Online hunting

Ok Cupid is pretty fucking frustrating.

I recently got rid of my old Ok Cupid (henceforth ‘okc’) profile (which had been up there for years, through several relationships) – I had originally written it in 2009, and had refined and polished it again and again. And my old profile was good, but I just needed a fresh start. Or something.

New profiles also get a boost in terms of how often you see them, so I also figured that couldn’t hurt. I had tried Match.com for five minutes (the horror) and decided that, despite its several flaws, okc was still much better in terms of interface, match questions, and demographic of people you are connected to. In case that sounds too euphemistic, let me put it this way: match.com is full of  mainstream bros, a more traditional crowd. Ok cupid, on the other hand, is full of queer-oriented feminist hipster people. My people.

I’ve been getting the same barrage of underwhelming messages (‘hey’; ‘s’up’; ‘hey, can we chat?’) with the occasional thoughtful message mixed in, though often from someone who I end up not being that interested in responding to for whatever reason. (We all have our preferences.)

I have to remind myself, though, that my best experiences with ok cupid mostly comes out of my own research and message-sending. When I first moved to NYC I had SO MUCH TIME and I would spend hours scouring through profiles, based on the match percentage you receive after answering 50, 100, 200, 300 match questions. Okc also suggests people you might like based on the particular profile you’re looking at. I’m not quite sure how this works, since I can be sometimes looking at someone who’s a 85% match, and find that there’s a 93% match listed as well as a 68% match, so how much these people actually have in common is unclear. But anyway you can just go down the rabbit hole of ‘you might also like’ lists for just, well, hours.

What I do is I bookmark something like 15-20 people during these searches (which I’m doing now, intermittently, while also writing this post), to save them to write later. The idea is to write to about 15 people over the course of about 3 days or so. I then delete all these people from my bookmarks, so that I don’t remember who I’ve messaged (and thus cannot fixate on who replies and who doesn’t). Usually a bunch of people will write back, and then out of those exchanges I’ll end up with about 2-3 first dates.

And the thing is, that’s all okc can really get you. A first date. After that it’s all on you. I’m not going to be able to tell if I want to marry someone based on their profile. In his book “Modern Romance,” Aziz Ansari suggest understanding online dating sites as online introductory sites, instead. No actual dating happens on the site. You have to meet people to get a sense of them.

The trouble is, though, sometimes it’s really fucking difficult to even tell if I want to go out on a single date with someone.

It’s hard to write a profile. I think writing in general is hard for a lot of people. Personally, I love writing, and do quite a lot of it, so I’ve developed a kind of online personality that I think makes my profile come across as pretty interesting to a bunch of people.

But I’m tired, so tired, of reading vague and indeterminate – and, most importantly, BORING – statements like ‘I’m just an easygoing guy who is into adventures and enjoying life!’

Like, what the fuck does that mean? Honestly. What is an ‘easy-going’ person, and ARE YOU REALLY? Those are just words, hon. Lots of people like to THINK they are easygoing and are in fact NOT AT ALL.

I also don’t know what ‘adventures’ entails for people. For some people that involves trying out new restaurants (snore). For others it means white water rafting. Other people have no idea what they mean by that and just want to make themselves look interesting while not actually giving me any goddamned information that is, in any way, interesting.

And I swear to god, if I read one more goddamned hipster profile listing not only solely white male authors, but a list that includes Kurt Vonnegut as the pinnacle of the literature of our time, I will fucking barf.

Like, look, I don’t want to knock Vonnegut, he’s a very good writer blah blah, but when you list Vonnegut, you’re listing him to make yourself sound literary but edgy, smart but cool, dark but still lovable. You are trying to represent your personality as dark and unique and interesting except that SO IS EVERY OTHER FUCKING HIPSTER ON THERE. (I know, because I have read all of your profiles).

So yeah, anyway. I will persevere. So far I’ve got 6 bookmarked. None of them list Vonnegut. Or ‘easy going’. Or ‘adventures’.

It’s a start.

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