Alexander Muse
Aug 19 · 4 min read
Photo by Con Karampelas on Unsplash

Earlier this year I decided to delete the dating apps on my phone and take a break to focus on my career and my family. Ironically, around that same time my Facebook friends began inviting me to secret, invite only, dating support groups on Facebook. I found these private groups to be educational, entertaining, and horrifying all at the same time. You might be surprised to learn that the men you’re meeting on Bumble and Tinder are sharing your profile, photos, and correspondence with hundreds of their peers in these secret support groups.

My female friends claim they’ve never heard of these sorts of groups for women, but they might be better at keeping secrets than I am. I’ve heard rumors of groups where women share information about men they’ve dated, but I’ve never actually met anyone who admits they’re part of such a group. Obviously, the focus of this article is on the groups specifically for men.

Initially, the invite only groups I was invited to join were general in their focus — basic dating advice. The men in these general groups tended to be similar in age as I assume members were inviting their single friends and acquaintances. But once you’re in one secret dating group the invites to other secret dating groups arrive more and more frequently. It turns out there are secret dating groups for almost any special interest you can think of including: Trump Supporters, Vegans, Triathletes, Christians, Jews, Men Seeking Marriage, and Men Seeking Hookups. Regardless of the special interest of the group the members tend to fall into one of four archetypes and their participation tends to follow the Pareto principle:

The membership breakdown of secret dating groups.

Lurker — as with most communities the vast majority of members simply consume the content created by others. In the case of invite only dating groups lurkers represent around 80% of the membership. Most Seekers and Commenters eventually become Lurkers after one or more encounters with Advisors.

Advisors — represent about 1% of members and are the most active posting content almost every day. From screenshots of their texts and Bumble matches to humorous dating memes they’re always trying to start a conversation. They will often share the naked photos women send to them with the group. They are also very frequent commenters on other posts offering a very particular sort of advice that focuses on sexual conquest rather than building lasting relationships. Most Advisors refer to themselves as Alphas.

The sort of advice one can expect in a secret dating group.

Seekers — represent about 4% of members and have joined to share their dating experiences — their successes and failures. They’re also looking for feedback and advice as many of them seem to be interested in becoming more Alpha in their approach to women. The typical post from a Seeker will be a screenshot of a text exchange. Sometimes they’re simply sharing and other times they’re asking for suggestions on how to respond. The responses range from serious to humorous. Other posts from seekers include screenshots of Bumble or Tinder matches. In these cases it is surprising just how often another member of the group will have experience with a particular woman.

Commenters — represent about 15% of members are usually fairly normal men who will initially offer their advice to the Seekers. In every group I’ve seen they start off fairly active, but eventually they are run off by the Alphas who feel threatened by normal people giving normal advice.

While most of these groups begin with good intentions, in my experience, almost all of them eventually devolve into misogynistic horror shows (there are exceptions). As a father of an eighteen year old man and an eleven year old girl I can’t help but be horrified by much of what I read. From what I’ve seen the good guys get run off and the only folks who are left are providing member’s with the tools they need to form meaningless and unfulfilling relationships with women. Don’t get me wrong — most of the members have had to deal with some pretty horrible women as evidenced by some of the text exchanges I’ve read — but I can’t help but think the advice they’re receiving is counterproductive.

About The Author

Alexander Muse

Alexander Muse is a serial entrepreneur, author of the StartupMuse, contributor to Forbes and managing partner of Sumo. Check out his podcast on iTunes. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Startup Muse

by Alexander Muse

Alexander Muse

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I work with startup CEOs to help them grow their businesses . I’ve built several businesses from $0 to >$1B. Learn more at http://www.startupmuse.com.

Startup Muse

by Alexander Muse

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