Online Dating Apps Don’t Work For Most of Us. Here’s Why.
Is OKCupid the right choice for you?
A must read: The pros and cons of okcupid
Nothing highlights personal preferences and definite deal-breakers like being single in today’s dating scene.
Whether you’re going out on a first date for drinks or are ending a 6-month fling, dating teaches you more about yourself. Also, dating helps you learn about the traits you’re looking for in your next partner. After all, research shows shared goals and values (and the ability to communicate them well) are the foundation of any type of romantic relationship.
Of course, the Shift Dating team knows that’s easier said than done. After one too many bad dates, finding someone special who checks off all the boxes can feel like mission impossible. Remember that dating profiles need more substance than just a few good selfies if you want to up your dating game.
For modern-day matchmaking, dating apps like OkCupid use an analytic approach for its users. Harvard math majors founded OkCupid in 2004. The app’s algorithm uses data from its voluntarily multiple-choice questionnaire to calculate a couple’s compatibility.
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Online dating can be frustrating and time consuming, with limited if any results. Or maybe you just don’t know where to start.
Here’s How OkCupid works:
- Users answer multiple-choice questions from a pool of thousands of items. Subjects range from love, sex, drugs, politics, and religion to sports, travel, and music. These questions aim to highlight your fundamental outlook, values, interests, hobbies, and passions.
- Each member needs to select one or more options for what they’re looking for on OkCupid. Choices include short-term dating, long-term dating, hookups, and new friends.
- Members give both their answers and the answer they want their partner to have as well.
- For every answer, you need to note the importance of your match’s response on a scale of 1 to 5. This scale ranges from irrelevant to mandatory.
- When you’re matched with someone new, you’re given a compatibility percentage. The closer you and your partner are to 100 percent, the better.
- In other words, compatibility equals visibility. With this in mind, remember: you’ll get more matches if you’re compatible with more people.
- OkCupid lets users skip or answer questions. So you don’t have to feel pressured to solve a problem if you know it doesn’t apply to you. Each user needs to answer a minimum of 15 questions or statements. The Shift Dating experts recommend answering at least 50.
- Right now, there are 1.5 men for every woman on OkCupid.
Do you think it’s time to give OkCupid a shot? Keep on reading the pros and cons of OkCupid to see if it’s the right dating app for you:
CON: Alarming data leaks
We all know that keeping personal data private is a priority for many online daters. Unfortunately, OkCupid was caught in a controversial “data dump” in 2016 involving nearly 70,000 users from six countries.
A group of Danish researchers conducting a social experiment released a data set that took identifiable personal data without permission. The data was collected from 2014 to 2015 and included usernames, ages, gender, religion, personality traits, and other information. 1,800 Canadian users’ private data is also in the leaks, according to Global News.
Although the users’ real names weren’t revealed, their location, demographics, and username may determine their identity.
PRO: A better more inclusive customer experience
OkCupid is known for its engaging user experience and overall positive branding. OkCupid positions itself as a real-life wingman, encouraging users with a trusting but tongue-in-cheek tone. The Shift Dating team also loves the app’s bold and playful graphic design.
Additionally, it’s worth noting OkCupid offers 22 genders and 12 orientations people can choose. OkCupid also uses neutral pronouns for all users of the app. Likewise, the app lets people add their pronouns to their dating profiles. Plus, OkCupid uses a gender-neutral placeholder image and gives its users the option to change their name and gender at any time.
CON: It’s the ladies choice on OkCupid
Women can chat with more attractive guys if they send the first message according to data collected from OkCupid. Attraction levels are based on both physical looks as well as qualities from a person’s profile.
The 2015 report found most women on OkCupid don’t make the first move, regardless of their sexual orientation or age.
According to the article, if you’re a woman and receive a message, the guy who sent it is 5% less attractive than you. If you send the first hello, the guy you’re messaging is 7% more attractive than you.
Even more impressive, women are 2.5x more likely to get a response from guys than the other way around. To rephrase: women will find more attractive matches than men if they’re willing to make the first move.
To be fair, it’s not a complete shocker that online dating is harder for men. According to a 2016 literature review, men are more active in dating apps. Men also attempt a higher amount of interactions. However, the study results still found they don’t get as many matches or messages as women.
PRO: Cool compatibility questions
In January 2020, OkCupid launched a campaign about what matters most in relationships. Above all, the research shows voting and politics have become even more important to people. For example, there’s been a 150% increase in the number of users reporting they enjoy discussing politics since 2016.
“What our data shows is that younger daters in particular care deeply about some of the biggest issues of today, and they don’t want this disconnected from their dating experience,” said Melissa Hobley, Global Chief Marketing Officer at OkCupid.
According to 2017 statistics, the average age of marriage for Canadians is 30 for men and 28 for women. Meanwhile, the majority of OkCupid users are 25 to 34-years-old. If you’re at the age where you want commitment, shared core values with a future partner are even more critical.
In short, the Shift Dating experts, love that OkCupid asks users these make-or-break questions right off the bat. Ultimately, answering these fundamental questions honestly will help you find the best match:
- Could you date someone who couldn’t be bothered to vote?
- Bigger turn-on: Intelligence or looks?
- Is a soulmate worth waiting for?
- It’s OK to not date a man who won’t vote for a woman.
- It’s OK to choose to only date someone who’s pro-choice.
- It’s OK for your pronouns to mean more than your profile.
- It’s OK to only match with someone you can march with
- It’s OK to choose Mr. Right based on how far left he leans.
At the same time, it may also help you have a happier and healthier relationship in the long run. A 2016 study from Utah State University found a significant connection between a married couple’s shared values, marital happiness, and individual well-being.
In the meantime, OkCupid just might make your COVID-19 love life more manageable. Similar to dating apps like Match, Tinder, and Hinge, OKCupid also noticed an increase in their users’ activity during the quarantine. According to Fast Company’s article “How COVID-19 killed hookup culture and saved romance,” there’s been a 5 percent increase of users looking for long term relationships. Meanwhile, twenty percent fewer people on OkCupid are looking for hookups right now.
Our expert advice? Quarantine is the perfect time to start answering OkCupid’s pool of thousands of questions.
CON: Fake profiles
There are bots on every dating app, but the Shift Dating experts noticed that it’s even more prevalent on OkCupid. Chatbots mimic fake profiles and create and carry on a conversation until the user shares private information or buys a product.
Threads on both Reddit and Quora report both male and female bots.
“Over the past months, the only responses or messages I’ve received have been from bots…dozens and dozens of bots. I’m talking several times a day. It’s literally the only thing I see anymore,” wrote one frustrated male Reddit commenter.
Look for these 5 signs if you’re worried about fake bots on OkCupid (or any other dating site).
- They look like a model but only have one to three photos.
- Their profile is sparse.
- They always respond to your answer within seconds.
- They don’t “speak naturally” and have strange syntax.
- They send outside links to other paid sites.
On the other hand, sometimes bots on OkCupid do lead to love. Math genius Chris McKinlay hacked OKCupid and became the top match for thousands of women. One of the matches was his future wife.
“It’s not like we matched, and therefore, we have a great relationship,” McKinlay told Wired.com. “It was just a mechanism to put us in the same room. I was able to use OkCupid to find someone.”
Although Chris was able to find his dream girl, many other OkCupid users had less positive experiences with bots and fake profiles.
In fact, Match Group, Inc. (Match), the owner of Match.com, Tinder, OKCupid, PlentyOfFish, and other dating sites, is currently being sued by The Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Match.com allegedly created fake love interest advertisements to trick hundreds of thousands of consumers into purchasing paid subscriptions on Match.com.
Fundamentally, the FTC believes Match.com conned people into paying for subscriptions from messages the company knew were from scammers.
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PRO: Legit IRL couples
Fun fact: OkCupid is the most mentioned dating app in The New York Times’ coveted Wedding section. Isn’t that awesome?
Sam Levitz from Brooklyn, NY, met her husband, Ethan Heft, on OkCupid after connecting in December 2016. “Ethan had contacted me, and while I thought he was really cute he lived in Connecticut, I don’t drive, and he asked me way too many questions right off the bat, so I didn’t respond to him,” said Sam.
On New Year’s Eve, Sam was celebrating in Prague and returned to her hostel late in the evening. By habit, she opened the profile and saw another message from Ethan at exactly midnight her time. It read: Happy New Year, Sam! I hope this year is bright and filled with happiness.
“Something about that message got to me. It was so sweet and genuine, and even though I had to wake up in a few hours, I wrote back to Ethan immediately, and we haven’t stopped talking since.”
Sam’s favourite component about Ethan’s profile was that he clearly took time on his profile. “He was very deliberate and caring about what he wrote to convey who he was. It was refreshing and attractive.”
The two met once she arrived back in New York City. Six months after their first date, Ethan ended up moving across the street from Sam in Brooklyn.
The pair moved in together in March 2018, and Ethan popped the question in October 2018. The happy couple got married in Brooklyn, surrounded by 250 of their family and friends on November 4th, 2019.
“It was the big fat Jewish wedding I always dreamed of having,” said Sam.
Does OKCupid sound like the right fit for you? Swipe smarter on OkCupid, and book a consultation with one of Shift Dating’s personal dating experts.
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