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Data, A Love Story, Amy Webb


I heard about this book on NPR, and as a twenty-something single woman who has witnessed many numerous online dating adventures (success and unsuccessful) in my friend circle, I was really interested in this story. And as an overthinking, introverted single girl who hasn’t really dabbled much in online dating, I was hoping for some advice, and maybe some funny stories. There is plenty of both in this book!

Amy Webb is an adventurous, well-traveled career woman who, after some failed relationships and disastrous attempts at online dating, decides to thoroughly research the game of online dating with the full force of her journalistic and analytical skills. After starting out with some basic spreadsheets analyzing her online matches and actual dates, she goes all out and creates not only a list of 72 desired qualities, but assigns weights and categories to each quality, establishing a threshold of 750 points before she will consider a potential match. Webb continues in her dedication to figuring out the system by creating male profiles on dating sites in order to learn what appeals to and attracts women, and analyzes the characteristics of the women who are attracted to the men who fit her desired qualities. It’s definitely a roundabout intensive research process, but I found myself interested in the details of her research and her findings.

In the appendix, Webb wraps up by giving some practice application for others wanting to capitalize on her extended research — tips and tricks that make a lot of sense when you think about it. I’m not sure if I’m ready to start applying them myself, but I’d be interested in following up to see how others do. Webb’s story has a happy ending, though I wonder if the book would have been written if the end goal ended up being more elusive.

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