Five Things I Like About OkCupid

No need to be cynical *all* the time…

Attentive readers may have noticed a *slight* vein of cynicism in this blog. Well. That’s an understatement. You know how when bodybuilders flex their arms it looks like someone has wrapped climbing rope around two oil barrels? That’s what the vein of cynicism in this blog is like. It isn’t subtle.

This being the case, I am often asked why I stick it out with OkCupid at all. Surely a cynicism so extreme does not need reinforcing. Surely, in the interests of balance, I ought to go and do something more Pollyannaish, like prance through a buttercup field singing 1970s flowerchild anthems or something, just to bring me down to relatively normal levels?

Well, here’s an unusual confession – I actually don’t loathe everything about the site. Here are my five things I like about OkCupid:

5) Entertainment – C’mon. It’s fun. It saps your time for a reason. Where else can you go to scope out both your most apropos bodily function and your worldwide nemesis? I would miss its potential for daftness were I gone.

4) Anthropology – Every armchair anthropologist needs folk to gawp at, and OkCupid is the perfect people-zoo. Without so much as removing your slippers, you can suss out the courtship rituals of today’s unsuspecting urban tribes (and you get to feel smug if yours are better).

3) Anecdotes – This blog is relatively thin on anecdotes, as I don’t think it’d be fair on my dates to spill the beans online. Don’t be fooled: the site has given me plenty of stories. If you’re running low on things to tell your friends, you should go on a date and guarantee some.

2) Lessons Learnt – I’ve learnt plenty from my ten months on OkCupid. It’s all the things you’d ordinarily learn from dating anyway, but because you’ve engineered it, you learn at breakneck speed.

One of the more useful life lessons I’ve learned is that OkCupid’s Quiver option is ridiculous. You’d have better luck being matchmade by a blind mental patient whose only other acquaintances were either on her ward or in her head. But hey, you can’t fault a staff robot for trying.

1) Hope – There’s always the chance that you might find the love of your life here.  Of course, you’re probably equally likely to find the love of your life in Tesco, but you can always use OkCupid in addition to the meals-for-one aisle.

Hiding deep within us all is a hopeless, deluded romantic, whose cry is very difficult to smother. I think you’ll agree, however, that this blog has been a valiant attempt.


About Abi Millar

British freelance journalist living in the Netherlands
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7 Responses to Five Things I Like About OkCupid

  1. tao says:

    I would add attention to the list. After all if no one is taking notice of your profile you will quickly lose interests in such site. Unless you are extremely… (lets say naive)

  2. esquilax says:

    Been reading through your blog. I think I can shed some light on the reason for Quiver to exist.

    A lot of the changes that have been made to okcupid since the previous time I used it seem to have been designed to make people send more messages: to change the act of sending a message from something you have to deliberate carefully over, into something you just do if you feel like it. Hence little prompts from staff robot saying “you should send this person a message”. Being able to message someone without clicking off their profile page. No subject line requred for a message anymore (that was always a tough one), etc.

    If I remember correctly, when you get a message from someone whose Quiver you appeared in, it tells you so. So you’re supposed to think “Ok, this is why this person mailed me”. And you know most of your quiver matches suck, so straight away it feels a bit more special.

    Last time I used okc, profile viewers were called “stalkers” and a lot of girls seemed to actually take this to heart. You’d see complaints in the forums like “This 40-year-old guy keeps stalking me” (referring to the profile-viewing kind, not the hiding-in-bushes kind) and people replying saying “Wow, what a creep, this happened to me too”. A lot of attractive women, for some reason, feel very hostile towards less attractive men even viewing their profiles, never mind contacting them.

    So as tragic as it is that this should be necessary, Quiver provides a sort of plausible denability for sending someone a message. It’s like chatting someone up at a bus stop, whereas a normal message is (perceived, by some fucking idiots) more like knocking on someone’s door and saying “Nice house you got there, oh and I saw when I was staring in through your window that you have some of the same albums as me. I will take any reply to my message as confirmation you want to marry me.”.

    I think I hate okcupid by the way.

  3. Pingback: An OkCupid Retrospective | It's Not OK, Cupid

  4. nancy says:

    ok cupids suck bad chris dont even try to get ok cupids fix where peoples can login in or join he just dont care if chris dont want to get ok cupids fix where peoples can login in he need to take the dating site off the web site for good

  5. “should go on a date” – ah, yeah, … that generally requires two people though.
    Over 9 months on OkCupid, so far only met 3 folks in person, and hasn’t gone very well. Maybe if I’d been a bit more selective (eliminate what was probably not going to work anyway – and in fact didn’t), that’d be more like having met only one person in person (or two, at most, if I stretch things a fair bit).

    “always the chance that you might find the love of your life here.”
    “probably equally likely to find the love of your life in Tesco”
    “hopeless, deluded romantic, whose cry is very difficult to smother”
    All quite true … except probably Tesco, as I’ve never set foot in there (I think nearest is about 9,000 km away from me).

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