“So, what are you even doing on OkCupid?” A friend once asked me.
“I don’t know.”
THERE IS A TALL, DIRTY BLONDE DRINK OF AN HAPPY ENDING at the end of this tale–the tale of my brief dip into the world of online dating.
OkCupid(.com) was as pleasantly normal a foray into online dating as to be expected in 2015.
- No more tacit weirdoes-only policy
- MUCH better pervert filters
- Smarter ways of match-making (level-of-desirability-based, Myers-Briggs-esque personality question-based, etc.)
OkCupid turned out to be, well, more than OK. Hahahha. Allow time for pun humor to digest.
BUT… there were plenty of oddities I stumbled upon using this app (the desktop version is so much less cool) which I MUST divulge to you, the world and God–all from my single-at-the-time, young-in-NYC girl perspective.
1. THE “SPAMMERS”
It had not, nor should it ever have, occurred to me that there might have been automated accounts fluttering around on OkCupid. They may not even be spammers, but they sure sound as if they’re operated by robots. Not a whole lot better for a service based around the members’ ability to showcase their personalities (and looks, of course, obviously).
After I got done with the racket of registration forms, personality questions, personal profile write-ups and picture uploads, I was immediately stricken with a “Like” from a cute 26 year-old guy whose profile mentioned he was into “making music, doing photography, and learning Spanish and Japanese.” Just quaint enough to be believably human, not generated by some algorithm. I “Liked” him back within seconds, which, on OkCupid, means that they notify you the moment you guys have made a mutual match. This guy never messaged me. And he wasn’t the only shy lurker:
SOME “MUTUAL LIKERS” WHO HAVE NEVER MESSAGED ME:
There is a likely explanation for most of these men not even shooting out a short “Hi”– They’re too shy and/or too passionate about this whole newfangled “women should make the first move” nonsense (I did make the first move with my tall, blonde happy ending, that said).
2. THE PICK-UP LINES
Now, there are the men who actually did message me. In the hundreds in my inbox, most were… non-threatening. Easygoing, relaxed come-ons like “hi, what’s up?” and “you’re beautiful. May I take you out for dinner?” The ones I did take note of were:
These are the truly hackneyed pickup lines you feel bad even mocking. Even though, here we go. One guy ACTUALLY used the oldest line in the book (I swear to God, there have got to be thousands of books on pick-up lines):
At least he spit it out right. Another guy had similar thoughts, wooing me with, “If you were a triangle, you would be cute.” Struck by a smooooth criminal.
The cheesiest, however, are those who use the happenings of recent or upcoming holidays as icebreakers. At first, I thought it was just human-to-human chitchat. Until it happened with back-to-back messages every time there was so much as a long weekend:
When I say my experience on OKCupid was happily banal and serial-killer/pervert-free, I meant it. There were no men who seemed in touch with their Hannibal Lecter or John Wayne Gacy side. There WERE plenty, however, who seemed more than comfortable questioning me about my boudoir habits right off the bat. These same men would make me feel safe and at ease discussing our common interests one second (films, public figures, sports, etc.) and flick a switch and ask me, “Do you prefer @#$% or @#$%?” the next. Um, watch out for the sexual Jekyll & Hydes of the Internet, ladies.
One message from a guy became emblazoned in my memory forever.
“Let’s say that you were taking me out for sushi. I’m in a rush. How long does it take you to get ready?”
I’m sure lots of people will remark on how reasonable that question is, and within the right context, they would be right. But four things:
1. His default picture was of him at a nightclub, crossing his arms around four girls, each of their faces classily blurred out. Now, sure, display yourself as a fun guy who has friends, but I strenuously doubt his most consistent party buddies were those four specific ladies. Also, if you happened to just like the way you look in that photo, how about a good, old simple crop-out?
2. ME take YOU out? I am more than happy treating my man on a date. But introducing yourself to a girl by telling her she is arranging and paying for a first date is NOT how you get the girl, fellas.
3. How long would it take me to get ready? In your hypothetical situation? F**KING FOREVER.
4. I’m pretty sure he sends this as an introductory message to “all” the girls.
3. THE GUYS I DID DATE:
Of the guys who liked me and, and out of those guys who’ve messaged me, I’ve only actually dated less than a handful. Of those less-than-a-handful men, there were zero crazies, just your standard-issue stage-3 (and 5) clingers, flakes (stood me up; claimed family emergency), and guys with sincerely-busy schedules. Two examples who did not make the cut:
1. One who worked topsy-turvy hours as a television camera operator; Also, he did not understand any references or jokes that weren’t completely literal (he is Jersey-born and raised).
2. One who was WAY too quick to accept my offer to go Dutch on a first date to the movies.. an offer I made in sincerity when he already had his wallet out but took forever finding the cash to pay for both tickets. That wasn’t a deal-breaker but definitely a dampener. Ick.
- THE DEAL-BREAKER were the many daily texts I received saying really nothing when he knew I was definitely at work. Oh, and his constant need to talk to me on the phone, any time or day. He’s a Millennial like me. We don’t talk on the phone, unless it is with a parent or long-distance friend. Or boyfriend, which he was not even close to being, at least not in my book. Clearly, we were reading from two completely separate chapters.
My biggest revelation from OkCupid.com?
Men get catfished WAY more than women do.
From all the dates I have attended (and from simply chatting with other men who have online-dated), I have learned one thing: Apparently, guys are catfished WAY more frequently than women are. Every guy I’ve met in person looked more or less how they did in their selective profile pics.
According to the men, however, they have hoards of stories about girls showing up looking insanely different than expected. Some only chose to post photos of themselves in professionally made-up instances (weddings and the like) and some simply had gained a tremendous amount of weight (whether in muscle or fat) after those posted photos were taken.
The WORST catfish story, of course, has nothing to do with looks. My date dished about a young lady who, during wintertime on their first date, had stuffed the fingers of her gloves with her dog’s fur for warmth and offered him use of such gloves. This was the same date on which the girl proudly declared that she uses her cat’s insulin needles to draw her own blood and paint with it on a canvas.
Dog fur in gloves. Paints with own blood using pet insulin needles. Got it.
The same guy who told me this story? My blonde, tall, and handsome drink of hot tea (oh, so punny, I am). One crazy girl’s loss turned out to be my win. He’s Chicagoan by roots, random and morbid in sense of humor, and ambitious and daring enough to simultaneously pursue law and entrepreneurship. He’s also super-loving despite his sardonic shell and disturbing desensitization to horror movies. There is hope for love on the Internet after all, ladies.