Male Online Daters Are ‘Terrible’ In Theory, Non-Creepy In Practise


Out on the promotional tour for his new book, Dataclysm, OkCupid co-founder Christian Rudder has thrown out some more data insights about the world of online dating.

In mid-August at a meeting of the Empiricist League in New York, he revealed one that charted what ages men and women find most attractive as they get older.

Using data from OkCupid, the first graph showed how women’s preference towards the men they found attractive changed, depending on their age:


The second showed how men’s did not:


At the New York event, he said: “It is kind of terrible. From the time you’re 22 you’ll be less hot than a 20-year-old, based on this data. So that’s just a thing.”

Unsurprisingly, Rudder’s findings were widely covered by the media – the Mail Online going for the headline “Are you a girl over 22? Then don’t even both with online dating” – however he said they did not tell the whole story.

Speaking to NPR, the OkCupid co-founder said that the data merely showed people’s opinions, and not necessarily what they act on.

“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 to 35-year-old women.”

This is backed up by another study from Rudder’s Dataclysm – the age ranges that men search when looking for a partner on OkCupid.

And this week, a data blogger and computer scientist called Randy Olsen plotted Rudder’s results against the Standard Creepiness Rule – which says not to date anyone half your age, plus seven.


Olsen found that on the whole, men fit into the “zone of non-creepiness” dictated by the rule, only wavering briefly during their mid-30s.

Read Olsen’s post here.

Also, read an excellent piece on Rudder from Five Thirty Eight here.