Ok Cupid: A Normal, Nice, Non-Crazy Guy's Experience

What’s it like really being on a dating website? Find out from a normal guy who actually spent some time with it.

“Hi Brian, what’s your favorite color?”

Here is a unique example of an Ok Cupid message I received about 24 hours after browsing this girl’s profile, writing her a polite message expressing what I found interesting and asking if she would be interested in meeting up.

Now, a couple of things are going through my mind:

1)   This person is crazy. She genuinely wants to know what my favorite color is before she divulges her name, let alone decides if she wants to go out on a date with me.

2)   This is a test. I should be clever in my answer. Funny, if possible.

3)   TROLL! This girl is a troll!

But being a man who has been unlucky enough in love to resort to a dating website, I of course stumbled over my words and responded in none of the ways anticipating one of those responses would suggest.

“Um, blue? Why do you ask?”

Wait approx. 12 hours.

“Well is it blue, or isn’t it? I don’t particularly care, but I like a man with conviction.”

Here’s where I try to save myself:

“Conviction? Sure, got it covered. Blue? Meh.”

Wait 12 hours.


Now, I’m not entirely sure who’s in the wrong here. I am, after all, bad at this. But I would like to presume that the human proposal I sent initially did not return the polite, human response I expected. I don’t understand women. Tell me if I’m wrong.

What I am coming to understand is that a dating website, or Ok Cupid in particular, has nuances in communication just as any other social media platform does.

But what it does additionally is prove that although many people today resort to dating websites out of bad real-life experiences, shyness, rejection, fear, etc., dating online is no less difficult, frustrating or different than dating can be in person.

The Approach

Because dating websites still carry something of a stigma, it was a tough choice to finally pull the trigger and set up an account. Which site should I choose? How much should I pay? How should I set up my profile? What color shirt should I wear in my profile picture?

The research I found was informative, but often unhelpful in making a decision. These articles read one of two ways: they were written by a woman who had wacky experiences meeting nothing but creeps, or they were tongue-in-cheek GQ and Men’s Health articles written by confident men who have never had dating troubles.

These people tried these websites for a lark, and their reporting touched on the extremities and the crazies that have become a cliché about dating websites, not the nuanced way real people actually interact on the site or with other actual human beings. The articles always seem to end, “More and more people are meeting the people they marry on dating websites today,” but then why are all the articles so one-sided?

I didn’t get into Ok Cupid to experiment. And I decided on Ok Cupid because of friend recommendations. Consequently, that’s the best advice I can give when picking a dating website: ask someone you know. Because as one quote put it during the coverage of Martha Stewart showing up on Match, “If you do not know someone currently on a dating website, YOU are on a dating website.”

The Pick-Up Line

Ok Cupid Matches

Here’s what I’ve found: despite being from the comfort of your own computer or mobile app (but why no iPad support?!), dating online takes time, effort, patience, confidence, a way with words and a willingness to play the game, just as it does in the real world.

Girls will receive countless messages and will just be turned off by the number of times they are hit on, and good guys will be as subject to women ignoring them, being rude, being unavailable or being uninteresting. How is this any different from the crapshoot that is hitting on people in bars or clubs?

I messaged one girl who was listed as Chicago but went to school in Missouri and was unavailable till the end of the semester. The aforementioned “favorite color” girl was being a jerk for no reason. Conversations with others went nowhere. And many more were non-responses. After so many messages and searching, I just couldn’t find the time or the motivation.

I got into a dating website because as I started working, I wasn’t meeting anybody new, nor finding the time to try, and this ironically was no different.

That’s what a site like Ok Cupid provides: just a little bit of knowledge to ease the approach and hopefully make the whole process a little easier for the timid, unlucky or otherwise.

And in theory, it works great. The initial questions that gauge a person’s match, friend and enemy scores allow you to rate the importance of a question and select what answers you’d expect. It’s a good way of getting some of those fundamental value questions out of the way up front. Case in point, i.e. a real Ok Cupid question: “Do you think homosexuality is a sin?”

Questions range from topics of lifestyle choices, sex and dating, ethics and religion, so this also helps someone like me who values a question like “Do you like documentaries,” and the choices being “Yes!” “Ok” or “NO.” Maybe you can guess which of those answers I would require.

Then of course there are the bizarre, like this one: “STALE is to STEAL as 89475 is to…”

Ok Cupid then allows you to browse based on location, the most recent someone has been online, their age, their status and their sexuality. It also tells you how often a person replies to a message, whatever that means. I haven’t had much luck regardless of their response status.

For one girl however it read, “No one has messaged her this week. Go for it!” That was encouraging until I found out that girl had in fact visited my profile.

The Rejection


Ok Cupid provides you with a notification for each person who has visited your profile and when they do.

This is a strange feature to say the least, because if you’ve messaged someone, you know they’ve visited your profile, but they don’t message you back, what does that say? One time I had this happen to me as I was online.

That’s demoralizing in a whole other way, and because of that, I actually took the time to message back two girls who were nice enough to message me. I wasn’t interested, but I exchanged a few words just to be polite.

The thing is, these sorts of communication rules don’t exist on Ok Cupid. In fact, some of these rules are so uncertain, many of the “commandments” considered taboo by most men and women may not even reflect what actually performs.

So what are the criteria for a dating profile? If you’re like me, you’ll think about this too much and after a while question why things aren’t working. I was advised to keep the sincerity to a minimum, because it’s hard to filter through who’s for real and who’s faking. Rather, try and make someone laugh in your profile and in your message, and don’t come on too strong in either.

This advice came from a female friend who prefers to meet men from Ok Cupid at lunch and in public places for nothing too serious, only after a few back and forth messages. She has not had much luck either.

The Rebound

I don’t know then what to make of all this. One of my friends had a hilarious (and much shorter) experience with Ok Cupid, and she seemed to sum up the problem with dating websites in general in about one paragraph.

I know it must be hard for guys who are actually looking for a relationship to use dating sites, especially a free one like Ok Cupid, because they get lumped in to this group of males that is 85 percent oblivious and creepy (according to my message box). What woman will take their message seriously off the bat?”

Is the percentage really that high? Am I in that 15 percent, or worse, am I in that 85 percent? Are the percentages any worse or better dating in bars and clubs, or does a man who would turn to a dating website in the first place really have any better luck?

My problem is, and perhaps why this post has become so long winded, is that I’m thinking too much. It all started when I read Aziz Ansari’s quotes in the AV Club back in February, shortly before I actually joined Ok Cupid. Here’s one juicy quote:

“When I talk to men and women, a general sentiment is just, “Where are the good, normal, nice, non-crazy people?” This is when people say things like, “Go to the grocery store” or, “Go to a museum.” I’ve gone to both, and it doesn’t quite work out. But maybe if I spent as much time at Whole Foods as I do drinking at bars, I’d have a different experience. I would also be a weirdo that hangs out at grocery stores way too long. I would have to live off those little samples. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that. The point of those jokes, though, is I just think it’s sad that the main places in our culture that we designate to meet new people are bars and nightclubs. I have not had great luck in those spots.”

How could one not think to consider a dating website after reading something like that? And at the same time, how could someone believe that a dating website may actually work?

Ok Cupid begs a lot of questions, but it’s not all a cesspool, and for people like us, are the alternatives that much better? There are good people out there. I for one am still searching.

Update 8/12: This post has been fairly popular, and about a month after writing it, my presence on Ok Cupid slowly trailed off. I had hit a certain number of messages sent with still no response and subconsciously called it quits. My profile still exists, and I even checked it a few days ago; about a half dozen girls visited my profile, and one even rated me highly, but I had no messages awaiting me. With that, I’d call this experiment about done. You may have better luck. My friend linked to above did not, and abandoned the site even sooner than I did. I’ve considered using Match, but am really back in the same spot I was several months earlier. 

47 thoughts on “Ok Cupid: A Normal, Nice, Non-Crazy Guy's Experience”

  1. Stale to Steal- it’s from an IQ test. Presumably gauging whether the responder has been curious enough to take an IQ test might reveal something? (At least in theory)

  2. Interesting observation and I can tell you its the same from the female side at least in the 40+ category. Tried Match and eHarmony lots of people looking, sent messages with no response or flat out “not interested”
    A co-worker suggest OK Cupid haven’t tried it yet but thinking it is just like all the rest.
    Dating is a complete mystery to me anymore!

  3. K i just joined (I’m a girl) and I’ve noticed a trend in the messages I don’t respond/respond to. The ones I tend to respond to will be a statement and the message I don’t respond to are questions. For example, “I love too. . I would rather respond to that than a question like “What’s your favourite pizza topping” (If I said I like pizza), because it lets me shoot back with something clever and lets me be an equal in the conversation as opposed to being “questioned”. Make sense?

    And if a girl rated you highly and even “visited” your profile, she will more than likely respond. She obviously liked your pic…or was shocked by how weird it is..eith way, she’s “interested-ish” in you. She’s not going to message you first because it’s ingrained in our female subconscious minds that the man should make the first move. So don’t expect a girl to message you first, it doesn’t come naturally to most of us.

  4. the question is, are the profiles even real? when one visits you, sends you a message, your message box gets loaded and it limits its capacity. eventualy you will then be forced to pay just so to have an unlimited inbox capacity. i noticed that the messages im getting are kinda robotic. if its an actual the chatting is on real time. its sad that these sites are taking advantage of people and emotions just so they could earn

  5. I am currently on OKCupid. I am above average in all categories (looks, personality, etc.). I have sent out a bunch of messages, no responses. I have received a bunch of looks and two messages. Not interested in either message. I am not going to stop the experiment just yet.

    I think the only real way to meet people is through: matchmaking companies, clubs, volunteering, and any other activity that gets one out and about. People are a lot different in person and in smaller groups the paradox of choice isn’t an issue.

    1. “I’m above average in most categories”…According to whom?
      There are as many tastes as there are colours.

  6. I’ve been on OkCupid for several years myself, and the one thing that puzzles me more than anything else is the comparatively rude way people relate to each other. It may not be intentional, since no woman has time to respond to every message, but members seem terse.

  7. Thanks for sharing the guy experience with us! I’ve found OkCupid to be… curious more than anything else. As a girl, I get maybe 50 views a week, 2-3 messages. I warn in my profile that I ignore mass-messages (some guys seem to cut and paste ‘hey beautiful’ to 100 girls), but will always respond to specific comments or questions, even suggesting a few. The best guys invariably skim just enough to catch this before messaging.

    Most exchanges are brief; I’ve had 3-4 interesting rounds of letters, and met one terribly awkward ‘good guy’ in person, but found nothing in common IRL & he didn’t seem to be doing anything interesting with his life (sadly). I do try to reach out and ‘star’ or message to compliment guys on a good profile; sometimes they respond, sometimes they apparently don’t like what they see. And that’s fine by me.

    Where to find generous, intelligent, creative, hardworking people outside of inebriation stations (bars), weird dating websites, or awkward interactions in the salad line? I’d second “Dude” on volunteering: food pantry, disabled center, Habitat, Red Cross, campus or church charities… if someone makes an ongoing effort to reach out and help their community, they’re likely the kind of person that will make a good partner as well!

  8. This is interesting… I wonder if the disenchantment has anything to do with what I’m experiencing on the site so far. As a 29 year old woman in a large, east coast city–which is great for dating–I’ve been proactive, don’t subscribe to traditional gender norms, and have sent the first message to guys on many occasions. In these cases, 9 times out 10 I do not get a reply back, despite the recipient being an active user. I also consider myself fairly attractive (if one needs stats to back this claim, I’ve been on the site across 2 stints, for a cumulative period of ~3 months, and 624 people have rated me highly). I was told by a guy friend of mine that a woman sending the first message is seen as “very forward,” and he insinunated that it’s kind of a turn-off. But this is a huge contradiction when I hear about men’s experiences on OKC, and their lamenting that they never get messages from women. Just an odd thing….

    1. @D.C. girl: this is probably the first time that I replied to any comment on the internet.
      To your experience: I have no explanation. One girl initiated a conversation with me. I replied fairly quickly and we had a date a few days later. At least I don’t think it is “too forward”. Maybe filter your searches by guys who like “kinky girls” they probably are accepting of forward girls 🙂

      Myself: I share the experience of the author.
      I wrote a bunch of girls who apparently match well with me and 7 out of 8 girls visit my profile after my message, but hardly any of them message back. I would consider myself “reasonably good lucking” (nice face and average figure). Nothing too bad or too good. But my strengths would be a good package (well traveled, very well educated, “sexy accent”, ready for series commitment, I am 30 after all and fun to be around [I get a lot of laughs]). Maybe my self image doesn’t match the girls perception based of the profile (and I don’t only write perfect 10, but a mix of 7 to 10).

  9. Hello.

    Interesting piece of writing.

    I joined okcupid last year and stayed on for a few months. I live and work in Paris, have a very demanding job and do not have much time to socialise.

    So, for me, the site was a good option, initially. I’ve got to say that (or was it maybe just my luck???) that the guys I met were quite peculiar. And I had two rather dramatic experiences, which sort of shook my faith in humanity 🙂 well, not that dramatic, but rather hurtful, unfortunately.

    I guess a major take away for me is me starting to wonder why people treat each other with so much lack of regard? Why the disrespect and the stringing along? Or is it just the dating game which some people (try to) take seriously while others just look at it as an occasional amusement…

    I do not have the answer; I just know that I needed some time to restore my confidence following the okcupid dating experience.

    P.S. I did meet someone I became friends with and he has included me in his larger friend circle; it is great because we do stuff together, explore Paris etc. but the relationship is not of a romantic nature, so I am back to square one (or zero :))

  10. I’ve had decent luck these past few weeks. Ironically once I started not trying, my success rate became exponentially better. Alternatively, a fairly successful strategy is to browse through quick match and message literally anyone that’s meets your standards (for me they need to be at least a 70% match). Often this leads to sending 40 to 50 messages a day sometimes. A quick reference to their profile or questions and then move on. I really can’t stress that enough, MOVE ON. This way, if a girl doesn’t message back, no worries; if she does, what a pleasant surprise. As sad as it may be, the most important thing to remember is to not get your hopes up. That way you’re always surprised.

  11. If it’s true that basically “men pursue and women choose”, then online dating sites are really just the ultimate extension of that, minus all the niceties, such as they are to begin with. Worse, the anonymity and lack of accountability built into the medium itself attracts all the least desirable personality types for a relationship… the hyper-picky “grocery shoppers”, the sociopathic “predators” & “scammers”, the face-to-face “socially challenged”, along with the perennial “attachment avoiders” (aka, “my dog/cat/horse/gerbil/whatever is my bestest friend”).

  12. Ohhhhhh Lordy! I’ve been in the dating circuit going on 2 years now. But it’s pretty much of my own choosing because I’m finding out that everytime I think a guy might be pretty awesome, he up and does something extremely weird, for example: I went to the restroom in the middle of dinner and received a text from my date that read, “Are you pooping?” Another “gentleman” told me he was running from the Italian no because he snitched on someone. I also had another fruit loop tell me he loved me 10 min after we met. I’ve been told that the moment you will find someone is when you’re not actually looking. So I’ve kept that experiment up for about 6 months now and will let you know how it goes lol. I’m almost certain I may end up being a lonely old lady with 5 dogs and eating a can of Beenie Weenies haha.

  13. I’m an English major, marketing copywriter and published writer, and know how to sell myself (at least in some arenas!) so a few years ago I created a really polished profile on OKCupid and sent a lot of interesting, well written, I daresay witty and unusual responses to women who I thought may be on my wavelength, I’ll admit I’m not a catalogue man appearance-wise but I’ve had relationships with enough women over the years to realise I’m not flat out repulsive at least to some women. I calculate that I wasted about 30,000 words all told, and got about 2 replies out of 100. What kept me going I don’t know, some perhaps naive belief that sooner or later I would be able to establish contact with someone interesting and from there proceed to get to know someone a little better with a view to perhaps meeting. I hate the “nice guy” thing going around but I am a decent human being and think I deserved better than to have so many thoughtful, well written and respectful messages just flat out ignored. No, nobody owes me anything on an online dating site – but people who don’t show me common courtesy in the real world also irritate me!

    So I tried an experiment and created an alternative profile using a catalogue model man, just a face pic. I created a vapid and subtly misogynistic profile, and put it up, and messaged a lot of women with random “hi” and “hey!” (especially ones that said No cut and paste “hi” and “hey”s etc). To some women’s credit, I didn’t get replies from all, but I got way more replies in 2 hours than I had in 2 years with my real profile, funnily enough mostly from profiles that were in the high enemy percentage. I had a stream of women just sending ME messages, not even waiting for me to message them. If I replied in some sleazy sexual way, the conversation continued in most cases! All because I looked like a male model. Something died in me with this experiment and I pulled my profile from OKC. My fake profile is still getting messages… and some of the women are getting upset because I haven’t messaged them again, I know, because they’ve messaged again to ask me why I haven’t replied 🙁 Profile pulled shortly…

    A lot of the women’s profiles say “Where have all the good men gone?” Where we have gone is off the dating sites because of this, many of us have given up, we don’t all look like male models and we don’t expect you to look like female models, we’re looking for a connection with someone who is a human being, but when message after message after message just gets ignored, do you think the decent people will bother logging in any more. Of course the PUAs looking for casual sex will keep it up because they don’t care if only 1 in 50 women respond to their cut and paste rubbish if it gets them a one night stand. I feel sorry for the women on these sites waiting fruitlessly for their non existent fantasy males to appear out of thin cyberspace, when I think these fantasy males are as non existent as my (I thought very obviously) fake profile.

    This is why I’ve had it with online dating – I don’t think the site makes much of a difference. I think online dating as a whole has pretty much failed both men and women, you hear some success stories, but the amount of articles like this, and the war of words concerning who has it worst (men or women etc) shows there are a lot of unsatisfied online daters out there.

    As someone said above, it’s better to join groups, forge friendships, do activities you enjoy, and if you should meet somoene you click with then great, but please, don’t start going to things and hitting on people all the time. Some people just want to collect stamps or play volleyball or go for walks!


    1. Hello, Manny!

      I must say I felt quite identified with your personality. I would probably try to create a polished profile as well as you did, which perhaps would not be so welcomed to most men. I guess!

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I now do not feel like creating a profile.

    2. Manny, I couldn’t have said it better myself:

      “…the women on these sites waiting fruitlessly for their non existent fantasy males to appear out of thin cyberspace…”

      That pretty much sums up my basic attitude about OkCupid. I’ve used the site on and off for a few years now since my ex-wife and I split up. My experience has been I’ve gotten ignored a lot, talked to some, met some and even went out on 8-10 dates. Those dates usually go nowhere. Though a couple may have gotten me a one night stand or two it really wasn’t what I was looking for and I really feel ashamed because it was more out of desperation than actual attraction. I even dated one for a couple months that turned out to be a real piece of s*** mother to her kid. Again, more out of desperation at the time.

      I’m not the fantasy male model type that drives a BMW and makes a quarter million a year but I’m not the worst looking guy either. I work, I drive, I don’t live with my parents, I’m honest, got a few bucks in my pocket. I don’t believe much in “leagues” as far as looks are concerned but I try to go after women that don’t look like Victoria’s Secret models. As long as she’s sweet and she’s attractive to *me* that’s what matters most, then she becomes the most beautiful woman in the world. I don’t care what kind of money she makes as long as she’s responsible and has personality. I can’t stress that enough: *Personality*. Someone who is real. I’ve seen profiles from good to great looking women that write a book but in the end really have nothing to say. I take that back, they rave about going back to school for their PhD, their personality type and remind us men at the end of their profile: “Do NOT write me looking for hookups, I’m not that kinda girl.” and “…if you’re going to message me ‘hey baby’ or ‘hi sexy’ don’t bother because it will be deleted immediately!” Yeah, we get it ladies. Any of you that seem to be worth a damn reply “very selectively”. That’s ok, you’re looking for Prince Nevergonnafind, i get it.

      So why do I go back again and again when I seem to strike out every time? Just as I said before, out of desperation and the fact that I’ve never been great on meeting in public. I’ve thought about other sites like match.com but always pull back because of my experiences on OkCupid. Why pay when it is likely to turn out the same way? I’m back on now and I hate myself maybe more for being on there than actually being alone. I’m not ashamed of someone finding out that I use dating sites, I’m ashamed because I keep going back knowing I’m damn near destined to fail. Probably why I delete my profiles after only a couple weeks.

      The women all ask where all the good men are when my question is where are all you good women? My answer: you’re waiting with the rest of the women for something you’re not going to find.

      1. I agreed with 99% of what you said ‘J’.
        You agree with ‘Manny’ and I totally agree with you having had a similar experience for the last 7 weeks.

        OKCupid Girls basically want a Man that doesn’t exist. They were told they ‘could have it all’ whilst sadly finding out in 2015 – it was only a magazine article, not real life.

        If you delete the profile completely, feeling disconnected is usual. If you use the profile to try and actually date, feeling unproductive is usual, largely due to the number of profiles and original messages you need to go through. As for those girls that say ‘Don’t just say ‘Hi’ or ‘How are you’ – I ignore them. Sexual equality means I don’t need to chase. A Rabbit stops to scratch her head wondering why the Hound isn’t chasing her when the Hound is off keeping himself busy. Time to stop being the hound.

        I’m considering changing how I perceive the site. Perhaps keeping it as a flirtation source so you don’t feel disconnected, but not depending upon it to meet anyone because it’s not going to happen anyway. In parallel, getting immersed in a new project or sport helps to become comfortable, in being alone.

        99.9% of OKCupid Girls are so screwed-up that even if you jump through all those hoops; you’re getting to know someone unrealistic, unsympathetic and 100% oblivious to the ‘auto-pilot games’ she is playing.

        Keep the profile. Keep the login open within a browser tab. Glance at it sometimes. Focus on you.
        Best Wishes.

        1. It sounds like there’s a broken attitude on all sides, and that’s unfortunate. I don’t often respond to ‘hi’ because this website isn’t a small town where it’s a sign of real interest. A star works better for drawing my interest, and I send stars or short personalized notes to guys if I find them interesting.

          A casual ‘hi’ in a small town is normal, in person. But an online hi from some guy in Malaysia, then one in Egypt, then one in London and then one in DC… Then three guys without a car and job locally, all in the same day? Well, it just feels like there are a bunch of people saying ‘hi’ to 500 women in sequence. It’s not fun, flirty, or serious, and I’ve never seen I hi end up in a meeting. Even if you’re a great guy, you get lost in that shuffle.

          I exercise, work in a professional job, volunteer, own car, nice apartment, strong relationships, fun weekends. So like you guys, I try to find someone who will be a good fit, not a perfect guy. Not looking for someone pretty or well off, and I’ve mostly found small town tradesmen through OKC, given my location. I also come from a conservative background and am unlikely to sleep w/someone outside of a serious relationship. So responding to a casual hi is likely to have a low benefit for me and for the guy.

          On my end it starts to seem like spam, just because I can’t tell a one-word hi from a good guy from a one-word player. Maybe OKC is different from tinder because it’s less flirty and much more serious conversation, in my experience. When you quickly delete your acct it’s also hard it’s hard to tell if you were ever serious about a potential connection (or just looking for a weekend hookup, more power to you, but not my game).

          And ignoring gender, ignoring dating — if you were looking to make friends, a business connection — would you be saying hi, deleting your account, making a new one, and saying ‘hey bro wanna start a business?’ ‘Hey dude wanna get drinks?’ For the guys and girls on OKC who are looking for something possibly serious, that sends the wrong note.

          Your posts help me understand why I so often see a hi followed by ‘this person no longer has an account’ — it never made sense to me before! Hope this doesn’t come across as judgy — just trying to explain how things seem from the conservative small-town girl’s perspective, so you can make your own (informed) decision to ignore us 🙂

      2. Anna,

        I think you missed what I actually said…

        I don’t know why my post helped you to understand why ‘often see a Hi followed by this person no longer has an account’ (because I never stated that I say ‘Hi’ and have neve deleted my account).

        The three guys locally without a car and job locally might actually include one that had some misfortune. Is he no longer a good guy and worth dating? He might not be looking for a supermodel girlfriend and if you’re not looking at his current status – he might be a good match.

        Read his profile. If you’ve read enough profiles, disseminating whether he’s serious will be quite easy if he says something short. I actually do the opposite. I read profiles, write something relevent, witty and then wait for the response. I’m not embarressed to admit that 75% of girls don’t reply, believing it’s a woman’s choice. It is, but very rude.

        Result; Good men leave the site. Players stay on the site and Girls continue to receive messages saying ‘Hi’

        You have no idea how hard it is to not receive replies to 75% of your messages (until the day sexual equality means sexual equality in all areas). Either you let it affect you or you change and what you see here on this thread – is men starting to take a different approach.

        Don’t take it personally – we are all fighting our own private battle.

        1. Fortysingle — my reply was on the same level as you, in response to J’s comment on ‘deleted accounts.’ I shouldn’t have responded to two people in one conflated post — my apologies on that.

          For me there’s a tension in dating that I’m still trying to sort out as a young woman in our messed-up society. These ‘private battles,’ a term that has me thinking of Laurie Penny’s post (http://www.newstatesman.com/laurie-penny/on-nerd-entitlement-rebel-alliance-empire), and the guys’ response I’m sure I need to read.

          My private battle: I’ve been judged for so many years on my job success (or painful lack of it, at other times), on the bad car and then the good car, on who I’m dating, where I study, how I look, who my family is–that it’s hard not to bring all of that into dating, for good or for ill. I clearly see that’s insecurity and false consciousness on my part — but it doesn’t make it any less real, or any easier to untangle.

          Through OKC, I’ve been on dates with a hotel clerk, a security guard, a temporarily-employed professor, and a guy who scoops ice cream for a living. Pagan, christian, atheist, and buddhist. Car or no car. 2x-3x lower salaries than I. So hopefully I’m not being too selective.

          I’ve enjoyed each chance to connect, but so far guys have been saying they want to buy a house and raise kids in this small town. I’m hoping to move internationally, work long hours, and build a public career. So maybe I’m not in the right market 🙂

          That’s all way too much drama for a careful message, or a first date. So I’m waiting and listening. Maybe someone will catch me by surprise. Maybe I’ll move. But it’s also why I’ve come back to the comments on Brian’s blog (sorry, Brian!) with such interest. I don’t often get to hear honestly from guys about the silences. The frustration. The different experiences. Not sure what to say here except… keep sharing. I think/hope it’s useful on all sides.

      3. Anna – thanks for explaining; it was quite pleasant to understand where you were coming from.

        Yes, there is a tension, largely due to changing attitudes which are like an App update that never completes.

        That article you posted was really interesting. Especially the twelfth paragraph ‘where were those girls when you were growing up? And I answer: we were terrified, just like you’

        Made me think and that’s not easy for any Aries. Being judged does seem to have gotten much more important. For instance, living abroad for six years, returning last year – my city, London has completely changed; how you look, where you studied or live, is all encompassing. Being a Programmer, Iidentified with the ‘Hi there, shy, nerdy boys. Your suffering was and is real’ (quite funny how Laurie Penny writes it…)

        I don’t think you’re being too selective. It’s funny hearing that ‘buying house followed by kids’ men connect with you because on OKC – I receive the female versions of those visions (…and whilst I respect their decision – is a complete deal-breaker for me). There’s a lot to be said for moving internationally and whilst landing in a South American country without contacts was hard (especially learning Portuguese) it really does give you an unstoppable mindset. Perhaps, OKC has a higher percentage of ‘house/kids’ people than ‘career/intl’ girls and guys.

        I agree – useful on all sides, thanks to this blog. Thanks again for the article (which I’m re-reading again here on Saturday Morning). I got a different perspective from you and I’m thankful for that.

        I hope you find him 🙂

      4. And how about the women who write: “Just looking for a nice guy or just looking for a good-hearted man”. One woman even stated that she replies to Everyone. I found out differently. I keep thinking maybe this is the one that truly is only looking for a “nice guy” but time and time again I am hood-winked. It really does leave you feeling that all women are dishonest. I’d actually appreciate a woman’s profile that was honest… such as, “You might be the nicest man on the planet, I don’t care how many kids you rescued from a burning building last week, or the old lady you helped recoup her savings from the scammers”. “I am only interested in men that I find appealing immediately and you must have a great high paying job, everyone else will be ignored”. “Thank you”. We all know this is what women want… a fantasy man. It’s truly troubling that I’m finding women in their 40’s and 50’s to be the same way. I figured at this age the women would be more mature and tired of dating the kind of guy described above that they’ve already had a few times. But no, they keep after the same kind of man time after time and then whine that they can’t find a real and decent man. That makes me laugh. Truth is, I write a lot of women that I barely find attractive physically judging by their profile picture, but I like what she wrote. I’m go for women that are on par with my own looks and I would be foolish to be shooting for the gorgeous lady… nor would I want to. I just want her to look “good” in my eyes. I don’t understand why there aren’t more women who actually do want to bew with the “nice guy”. Wow, does it get frustrating to write to women in which you feel like you’re the best match ever based on what she wrote and have her completely ignore you. You’re like, “if she only gave me a chance”. But nope, doesn’t happen.

    3. I never laughed so hard. I swear, I thought that I had written what you wrote because I’ve had the exact same experience and have done exactly the same thing on more than one occasion mind you. I too wanted to experiment with different profiles…i.e. the one where I’m a complete jerk off, a real nice guy, a man with a lot of money and great job, no money and a crappy job, pictures of average looking men and great looking guys, and some combination of all the above. End result: I get the most messages when the guy is really considered handsome regardless of the job. Also get a lot of messages when the guy is very well off even if he’s a Danny De Vito look alike. This experiment was very worth while because it taught me a lot or should say reinforced a notion I already knew to be true but wanted further evidence. I should add that finding this out was quite depressing. So depressing that I started doing a little research and eventually landed here… and I’m glad I did because I now realize that I’m not alone. Like you, I’m not repulsive to look at. Most ladies have said that I am quite cute. In fact, I’m one of those people that if you got to know me well enough, you would eventually see my merits and potentially want to have a relationship with. One of the drawbacks to online dating is that most women will not even give us a chance. They see a picture and a profile and immediately make a determination that we are their type of not. I”m 51, 5’7″ and bald. But I’m fit and have a decent appearance. I dress nice and don’t look bad at all for my age and often get compliments to that affect. I’m also one of the nicest and respectable guys a woman could meet… yet, I”m ignored probably 99.9% of the time. Oh and by the way, I’m not writing to 8’s, 9’s, and 10’s. In fact, the women that I often write to fall between a 5 and a 7.. in other words, I write to women that should technically be drawn to me.. we’re about equal in “physical looks”. So when I get rejected by a 5 or 6, and someone that I think there’s a great deal of compatibility, I feel like a lump of shit. I get really upset sometimes because it makes no sense at all to me. I keep wondering why these women won’t even give me a chance. Oh, another by the way, I was an English minor and have taught Language Arts in the elementary school. So I too know very well how to express and sell myself in a multitude of ways… funny, serious, anecdotal, etc. Yet, almost no responses. This leaves me with a sick feeling. But reading your reply made me laugh out loud. Yea, I’m not alone!!!!

    4. I think the women replying are glossing over a very important point you made here. You created a vapid, fake profile with a picture of a male model and received a barrage of messages. It didn’t sound like these were just slutty women, they were the same “I just want a good guy” types that had previously been eluding you. It should be plain to everyone that what women on okc say they want to sound diplomatic is entirely different from the reality. Nice job exposing this because it’s also what a lot of nice men who want a real relationship with a beautiful woman including myself have experienced in practice.

  14. I’ve noticed there’s a high level of snark and bitterness from the women on OKC, or at least in my area. There’s also a lot of women who try to express as many quirky interests as possible and say “If you don’t know what it means, look it up.” Makes me wonder whether I’m too “normal” for the site haha…

    But what annoys me so much about the site is the anger and resentment that so many have up there. I haven’t experienced a woman like the one obsessed with favorite colors, but I’ve seen it on plenty of profiles. What makes me think you’re a good catch if you’re spewing venom before I even know anything about you?

  15. I agree with what Manny said…
    …it’s very rare that I comment but having had enough of online dating, I thought I’d add some of my thoughts.

    Seems most girls have the same profile as many others or very similar. For example (in London) the line ‘I enjoy everything the city has to offer’ and most weekends I am ‘at the theatre, at dinner with friends, or away on a weekend break’ seem the norm. I find it highly amusing…bearing in mind London living costs; this would indicate a social budget of £800-1500+ per month for each girl. Obviously, we know that this simply isn’t true so why the fiction? Apparently, 99% also do Yoga. They also want a responsible (but laid-back) gentlemen that doesn’t (my personal favourite) – ‘take himself too seriously’ (…if he doesn’t, will she?)

    Good news: I actually seemed to have a lot of success in getting replies on OKCupid; my profile read very well and I put a lot of thought into putting together something sincere that reflected me and my outlook. Bad news: All of these girls just wanted to keep exchanging messages. Forever. This became painfully obvious when I invited them to speak on Skype (suggested instead of speaking via cellphone to respect their privacy). Many times, I realised that there were some that were very active during the week, but couldn’t speak on the phone and disappeared at weekends. Strange or highly suspect?

    There were also lots of caveats (or hoops) needed to be jumped through before sending a message. You can’t say ‘Hello’ or ‘How are you?’ or How’s your day going?’ because only witty responses were considered acceptable (?) …so they want a chat-up line (called an ‘original response’) but they also want sincerity (?????). In my opinion these are just ‘get-out’ clauses so that she doesn’t need to reply if she doesn’t want to. I think not replying to someone is called being rude. Apparently it is also called being a woman. Sad but true.

    If you are charming, sincere and friendly/polite on OKCupid; you will get responses but the amount of work needed to read each profile, reference it when replying and then – waiting for the reply – equals large amounts of time spent!

    I started to wonder why I was wasting all this time.

    Last week, I had my fortieth Birthday and had dinner alone in my favourite restaurant. Got the usual glances (just being honest). I don’t look forty, in shape and have unique features/style. Eating alone wasn’t so hard after all so I think men should accept that online dating is a distraction. Certainly, not a solution. It’s actually fun to be alone, a free-man who can walk anywhere and doesn’t need to worry (about how the Princess ‘can’t walk in her heels’ or needs this or that (weekend-break, shopping, coffee at her favourite place) as this seems to be her measure of your sincerity. Harsh economic times means harsh realities; personalities are changing.

    I think OKCupid and the women there enjoy the ‘momentary’ excitement of a message during brief moments throughout their working day, but that is all. Makes their heart beat faster, with zero commitment, and a little like foreplay without the man. It’s a win-win for them, because if they do go out – they’re getting a free meal, a chance to meet a great guy and if they want – something more intimate. Whereas all the pressure rests on the guy (I thought men and women were equal (?)

    All-in-all, OKCupid is a huge waste of time, where constant message exchange will see you lose large amounts of your life when reflecting back on this time, later in life. Advice: Go to a restaurant with a book or an audiobook. It’s hard but gets easier. Enjoy your own company and leave virtual online dating to the girls because it is exactly that – virtual. Good luck to all.

    An iceberg is a large piece of ice from freshwater that has broken off from a snow-formed glacier or ice shelf and is floating in open water. Floating is freedom.

  16. I’ve been on OKC for 2 years, and gone on 6 dates, some due to OKC and some I met elsewhere. I’m a shy professional woman, age 30, so I’m not worried that it takes some time. I like OKC for connecting with other quiet people. I’ve messaged probably 15-20 guys, ‘liked’ 50-60, and responded to 80+ messages. I’ve also ignored 200+ ‘hey babe’ or ‘you’re so hot’ or ‘wanna chat?’s, and plenty of guys have ignored me. No-one likes everyone, so that’s fine.

    On my profile I say I’ll respond to any message about *me* and I compliment on something specific (funny picture, quote, shared interest) if I message. Pro tip for both genders: message *after* you’ve had a great day and are relaxed and happy. It shows!

    Like your blue lady, some guys get an attitude if I don’t say or do what they want. To me, that’s just a weird red flag. Some guys want to text, but I’m not interested in texting strange dudes–at least not until we’ve met and both still like each other.

    I’m sure some party girls find OKC dull, but I appreciate the good guys, even if they’re shy or awkward. Friendly notes, patience if the other side isn’t quick to respond, and a few thoughtful messages start it off well… and when we think we’re both sane, let’s meet and see if we ‘click.’ I shrug off anyone who blows me off. We’ll all meet someone eventually, on OKC or in the real world!

  17. I first went on OKCupid last year, took a while to build up to it as I hate online life, don’t even do Facebook. So I broke through, did a profile, went on four first dates, all were very cool guys, all easy to talk to as we had loads in common. The person I dated second I ended up staying with for a year and it was a good year. I split up with him as he wanted kids& I’ve already had mine and don’t want more. Also neither of us were ‘into’ each other enough to last for the long term.
    So overall it was a very good experience, I like the questions, I think they are really effective in filtering people out so you’re left with people with whom you share loads of values, culture etc..
    However, I am now back on it & It’s a different experience so far.. Same profile but fewer people messaging me and hardly ANY from people with real potential..
    Also an emerging pattern is that things work better when they start from the bloke messaging me first. I think maybe it’s so ingrained that men make the first move that even when intellectually men think they want females to message them, actually they don’t, and they somehow value those women less.. I don’t know..
    But the thing is that in ‘real’ life new, attractive people don’t cross my path, my social circle is super stable as is my work life, I am very busy &can’t get out much. When I do men look at me but never make a move (and I am attractive, I hear that people like me through third parties & there’s been a lot of unrequited love coming my way over the years).. So its deal with OKcupid and hope for the best or be celibate for life. So not a real choice!

  18. I’ve met some Great girls off of OKC but i’ve met A LOT MORE socially awkard & oddly extremely ANGRY girls. It seems A LOT of girls on dating sites have been rejected in real life and are only on there to tear down as many guys as they can. You can’t take the rude girls seriously because, let’s face it, those girls are losers and Total low-lifes. Guys go on dating sites because it’s efficient. Girls go on dating sites because the real world has cast them aside. Girls who aren’t rejected constantly by guys have better social skills – we know this, we’ve seen them. not All girls are angry, but the angry ones do end up online. Sometimes the girls are also inexperienced so they think being rude (or “Fiesty” as one girl proudly put it) is how they’re supposed to interact. Not realizing that displaying confidence is much more subtle then them being bitchy. And off-the-bat bitchy to someone who simply said hello. That being said, if you can slog through the fodder of society’s discarded women there are some really cool and fun girls on free dating sites who are on there for legitimate reasons. But you do have to keep in mind you’re sifting through the gutter for a gem. Remember, guys view online as efficient. Girls are there because our fellows in the real world didn’t want them.

    1. “Girls are there because our fellows in the real world didn’t want them.”
      Don’t know if you’ll read this, but that’s an unfair assessment, Andy. And same to anyone else who has this line of thinking.
      Perhaps some are on there because they are socially awkward/shy/occupied with work/not attracted or compatible with the men that DO ask them out… or whatever else reason they have.
      For instance, in the last couple of years I’ve been asked out by roughly 6 men, went out with 2, simply because I wasn’t ready to go out at the time with the others, and one of them was married. The 2 men that I did go out with have stable/decent paying jobs, but unfortunately I did not feel chemistry or that compatibility feeling and I did not want to string them along for a relationship I knew wasn’t going to work. I could have stayed in those relationships and faked enthusiasm just to have a nice comfy life without having to lift a finger, but it would not have been fair to those men. (Yes, I actually consider other people’s feelings during all of this. If I didn’t care, I could have mooched off of them if I chose.)
      So instead of waiting or hoping for the “right” guy (or girl) to mysteriously appear out of nowhere, a lot of people take to online dating to try and find the people that they have a lot in common with and could develop that love/romantic attraction with.
      The problem is, people put too much stock in the person’s physical appearance right off the bat instead of getting to know them AS A PERSON. We’re like fruit in the grocery store. We have so many apples to choose from, but oh, that one has a slight bruise on it – next. This one? The bottom isn’t symmetrical – next. This one has a few scratches on it – next. We don’t realize that if we look past these outward appearance, the apple can be just as sweet, if not sweeter, then a “perfect” looking apple. But no, we fool ourselves into thinking that “perfect” looking people don’t have any flaws.
      Anyways… just a few things that I’ve observed from the outside.
      Was thinking about venturing into online dating, but both genders have so much reservations about each other, that they’re basically butting heads – thus doing more to repel each other than to come together.

  19. Being a 64 yr. old male makes it even more challenging. However, on OKC a decent % of women do respond to my messages. I tried POF. Have not had one woman respond to my thoughtful, well written messages. Never could have imaged that hordes of women in their late 50’s , early 60’s would reject me but that is the case on POF. On the other hand, I do hear from ladies almost always 3-10 years older than me and possibly homely or just very sr. citizen looking. My theory about internet dating: take a male & female, both an ‘8’ in appearance. She automatically becomes a 9 or 9.5 regardless of her occupation or education. He, on the other hand, becomes a 5.5 or 6 with adjustments made for his height or apparent career status or perceived power. This is crazy but explains my own results and the comments of others.

  20. On OKCupid women say one thing and do another. I visited a pretty woman’s profile and it said no hook-ups blah blah blah. I left the page since I was looking for a hook-up (Yes… I play the “bro”… if you were smart so would you… the women on okcupid are likely not worth a relationship anyway) . I am not a player and I make it obvious what my intentions are. When I left this womans page I got a message a few minutes later. She said… “”what’s up” did I nail the line?” We met up later that night. The point is most women are looking to get laid without appearing slutty. I then sent messages saying “whats up ;)” to about 50 women whose profile said something like no hookups or dont message whats up or whatever. I got more responses than I could handle and unfortunately I could not meet all those women that night :).

    I am a “good guy” too but I am sick of the way this world has twisted people’s views of relationships. I decided that I would rather be the guy who gets laid than the guy who feels desperate. I imagine that some women on these sites are looking for something real however you will be in an interview with 30 other guys… “good guys” do not put up with this long… so they disappear… women get frustrated… then they get laid. Most of my lays come at about 2 am when women are feeling horny and possibly slightly drunk.

    If you are looking for love on okcupid then you might be insane! Haha. I feel for you as I would also like to fall in love. However, okcupid should be called okhookup haha. You are inlikely to meet someone there.

    Last point… if you met a woman on okcupid and fell for her… this woman, despite her attractiveness, will always know that if she is bored with you she can have 1,000s of men hit on her within the month. Your relationship won’t likely be strong since she will believe she can find any man she wants and you are lucky she chose you. If she wants to get laid then she sets up a profile in the middle of the night… gets laid… then takes it down til the next adventure.

    Just go volunteer or go to church if you want to meet a good woman. The women on okcupid are looking for guys like me in my opinion.

  21. Here’s the problem … guys typically do a lot better in real life, than on a dating site. Serious guys, or even decent not so serious guys, won’t waste their time on dating sites.

    There’s no mystery here … guys simply go where the better deal is.

    1. Sam,

      You make perfect sense to me. However, when you are my age, 64, & have only been single again for 4 years, it is difficult to meet women. I hike and do winter outings with an active group. The ladies are in shape and attractive. However, they are almost all in late 30’s & early 40’s and although nice to me, I would not be silly & ask any of them for a date, too big of an age gap. On the other hand, many women on dating sites are cougar wanna bees. They may be 58 for instance & say they want to meet men between 40-55. This is what I commonly see. They maybe average looking but rave about how young they look in their written profiles.

  22. OK cupid struck me as a hipster site. I noticed people putting tremendous energy into their profiles in a Facebook kind of way.. I don’t recall getting any messages except perhaps an angry one from some hipster. Can’t remember what she was pissed off about. If you are a real bonafide hipster you shouldn’t need OK cupid because you are already one of the hipest people in you’re in community.

    1. OKC: My experience is probably shaped by my age, 64, & the ladies that I pursue in the late 50’s early 60’s age group, so my experience may be different from Caspar’s. However, the ladies do put forth profiles that tend to be flowery, their esoteric experiences, etc. Some seem to copy one another or get influenced by cliches from a book.
      I am interested more in what a person does daily and it can be just ordinary life. On dating sites many ladies try to just be artsy and dreamy in their profiles.
      Bottom line: I did meet & date 3-4 from OKC. Then the well ran dry and like on POF, it was difficult to get a response at all. Like POF, they do try to tempt you with ladies who apparently clicked on your photo w/o knowing a thing about you. It then costs a fee to upgrade to actually see them. Of course like on POF, these ladies are clicking on many photos, not just yours. Then I guess from the upgraded users they get numerous responses.
      At my age, i wish there was another way. I had a very attractive wife for so many years, now i am relegated to almost pleading for the attention of a lady on dating sites. It has been a slice of Hades due to the ratio of men to women on these sites being so tilted in the female’s favor. They have never had so much attention, even average looking women. I just need a bit of luck, not throwing in the towel yet.
      The one thing with OKC I should mention is the 200 questions you need to answer in order to register. As if that will make any difference in the prima donnas giving your profile any attention.

  23. As usual, awesome read! Meh, VDay is ovtarreed…but I love how this day brings out either the jovial or the jaded…And the jaded always seems so much more intriguing and cathartic to me….either way, it always makes for a great poem 🙂

  24. The girls are simply way too picky. All they want to do is find things they dont like about you instead of actually trying to find a date or mate. Conversely, all guys are trying to do is find thing they like about women. I’ve been treated rudely for sending honest messages with respect and content and been left confused a few times. Thise were the only responses I got after around 30 messaging attempts. I could have talked to them at a bar or party with much, much higher success but online and women turn very cold.

    1. Adam,

      I could not have said it better myself. Divorce after many years of marriage has made dating sites a harsh reality for me, very harsh & frustrating. Women say things that make sense in their profiles. What they do not actually say is that unless you are the height they must have, have career status that they must have, perhaps other alpha male assets, they will ignore you. I write pleasant messages and receive perhaps a 15% response rate. Then after one response, they may then ignore my 2nd message.
      My ex was 5’7″and that was never a concern, my being 5’9″. However, on a dating site , unless I tower over a lady, she has no interest. I have met & dated ladies on sites, some are very nice people, but tend to be overweight or bordering on homely. Why? They are the only ladies I can attract, although I am in top shape and at least average in appearance and also successful. What gives? The worst part, is that many of these ladies who ignore me, remain on the site month after month. What does that say? I deduce that they are receiving many messages but ignoring most in their idealistic search for a fellow who they deem to be perfect or just padding their egos & having fun showing messages they receive to their girlfriends. I would love to turn my back on dating sites, never to deal with this nonsense ever again. Hopefully I will. Good luck to you , fellow man. I have enjoyed women in the workplace, socially etc. but dating sites show me another side of women and it is bad news.

      1. Hey Phil..

        Same situation as you. I ended up deleting my account. It’s not worth it.

        Online dating in 2016 is made ideal for average women and male model looking guys..
        These two categories are the only ones that can get real advantage on online dating..

        Of course, these average women think that they can make these male models commit, but in fact, they only want sex and they will soon dump them.

        It’s sad, but that’s how things are.

        Since I deleted it, I am happier and less frustrated.

        Good luck

  25. I just sat here and read all of the comments and I’m not sure how to proceed. I had tried another free website at the end of last year and all I had were contacts from non existing men (according to the sites warnings). I thought I had become a pro at recognizing all of the scammers. I was just trying to stay safe by obeying all of the warnings. They warned that anyone who wanted you to leave the sight immediately to communicate was a scammer. The broken English was a dead giveaway. My daughter told me about the OK cupid site being free and that she has heard good things about it. I have been separated after being married forever, June 20th would be our 35th anniversary, and I thought it would be nice to meet someone new. I’m very happy with my life as it is but I am open to meeting someone. I ques if I approach this website with honesty and no high expectations then it at least will be a good learning experience. I am trying very hard to not be judgmental and I’m going to respond to the 70% and above and give men a chance. When I was last in the dating scene I was young and adorable and I was only looking for the same. Well I have 3 beautiful children and 2 awesome grandchildren from that choice and a lot of really hard growing up years. My husband is still very handsome but without elaborating things were really rough. I went on Hello cupid yesterday and set up that account and then realized it was the wrong site when I couldn’t read anything someone sent me without paying. I just took a bunch of pictures that I had downloaded off of my computer. I actually have very few pictures of myself because I am the one always taking the pictures and I’m not into the new technology of selfies. I’m just going to put them all up so I’m being honest. I’m told that I’m still very attractive even though I am about 40 lbs over weight. I’m hoping that I can do this without hurting others feelings or being rude and still be able to weed out and protect myself in the process. It was good to read some of these comments because it did make the site at least sound real even though it may not have been a real god experience for others. It’s sad to hear that so many men and women have been discouraged through the online dating and dating in general. I’m going to approach this as a channel for possibly meeting someone or not. My happiness does not depend on either.

  26. I’ve had a profile on OKC for as long as they have been around. I first put the profile up at a time in my life where I was looking at polyamorous and pagan friendly networking sites and OKC fit the bill. There weren’t many out there at the time. The profile has remained there these many long years through several relationships on my end of things (I always update the profile to show that I am looking for a relationship or not, looking for friends whatever the case may be). In the beginning, OKC was a wonderful place to meet folks, the questions were interesting and unlike anything we had seen on a dating website at that point. These days it seems that the majority of the folks on the site are scammers or men who seem to simply look through photos until they find someone who peaks their interest looks wise and then they message without bothering to see what the person in question is looking for. Once in a blue moon, I find someone worth taking the time to actually talk to for any length of time but it is rare.

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