From Profile View to Functional Relationship: A Flowchart

This chap looks like the type to enjoy flowcharts…

The original version of this post was deleted because I realised it was way too cynical, even for me. Marginally less twisted (if disconnected) version below:

Online dating is fraught with pitfalls. Getting from the profile view stage to the meet-up stage to the ding-dong-buy-your-mother-a-hat-for-the-wedding stage, seems to require that an improbable number of things go right. You might as well take a bowl of pond water and a cattle prod and attempt to simulate the emergence of life.

Anyway, it could be that you’ve seen someone you like on the site, and are wondering what will come of it. Will this budding romance lead you on to new territory? Or will a surprise trip to A&E be on the cards? Follow this flowchart for a rundown of all possible outcomes.

NB – I know it’s not a real flowchart, but what’s a girl to do without a plug-in.


1) You see a profile you like the look of. The owner’s user name is devastatingly witty, but for the purposes of neutrality, let’s call him/her Bob.
You click on Bob’s ‘unacceptable match answers’. Which does Bob think is bigger, the Earth or the Sun?

a)      The Earth – go back to START
b)      The Sun – proceed to QUESTION 2
c)     The Earth but you’re pretty sure this pre-Copernican faux-pas is meant as ‘ironic’ – proceed to QUESTION 2 … hesitantly

2) … and what about Bob’s stance on teeth-brushing?

a) Twice or more a day – proceed to QUESTION 3
b) Only on days he/she feels like it – go back to START
d) Rarely/never – go to the BLOCK BOB BUTTON

3) You and Bob exchange a few messages. They’re light, flirty, playful. Things seem to be going well.
What causes the message thread to be abandoned?

a)      Their/there confusions – go back to START
b)      Your/you’re confusions – go back to START
c)      Boredom – go back to START
d)     Offence taken at misfired sarcasm – go back to START
e)      Bob’s penchant for wince-worthy middle-of-the-road stadium rock – go back to START
f)       Your first date! – proceed to QUESTION 4

4)  You made it to your first date! Against the odds, Bob looks like his/her profile pics, and when he/she opens her mouth the sound is not even remotely comparable to a laryngitic banshee stuck in an elevator shaft.
What’s the catch?

a)      No spark – go back to START
b)      Nothing to talk about – go back to START
c)      No physical attraction – proceed to FRIEND ZONE
d)     Dribbling – go back to START
e)      None as yet! – proceed to QUESTION 5

5)  So, how do you screw up?

a)      Dribbling – go back to START
b)      You turn into a less attractive, less charming, less personable, less amusing, generally more cretinous version of yourself. You get horribly drunk and launch into a half-hour anecdote about toadstools, forgetting the punchline and gesticulating wildly, whereupon you knock red wine into Bob’s lap, and when you go to the loos you realise you have curry on your chin – proceed to THERAPY
c)      You don’t! – proceed to QUESTION 6

6) Sparks are flying and some way down the line, you and Bob have pulled off the coup of ending up in bed. Where does it all go wrong?

a)    No sexual chemistry – proceed to FRIEND ZONE
b)    Closet full of weird shit – go back to START
c)     Bob is pre-op – venture into NEW TERRITORY 
d)     A&E – go back to START
e)      Success! – proceed to QUESTION 7
f)       Success! But you’re callous – go back to START

7)  You and Bob have been seeing each other for some time now. So, where is this going?

a)   Into the FRIEND ZONE – You were more like brother and sister than lovers. In fact, OkCupid being such a small community, you probably were brother and sister before being lovers.
b) a ROMANTIC BREAK IN PARIS – Tough shit if you claimed to prefer ‘kissing in a tent in the woods’.
c) a COLDPLAY GIG – Shame on you for cheating on question 3
d) to THERAPY – Shame on you for attending a Coldplay gig
f) back to the START – You’re a heterosexual male? Why the eff are you dating somebody called Bob?


About Abi Millar

British freelance journalist living in the Netherlands
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23 Responses to From Profile View to Functional Relationship: A Flowchart

  1. jonathan says:

    you scared everyone away.

  2. Abi Millar says:

    I know 😦 What was I thinking?

    • jonathan says:

      While the original was great, this was great too. When I read, ‘venture into NEW TERRITORY’, I actually had a laugh out loud moment. Coldplay will actually start the panty droppin’ out here too…

  3. Natalie says:

    Oh I LOVE this. Especially having experienced 6 a), b) and d) first hand from OKC users. I have also committed the 5 b) error. *sigh* will we ever get anywhere?!

    • Abi Millar says:

      Oh wow – I’d be intrigued to hear about your experiences of 6 b) and d)… Pretty sure I’ve been guilty of 5 a) myself.

      • Natalie says:

        I just read the original and am feeling particularly cynical at the moment, so amen to that.

        6 b) – date number two with a guy in which he opens his drawer full of about 30 sex toys and tells me he wants to stick one in my ass and have sex with me at the same time. I’m by no means a prude, but I do think there are some things you should work up to.

        6 d) – he spends the night at my house, I have a cat, he has a serious cat allergy, he ends up in hospital for 6 days. Deary me.

        • Abi Millar says:

          Natalie, you sound great. I’m so pleased it’s not just me that sort of thing happens to.

          • Natalie says:

            Oh, I could go on. My dating experiences are an endless source of amusement to my friends. The best one was the one who said 5’6 on his profile (still a little short for me but I was trying to be open-minded) and turned out to be around 4’10, with tiny arms, legs and hands. I stayed for a coffee to be polite and afterwards he just launched himself at me. When I tried to pull away and not kiss back he complained that “I didn’t kiss with any passion” and that he “couldn’t reach me from all the way over where I was sitting”. I dropped him back at the train station and was driving away before he’d even shut the car door. You are not alone!

  4. Nick says:

    Kissing in the woods and Paris can be combined in the Bois de Boulogne, though I wouldn’t recommend it after dark…

  5. stevesw says:

    I agree with your concept. What is more fun is virtual OKC. That’s when you are at a social event and an OKC devotee (i.e., someone still believing that the mismatches – idiots, flaming idiots, sex offenders, and prison pen pals – were just computer mistakes) corners you and recites her OKC bio, trying to get you to realize that you’re the person she has been trying to find on-line. And wants you to register with OKC so the two of you can ping each other. Truth. She must have lost the real person-to-real person concept. Hello, I’m standing here. Enter 5 b).1 (ref 7 f))

  6. Anonymous says:

    Wow this makes me want to delete my okc account,then life.
    Also what if you suffer from dyslexia?
    I mean are people going to assume that someone who has trouble with their grammar ( and spelling) are idiots?
    Funny piece though.

    • Abi Millar says:

      Hmm, if this makes you want to delete your life, it’s a good job you didn’t see the original version :-/
      I suppose if a message was otherwise intelligent the sender would get the benefit of the doubt. Putting an apostrophe in ‘strawberries’ is definitely a dumpable offence, though.

      • Anonymous says:

        I wouldn’t mind reading the original version, is there anyway I can see it.

        • Alex says:

          Google Cache is great for these things. (Still the old version at time of this comment.) That or get an RSS reader, which will automatically pick up any new posts/changes. Abi already knows her secrets aren’t safe I think. 🙂

          And yeah, it is pretty horrendously depressing (yet possible accurate). I’ll be honest, I tried OkCupid for laughs, but god help if one actually wanted to get a date on it. It seems to make people (especially females) even more fickle and whimsical than usual in this modern age. Quite entertaining though.

          • Abi Millar says:

            You can still see it? Shite 😦
            I was in such a horrible mood when I wrote it. Not that you’d be able to tell…

            • Alex says:

              Alas it is so. Don’t fret too much, the cache will update to your new version soon!

              I think you’ve just made me never want to return to OkCupid though. 🙂

  7. Pingback: An OkCupid Mea Culpa | It's Not OK, Cupid

  8. Neil says:

    I cannot help but feel a tad bit cynical towards your cynicism. By that, I’m wondering whether it being negative it cancels itself out, or makes for a double dosage of cynicism.

    I too have been on the receiving end of hopeless rotters, and being things as they are/may, females still insist on holding the upper hand on judging a male by their impossibly scrutinous self-happiness-defeating schemes… even when not in the position of doing so. My mind wanders/wonders on this…. wanders off for sure.

    My conclusions is that dating is near impossible to get right (in the 3d world); moreso, when you throw in technology like the internet and give rise to the opportunity of total strangers who can’t even see, sniff, judge, and gauge (did I already mention sniff?) each other properly get the chance to describe themselves to one another, in a sick attempt to make them more attracted to the prospect of them.

  9. Matt says:

    How about meeting her girl whose pictures are 10 years old, who smokes like a trooper (but never said that in her profile) and is rude and racist about my friends.

    When I offered to give her a lift home, my car failed to start and she told me what a piece of Sh*t it was – thanks.

    Really glad I managed to get out of that one alive.

  10. dom says:

    Was undecided about leaving OkC till i read this, but now sure its the right decision. I can’t really imagine anyone finds a match on here! Luckily i’ve found my dating site niche and it’s the source of many great dates and good company.

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