members take up the new paid option.

So what does this mean for the dating scene at Plentyoffish and how will it change?

My first thoughts is that this will certainly help people to identify which profiles are definitely legit. One of the big problems that the site has had in the past is a lot of fake spam profiles. Essentially, profiles of beautiful women set-up for the sole purpose of soliciting either your email address or trying to get you to sign-up for another adult dating site. This is a typical problem of free online dating sites and Plenty of Fish has been no exception, despite their efforts to prevent this type of phishing. Hopefully, the Serious badge will help people who are... ummm, serious.

My second thought is that this could be a great tool for those men who are having problems getting their profile noticed. As we know, the quantity of men on Plentyoffish far outnumber the women and it tends to be difficult, even for attractive men, to get noticed and attract potential dates. This "serious" badge will hopefully help those men willing to pay to stick out but will also indicate that they aren't cheap either, which could be a decent attraction quality.

On the flip side, I'm also wondering that in a large dating site filled with free memberships, that a paid member could possibly be seen as desperate. I'm not sure, what do you guys think?

Perhaps after a month or two of the premium membership being instigated, I'll conduct some research similar to the picture experiment except trying to quantify the attraction levels of "Serious" POF members.


I just found a thread on the forums in which this topic is being highly debated and also reveals the pricing structure of the new premium feature.

The payment options will be as follows...

  • 1 year @ $5.99/month ($71.88)
  • 6 months @ $7.99/month ($47.94)
  • 3 months @ $9.99/month ($29.97)

If you ask me, this is a little steep considering the only thing that gets added to your profile is a "badge" and it'll stick out more in the dating searches. Is that really worth $6-$10 dollars a month?

According to the poll he's running in the first post of the thread, most people would not. However, it does show that a small percentage, perhaps 5-10% would be willing to pay. Now that may not seem like much, but consider the size of PlentyofFish's membership base of approximately 2.8 million members according to a recent article in Inc. If just 5% of current members paid $6 per month, Markus would be raking in an extra $800 grand per month for an additional $10 million per year, on top of his reportedly $10 million in yearly Adsense revenue.

It's definitely a smart business move in my opinion, but the real question is, will actually help the members of the site? Only time will tell.


Intimate Encounters on Plenty of Fish

Like most online dating sites, plentyoffish.com, offers an option for what's referred to as "Intimate Encounters." This particular option, as with most free dating sites (CraigsList for example), is basically a booty call for a one night stand. Not that I'm particularly into this type of thing, but I have noticed that there are a number of discussions regarding the intimate encounters aspect of Plenty of Fish lately. Also, I want to make it clear before I go any further that this site isn't about getting one night stands from online dating sites, however, it's still an interesting topic in my opinion, so lets talk about it.

The first big thing that caught my eye was an article in the News of the World. The article describes a woman who is really into online dating, but not just any regular old dating. She has gone out and slept with over 200 of her online dates! Here are a few choice quotes from the article:

"On average, she beds a different man every FIVE DAYS. She’s even had sex with THREE of them in ONE DAY...

...She admits: “I can’t explain the buzz I get from meeting someone for the first time and knowing that in a couple of hours we’ll be ripping each other’s clothes off. It’s addictive."

and here's her picture:

Now here's the thing, she uses two sites for bedding men, benaughty.com and plentyoffish. Yes, there are actually women on Plenty of Fish who are simply out for a one night hook-up. This may seem unfathomable to most men who have used PlentyofFish, as most of them can barely get a response to their email messages let alone a one night stand with an attractive woman, but there is at least one woman on the site who is ready and willing.

Of course this is just one woman. She must be an outlier, correct? Well, I'm not so sure. I'm reminded of a post I wrote a few months ago about the promiscuity of women online. It talks about a recent trend of Intimate Encounters which the founder of Plenty of Fish, Markus Frind, noticed. The trend basically showed that since 2004, the number of women on the site who selected the "intimate encounter" option went from 9% of women up to 18%. Now 18% is nothing to sneeze at. To put it into perspective, at this moment there are 112,382 online, which means approximately 20 thousand of those are looking for an intimate encounter. Just a simple search within ten miles of my zip code shows 74 women online who have chose the intimate encounter option.

Now, I know what you are thinking. All the women looking for intimate encounters are likely to be ugly or have some other abnormality. The argument being that why would an attractive girl need to use an online dating site if she is just looking to "hook-up" for the night. She could simply go out to the nearest bar and wait for the men to flock to her. Again, I don't think that is the case. A quick glance at my IE search results shows a number of attractive women in the pictures.

Also, there was an excellent post by one woman on the message boards, which gave a good reason as to why women would use plentyoffish for finding intimate encounters:

"Okay first of all you don't have to be ugly to want to have to have an intimate encounter -

  1. Maybe getting thrown up on or possibly killed by some random dude at the bar isn't appealing.
  2. Maybe you are too busy to date but have a kicking sex drive
  3. Maybe you are a person who owns their sexuality and doesn't let anyone else define what is right for you- you decide for yourself and you take it!
  4. Maybe looking online gives you a chance to take as much time as you want to to get to know that person.
  5. Maybe you are looking for a regular, a boy toy, a maintenance man.
  6. Maybe if you have these close minded ideas about the modern women, you are too ugly for them to sleep with you!

So guess what - I've done at least one of these things and I am not ashamed to admit it. I have needs, wants and desires and I don't care if someone else doesn't agree. I am not saying its a permanent solution, I am just saying its time to cut the crap and stop making women out to be these holy beings that can't get their swerve on like guys do. You guys can't have it both ways and women need to stop bowing to such pretentious ideas, its much more liberating when you take your sexuality into your own hands and that doesn't make you a slut. Don't knock it until you try it, I embrace my sexuality as long as I do it responsibly and I highly recommend opening that "Pandora's box" to any women who hasn't."

This is just one example, but if you search through the forums even more, you will find other women who freely admit that they are just out for a hook-up.

Looking at all the evidence shown above, it does appear that the "intimate encounter" market on Plenty of Fish is active and could possibly provide results for those that are inclined to this type of online dating. Actually getting the date or rather, the encounter, is a whole other subject on it's own.

Has anyone out there ever gotten good results from the intimate encounter option? Let me know in the comments.


The Unsatisfied Women of Plenty of Fish

I've been searching around various different blogs lately trying to find different people's experiences in using PlentyofFish. Lately, I've been stumbling across some blog posts by some women who are out in the dating scene looking for potential male suitors. Unfortunately, it seems like a lot of disappointment in the men on the site. And for the most part, these men are making a lot of the common mistakes that I've mentioned repeatedly on this very blog. Lets take a further look at two of these examples, shall we?

The Saving Diva

Saving Diva setup a Plenty of Fish profile and has commented that she receives many short lame messages containing such subject lines as Hi, cute pic, etc. as I've discussed in my post about sucky subject lines.

"One guy actually referred to me as "sweetpea." I haven't been responding to the majority of the messages, and I haven't received a decent message yet. Is this how all online dating sites are? If so, count me out! I need a little effort put into a message."

So far though, she has actually gone out on a number of dates with some guys she met on Plenty of Fish. However, it was apparent that not all went well; below are a few of the men's dating faux pas:
  • A couple of guys ended up lying about their height and were shorter than described in their profiles
  • One of these had questionable manners
  • One guy lied about his age
  • Another didn't look like his pictures
  • and a couple of them were quite boring
So, as we can see, the selection of decent guys on the site are few and far between, though her POF date#3 seemed to be a winner despite owning a Porshe Boxster S (apparently that's a turn-off?)

Romi from The Year of the Chick

Romi had an excursion on Plenty of Fish back in October which resulted in some humorous blog posts, but she basically concluded at the end that all she found were duds. Along with Dating Diva, she also received a lot of crappy email messages:

"I find that every time I enter the site and cruise around, there are five emails waiting after only a couple of minutes. What this means of course is sifting through a lot of crap, such as: ”Hey baby”—crap, “Can I see more pictures?”—crap, “I want to make you my everything”—crap, etc, etc, etc."

I don't think she ever went on a date with anyone, but it's clear in her making fun of the ridiculous messages she got why she wouldn't or couldn't find a decent date on the site.


So, it seems that these two women, who seem like great catches, just aren't getting the kind of quality game fish that you'd find on paid dating sites or in real life for that matter. This just goes to prove my theory that the competition between men on PlentyofFish.com is quite weak despite the incredible large quantity.

This is both good for those of us able to display interesting attractive personalities through the site but also bad because it makes it more difficult to stick out amongst the rest of the mackerels.

Also, it appears that both Saving Diva and Romi experienced the same thing I had when I set up the fake profile and received tons and tons of garbage messages with ridiculous short sited subject lines like; hi, hey, hello, etc.

Another problem that is pretty apparent to me is the lying. Now, that is something I just don't understand. When you setup a Plenty of Fish profile you have to realize that the intent is to eventually meet other people in real life. And when your first impression to that person is of being a liar then you are off to a really bad start. Chances are that there isn't going to be a second date and you basically wasted your time.

All in all, I am beginning to understand the frustrations of women on plentyoffish. It's like the guys aren't even trying. Seriously, these guys really need to start reading my blog...


Plenty of Fish Picture Experiment


Recently I decided to test out a theory by my friends Race and Kelly on the Plenty of Fish dating site. The concept is simple. Basically it states that the more quality pictures you have visible on your online profile, the more value you display and thus the more dates you will be able to receive. For example, if you applied this concept to plentyoffish.com then it would mean that a person who displays the maximum 8 pictures in their profile is more likely to create attraction than a person who displays only one picture.

Luckily, POF comes with an easy way to measure a profile's attraction. If we can measure the attraction of a profile and we know how many pictures those same profiles display, it shouldn't be too difficult to come up with some type of measure between the quantity of pictures displayed and the level of attraction.

How do we measure attraction on a Plenty of Fish profile? Simply by looking at the number times a profile has been "favorited." When someone favorites you, that is an indicator of interest or attraction. So, we can assume that profiles with a high number of favorites should be considered highly attractive individuals and profiles with a low number of favorites would be considered less attractive.


The first step in this experiment was to gather all the data. I went through the PlentyofFish site and selected random men and women from across the country and recorded both the quantity of pictures and number of times favorited for each profile. In all, I collected data from approximately 200 sets of male profiles and 200 sets of female profiles.

I then sorted each data set (one for each gender) by the quantity of pictures displayed and took an average of the "Favorites" for each quantity group.

I then graphed the correlation between the quantity of profile pictures and the # times favorited.


Click to view all data in spreadsheet format


Looking at the male graph, it is pretty clear that there is a positive correlation between quantity of profile pictures and attraction. It shows that for each picture, attraction level or "favorites" will on average increase by the same amount.

The female graph, however, is a bit more crazy. There is certainly an upward trend in # times favorited but has a few erratic swings with a big dip at 5 pictures, a giant spike at 6 pictures and then dropping again at 7 and 8 pictures.


This isn't the most scientific experiment and there is certainly several opportunities for bias to occur in the data results. A few possible flaws are as follows:

  • It is possible that men and women who are perceived at being better looking may be more comfortable displaying more pictures of themselves. This would produce bias in the data as better looking people who display more pictures would naturally receive a higher number of favorites just off of looks alone.
  • The range of # times favorited in the women's data is much greater than that of the men's data. Some women's profiles swing into the triple digits with the highest having over 500 favorites. These wild upswings for some women will have an impact on the average for those particular picture groups. This would explain for the big spikes in the graph.


There appears to be a positive correlation between number of profile pictures displayed and attraction level though certainly not proven. Also, this only applies to an average profile, as it is clear that some profiles with many pictures may still be viewed as unattractive and profiles with few pictures could be seen as highly attractive.

I've added in the original Plenty of Fish data sets above, so if there is anyone else out there with a better statistics background who'd like to take a stab at analyzing the data let me know.