This Is Why You’re Not Hot Online


There are many painful truths in life. For example, the train will always be late when you’re running behind, you’ll be in sweatpants when you run into your ex, the consumption of broccoli will always result in broccoli teeth, and no man wants to date you when you’re over 22. Sorry!

According to some very important insight acquired by the ever-popular OKCupid, while women pretty much consistently are attracted to guys who are about their own age (until about 40), men, on the other hand, find that women over the age of 24 to be a real downer on their senses. And when I say “downer” what I really mean is that “once a woman passes the age of 22, she becomes exponentially less attractive to men.” Yes, exponentially less attractive. Perhaps that’s why I don’t get hit on as much as I did in my early 20’s? Sad. I’ve spent the last decade trying to convince myself that guys thought I was too fancy for them.

But honestly, is anyone even remotely surprised?

Christian Rudder, OKCupid president and co-founder, has put these and many more results in his new book, Dataclysm: Who We Are When We Think No One’s Looking, in case you’re just dying to get some more evil truths shoved in your face. Although we don’t really need to know what men are thinking when no one’s looking, because apparently, most of them are thinking about their neighborhood Lolita.

But Rudder wants to assure those of you ladies over 22 who are doing the online dating, that before you completely freak-out about these stats, stop and breathe, because guys are all talk. As he explained to NPR, “This is just measuring people’s opinions, not what they actually go out and do. What you see when you actually look at what people do, you see the realism set in. So these 40-year-old guys… the people they actually have the courage to actually go out and message are a lot older: it’s 30, 35-year-old women.”

What I take from that statement is that the 40-year-old guy might be dating you, the 35-year-old woman, but he’s vying for the 18-year-old who’s waiting on you two at dinner. Great! To add insult to injury, as men age, they look for an even bigger age gap between them and potential dates, finding even younger women more attractive. Why? Well, my mother has always said it’s because men fear getting older and dying far more than women do, but that’s just based on her life experience and not any scientific research. However, she’s rarely wrong, so there’s that.

Fortunately, if we really look at what is being said here, women are just as guilty as shunning older people as men are, but in a completely different way. While men consistently go for younger women, women pretty much stop finding men attractive when they’re around 40. Basically, we’re all ageist, but women just hide it better.

Dating is hard, and online dating even more so. It’s like flipping through a catalog and completely basing someone on their appearance. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but think of all the awesome people you probably miss out on, just because they’re not very photogenic. At the end of the day, age is but a number and unless you’re a mathematician or in finance, numbers shouldn’t be on the top of your list of requirements when looking for love. Also, older guys, unless you’ve got big bucks, the 22-year-old isn’t going near you. (But you already knew that, you were just pretending it wasn’t true, right?)

This post originally appeared at YourTango.