Has OkCupid Left Match in the Dust?

The Rarely Seen NotOkCupid

It’s a bit of an editorial dilemma. My site is called It’s Not a Match, which makes my use of Match.com rather integral. For years this was not a problem. I knew how to use Match, had no problem finding women there who appealed to me, and was generally happy with the site. Well, happy in that “I’m gonna devote an entire blog to chronicling my ludicrous experiences there” kinda way. But still, I was a Match man, and every other site I used paled in comparison. But then I moved to Los Angeles, and something changed. All of a sudden, Match kinda sucked.

I don’t know how else to say it. The site worked the same, but it stopped working for me. For some reason I couldn’t find many Los Angeles women I was interested in. In my new city, Match seemed to have two options: 1) the borderline homeless and 2) women with boob jobs. That was it. I don’t know how girls who appeared to live either on the beach or inside a pot dispensary could afford online dating – or why they made it a priority – but they all seemed to be on Match. Alternately, I could go with the Triple B’s: Blondes with Botox and Breast implants. Unfortunately that’s not really the look I’m going for, and it’s REALLY not really the brain I’m looking for, so I was screwed. Which is why I turned to OkCupid, and now I don’t think I’m ever going back.

Look, dating sites are tremendously regional. For whatever reason, a certain type of person seems to be attracted to a certain type of service in each location. When I lived in DC, everyone insisted Lavalife was the best site for hookups. Now I think it’s a place where you can buy actual lava. I’ve been told that EHarmony is the way to find someone of substance in Boston, which is funny because everywhere else it’s the way to find someone in a cult. In New York, OkCupid was a bastion of the skinny-jeaned and rarely cleaned. Not a great place to find a date, but if you were trying to hire a graphic designer with a loose interpretation of the word “deadline,” you could do a lot worse. For some reason however, in Los Angeles, smart, funny, and normal all belong on OkCupid.com. But even if they didn’t, I might just stick with the site anyway. Because honestly, it just works better.

Fun!

Match is a very straight-forward site, which is both a strength and a weakness. You give them a bunch of money, tell them what you’re looking for, and they give you a ton of options. It’s nice, because you know no one is there to fuck around. There’s nothing really to do. It would be like fucking around in a parking lot. On Match, you date, or you log-off. But OkCupid gives you a lot more options, and therefore encourages a lot more people to be on the site. I used to think the bells and whistles were silly, but now I’ve seen the light. Here’s my favorite things about the OkCupid experience.

1) It’s free. Don’t get me wrong, blogging pays very, very well. But my horses have to eat just as much as the next millionaire’s, you know? Look, is saving the $15 or so a month, nice? Absolutely. But the best thing about a free dating site is that it attracts all kinds – and some of the kinds you won’t find on Match are really great. Shy folks, curious folks, folks who are a little ambivalent about Internet dating to begin with. And sometimes those can be the best ones. Because trust me, the further you can get away from us grizzled Internet dating veterans, the better. We’re nuts.

Even Mother Teresa didn't always reply.

2) How Often She Replies. Hover over the “write a message” button on OkCupid, and you know what appears? A little note telling you how often your desired responds to their email. It says, “Often,” “Sometimes,” “Rarely,” or “You’re Better Off Sending a Letter to the Moon.” Sure, it’s  good to know if you’re dealing with someone who rarely writes back, but I find this most helpful when I encounter an “Often.” I’ve seen the kind of emails women get – hell, I write a lot of ‘em – and any lady that responds “often” to all the wackjobs that come her way has got to have a screw loose herself. Or be a saint. A lonely, lonely saint. Thanks, but no thanks, Oftens. I’ll take my chances with the Sometimes.

3) “No One Has Written Her This Week.” Honestly, this may be my favorite OkCupid function. If you’re scrolling down a list of potential ladies or gentlemen, you will occasionally see this encouraging message:

No one’s contacted her this week! Go for it!

How great is that?! It’s like there a guy standing behind you at the bar whispering in your ear, “Hey, see that chick over there? Pretty cute, right? Well no one has had the balls to talk to her all night, and she’s single. Get off your ass!” I will see that message on OkCups and often be offended enough for her that I email, just to even things out. “Wait, no one’s written this woman this week? She seems great! That’s an outrage. I’m emailing right now, just to set the universe straight.” And then we hit it off. In fact, I emailed one of these girls tonight. We’ll probably get married. Thanks, OkCupid!

4) OkCupid TELLS YOU IF YOU’VE WRITTEN SOMEONE BEFORE!!! On Match, I can’t tell you how many times I’d send a girl my standard introductory email, then have her respond, “Yeah, you wrote me pretty much the same email a month ago. Wasn’t interested then, not interested now.” Actually, I can tell you how many times, but I won’t because it’s embarrassing. OkCupid indicates plainly if you’ve written someone before, and when the message was sent. Seems like a pretty obvious function, right? Well Match doesn’t provide it, making you look even more like a dick than you already do.

5) Quickmatch. Remember “Hot or Not?” That website where you rated stranger’s pictures, based solely on their appearance and your personal level of human decency? Well, OkCupid’s most popular function, Quickmatch, works on the same principle, except you if rate a person high enough they will automatically alert the person of your interest. No profiles to read, no emails to send. It’s the lazy man or woman’s (let’s be honest: man’s) way to Internet date, and it’s foolish to think you can meet people through Quickmatch alone, but it’s a great way to begin your vetting process. And it’s actually, you know, fun, which is not something you often encounter on a dating website.

So with all that said, what am I gonna do? I’m an OkCupid convert, and I don’t think I’m going. Do I change the name of my site? “It’s Not a Positive Encounter That Started On OkCupid.com” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. And who knows if the URL is even available? Decisions, decisions…

This entry was posted in Advice, Internet Dating is Weird. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Has OkCupid Left Match in the Dust?

  1. lizzing says:

    “Match”, as a dating term is still relevant whether you use match.com or not. The blog title is far too clever, never change!

  2. MJ says:

    I still live in DC and have seen my way around the dating interwebs (although, I will never, NEVER try Plenty of Fish). OkCupid is the way to go here, too. I have had FAR less crazy dates and emails on OkC then I have on Match. (The one drawback is fodder for my blog. I have to work harder to be funny when my dates are sane.) I also appreciate OkC’s snarky sense of humor and the fact they clearly don’t think you should take internet dating too seriously. (Coincidentally, neither should anyone else on the planet.) The one thing I *hate* about OkC though is how they’re always telling you (and your potential dates) when someone’s signed in or has looked at your profile. It’s very easy to get a stalker or become one on OkC. I’ve definitely blocked way more people on this site, because it was creeping me out to see how often they “visited” me.

    Although you could spend the money you are saving with your Match cancellation on a new domain name, I say keep it. (I mean, let’s be real, you aren’t REALLY thinking of changing it, you just needed a tie-in for this blog.) Same concept.

    • Kay says:

      Good point. B you should consider It’s Not a Match.com and that (in itallics- to express your outrage) is NOT OKCupid.com

    • B says:

      (quit giving away the industry secrets, MJ! I’m totally thinking of changing it!!!)

    • Datestable says:

      MJ, I turned off the visit-stalking thing a while back and never looked back. Many people use it to decide whom they should be messaging (and thus give up their own browsing privacy in exchange), but I prefer having total control over whom I choose to pursue. Also, it takes away the morbid curiosity of constantly looking to see who’s checking you out and who read your message without replying. Not for everyone, but something to consider.

  3. Miriam L says:

    I live in Philadelphia and have been a long-time fan of OkCupid. I’m so glad you’ve seen the light. I agree that some of the best people to meet are those who are a bit skeptical about internet dating… I mean, who isn’t? It’s totally normal to be! Besides its convenient features, I actually think its matching system is more accurate than what I experienced on eharmony. (I confess I haven’t tried Match.)

    And yeah, keep the name of your blog! I agree that it’s clever and still relevant. Your blog makes me crack up and I grin every time I get a message that there’s a new post. I hope you’re single forever! (Wait, no I don’t… that’s a terrible thing to say. Just, when you meet your dream girl make sure to write about all the joys of long-term committed relationships.)

  4. Elle says:

    If it makes you feel any better, OkCupid.com is owned by Match.com so you’re straying too far from where you began…

  5. nbree says:

    No way, you can’t change the name! It’s Not A Quiver just sounds weird. And slightly dirty.

  6. Welcome to OKCupid! I would argue that right now it’s the best thing out there, overall.. (Don’t try Plenty of Fish… it’s Plenty of Time Wasted.)

  7. HaveInternetWillTravel says:

    I’m surprised you left out what I feel is OKC’s biggest advantage over Match, which is that the profile and question set-up let’s you know a lot more about someone than on Match. (For example, I’m always scared when someone says “Christian/Catholic” on Match, cause it’s generally so hard to gauge how into it they are, whereas on OKC it’s made clear how into it they are.) This also makes writing introductory emails much easier, although i do often find myself yearning for the subject heading like on Match. And the profile set-up and question “explanations” are great set-ups for you to display humor/wit. Quite simply, surfing through profiles on OKC is a lot more entertaining and less repetitive and monotonous than on Match, and there are much more dynamic seeming personalities…I also find the “view similar people” to be wayyyy more accurate than on Match.

    The advantages to Match that I find, (and this is as a straight guy in his early 30’s in the San Francisco Bay area), are (1) There definitely seems to be more attractive women in more abundance; (2) My profile gets way more views, especially from women I find attractive; (3) There are less hipsters (though this could be a disadvantage depending on who you are, obviously); (4) I’ve found that the women on Match tend to be much more eager/willing to go on the first date quickly, (obviously primarily due to pay vs. free) which to me is good though others may disagree.

    • velocity says:

      I think maybe I’ve heard this from B himself, but the “better” looking women on Match comes with a “we’re looking for matthew mcconaughey or a zuckerberg”…Personally, the people on OK seem to be looking for other humans.

    • I have been living under rock for 20 years. Can you get me up to speed….what is a “hipster”?

  8. Two Emails says:

    Sometimes having the site not remember your e-mails is a plus. I re-emailed the very first girl I messaged on match about 4 months later. Match didn’t remember that I had e-mailed her, and she never responded to my first e-mail. I’m sure she didn’t remember me, so I thought, what the hell? And went for it. Now we have a date set up in the near future. :)

  9. Single with Internet says:

    I enjoy reading your posts. I’ve been on OkC and have not had much luck, so now I’m giving Match a try. In any case, have you seen or heard of “This is not ok, cupid”–it’s another blog similar to yours… http://thisisnotokcupid.tumblr.com/

  10. This post is exactly what I was looking for. I have been trying to decide whether to use Match or OKcupid. Based on this profile I thinking about trying Okcupid first. I have been using POF and it’s days are coming to an end soon.

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