After over a year on OKCupid, I feel as if it’s about time I bestowed a little wisdom.
When it comes to internet dating, I’m a little wibley-wobbly. At one moment, I am a massive fan. The next, I despise it with every fiber of my being. I have tried both Match.com and OKC and, for once, you get what you don’t pay for. Match is full of boring people, playing it safe and they all seem to be hundreds of miles away. On OKC, you can find hundreds of people in your area and many of them are actually interesting and might even share some of your interests. As far as internet dating goes, I have had much better luck on OKC than anywhere else. My last, semi-successful relationship started there and I’ve had several great first dates as well.
The main problem with OKC is the insane number of messages that flood my inbox on a daily basis. Now, this is the main problem with heterosexual internet dating in general; women are spammed by more men than they can count and men scramble to get any kind of attention from girls who would, in real life, actually be in their league. I could go into the details of how this reflects an overall problem with gender roles in modern society, but that’s another post for another time. Right now, I want to focus on some practical tips.
Every so often, I will post a pair of screenshots from my inbox. The first will be an example of how to get deleted. The second will be an example of how to get a second look. Following each one will be a run down of what works, what doesn’t and why. Of course, this is just my personal opinion and should be taken with a grain of salt, but as a woman who has to weed through a lot of crazy to find gems of decent human beings, I think you can learn a little bit from what I have to say.
1. Text speak. It’s annoying. If you have read a woman’s profile and she hasn’t used a single emoticon or purposeful misspelling, then you probably shouldn’t utilize them when sending her your first message. It makes you look immature and just a little dumb.
2. This is so general it hurts. Granted, I do mention that I am a fan of coffee in my profile, but so did about 50% of the other people on this site.
3. “Hit me up.” Just no…
4. Match percentage. Anything under 70% hardly gets a look. Anything under 50% usually gets instantly deleted. Message people you’re compatible with.
1. This is much more specific! And he goes beyond just a cursory response to the contents of my profile. He crafted a creative response to my “Message me if…” And for once, I’m okay with the emoticon.
2. Vocabulary. This one has a decent grasp on the English language, and uses a variety of creative sentence structures and vocabulary choices. I’m particularly fond of “jive” for some reason.
3. Questions I can respond to. Now, I do get a lot of the, “What do you like to write about?” variety, but since I am a writer, I like talking about my writing, even if I do have to repeat myself. I’m vain, what can I say? But, what I really love are his questions about my gaming habits. He doesn’t just say, “I like Civ too.” He dives right in and starts recommending other games by the same producer, and asking questions that further the conversation. I’m a big fan of that. That is very good.
4. 74% match. It’s not terrific, but there’s some promise there. It’s enough for me to check out his profile.
So, to sum up our lesson today: Be specific. Be clever. Ask questions that further the conversation. Shoot at compatible targets.