Male Call – February 2016
…in which we report shocking news — shocking we say — from Consumer Affairs about people who complain that they encountered false or misleading profile information from online dating sites…and how they go about checking up on prospects.
By the way, this month’s Male Call appears in the February print version of City Sun Times instead of the online edition.
“Checkin’ Up On You”
Online dating is a now $2.1 billion industry with more than 1,500 websites ranging from mainstream services like Match.com with 96 million registered users (as of 2010, but apparently only 1.4M to 4.3M active users), eHarmony and OkCupid (5.6M) to more specialized dating sites like JDate, GayRomeo, ChristianMingle, Cougar Life and, of course, FarmersOnly (motto: City folks just don’t get it™).
However, according to Consumer Affairs, as many as 54% of people who date online complained that they encountered false or misleading profile information.
What? We are shocked, shocked we say!
Of course, most online dating sites don’t conduct background checks or verify information. You may come across people with criminal records, married people and people who may be mentally unstable — not to mention men who lie about their height (gasp).
To solve this problem, many online daters have turned to background-check services.
In their survey of online dealbreakers, the Consumer Affairs report surprisingly found that men are more likely to run a background check than women (14 vs 11%) or hire a private investigator (7 vs 1%) but scarily, men were also more likely to follow their prospect home or (blech!) dig through her garbage (4.5 vs 1%).
On the other hand, the report, as well as the Male Call Advisory Board’s™ own research indicates that women have more dealbreakers than men. These would include being married, having a wild past, a DUI, and conviction for possession of marijuana or controlled substance.
From what we can tell by perusing online dating sites, women tend to police their prospective beaux mostly by putting up completely pointless warnings such as:
- “no cheaters”
- “no players”
- “must be honest”
- “no married or separated men,” and especially
- “no using my publicly available information for your research projects”
As we sometimes point out, these are about as useful as posting a “No ants!” sign at a picnic.
Despite this, the survey found 23% of women are willing to date someone who is already married (vs 32% of men).
The good news: People are (mostly) unwilling to date serious criminals.
Previous columns online at City Sun Times