After completing the first part of this project, I was pretty worn out. Drained. I felt as if I’d run a physical, emotional, and spiritual marathon and I needed a rest. I nearly gave up on the second part of the experiment. I really didn’t enjoy putting so much effort and energy into pretending to be someone I’m not. I wasn’t looking forward to doing it again, but I reasoned that I had to do it for science. Almost two weeks later I decided it was time for the last leg of the experiment. I’d met a decent amount of women from dating sites, but at the time, my perspective on life was pessimistic and cynical. When nothing worked out, I’d blame women. Sometimes I’d blame myself. Maybe I wasn’t good looking enough? Maybe there was something else? Thoughts by someone suffering from crippling insecurity. I was open to considering all possibilities. One of them was that maybe I truly wasn’t good looking enough. Let’s find out!
Returning to one of the dating sites, I searched for a guy who looked about as different from me as possible. I’m tall, so I wanted a short guy. I’ve got blondish brownish reddish hair, so I wanted a dude with black hair. I’m muscular, so I wanted him thin and wiry. With dark skin and dark eyes. A few minutes of searching led me to the right dude. Fit my description like a glove. So I gave him a catchy profile name and give him my exact profile. Every word the exactly same as my personal dating profile…copied and pasted.
With everything set up, the experiment was ready to roll. Not realistically expecting to be contacted by any women in a single day, I had to structure this part of the experiment a bit differently. My rules were that I had to message fifty different women from each account (mine and his) and that every message had to be exactly the same. The only difference would depend on whether or not I knew their name. “Hi, I like your profile. You seem really cool. What’s your name?” Or “Hi, I like your profile. You seem really cool. Where are you from?” I proceeded to message exactly fifty women from both profiles, saying almost the exact same thing in each message every time. I set his location in a different city and messaged women located there as well to completely avoid sending overlapping messages if I lost track of who I’d already contacted.
The results surprised me. In part because I received more replies to both accounts than I was expecting, but primarily because the results were almost identical. I received eleven replies in my own personal account and thirteen replies for the short, dark, and handsome version of me. A tie as far as I’m concerned. My ego satisfied, I was finally convinced my looks weren’t the issue. By the end of the day, all conversations I’d been having dissipated into nothing. There was one I was reluctant to let go as we had so much in common and she seemed so cool, but considering our entire conversation was based on an elaborate lie, it would likely be quite difficult to develop a relationship. “Oops, I accidentally uploaded seven pictures of someone else entirely. OMG, sorry! Wanna grab a vanilla chai latte with me on Friday?”