18 September 2014

Stupid cupid?

This post, technically the second in the dating series, is long overdue. But that also means I have amassed a number of entertaining messages and interactions to share with you all.


So, after my fairly dismal 'success' on Tinder, I thought I'd flirt with OKCupid, pardon the pun, and it being free was particularly enticing.

A quick intro to OKCupid, to set the scene, for those who don't know. This New York based online dating website suggests potential matches based on your answers to a database of questions, coupled with which answers you are willing to accept, or which ones you consider completely unacceptable, in a suitor! Each match is given a percentage and you can filter them by age, education, location, etc. The aforementioned questions are endless; you can answer as many, or as few, as you wish. The more you answer, presumably the more accurate your matches become. Those are the basics.

And now, I suppose, for context purposes, my profile. A fairly generic description, I'm sure you'd agree, and standard, Facebook-esque photos.

You can fill in sections entitled 'I'm really good at', 'The first things people usually notice about me' and 'The six things I could never do without'.

And after joining back in April, the weird and wonderful messages haven't really stopped. Everyone has to start their message somewhere but some of these message are golden, and are one of the main reasons I am yet to deactivate my account. Here are some of my favourites:
"Do you like brownies with or without nuts?" There was no mention of brownies anywhere in my profile.
"Hi H r u" Zero English skills 
"...Speaking of "bumbling", the word can also mean jewellery for the bottom"."
Thank you. For that. 
"Hey sweet, you are so cute xx" My profile correctly displays my age; please talk to me like I am 29. Not 12.  
"I probably don't match your criteria and I'm really only after 1 thing, but thought I should tell you..... you are incredibly beautiful x" +1 for honest. -10 for the rest.
"Hey! I fall in love with your username. [ He proceeded to start a conversation about my job and then remarked it was a 'lame' conversation topic. ] ... I got a better idea, and sciency in natures, do you know how much does polar bear weigh?" Nope. Also: a) OKCupid highlighted this as 'one of the best messages you've received'. b) He may have been Polish?
"Wow what an amazing women x" I don't get it. 
[ After receiving several messages from him already, none of which I'd replied to ] "Were you in Pam pans last night? :-)" Err... what?  
After an intro e-mail that I didn't reply to, the following were all from the same guy:
Jun 29 "Love you to take a chance" Not gonna. 
Aug 1 "Love you to take a chance, I know I have written already." Yup. Still not gonna. 
Aug 16 "What do I have to do to persuade you that I think we would click." Give it up mate.
Normal service resumed.
"Well there's a quandary." Do tell?!
"Baby i love you xxx 3 add me in wots app [ telephone number ]" You're confused about what this is my friend. 
 And finally, this was both the best and worst exchange to date, from a 22 year old chozzer:
Chozzer: "hey, if you reply to my message i will read your profile, otherwise I will not waste my time as i spend too much time reading long profiles and writing long messages for no reply." I wouldn't normally reply but this aggravated me so much, I couldn't resist.  
Me: "This is probably the worst OKCupid message I've ever received, and there's been a lot! [ I meant a lot of bad ones... not a lot of messages. ] You have a terrible attitude and you have little hope of finding a date with a nice person with a message like that." And breathe.
Chozzer: "well there we go. I can tell you what is wrong with you and why you are on this site instantly. You think that everything a person is comes across in the first message and that is ridiculous. As for that first message, it actually works well and it's surprising my attitude is so good considering i have been on these sites four years." There are so many holes in your argument and so contradictory compared with your first message.  
Me: "*for years" Passive aggressive.
Chozzer: "no, i have been on this site four years. The number four. That's how bad it sucks. just a load of hypersensitive idiots. Like one girl, said she wanted to meet up sometime but needed to wait till payday, i offer to pay and she never replies. I wait a few days, ask her if she got the message because i wondered if it sent as sometimes messages only show in the sent box, and she gets all hypersensitive about it and i get this: Ok dude. Seriously, calm down. "I'm moving house this weekend. I'm busy. I don't need you hounding me. To be honest...the fact you are being so full on already....not good. I retract agreeing to meet & wish you best wishes to find likeminded people. You're FAR too full on for me. " The funniest thing is, she spent so long arguing about that message, yet she could have just acknowledged she got my other message in the first place and saved that. See most of you women on this site are like that. Guys cant win unless it's grovel grovel all the time. Hell i can't even think about a girl on this site without them getting upset...." Yes. OK.
Me: Silence.
But I must say, despite showing you several funny and slightly cray messages, there are of course a number of good ones and my making fun is certainly not intended to be malicious. End disclaimer.

In general, I have become quite fascinated by the disparity of how men and women approach dating, including online dating. And there have been several interesting studies, of which Jon Millward's Cupid On Trial is one such study.

Jon sets out, over a four month period, to answer the question: Is online dating a different experience for men than it is for women?, creating 10 dummy profiles in the US and UK to investigate. If you're even remotely interested in the topic, I definitely recommend reading the article, but he has also conducted other interesting trials including analysing the last words of 478 death row prisoners, plus he has some great infographics! Re: online dating, you may not be shocked to discover the inference that women on online dating websites get a lot of messages from men, and if the woman is attractive, she is inundated. There are other intricacies that are perhaps also not surprising, but interesting.

So, who else has tried online dating? Good, bad or ugly?

Jen
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Heart image credit: Gopal Vijayaraghavan, CC BY 2.0

2 comments:

  1. This just reminded me how much I do not miss online dating! This all sounds so familiar: during my time online I tried really hard to not get too utterly depressed about the future of humankind but OKCupid definitely made it difficult at times! That being said, I quite often sing its praises because if it wasn't for OKC, I'd never have met Thomas. We're coming up to our second anniversary now and starting to plan our wedding, so it can work out! But I'd been online dating for 10 years, on and off, before I met him, so....!

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    1. It's probably not as bad as I thought it was going to be, but I also don't really waste time replying to any of these. It's true though, the calibre of message is distinctly below average and I too, worry about what the future may hold. Yeah, you had a brilliant success story thanks to OKC :D and that's what's most important. And yaaaaay for wedding planning! Thankfully, I've only just got into the online dating game so it doesn't feel quite so traumatic just yet.

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