On this episode of Robot Overlordz, Mike and Matt talk about the future of dating. Join us as we share some of our personal experiences and thoughts on the way dating has changed... Recorded on 12/22/2011.


You can download the episode here.


Mike & Matt's Recommended Reading:

Free Dating Sites Give Paid Sites A Run For Their Money, by Mark Brooks (guest contributor, TechCrunch)

How to Tell If You’re Compatible With Another Person, by Adam Dachis (LifeHacker)

The Big Lies People Tell In Online Dating, by Christian Rudder (OkTrends, a division of OkCupid)

Meexo: Bringing Game-ified Dating To Your Smartphone, by Rip Empson (TechCrunch)

Wikipedia's Online Dating entry, a good overview of the history of online dating



Mike Johnston: Welcome to another episode of Robot Overlordz, I'm Mike Johnston.

Matt Bolton: And I'm Matt Bolton.

MJ: And tonight we're going to talk about a topic suggested by a listener actually, Miss Eva Vanis. And that is actually online dating. So we found a couple different articles about the general topic of online dating and both of us have a little bit at least experience of online dating. I think Matt, yours is probably more positive than mine.

MB: It was okay. I did eHarmony, and Match.com. eHarmony was the only one that I went out on a couple of dates from Match.com I kind of was signed up and then just never really did anything with the account so. One of the articles that you shared, the last one, or the OK Trends, the big lies that people tell in online dating I thought was actually a fantastic article.

MJ: Yeah, I really liked that one a lot and it also ties back into the LifeHacker article because that was kind of based on a different trends that they found via that same blog, so it looks like they're getting a lot of information just out of kind of monitoring these services about how people actually date. 

MB: Yeah, one of the things they were talking about is when people are online and they're lying about their statistics and how much money they make and stuff. If you're doing it on XBox Live for your Halo thing or whatever, it's really, or the kid you went to grade school with that you'll never see again in your entire life, lying about that stuff doesn't really matter that, I mean you shouldn't do it, but it's not a huge thing but when the goal is to meet somebody in person, you're starting out with a lie, it's kind of, it's stupid because you're lying about something that they, they know is going to find out to be false anyhow.

MJ: Yeah, and it's definitely interesting that people do it anyway.

MB: Yeah, well, I think, and I'm just speculating here, but I think one of the things may be, that one Facebook and some of these things you're talking about people that you know you're never going to meet, you start to lie, and you know how the old saying goes, if you tell a lie enough times it becomes the truth and I'm just wondering if people keep, oh, I mane $150,000 a year. So you just keep repeating that lie and then when you hit the dating thing you use the same group of lies that you've used for a while.

MJ: Well they say that too about Facebook, I've seen a couple of articles elsewhere about Facebook's effect on marriages, you know, people that sign up for Facebook accounts they start friending old girlfriends, old boyfriends and interacting with each other and suddenly that fantasy of what if I had stayed with this person becomes more attractive to them than the person that they're with because it is a fantasy and it's actually, you know, they've done some research and it has, it's accelerated divorce.

MB: Yeah, I haven't seen those statistics, but it wouldn't surprise me, not in the least. One of the other things, I wanted to kind of switch the topic a little bit is the, like eHarmony, and that's the one I have the most experience with, you go through these hundreds and hundreds of questions that are supposed to match you off with basically someone who is just like you. I started thinking about it, quite frankly I don't want to ever date anybody who is just like me. The other thing too is you look back in the 50s, the 60s, even the 70s, people would usually date and marry somebody they had gone to high school with, somebody they had grown up near. Now you're doing online dating, you're picking from a pool of thousands and thousands of people, but the divorce rate keeps going up and up and up, so.

MJ: Well, I think, a little bit Hollywood, especially TV shows and movies, they kind of sell this idea of how romance is going to be and I think the problem, a little bit, that I see, especially with the rise of online dating is that people start to develop these expectations that it's going to be one of those romantic comedy movies.

MB: Whatever the latest Sandra Bullock movie is or, Katherine Hiegl or something.

MJ: Yeah, exactly, any of those, they just sell this idea that that's how it's going to be and I think a lot of times that gets people mixed up and they start responding to that kind of idealized version of things and when life doesn't match up to it everybody bails and especially when there's just, you know, you sign up for a website and it's just like ordering a pizza, or a book, or a DVD off of Amazon, you know? You just replace them and a little bit I think that, you know, the argument that it cheapens things? I mean I don't mean to be a curmudgeon or anything about this, I feel like the grumpy old man, but a little bit I gotta say that argument starts to make a lot of sense.

MB: Yeah, totally. I think it does a lot. It is, I mean it's very easy to. You can sign up for Match.com and within an hour or so you can meet somebody and probably go out on a date with them within a couple of days.

MJ: Well, and you and I both know people who've gotten into relationships based on online dating and they've ended up in marriages, some of them even have ended in divorces already. So you know, I think that's, it's definitely sped up that cycle a little bit it seems like.

MB: Yeah, it's kind of like, well, and I think a lot of people nowadays, at least from my perspective and who knows, maybe it's the people I hang out with, it seems like people are more quick to just rush into a relationship and not, well, okay, instead of well, I met this girl on Match.com, it says we're a match, we'll just start dating and I'll stop dating everybody else and maybe we'll move in together. Where you know, instead of going, well, there's three or four people on Match.com, I should go out with all of them or just see them all casually until I decide. But the people I know seem to rush into these things pretty quickly.

MJ: That was kind of my experience with the online dating sites is I did feel like it was a lot of pressure to be immediately jumping into a relationship of, well, because the site has said this is a match, it obviously must be, you know, let's get to it. And it did feel like there was a lot of pressure to immediately go zero to 60 and it did make me definitely more cautious too.

MB: Well and I think one of the reasons for that is the fact that people who are on Match.com, everybody is looking for a relationship whereas if you go to a bar or you go to, you know, if you're at work, or wherever you go to meet women or men, depending on what you're looking for, not everybody is going to be looking for someone, people may be not in a relationship but they're not looking at all. Or they're in a relationship, whatever it is, but when you're on Match.com, or eHarmony, or any of these sites, all those people have signed up, I mean they've gotten to the point where they're like ,‘I want a relationship so bad I'm going to put all my information into this things so that I can find somebody’, and I think that adds to the fact that almost, I don't want to use the word desperation, but if you've…

MJ: It does start to seem that way a little bit. Well, that's where something like the TechCrunch article for the new start up for online dating, Minsoo. You know actually after reading about it I actually did go and sign up for it just because it sounds a little bit interesting, you know? I think as these sites have evolved and we've kind of gathered more information on dating you definitely kind of look the LifeHacker article, or the OkCupid.com article, you know, they're starting to see trends about how relationships actually do work. SO as much as it kind of sucks that it's speeding up the divorce rate possibly, at the same time I think it also may be improving the overall quality of relationships just because they're evolving faster. If that makes sense? You know, maybe at some point it will get to a point that that divorce rate suddenly drops away again.

MB: Right, which would be, that's a whole other conversation of why the divorce rate is up, but yeah, I agree with you about that.

MJ: It'll be interesting to see certainly. I mean, I think it's obviously a lot of people are interested, I mean everybody could use an improvement to their life, especially you know, if they're not happy.

MB: Right. I just you know, want to go back  to the when you go to Match.com, you're picking if you're a worker at a bar or something, you know, there's maybe two or three or four people to pick from. You go to some of these dating sites and there's 100, 200, 300, 1,000, whatever it is, your pool opens up, then people start looking, you know, it's only by looks, you know you read a couple of blurbs about somebody, oh look, they like camping, I like camping, we'll just. And this person's cute, let's go run with that one, so.

MJ: Well definitely, I think the older you get the more the pressure goes up a little bit to be in a relationship, just somehow if you're not it's not natural, or it cheapens or undermines the people that are in relationships. I mean not that all people are necessarily like that that are in relationships but sometimes I get that sense a little bit, just in general from the way people react whether they mean it or not.

MB: Yeah, no absolutely, you're totally right. They are people who look at you and are like, alright, whatever, you're mid-30s or you're early 40s or whatever, why aren't you married? It's the same type of people who, hey, why don't you have kids? You know, you're married, you're at that age, so why don't you have any kids? I think there is a societal pressure to be married or at least to be in a relationship of some sort. 

MJ: Or to be at least ‘normal’. It's like there's one picture of what normal is and if you deviate outside of that at all, you know? I mean, that's a whole other sociological topic that we probably don't need to get into. But I definitely think online dating is here, it's certainly evolving. I think maybe once Minsoo launches, because they actually haven't launched yet, but once they maybe launch if I try it out and see that it's particularly interesting we can talk about that one later or something.

MB: Cool.

MJ: Okay.

MB: Alright.

MJ: Thanks everyone for joining us.

MB: Thank you.