How OkCupid Makes Their Money and How I’m Constantly Tempted to Give It to Them

OkCupid prides itself on being a free service. But all internet companies have to make their money somehow, right?

OKCupid has a service called “QuickMatch.” Instead of going through profiles at random, you’re shown profiles that may match what you’re looking for (based on our answers to a series of questions). You hit the star button if you like them and the x button if you don’t. Pretty simple enough.

You can keep track of people you like. Most importantly, you can also keep track of people who like you — but at a price.

Enter The A-List.

You constantly get notifications that there are new people who “like” you. The natural response is, “Hmm, people like me? Let me go see who they are.” But you can’t. With the free service, you’re only allowed to see how many people like you. You can’t see exactly who those people are. To see the full list with their profiles and everything, you’ve got to be on The A-List.

One month costs $9.95. If you buy three months, then it’s $7.95/month. If you buy six months, then it’s $4.95/month. Is it worth it? What does it get you?

They give you access to advance match search options (you can search by body type, personality, etc.), go incognito in browsing their profile, filter messages, get a higher volume inbox, or even change your username if you want. Undoubtedly the feature I’ve been most tempted by is the ability to know “Who Likes You.”

At the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want to know? Who is looking at the profile you’ve crafted and is thinking, “Hmm, this person isn’t so bad”? It’s so hard to express interest in someone when you’re not sure of the response. Fear of rejection paralyzes our ability to reach out to make a possible connection. OkCupid has made it so that you’re certain. But for a price.

I’ve been sorely tempted by it. I am one of those people who really can’t make the first move. I want to be assured of the other person’s interest before expressing my own. I keep seeing new notifications of people who “like” me and I really want to know who they are. What type of man likes my type of woman? I’ve already gotten all sorts of strange messages (I’ll get into that later). Where exactly are these people finding me?

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Expanding Out and Stepping Back

Okay so maybe I jumped a little too far ahead with OKCupid. Friend suggests I start with Coffee Meets Bagel. I have no idea what this is.

Oh! It’s an app. I can handle apps. I’m a millenial — apps are how we manage to keep functioning.

Simple enough to set up. Got my profile going. Thank goodness it just uses my Facebook details. It’s so exhausting having to talk about myself.

Got a match — rejected him. He’s 5’2 — too short for me. I think I’d like dating guys who are taller than me. It’s not very hard to be taller than me since I’m 5’4. I almost feel bad though. He seemed like a perfectly nice guy if it weren’t for his height that he had no control over.

Must steel my conscience. Can’t just say yes to anybody.

Apparently I can enter in the reason why I passed. Oh man. I hope it doesn’t send this message to the other person. “Passed because he’s too short.” Ouch. Maybe I shouldn’t put in a reason after all. I’ll just… wait for the next one?

** Same friend also suggested I try Tinder. The last time I tried Tinder, I panicked after a few matches started messaging me and just deleted it. I haven’t been back since. Maybe further down the road when it may not be so traumatizing, I’ll give it a shot. Until then, I’ll stick to these two. They seem pretty tame, right?

…. Right?

Adventures of Online Dating from a (Woefully) Inexperienced Post-Grad

The title pretty much sums up what I’m about to undertake. But first, some context.

You can call me Nina. I graduated from college about 9 months ago. I’m originally from the east coast but I’m now living in Los Angeles, trying to figure out what to do with my life. Sounds pretty average enough.

I never dated in college. Actually, I’ve never dated, period. Not to say that I have zero experience with boys. I’ve just never been wined and dined or ever really gone on a serious date. There’s “hanging out” and then there’s dating. What’s dating? I have no earthly idea. I have a pretty good idea of why I’ve never dated, but I won’t go into that on this post. I’m sure once you read how I write, you’ll probably be able to guess why too. Let’s not get too depressing from the get-go, right?

Enough of the context — let’s get to the now.

I currently have a tab open in Chrome (I’m one of those people who have 23809 tabs open in one window of Chrome– it drives some of my friends nuts) to a particular website that you all are probably familiar with. It goes by the name OkCupid. Unfamiliar? On their website, they boast to be the “fastest-growing online dating site.” And how do they do it? They use “math” to get us dates. I’m not sure what exactly this means. To tell you the truth, I haven’t even clicked past the first page. I started to sign up and then I decided maybe I shouldn’t go on until I document this. I graduated with a degree in both English Literature and Communications; there’s no way I can leave this adventure undocumented.

Anyway, the website boasts to be “extremely accurate as long as (a) you’re honest” — okay, I can be honest — “and (b) you know what you want.” Uh oh. Do I know what I want? I think I know what I don’t want — does that count? Should I still keep going?

Well… can’t stop now. Or I could… but then that would defeat the purpose of writing the past 300 words.

I must soldier on. Take a deep breath. Let’s do this.

I filled in all the information required for registration but now I’m stuck at picking a username. I’m sure I’m not the only person to stress about picking a username. (Am I? Please tell me if I am.) Especially since that username is the one that’ll be shown to the public. How do people pick usernames? My most recent ones have all been variations of my name. But I don’t want my username to link back to anything else. I still want a semblance of mystery, even if there is a lot of information about me online.

Finally decided on a username. And now they want me to write an “About Me”? Oh god. I’m never going to finish making my profile, am I? “How would your best friend describe you?” That’s a good question. Time to call for back-up.

No answer — best friends are on the east coast and I’m pretty sure they’re all dead asleep, as they should be. And as I should be. Why do I always do these things at 4 in the morning?

Finished the About Me page. It asked me a few questions. Okay, no sweat. I can answer yes/no questions. And now I’m being asked to pick my type. This is hard too. I don’t have a type. I always take personality and looks together.

I sped through the rest of my profile. I find it hard to open up to friends let alone a dating website. Alright. I’m too anxious with my decisions already. I think I’ll start doing matches tomorrow.

Oh god what have I done?