470 Men and Women Weigh in on Online Dating’s Biggest Problems (And How to Avoid Them)

by | Jan 28, 2019 | news |

It’s no secret that online dating is painful

Sometimes you need to have a pity party to make you feel better, and so today I’m going to shamelessly indulge in a rather dark discussion of the biggest online dating pain points for men and women.

Between my years of online dating experience and the survey of 470 men and woman I conducted, “Online Dating: What Sucks Most”, I’ve become an expert on this uplifting topic. My hope is that a collective understanding of how online dating is broken will help us get out of this mess. 

Let’s dive in to just how bad things have gotten.

More hated than Comcast and PG&E

Online dating has a Net Promotor Score (NPS) of -35. For the uninitiated, NPS is a system that businesses use to measure customer satisfaction, and the likelihood that someone would refer a product or service to a friend. Needless to say, -35 is abysmal. Given that no one is exactly raving about online dating, this comes as little surprise.

How does an NPS score of -35 measure up to other brands? Comcast, which is known for jacking up prices since they have a monopoly, had an NPS of -2 in 2019. PG&E, the utilities provider that caused massive forest fires in California, got a -4.

Yes, people would be more likely to recommend these much-reviled companies to a friend than they would online dating!

Online dating pain points for women and men

Whereas men gave online dating and NPS score of -30, it was -40 for women. And the pain points were different for women than for men. Here are the seven biggest online dating pain points for each gender (Note: this is for heterosexual users only. Our LGBTQ sample was not large enough for the findings to be statistically significant). 


Better looking in dating app photos than IRL

Who knew but people are not being honest in their photos.

This was at the top of the list for both men and women, although the specifics differ. On average, nearly 8 out of 10 women take issue with the photos men poster dating apps. Allegedly, they post photos that make themselves look taller and trimmer, and may obscure their hair (or lack there of!).

Men, on the other hand, are even more likely to say that women post photos that make them look thinner and younger, and are all too skilled at taking flattering selfies.

Online dating users lie about personal details

Another shocker. Nearly 7 out of 10 women allege that men lie about their height, age, marital status, children and income. However, even more men are concerned about the same thing, so it’s difficult to tell which gender is more guilty of deceit.

Wasted time on bad dates

Anyone who has tried online dating knows how easy it is to end up on a bad date. With only 1 out of 3 first dates resulting in a second date for women, and just 1 out of 4 for men, it’s no wonder so many users feel that they are wasting time and online dating sucks. 

Deceptive intentions

On average, 8 out of 10 women using dating apps do not trust their male counterparts. Men may say they are looking for a relationship, but do they really want to hook up? Interestingly, men are not nearly as concerned, with More than half of them believing that women are being honest about what they are seeking.

Catfishing and spam

Men and women are both likely to be catfished, but women are less subject to bots, and scams such as the hookup ID. Why is it that scammers target men more often? Probably because men will do almost anything for sex.

Uncertain physical safety

When it comes to online dating, the sad truth is that no one is safe. Sex offenders and other violent criminals are known to target online dating users, men and women alike. Women seem to be aware of this, as 7 out of 10 indicated that they were significantly concerned. Disconcertingly, only 3 out of 10 men are concerned about their physical safety and security being at risk.


No one likes being ghosted, but it seems that women resent it more. 6 out of 10 complained that ghosting is a problem, whereas less than 5 out of 10 men were concerned. Ghosting may be the new normal, but that does not mean it’s OK!

The pain of online dating is real, but you are not powerless

The good news is that there are things you can do to lessen the main pain points of online dating. Start by reading our post on how to make online dating work

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