The Real

Dealbreaker? Find out first

One of the things I like about OkCupid (and ‘like’ is strong language given how much I moan about it) is the match percentage system. I briefly looked into, and found the experience alarming in its randomness. The people on are the sort of folk you’d find trapped in a lift. A  broken-down lift in a multi-storey carpark next a hellish shopping centre two desperate shopping days before Christmas. And all the men inside are winking at you.

Anyway, it didn’t seem much like real-life dating. Ordinarily, the people you date will already have been filtered in some way. They’ll be a friend of a friend, or a work colleague, or you’ll have met them via a shared passion for scuba-diving or astrophysics or Morris dancing. Rarely will you find a match inside a lift, despite’s business model.

NB – If you and your partner are Morris dancers, please don’t procreate.

OkCupid’s matching system is by no means perfect, but it does cut out some of the crap. If I match 95% with person A, and 22% with person B, chances are I’m going to have more in common with person A. I may, of  course, find person A deeply irritating. It may be that our common ground gives way to a vast snaky pit of mutual loathing, and that by the end of the date we’re considering ramming our chopsticks up the other’s nostrils and scooping out the brains to make sashimi. But between person A and person B, the former is much less likely to believe in fairies.

The questions, as well, are fun to fill in and an endless source of debate. I went through mine with one of my matches, and came to blows over quite a few:

Question: The person you’ve been seeing for a while climbs in your window, crawls in bed with you and cuddles up. You find this:

Scary (Me)
Cute (Him)

Him: Why is this scary if you’re seeing them?

Me: It depends on what floor of the house you’re on, and for another thing whether you’re expecting them to turn up. If you live on the top floor of an apartment block and are asleep at the time, it could be scary. Especially if they’re wielding a knife.

Him: So is it normal for ‘the person you’ve been seeing a while’ to be a knife wielding maniac?

Me: No.

This sort of thing is important to know. If I were looking for men on I’d probably never get chance to learn their opinion re breaking-and-entering of property, which could turn out to be a dealbreaker further down the line. With OkCupid and its match questions, you’ve got chance to cover your back.


About Abi Millar

British freelance journalist living in the Netherlands
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2 Responses to The Real

  1. EcoChap says:

    Brilliant blog!

    Despite having left me with another online addiction, coupled with a faint sense of inadequacy and a residual terror that a friend will find my account; I must say I’m rather loyal to OkCupid. For the quizzes, if nothing else.

    Coincidentally, we’re actually a 95% match and I know some good sashimi recipes.

  2. Dave says:

    The problem I see with OKC is that in gauging your matches, it doesn’t give much precedence to certain factors. For example you and I are a 75% match which seems about right. But the owner of the site sent me an email the other day welcoming me to the site. Now bear in mind that I have answered over 1,000 questions and I would expect that should make the algorythm they use to be fairly accurate. I’m a straight, single male, he’s a straight married male and yet we’re a 68% match with each other.

    It really should give more weight to factors such as gender, sexuality, race, religion or marital status. Not stuff like “Do you drink coffee?”

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