My first foray into online dating was OkCupid. My friend Michelle warned me that my first message would be, “Hey, beautiful,” and sure enough, she was right. But before we get into that, let’s backtrack to the sign-up process.
OkCupid is available as an app and as a website. The app takes you to the website; go figure. The interface is different on the mobile version, though. There’s less to read. Who can bother to read when they’re looking for love on the go?
If you do read, though, OkCupid is hilarious. There are hundreds of questions to determine your personality. The questions are apparently user-submitted, and that’s why you end up with bizarre queries like, “If your lover wanted you to squeal like a dolphin, would you?” There are more everyday-type questions too, but it’s the weird hypothetical-scenario questions that make the process riveting.
Traveling Down the OkCupid Rabbit Hole
I must have filled out 300 questions in horrified fascination. Apparently that’s how everyone does it. The questions cover lifestyle, dating, sex, ethics, religion, and more. After each set of questions and multiple-choice answers, there’s the option to give a written explanation as to why you chose that particular answer and to expand on it.
Q. Do you think about carbohydrates?
“I do not have thoughts about bread.”
You can read people’s answers by category. First, I read the answer explanations to get a sense of the person. Then, I read the sex questions, just because. It’s a valid curiosity, but it can certainly lead to discomfort if I ultimately meet the person and am armed with too much information. I’m a too-much-info magnet anyway. People share much too much information with me, much too quickly. But I don’t normally know whether they want to tie me up or have me tie them up. It’s a little strange to think about at dinner.
The picture section is another field day. You can upload whatever you want as long as you’re in it. This is not to say that naked shots fly, but damn near. There is no official screening of your picture unless someone flags it. After looking at one too many bathroom selfies (a male art form), I uploaded my own. I placed a toilet paper roll in the shot so that it was clearly a bathroom selfie and not just any mirror selfie.
I added a picture of my dog because I feel she represents me whether or not she feels I represent her. Remember, you have to be in the picture, but a hand or foot will do. In this picture, my hand is in the photo and I am wrestling with my four-pound dog. She appears to be winning.
With pictures and profile achieved, I sat back and waited. Notices come in when you receive messages. My first message arrived just as my friend had foretold: “Hey, beautiful.” I decided to not write back; it was better to look through profiles and leave my own messages.