By contrast, it is significantly more difficult for men to get their foot in the door, so it makes sense for them to try appealing to a much wider net.
“If Dungeons and Dragons is your thing you want that person who will say: ‘Oh my god! “Flaunt your big nose, curvy full figure or weird snaggletooth, and you’ll attract that kind of person who finds it exciting.” In other words, if you want to find true romance, Yagan advises, “Look for the 1% who will love you for who you really are.” This seems like good advice for women and poor advice for men.
First of all you want to cast off the idea of creating a false identity based on what you think will appeal to others.
When someone posts an attractive profile photo that reveals nothing about their inner life, he told us, that sort of image may generate a positive response but it’s not likely to lead to matches.
“Getting 99% of the people to kind of like you is a waste of time,” Yagan said.
This may sound like a sensible romantic strategy—why eliminate possible partners by revealing the scar on one side of your face or the fact that you’re obsessed with Star Wars kitsch?
An excessive concern for what other people think inevitably leads to what Carl Jung famously described as a persona, in Jung’s words "a kind of mask, designed on the one hand to make a definite impression upon others, and on the other to conceal the true nature of the individual." Yagan describes the fallacy of this please-them-all approach.
Sam Yagan, a co-founder of OKCupid described how he has seen this mindset play out time and again.
“We see so many images [on the site] that are designed to minimize some supposedly unattractive trait, like the close-cropped picture of a person who’s overweight,” said Yagan.
We interviewed the founders of Ok Cupid, one of the most successful online dating sites, for a chapter on “How to Find Love Online” in our book “The Art of Doing.” Although the founders claim no lothario-like superpowers—based on their teeming mass of statistical data and observational evidence they can advise us on how to find someone online who will love us for who we really are.
Many people believe that when seeking a partner online they should try to appeal to the largest possible pool of people.