Online dating: some reviews, some tips, some little green ghouls

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My ex and I started dating when I was 19, and we were together for seven years. That’s a lot of Formative Time in a monogamous relationship. Now I’m single. And being single is awesome. Dating is also awesome. …Kind of. Sometimes? Well, it’s definitely a thing, and it’s new to me. I met my ex in a bar, and at the time, I remember online dating being an embarrassing thing that my peers assumed was for people who had given up on “real” dating. My best friend waited a year into her relationship to “confess” to me that she and her boyfriend had met on Plenty of Fish. Fast forward to 2014, and my view on meeting online is that it’s actually more legitimate than meeting at a bar. If you can put up with my tweets and still find me alluring in any way at all, there’s a good chance this might actually work. And it’s true: I’ve met some awesome people through Twitter and Tumblr. People who I’ve come to be very close with online, people who I’ve then met in real life, and people who I’ve dated. This always happened organically and it was always fun. The problem when it comes to dating, at least, is that my interactions on this site are almost exclusively with people at least a plane ride away from me. So, since I was newly single, I decided to try out some dating sites.

What a trip.

I should preface that I live in a town with about 400k people, and that bigger populations probably yield better (or at least more diverse) results when online dating. Here are my experiences with some popular and free dating sites. Then I run down a list of tips I’ve learned to try to make the experience more successful.

Tinder

The first one I tried was Tinder. Tinder is interesting because it’s overtly a hook-up app. It’s only phone-based and it’s designed nicely. It was fun and kind of addictive when you’d vote up a photo to find that the other person had also voted you up, too. I listed myself as bisexual and didn’t come across any other women, at all. This was a bummer. I spoke to some guys on there, but I didn’t hit it off with any. I understood that our conversation would be a lot less in-depth than dating sites, but even then, there wasn’t a lot of spark. Though some of them looked great in their pics, I discovered that I need a bit more of a connection to entertain the idea of a hook-up.

Plenty of Fish

This site looks like garbage and I couldn’t get past the login screen.

OkCupid

OkCupid works well and looks fine and the user interface isn’t too confusing. But my misadventures on OkCupid began immediately after I joined. I know a lot of people have really bad experiences, and I didn’t have any negative comments hurled at me — but I did get exposed to the phenomena of getting a message written poorly that jumps immediately to some sort of comment about sex. I found this strange because OkCupid isn’t a hook-up site… right? I also found that every person who was messaging me had at least 50% Enemy-level with me. Frustrating at best. My favourite observation is that a large chunk of the men messaging me had answered “yes” to homosexuality as a sin… but I’m listed as bisexual. I met just one person I found enough of a connection with to keep talking to so far. The misadventures make for some good laughs, so that’s a bonus.

FetLife

FetLife is a fetish lifestyle website meant to facilitate meetings between like-minded fetishists. I joined it as well, and have had a blah time. I think maybe if my city was bigger this would really change my experience, but another problem is that the site is just… not nicely constructed. It’s difficult to navigate. It doesn’t look nice. I don’t think it has a great “matching” algorithm (if any??). I’m not sure if it’s trying to be a dating site or a mini-blogging site where you can post photos and updates and others can “love” them. In general, it hasn’t worked for me at all. If you’ve had success on it and want to share some secrets, please do!

SO in summary: none of these were perfect options for me, but OkCupid was the best. I reactivated my account about a month later, and I’m trying to just take it as casually as possible. Which leads me to sharing what I’ve learned…

Tips for minimizing agony and maximizing sexy good times

I know I’ve only been in this game for a few months, but I think I can offer some tips based on my experience.

1) Include lots of photos where we can actually see you.

I felt instantly strange and didn’t trust anyone who didn’t have any photos, or did have photos but they obscured their face. These people could have been fun and nice but my first impression was “shady.” First impressions matter!

2) Fill out your profile, and actually read profiles of individuals who catch your eye.

Give potential readers something good to read. It doesn’t have to be too personal or wordy. Just a bit about what you like to do, what your favourite movie/book/music/whatever is, and you’re well on your way to actually meeting someone with similar interests. In one episode of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” Charlie’s friends help him write his profile for an online dating site. If you’re having trouble, consider talking to close friends before you set up your profile. They can help you remind you of all your fantastic attributes. Also, they can help you avoid writing an awful profile if you happen to be Charlie Kelly. Take the time to read others’ profiles. Do they seem interesting to you? If so, send a message. The goal, I think, should be that when you read your own profile, your reaction is sitting back and going, “Hell, I’d date me.”

3) Say hello when you first message someone.

Don’t jump into a compliment or worse yet — a pick up line. Say hello. Ask how they are. Mention something from their profile. Just because you’re online doesn’t mean you can be a dick. If you want actual responses to messages, make your message worth responding to.

4) Consider sending a “Not interested, thanks” message

If someone messages you, and they’re polite and abide by rule #3, but you’re just not interested, consider letting them know politely. Full disclosure: if someone sends me a terribly-written pick up line and their profile makes me gag, I ignore them. Sometimes I even block them. Don’t be afraid to block if you need to.

5) Be clear about your expectations — especially with yourself

My advice is to not go online with the express intent of looking for your for-life partner. I’m definitely not in that state of mind right now, and I make that explicit on my profile. But some of the otherwise interesting people who have messaged me are very obviously looking for something long-term on their profile. Of course, if you’re looking for that, there’s nothing wrong with it. Just be wary that the way you express that can seem intimidating to some people who you might otherwise hit it off with. OkCupid is particularly good about asking you questions that will let people know that you are hoping for a long-term commitment, eventually. There’s no need to go overboard and belabour the point in the written part of your profile.

Think of online dating as a fun and convenient way to meet people with similar interests — just like Twitter and Tumblr, but even more focussed. If your expectations are too high, you might miss out on meeting some people that would be great to know as just friends or just as casual dates. Try to be casual about your expectations and let things happen as naturally as possible.

6) Try to chill

It can be intimidating to put yourself out there, whether online or in person. It can be intimidating to think that you’re summarizing everything someone might want to know about you in a small profile. Get into a good mindset before you write your profile. Think about all the things that make you awesome and all the reasons you’re a good catch. Now project that onto your profile. Imagine you’re getting amped up for a job interview. Dwelling on your insecurities before you head into the boss’ office is a sure-fire way to come across as the wrong candidate for the job. Think about how when you meet someone in real life, you want to put your best foot forward. Your profile is exactly that. Dating is supposed to be fun, so try have fun with it.

Have you tried online dating? Have you had any success? What are your tips for making the experience the best it can be?

Comments on Online dating: some reviews, some tips, some little green ghouls

  1. I met my husband through a craigslist personals ad.

    I’m an ordained minister and have done weddings for a couple who met though yahoo personals, and two couples who met through craigslist. When I turned 30 and decided to date (prior to that I decided to be single and not date) I started reading craigslist personal ads. I didn’t post one of my own. My filtering criteria: age, location, a modicum of decent grammar, and can’t be overtly looking for sex. That immediately filters out 90% of the ads. I also preferred reading the ads without pictures because you never knew who was gonna try to surprise you with a picture of their genitals…

    My rules for safety: google voice phone number and dedicated gmail account for all emails. Also, any photos I sent had a filter on them so you got the “colored pencil” or “comic book” version of my image – good enough to see if you’re interested in meeting in person, but not so good that someone could use it for nefarious purposes (and also no geo locator tags on them). (I also became aware at one point about the traceability of IP addresses so I started sending those emails from public wifi access points). I hope I don’t sound über paranoid, but I got curious about the guys who emailed me and started snooping around with the information I had about them and was freaked out how super easy it is to pinpoint where someone lived and worked…and I’m not even a techie person so if I could do that then it is creepy to think about what someone who knows what they’re doing could do if they wanted to!

    I usually tried to speak with a potential date by phone before we met in person (hence the use of the google voice number) and we would always have our first date at a crowded coffee shop.

    I’ll be honest and say that I broke at least two of the above rules when I met my husband. His ad had terrible grammar and we didn’t connect via phone before the date so he never got my google voice number. But, I knew he was special because at the end of our first date he got my real phone number, and I’d never given that out before!

  2. I’m very happily married, and we’re in a sort of one-sided open relationship (husband is totally fine with me seeing other people but he doesn’t feel the need to do so himself). I’ve been using OKC to find likeminded people in my city (pop. 900k) and it’s mostly been disappointing, with just enough fun experiences to keep me from deactivating my account.

    All my relationships/hookups/whatever follow the same basic pattern:

    I meet someone, we hit it off really well and have great chemistry, we have a few dates, sexytimes ensue, everything goes really well… and then they just stop returning my calls or replying to my messages. I’ve had that happen with 3 people, and I’m currently seeing #4 and worried that the same thing will happen with him, which would really bum me out because I’m super into him.

    The worst part is that I can’t figure out what the hell I’m doing wrong (or if I even am doing anything wrong, apart from being attracted to people who turn out to be flakes). One of the people this happened with was a really fabulous woman who is also in an open marriage. We had a ton of stuff in common, the sex was great, she told me she hoped to see me at least once a week… and then she stood me up for a date and just totally cut me out of her life with no explanation.

    It gets pretty disheartening!

  3. Don’t rule out Plenty of Fish just because of its bad interface (though I do agree it’s terrible). I met my husband on there after getting advice from a friend who met her husband there too. As she put it, “You have to wade through a lot of garbage to get to the good stuff, so don’t get discouraged.” She’s right.

    I actually found Plenty of Fish to be preferable to eHarmony. Sure, eHarmony is “prettier” but I was sometimes getting matched with 100+ guys per day, which I found overwhelming. There was also no way to browse users on your own; you had to content yourself with whatever people the algorithm matched you with. I was once comparing eHarmony matches with a friend. I saw a guy on her matches that she wasn’t interested in, but we both agreed that he sounded perfect for me. But I hadn’t been matched with him and there was no way I could look him up from my own account. I also found that it was really time-consuming to answer all those questions every time I wanted to contact someone. Oh, and the cost was prohibitive.

    What I liked about Plenty of Fish was that it’s free, and you don’t have to follow guided questions in your profile. There’s also an option that blocks people who have contacted other uses solely for sex from seeing you. Not that there’s anything wrong with a hookup if that’s what you’re looking for, but I was looking for marriage and so I did not want to deal with men who had recently been hooking up. I also liked that I could browse people on my own, because sometimes you see profiles that aren’t “on paper” what you’re looking for, but are still appealing. (Like my husband – I doubt that eHarmony would have matched us, but we’re super compatible.)

    Something else I would add is that when you write your profile, really check your spelling and grammar. It sounds dorky but it is all about first impressions. You wouldn’t have spelling mistakes on your CV so why have them on your dating profile? In fact, the reason I initially messaged my husband was because his profile was well-written and thorough and had no spelling mistakes. He later told me that he replied to my message after he read my profile because I had no spelling mistakes either, hahaha.

    But as far as online dating goes in general, it seems to be the case that if you persevere long enough, you will eventually find a partner. In fact, I now have more couple friends who met through online dating than those who met in other ways. I also think it’s a more efficient and targeted way to find someone. After all, if you meet someone in the street and want to ask them out you have to go through the whole song and dance of “Are they single? Are they looking for the same thing as me? Are we compatible?” With online dating you can find out what you need to know relatively quickly, because hey, we all know why we’re here.

  4. I was one of those people who thought negatively about online dating before finally trying it. I met my husband on a gothic dating site that I don’t think exists anymore. I liked it because it meant I’d find someone with a shared music, lifestyle, and fashion interest more likely than on a larger more mainstream site. It also had a small part of the questionnaire about interest in bdsm which was something that was important to both of us in finding someone compatible.

    Also used Geek 2 Geek and went on two dates through that and also chatted with a few other guys who had potential to be interesting. I had an ad that stressed that I liked creativity and was a writer so got a lot of cool artsy people responding who liked painting, writing their own comic books, or making movies and stuff like that. From my experience I think it would work well for a lot of the interests of the ladies of the empire.

    Got maybe two odd responses on each site, but I just ignored them. I’d definitely recommend searching out more niche sites if you live somewhere with a high population density (I live in North Jersey near NY City). You might get less matches but those that you do find will be more likely to meet your offbeat personality than on larger mainstream sites.

    The funny thing is while I was experimenting with online dating I also went on a date with a guy I met at a goth night and out of all the dates it was the most awkward and least fun.

    I agree with the other comments about fetlife. I love it a lot, but it is much more like Facebook or Vampire Freaks than a dating site. You might meet a play partner or someone for a dating relationship there, but it is not setup for that and some kinksters actually get offended by others who try to solely use it that way. I’ve never tried Collar Me, but my husband went on a date with someone he met through it and had an ok experience with the site.

  5. Online dating (OkCupid) has worked out sooooo well for me. If you’re female and looking for men, though, you have to wade through a lot of dreck. It got a little overwhelming when I started looking for guys as well as ladies. So many messages. So many. Most of them awful.

    But then if you go to a bar or something, you’ll get hit on by a bunch of people you have no interest it and maybe one you do. Online dating at least you have the option to just not respond at all.

    I’ve have some fantastic friends and playmates that I never would have met without the online dating thing. You just have to have the energy and willingness to sort through a lot of people who you don’t want. Somewhat like face to face interactions, except you can do it in your pjs at three in the morning, so for me it works better.

  6. I haven’t see the website I met my fiance on mentioned yet so I might as well give it a plug! We met on the passions network, which is a HUGE group of niche dating websites all joined together. We met through the largepassions (fat people :D) one. Granted, this was 7 years ago, but when I used it, I didn’t really encounter any creeps. That’s probably changed by this point, but if you want to look for trekkies, vegans, exercise fanatics, or any other sort of specific thing, it might be worth checking out.

  7. I don’t think it’s so odd that a man who thinks that homosexuality is a sin would be romantically interested in a bisexual woman.

    I’m bisexual and when my husband and I started dating I think he thought that sex between people of the same sex was a sin. I think he also thought premarital sex was a sin but wasn’t put off by my having had sex with people I wasn’t married to, including women. For my part, I’m vegan and I wasn’t put off by his eating meat. Maybe it was different because we knew each other before we started dating. I think my dating pool would be very small if it only included people who agreed with all my moral positions.

  8. For UK people, I hear amazing thing abouts Guardian Soulmates. I know three couples (two straight, one gay) who are now married after meeting through that site.

  9. I met my husband on Geek2Geek (gk2gk.com) which is a geek dating site. I really like the whole idea of specialized dating sites. I tried several other sites but realized that I was just looking for _a_ geek. Due to the limited amount of geeks on each site, there weren’t many options and it wasn’t very likely that I’d find _the_ geek for me. So it was quite a revelation when I found geek 2 geek.

  10. I met my boyfriend on OkCupid. The site worked out well for me, but I did have to field a lot of uncomfortable requests. At first I’d give my number to almost anyone to asked for it (I was newly divorced and had a ‘I can do anything I want!’ mentality). I stopped that after I received some ‘unbidden penis’ pics (thanks for that one, Dootsie!). I got a lot of messages, but I’m very non-confrontational so if I wasn’t interested, I wouldn’t respond. The messages I did respond to were ones that referenced something in my profile. If someone said, “Hey, I like Christopher Nolan films too.” then I’d at least email them back.
    Also, a bit of advice that’s OkCupid specific: Pay attention to the match percentages, but don’t put too much weight on them. I went on dates with several guys who matched me 95% (one even matched me at 99%). Incidentally, none of those ended up being my boyfriend. My boyfriend’s match percentage with me was 75% which was why I initially passed him over. He saw I looked at his profile and messaged me. We emailed back and forth for a couple weeks, and I realized that even though we had differences, the way we handled them made them not a big deal. We met in person two or three weeks after we first started talking, and we’ve been inseparable ever since.

  11. I met my husband through OKC. Actually…. I’ve met a lot of people and I’ve blocked a lot of idiots. I have also suffered through POF, Fetlife, and OKC for over ten years. (I refuse to generally meet people from fetlife and I hate POF with a passion now though.) I’ve met some great people and I’ve met a LOT of assholes. I will admit- I look at dating as looking for a potential mate, so I generally don’t go for people who are only looking for fuck buddies. I get horn dog messages at least three times a week nowadays. ( Well…. that depends on which profile picture I have up though!)

    Now that my husband and I are openly poly and somewhat taking to dating again it’s “back to the drawing board” with dating in general because we have to approach everything at a whole new angle. We aren’t swingers, and we aren’t looking for sex partners- it’s difficult. I have generally have a huge Q&A on my profile because I’ve gotten so tired of answering the same questions over, and over, and over. (I’m working on shortening it down and then maybe posting it as a journal entry that I can just link to.)

    Just like walking through a crowded room- online dating takes a lot of patience and time to sort through people and find someone worthwhile. It’s rough because you have to visually SEE each “potential” person and read about them instead of just bumping into them while going for a drink. It’s awesome because you can get a real feel for the person and if you even WANT to meet whoever you are looking at.

    Personally, I’ve always thought that dating online is WAY safer than dating random people who slip you their number at some seedy bar. (That is ME though and my thoughts on the matter via MY experiences.) Truth be told, I’ve dated two people who I met offline- first one was a complete psychopath and the other was VERY not someone who I would even associate with… ever. I like and prefer online dating because I can read about a person before I even try to meet them. (It probably helps that I can tell if a person is generally bad news after so long of reading profiles.) Add on that a picture speaks a thousand words- you can tell a LOT about people by their profile pictures.

  12. I recently set up an OK Cupid profile for similar reasons. My ex- and I had been together since highschool and I spent over a year single before even considering dating again, and then realized that dating in highschool is a lot different than dating in your early twenties and that I needed practice. Similarly to the messages from 50% Enemy dudes, I found a lot of people who had 90%+ Match but didn’t jive on my level (somehow I got people who thought homesexualty was a sin with a really high Match percent? Or people with high Match percents who tried to rid me of my self-professed Feminst Killjoy attitudes?).

    Despite some pretty sketchy messages and a handful of mediocre at best dates, I think online dating can be a really great way to get to know what you want from a relationship without having to worry about setting yourself up for a ton of heartbreak. Post-break up I realized a bunch of things I need in my next relationship, and post-OKC I know even more — minus all the time spent putting my life back together. Plus, it was surprisingly good practice and helped me figure out how to date people I knew IRL as well.

  13. I have almost always online dated. Mostly because I don’t do crowds and have social anxiety, partly because I just found that the sort of people I actually wanted to spend time with were more apt to be on dating sites. POF is a cesspool. OKcupid is where I meet my husband. As a woman on these sites you are almost certain of getting a huge amount of messages that go something like “wow! Your eyes are so beautiful. What’s your bra size? Do you like “insert sexism position’?” It is a sad fact of online dating.

  14. My best advice in the realms of online dating is TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. I was guilty of always giving everyone the benefit of the doubt even if something they said bothered me. Those guys were definitely not the ones I should have been on dates with. If you get a bad feeling, or just aren’t feeling it save yourself the time/energy and move on. Don’t feel bad about saying no.

    I did end up meeting a few guys on Yahoo! Personals , one that lasted a few months. I met my now husband on OKCupid. We chatted for about a week, talked on the phone and then met up. I don’t recommend trying to establish any kind of relationship online. The sites are a great way to meet people, but there are a lot of creepers and just-for-sex people out there too. Filter yourself where you can and trust your instincts to do the rest.

    Good luck!

    • Wow, I sooooooo agree with what you said! I’ve used Match, and it took me a few weeks and couple of awkward meetings to finally realize that instincts are key! At first I found myself feeling like I was being “judgmental” for not being interested in someone’s profile if they emailed me, but I think this is just a habit that many people (especially people in communities such as this, that pride themselves on being open-minded) form based on social expectations. I had to kick this habit, and go with my gut – once I started doing that, I started meeting people with whom I was much more compatible!

      I think that even in the digital age, connections are connections, and impressions are impressions. You have a connection, or you don’t! And don’t feel bad if you don’t 😉

  15. I met my husband on Nerve.com in 2006. That was sort of before online dating really took off though, so I have no idea how it’s all changed since then. I kind of have an impression that the % of skeezeballs using online dating has gone up as it’s become more mainstream and less nerdy. Before him, I had dated someone else from Nerve for a year. I met some good people on there. It used to be that the dating site accessed through Nerve was a pool of profiles that people could access from various sites. I believe my husband had accessed the people network through The Onion, actually. Don’t know if they do that anymore or not.

    And damn am I lucky he’s more open-minded than I am. He winked at me, and I took a month to reply. My filters were set to search for someone with a college degree within 10 miles of me. Thank goodness he had fewer “criteria.” He had no college degree (or high school diploma, for that matter) and lived 40 miles from me. So glad he found me.

  16. I’ve considered signing up to okcupid a couple of times, but I’ve always been stopped by the fact that, since I’m genderqueer, I can’t sign up without misgendering myself. Also I’m poly and there’s no ‘looking for’ option for that but y’know the gender is the big issue.

  17. I use Plenty of Fish (PoF), eharmony and RSVP (Australian specific I think?) I’ve also tried some plus size specific sites but they don’t seem to have many local users and I’m not into my weight being fetishized (we all have our things but that isn’t mine)

    I hate, hate, HATE eharmony. I want my money back. I can’t even list the way it sucks, especially when they do the free communication weekends. I end up with my inbox full of matches to profiles filled out with ejajfndsvndkjndfbdf and pictures of beaches.

    POF is ok its more of a hook up kind of vibe and I’m not really looking for that so I haven’t really used it after the initial month or so.

    RSVP is probably the best in my opinion of the three. Partly because I can list my body type, it isn’t a huge issue for me but I want to make it clear I’m fat because in the past I’ve been matched with people for whom that is an issue and I like to avoid the waste of time communicating with someone only to get dropped when they realise I’m fat.

    I’ve experienced quite a bit of racism on the online dating scene. A friend and I actually just started a blog to vent about it because as it turns out she’s also had similar experiences. Once my subscription to eharmony expires I wont be renewing it and I probably wont sign up for a subscription style site again.

  18. Oh, OkCupid… if we go by Einstein’s definition, that site is proof that I’m insane. I have much the same story as you, Caroline. I met my ex working at Disneyland when I was 19 and when we broke up 6 years later I had absolutely no clue how to date as an adult. But I knew I was ready to get back out there and make up for lost time. I started with “legitimate” dating sites (read, the ones you have to pay for) and quickly found that having my matches chosen for me was extremely irritating and limiting. I wanted to be able to look at whoever’s photos I wanted and read any profile I liked. So after several unsuccessful tries at other sites, when I came across OkCupid it was like being a kid in a candy store. My first year of being single I went on something like 50 first dates.

    I definitely started out with a goal of finding a new long term relationship, but knowing myself to be picky, I just dove right in head first so I could meet as many new people as possible. There were a lot of lousy coffee dates where I ended things with a quick shake of the hand and a polite, “Well it was nice meeting you.” I had some pretty strong personal filters out to make sure I didn’t end up meeting anyone too creepy, but there were a lot of nice guys that I just had no chemistry with. There were a few short flings, a one night stand or two and then there were a few of actual relationships that came out of it. What amazes me is that even after my OkC romances lead to two of the most spectacularly awful breakups and heartaches of my life – I still went back for a third time. And I’m so very glad I did. My current boyfriend is so ridiculously perfect for me. It’s been two years and I’m happier with him than I’ve been with anyone else.

    But after years of activity on dating sites I learned some really important lessons that if I should ever end up single again, I know I’ll be prepared. The biggest piece of advice I have for women dating online is set your own boundaries. There are a lot of people out there who will try to push you to fit into their timeline or make assumptions about what your interactions will lead to. I’m not just talking about sex either. There were plenty of times that people assumed that since I had responded and was friendly that meant I was 100% interested and ready to jump into a deep, committed relationship the moment we met. Likewise, there WERE lots of men who felt that dinner and a movie meant that I owed them sex. But I had no qualms about shutting both of those situations down fast. If someone doesn’t respect your boundaries, don’t worry about being called a tease or a bitch, just walk away and don’t look back.

    • Thanks for this comment, Nicki. This is great advice. It’s also heartening to hear that someone in a very similar situation as mine ended up finding the happiest relationship of their life through OkC!!

  19. I dated my ex for 7 years from age 19 too! Must be that certain age followed by the 7 year itch, haha. I met my fiancée through OKCupid and as strange as it sounds, it is possible to have that instant chemistry. My account was active for 20minutes and he stumbled upon me. We had a compatibility score of 94% and the conversation flowed as if I’d known him my whole life. We met about 6 weeks later and the rest is history.

    The best advice I can give is don’t ever feel like you need to settle for any date because of a dry spell. There’s an amazing person out there for everyone! Just sometimes it’s harder to find them than others.

    Sometimes just entertaining polite conversation can result in fabulous friends so there’s another win 🙂

    I honestly don’t see a bad side to this, hehe

  20. Unlike most people who talk about their experiences with Ok Cupid, I had a good experience with the site. Like users above have said, think about how you’re answering the questions (I answered A LOT of the multiple choice questions), and how you’re describing yourself in the profile: be true to yourself. While I went on some dud dates, they weren’t BAD dates: we just didn’t click. They were nice enough guys, but not quite what I was looking for. Eventually I found my partner on there, and he even said he didn’t have a horrible experience as an Ok Cupid user. Maybe it turned more into the hook-up site after we met (~2010)?

  21. I’ve had ridiculously good luck with online dating. But I want to say it’s more than luck because I think my attitude played a big part. I never “needed” what I was looking for. I laugh off the gross comments (and share them with my male partners so they “get it”) and I only go on when I feel like it (goes from 3x/day to 1x/month).

    I met my husband (been together 4.5 years) after 5 weeks of online dating, then I met my partner of 1.5+ years 6 weeks after officially opening up our relationship. And just a few weeks ago, I had an excellent first date with another guy. All from OkCupid. I absolutely love it. I had very low expectations/standards in the beginning, but I didn’t really care about results.

    Now, I’m busy with 2/3 partners, so my standards are super strict. I’ve stopped talking to anyone with a match lower than 85%. I figure if I didn’t want a B in school, why would a B in love be ok? I do about 2-7 days of messaging before scheduling a first date, and it’s always coffee. Even though I’ve only gone on ~10 first dates in 4+ years, 3 of them worked out wonderfully, so that’s a 30% success rate!

  22. Er, I used World of Warcraft and met someone that I’ve now been with offline for 5 years now. Apparently it’s pretty common to end up with someone from there. (It’s just too bad you can’t have a setup to only play with people from your area. That’d be a neat preliminary exclusion. Did he steal loot? Block him. People like that are jerks. “No date for you!”) A friend here even introduced us to now-friends who had also met on WoW and were only slightly farther apart in years than we were. Crazy world.

  23. I met my fiance on plenty of fish. I didn’t bother with okcupid because it tends to be more of a hook up site, at least in my area. I agree with that list, I never messaged anyone back who said “hey babe” and that was it. if you want to talk ask me something, if not I’m not interested. and yes! always talk to them on the phone! I know one guy (honestly I knew it was fishy but I heard after the fact) who went to meet a girl and it was a guy. also, if you can’t have a decent phone conversation its unlikely you’ll be able to have a decent face to face conversation.

  24. Also: have a thick skin and a bit of confidence in yourself. I found my fiance on OkCupid and he’s so lovely but I had to wade through an awful lot of rubbish before I found him (or rather he found me haha). If I hadn’t worked on loving myself a bit more before trying internet dating, the things some guys said to me might have completely wrecked me, or I’d have agreed to keep going with some pretty emotionally dangerous guys.

  25. I joined OKCupid after dumping the worst boyfriend ever. I had no intention of looking for anything remotely serious, I was looking for one and done. I found a bunch of creepers. Then I was laid up after surgery and bored so I answered a WHOLE BUNCH of survey questions. OKC collated my answers and spit out a list of guys topped with my now husband. We met and were dating within a week, married exactly 4 years to the day after we met.

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