LISA: I'm Lisa Birnbach for howdini. Looking for Mr. Right? Could he be on an internet dating site? Stefan Springman hosted the hit VH1 show Can't Get a Date and met lots of people looking for and finding love. And he's here to talk to us about internet dating. Hi Stefan.
STEFAN: Hi Lisa.
LISA: Can anybody use the internet to get a date?
STEFAN: Sure why not? It's perfect for a lot of people. It's perfect for people who don't date in real life.
LISA: Because it's pretend?
STEFAN: No it's not pretend--there's a lot of fear that goes into dating. It's like everytime you go on a date, your self conception is on the line. You're being judged by this other person who you might not necessarily even like. But you can really feel that judgment acutely.
LISA: One hears that men lie about their age and their height.
LISA: Is that a rule?
STEFAN: Different sexes lie about different things. It's like it's so crucial for a man to be taller than the woman that a man will generally give himself a couple of extra inches. Less than 1% of couples in America exist where the woman is taller than the man. Less than 1%. It's kind of crazy right?
LISA: Yes, it's crazy.
STEFAN: Women really want their man to be taller and so a man, to seem more desireable, adds an inch or two to his height.
LISA: Now the chances are if they meet that she'll figure out that he's not taller.
STEFAN: Chances are, but maybe she'll be charmed by some other aspects of him that aren't on his profile. Maybe he's a great storyteller. Or maybe he's got great eyes that don't register on his photograph.
LISA: Does--look it seems that we're visual and no matter what you have going for you, the only way a couple is going to start connecting is through looks right? It's through sexual attraction.
STEFAN: That's the first step and I think it's actually more important for men. It's like men go for looks and women are more concerned with status. You can be a not very attractive looking man, but if you have high status, then you're an attractive man.
LISA: Stefan, are men looking on the internet in a different way than they would look in a bar?
STEFAN: Men are just really looking at the photographs. And women are actually reading the profiles. I'm talking about generalities, you know, men are still reading the profiles, but really what's important to a man is looks. That's the first thing that's going to make him interested in you.
LISA: How can a woman tell if a man is lying on his profile?
STEFAN: I think you have to go into internet dating assuming that a certain amount of the people are going to be lying. Don't look at it as lying; it's more like spinning, you know? It's like advertising.
STEFAN: You're trying to put yourself in the best light that you can.
LISA: Accentuate the positive.
STEFAN: Yeah, when you make an internet date, make it clear that it's just going to be for one quick drink and that you have something to do afterwards. You show up, you know within the first five or six seconds whether there's any kind of chemistry. Whether you're going to be interested at all. If you're not interested you have an out. If you are interested you can say well let me just call my friends and umm--I won't meet up with that person.
LISA: What about married people pretending to be single on the internet? Is there a lot of that?
STEFAN: I think there's a lot of married men on the internet doing that and it's a terrible, terrible thing and you're going to have to use your feminine wiles to figure out if this guy's a creep or he's somebody that you could maybe spend the rest of your life with.
LISA: In terms of websites, which are the ones you recommend and how do you determine which website is going to be the best? I imagine that they're a gazillion people on match.com for example, right? Isn't that one of the biggest?
STEFAN: Match.com is the biggest. It's probably the most mainstream. You may want something that's more personalized like Nerve is kind of for your edgier, downtown people. Jdate is you're just looking for a Jewish man or woman or a lover of Jewish men and women. But I think you have to go and you have to find one that you feel comfortable with. One where the questions seem like the questions you'd be comfortable asking.
LISA: If you are a great woman and you want to meet a great guy--and they do exist--
STEFAN: Yeah for sure.
LISA: Do you really think you can solve your relationship void with the internet?
STEFAN: The internet is just a tool. Really what you have to do is date and you have to do a lot of dating. And if you hate dating, you better figure out how to start liking it. And the upside of dating is that if you do it enough and you do it well, you'll eventually fall in love.
LISA: Thanks Stefan. For howdini, I'm Lisa Birnbach.