MIRL for the win! My experiment: SOD vs. Cold Approach

Disclaimer: I’m not a fuckboi, player, rake, or womanizer. I simply prefer to meet people—including women I’m interested in dating—IRL, for reasons I discuss below. Also, if you want to see SOD for what it actually is, read my post on why I’m an existentialist.

IRL Actions/Takeaways:

  • People are much worse online than they are IRL… so be IRL as much as possible.
  • Even if you’re a high quality guy, SOD is a crap shoot.
  • If you are doing SOD, be a reasonable person.

Recently I conducted an experiment: I downloaded Tinder and Bumble, posted the best possible photos of myself, wrote a solid bio, and listed my height at 6’3” (FYI–many women on SOD explicitly state they want men over 6′–thank God I’m tall; I cannot possibly imagine how frustrating that shit is for men who aren’t).

I’ll concede that I could have better/professional photos, but the ones I posted were representative of what I look like. I get that people are super fussy about photos and that they’re a crucial aspect of SOD, but think about what that says about the whole enterprise in the first place?

On the flip side, for comparison’s sake, I’ve continued MIRL (matching in real life—aka “cold approach”—aka what normal humans used to do before we all became screen obsessed hermits).

SOD should have had an advantage, because for every woman I approached I swiped on 20 on each of the apps (a 40:1 ratio). Overall, I approached 15 women IRL, and swiped right on 600 profiles. Criteria for swiping and approaching: women I found genuinely attractive (here again SOD had an advantage over MIRL because I swiped on some women I would not approach).

The Results:

  • Tinder: 0 matches. That’s right, not a single woman on Tinder in all of Portland thought I was attractive enough to swipe right. Not one.
  • Bumble: 3 matches. Of the 3, 1 contacted me—and the kicker: the only reason she swiped right was that she saw me singing karaoke at the Alibi! (The Alibi is a Portland karaoke bar for those out of town)
  • MIRL: 3 numbers, 5 Insta’s (DMing is almost as good as texting), and let’s just say I had a spontaneous date with another one of the ladies I met. I should add that 6 women did not want to exchange info, but otherwise were all lovely interactions. In fact, one was nice enough to tell me my game was on point and that if she didn’t have a boyfriend my approach would’ve worked (we did decide to follow each other on Insta anyway–see, it’s fun making friends IRL too).


A) People—in this case, women—are absurdly picky when it comes to SOD.

Utterly divorced from reality.

In fact, what’s somewhat galling about the experience is that I know for a fact that many of the women I swiped on would be STOKED if I approached them IRL.

Yet they did not swipe right. Quite the conundrum am I right my little maniacs?

Moreover, the one I actually connected with conceded that she wouldn’t have swiped on me if she hadn’t seen me IRL, so it almost doesn’t count—and I’ll just say this: there’s NO WAY this particular woman should be swiping left on me. I don’t say that to be mean–I say that because it’s real: for her, I’m a clear win. I suppose if she happens to read this and finds that remark offensive she probably won’t go out with me… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

B) Women are super passive. Why didn’t those two other matches on Bumble text me? IDK, but whatever. So glad I deleted the apps. Honestly having them on my phone felt dirty. Gross!

C) How we appear and act online is radically different than IRL. I’ll concede again that better photos might make a difference—but they can’t be that far off, right? After all, they are pictures of me.

And yet, the divergence in reaction I get online vs. IRL is astonishing. In person, whether at a bar or coffee shop or wherever, women notice me and those I approach often give me their number or social media. But on SOD… crickets.

D) IDK what it’s like for other people, but I cannot say this with enough emphasis—if you’re not getting regular matches on SOD with people you’re excited about meeting and genuinely attracted to, do what I did and delete the apps:


Gents, learn MIRL aka cold approach and get the hell out of there. Go on! Git!

Ladies, go out more and be available when you’re out.

And while I understand that because guys have so little game these days women have almost no choice but to be on SOD, one thing I would advise is being highly rational about the process and trying to screen for characteristics of quality (game/confidence, wealth/status, looks) rather than stats and/or arbitrary factors (height, age, divorced/kids, college, diet, job, has a fish pic, etc).

And everyone, get a damn social life.

The danger of SOD, like any form of social media, is that we live our lives virtually rather than in person, and as I noted above, people behave way differently on social media than they do IRL—and not for the better.


In fact, it’s abhorrently worse.

To bridge to another topic, I recently wrote a story about a friend’s suicide and posted it on Facebook and Twitter, asking that people share or RT to spread awareness, being that it was suicide awareness month. Now because of the algorithm I have no idea how many people saw the posts—but I’m sure at least some people did.

Want to guess how many people shared the story? Three. My mom, my dad, and my good friend Seana. For suicide fricken awareness.

Now if you happen to follow me and didn’t share it—it’s all good, it is what it is. I’m not bringing this up because I feel scorned or to make people feel bad. IDGAF. I drowned my feelings in a pool of children’s tears not long ago and I’ve never been better. But I bring it up because I KNOW that if I personally asked the same people who saw that post to attend a fundraiser to raise money for suicide awareness, many if not most of them would say yes.

The lesson, again, is that we behave differently online and on social media than we do IRL—and it’s much, much worse; if we’re honest, most behavior online and on social media is blatantly commercial, narcissistic, amoral, and/or immoral.

That’s not to say I’m going to delete my social media accounts because I still believe it can be used for good, and ultimately I’m trying to reach readers anyway I can (why I don’t follow people on Insta who don’t follow me back–if you can’t see my posts it does me no good, and there’s nothing more galling than seeing normal people who think they’re celebrities). But it’s just understanding that as a society, the more we shift to back to doing stuff IRL, the better off we’ll all be.

Because people are different IRL…

They’re human, you see. And as it turns out, that’s a very good thing.


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