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When it comes to finding love online, a new study reveals that age and experience might be your best asset – well, if you’re a man.
Ask a group of heterosexual men who they think has the biggest advantage finding a mate and they’ll usually tell you one of of two things: guys with a youthful, fit appearance or men with lots of money.
“Six packs or rich dudes, end of story,” my male friend told me last weekend.
While I’d argue that there are a wealth of other factors that go into being attractive and a good partner, dating site Mysugardaddy recently created an experiment that addresses this particular debate.
Hoping to gain a better understanding of dating app users’ preferences, they created two different dating profiles. One profile featured a 29-year-old sporty, dreamy-looking backpacker named Christian, with no clear dating preferences. The other profile featured a 43-year-old successful, determined-looking businessman, also named Christian, who clearly lists his interests and dating preferences about him.
For the profile of the 29-year old, photos were chosen that show a young, active man. They’re what I like to call standard issue, “hey, I’m a laid back guy!” photos and include shots of him cycling, hiking and staring soulfully at mountains (also known as, “every photo of every single man I meet while dating on the West Coast.”)
On the other hand, the 43-year old’s profile photos look like they were pulled directly from the contact sheets of a Forbes cover shoot. His profession di lui is simply listed as “investor” and you can assume that there’s a 97% chance this guy owns a pair of Gucci loafers that he wears without socks. His profile photos of him show him confidently posing in a suit, golfing in the desert and enjoying himself on the beach, champagne glass in hand.
Not long after posting the two profiles, a clear frontrunner emerged: Businessman Christian was much more popular with women, earning 141 matches compared to Backpacker Christian, who only received 51. The Businessman also received more direct messages from women – 119 as compared to the 96 messages the Backpacker received.
(Interestingly enough, the numbers were flipped for LGBTQ + male-identified users, who preferred the strapping young Backpacker over the silver-haired daddy. Huh.)
While the experiment suggests that women are simply drawn to older, more accomplished men by default, I reached a different conclusion after looking at both Christian’s fictional dating profiles.
For starters, neither of these men are particularly appealing to me. Despite being raised on the West Coast of Canada, I am not outdoorsy and I suspect a first date with Backpacking Christian would likely require purchasing a pair of hiking boots. On the other hand, Businessman Christian seems almost too good to be true. His bio about him says he “travels frequently for work,” which I automatically translate to “I am the next Tinder Swindler.”
However, if I look at their photos objectively, it’s easy to spot the one thing that makes the Businessman stand out. It’s not his presumed net worth of him, it’s that he’s the only one looking directly at the camera in any of his photos of him. His other profile pics of him are shot at close range, drawing you into the experience.
This is in sharp contrast to Backpacker Christian’s profile photos which only show him with his back to the camera or gazing into the distance. Sure, he looks great but it’s hard to picture yourself doing any of these activities with him because he never quite makes eye-contact in any of his photos of him.
Why am I mentioning this? Because, we’re living in the age of digital romance and these things matter. Whether you’re a strapping young lad, an accomplished silver fox or just an average Joe who prefers six packs of the beer variety, maybe what’s holding you back isn’t the contents of your back account, but rather, simply camera angles.
So, gentlemen, my question is – are you ready for your closeup?