Psychology of the “Dating Game”

dating psychology

The Showtime television program, “Bullsh*t!”–Season Two, Episode Sixteen, 2004 (on, September 30th, 2013), co-hosted by magicians Penn Jillette and Raymond Teller, reported on the billion-dollar dating industry. But is that industry worth the “billion-dollar” hype? The big game players like, New York's HurryDate, Cosmopolitan Magazine, and countless authors of books like “The Game” and “Men are from Mars, Women Are from Venus” would you have you believe so. The truth is that they are just for entertainment. They're selling fantasy over veracity, Penn explained. Further, he added, “You’ve got…a chance when it’s you and another person in the room or on the internet, without some exploitative hack in the middle…with cynical bullshit about rules and planets. Men and women are…from earth.” Moreover, as behavioral science skeptics in the episode explained, publicly purveying personal details and pictures of oneself, via some psychobabbling “expert,” online, ignores the human dimension. Once again we realize that any media portrayal can be unrealistic, like the way true love was always overly-romanticized in the movies.

To discover if Penn and Teller were right, I delved into traditional online dating sites with their media savvy coaches (not matchmakers and, admittedly, formerly nerds themselves); who each with a decade of experience. In the Comments section, on youtube, where they showcase their wares, they were embraced with skeptical sardonicism or effusive testimonials.

Payton Kane, M.A. (psychology), is still single. He hosts a Toronto radio show, “Seduce and Conquer,” wherein he plugs his goods. What kinds of “goods?” Try the one for $300 for his Home Study course of CDs & DVDs, or maybe $5,995 for the VIP One Week All Inclusive Seminar in the Dominican Republic. Payton excels in being a pickup artist (PUA). His reality show videos are sometimes raunchy, but always hilarious and informative.

Corey Wayne, college educated in construction management, is a formerly married Floridian. His book, “How To Be A 3% Man,” imitates the “Doc Love” approach. He’s into PUA. Corey issues voluminous repartees to readers and blocks commentators on his youtube channel, who criticize him; solicits financial donations and charges $225/hour for a skype phone session; and offers repetitive long-winded advice, but is a superb storyteller.

Marni Kinrys, B.A. (psychology; London, Ontario), is married. She’s the creator of “Wing Girl Method.” A wing girl/boy accompanies somebody to bars or dances, to pinpoint who might reciprocate the interest they have in someone, then assesses the interaction. She helps PUAs. Her products range from $27-77 for DVDs/videos to $269 for a forty-five minute skype phone session, to $6,499 for a Wing Girl Outing™: In Person Two-Day Coaching. Marni’s “Get Inside Her: Dirty Dating Tips & Secrets From A Woman” book contains extensive e-mail exchanges. Nevertheless, her enthusiasm is contagious.

Kateryna Spiwak, B.A. (psychology), is married. She created datingessentials in Toronto, which feature her dating tips videos, but no books or DVDs are available. She’s a wing girl–not into PUA. Kateryna offers a free, thirty-minute phone consultation; curiously, none of her fees were listed for conducting practice dates; screenings of dating site profiles or one’s prospects and actions therein; or appearance assessments and makeovers. However, she’s pragmatic.

These coaches all found a way to sell and financially profit from their game oriented programs; bragging how they’ve helped throngs (with unproven data) develop people skills. A caveat: their culturally biased suggestions may be inappropriate to what’s expected in your community. We learn from all, this: confidence, and good looking–perhaps, but always looking good, are paramount in dating; people usually compensate for falling short in appearance. Clinginess equals creepiness when confidence is absent in a man. For instance, women disrelish men incessantly phoning them for initial dates without allowing them their space to respond. In fact, Charlie Valentino’s “First Date Tips For Men: The Complete Dating Psychology Guide For Men” (2013) says, “Firstly, I would like any guy…to have complete confidence…with women…. The second thing I would like…. If I can help…guys to be great on first dates…then I’ll be helping…ladies to find their dream guy….” (page five). Confidence drives goals, resulting in social status inevitably being essential in attraction. Californian “masculinist” Warren Farrell, Ph.D. (political science), in “Why Men Are The Way They Are” (1986) talks about man as a “success object” and “…IS LOVED…BECAUSE HE’S SUCCESSFUL….” Further, “THE LESS A MAN IS WILLING TO GIVE UP A SEX OBJECT, THE MORE HE WILL BE TRAPPED INTO BECOMING A SUCCESS OBJECT” (page 134). If so, men then want authentic women—displayed through their conversation, body language and attitude–who appreciate this quality in them.

What Penn averred about the dating industry being “bullshit” is somewhat accurate. Expensive investment for omniscient, winging coaches—boasting empirical—and unsubstantiated—results for services–aren’t required; just proper social skills, based on cultural norms and comprehension of personality traits like confidence, are. Dating isn’t necessarily a “game.” Learn and experiment, whenever cost-free, from the internet, with what works for you–eschewing the hype.

Farrell, Warren. (1988). “Why Men Are The Way They Are.” New York: Berkley Books.
Fein, Ellen and Sherry Schneider. (2002). “The Rules for Online Dating: Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right in Cyberspace.” New York: Gallery Books.

Gray, John. (2003). “Men Are from Mars; Women Are from Venus.” New York: Harper Paperbacks.

Jillette, Penn and Raymond Teller. (2004). “Bullsh*t!”–Season Two, Episode Sixteen, (September 30, 2013). URL=n.a.

Kane, Payton. URL=

Kinrys, Marni. (2013). “Get Inside Her: Dirty Dating Tips & Secrets From A Woman.” City, n.a.: Velocity

Kinrys, Marni. URL=

Spiwak, Kateryna. URL=

Valentino, Charlie. (2013). “First Date Tips For Men: The Complete Dating Psychology Guide For Men.”
Seattle: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Wayne, Corey. “How To Be A 3% Man.” (2013). City, n.a.:

Wayne, Corey. URL=

Author Profile

I am a psychologically oriented researcher & author, and a member of the American Psychological Association. A Laurentian University graduate, I also work as an abstract, acrylic artist, in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. My art is often shown in Toronto.

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