This guide is work in progress and it does not cover all issues related to using OKCupid effectively

Principles to use all the time while using an online dating platform:

  • be positive
  • be honest
  • be specific
  • be optimistic
  • be realistic
  • be compassionate

The Profile

You can create a new profile on OKCupid right here -> www.okcupid.com.

Before entering your email please consider whether you want to:

  • disclose your real email address
  • have multiple accounts (for A/B testing, we will discuss it later)

If you have a Gmail account then you could use this nifty little trick to create an alias email:

Use a real First Name. It creates vulnerability and openness. It is also a good way to see if the one who contacts you is paying attention to your profile and can properly use your first name.

Your My self-summary should be easy to read. Use complete sentences and an optimistic language. My self-summary is just one section of your profile description which should contain up to 100 words / section. 

Up next, OKCupid will ask you to answer to 15 question about yourself and your ideal partner. For the sake of focusing on one thing at a time and doing it right from the start I will persuade you now to skip all 15 of them. Answering to questions will be handled anyway in the next section.

Now let’s create your profile 🙂

Some general guidelines about completing your profile:

  • Use complete sentences, proper grammar and spelling.
  • Use an optimistic language.
  • Use at most 100 words / section.
  • Specify what you have or want instead of what you don’t have or want.
  • Fill in all sections

My self-summary

What I’m doing with my life

I’m really good at

Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food

Six things I could never do without

I spend a lot of time thinking about

On a typical Friday night I am

You should message me if

This section of the profile should contain at least 2 phrases that will help you select the potential partners you are looking for. One is about what you are looking for in a partner and one helps you attract the persons who have actually read your profile.

What I am looking for?

This is the part where you write in the section You should message me if of your profile what kind of partner you are looking for.

  • What is his / her lifestyle?
  • What does (s)he value?
  • What habits does (s)he have?
  • What are his / her long term goals and aspirations?
  • What is his / her vision upon life and relationships?
  • What are his / her qualities? (some examples in this list)
  • What is his / her love language? (some examples in this list)

More about how to describe a happy relationship and a suitable partner, you may read in this article, 12 Powerful Habits of Happy Relationships.

For instance, here is what I’ve written in my profile: You should message me if you think that the presence of a life-partner can help you grow as a person and support you in finding / achieving your life purpose.

Have you read my profile?

If you are a woman then you already or will soon know that women receive a lot of messages from men.

Likewise if you are a man then you already or will soon know that men send a lot of messages to women.

What happens with these messages?

  • A lot of them are not even read because … they are too many!!!
  • A lot of them are not answered because they don’t stand out in the rest of the multitude of all messages
  • A lot of them are between people with low Match % because they simple don’t care

Therefore you’ll need to handle them in an effective manner: less time, more potential matches.

If you are a woman then one way is to write in the section You should message me if of your profile a password that the sender of the message should use at the end of the first message. In this way you will see upon receiving the first message who has read your profile and who has not.

Some examples:

“I receive a lot of messages from men who don’t read my profile. Because you were nice enough to do that for me then please use the password FRIENDS at the end of your first message. When I’ll see the password, I’ll also read your profile and if I like what I see then surely I’ll answer you back :)”

“To know you read my profile, please add FRIENDS in your introduction :)”
(a shorter version used by Raluca)

You should get a result like in the screenshot below.

Now you can easily see what new messages you should follow up next.

If you are a man then you should invite women to write to you. If a woman writes to a man then it’s more likely the two of them will have an actual conversation.

That’s how I’ve met Raluca: she wrote to me first, other women didn’t and now we are together.

So you could write something like this:

“I spend little time around here. ‘Good men are hard to find because they are usually working.’ I don’t know whether I am a good man for you or not. But if you find my profile interesting you could send me a message and we shall find out.”

And that’s all I can say for now about filling in your Profile 🙂

The Matching

The matching algorithm of OKCupid is mostly based on your answers to a bunch of questions about yourself and about your ideal partner. The idea is to attract the right person for you and the way you answer to these questions influences the potential partners you are going to deal with later. So we must get this right from the start.

Start with a clean slate

Personally before studying this subject (dating on OKCupid) I had already answered to more than 1000 question. When I had found out that the way and the number of answers were flawed I had to Clear Out all the questions. It took me 2h.

So if you already have an OKCupid profile, then clear out all questions now:

  • go to the Desktop version of the OKCupid site (the mobile version and the mobile app do not have this feature)
  • go to your profile page
  • search for the Match Questions section and click See All
  • end up in www.okcupid.com/profile/<username>/questions page
  • for each question click Re-answer and then Clear question

Also if you already have an OKCupid profile you should clean your Passes too. These are the profiles you have chosen no to see anymore in Browse Matches and DoubleTake.

  • go to your Settings page
  • search for the Privacy tab
  • click Reset your passes

You might have passed some profiles which were incomplete or poorly written in the past and nou you might want to reconsider them after reading this guide.

The questions

The whole purpose of this section is to understand how to answer the OKCupid’s question in order to improve the chance of meeting the partner you need / want.

For each question will have to write down 2 answers: your answer and the potential answers of your ideal partner. So you will need to have a clear image of your ideal partner, the one you want to have a happy relationship with.

Some general ideas to take into consideration before answering or skipping a question:

  • Do you really understand the question?
  • Are you positive about the right answer? yours and your ideal partner’s
  • Do you know how your ideal partner would answer to this question?
  • Are you sure that your ideal partner thinks the same way about you as you think about yourself?
  • Are you sure that you think about your ideal partner the same way he / she thinks about himself / herself?
  • Do you want you and your ideal partner to be similar or complementary?
  • If the question is uncertain to you then the answer is uncertain and then matching will be uncertain.

I classify the questions into 3 categories:

  • GREEN – questions you should answer truthly and thoughtfully in order to easily get a good matching score with your ideal partner
  • YELLOW – questions that requires a little bit of effort and critical thinking in order to answer correctly and get an accurate matching score
  • RED – questions you must not answer because they will most probably ruin your matching score

Green questions

These questions involve a low risk of messing up the matching score with your ideal partner. Therefore you should answer them … truthfully.

Green question:

  • are about your values which you know them (don’t you?!)
  • are about your needs which you also know them
  • are about your habits and goals
  • you know the answer to them because it is based on facts and previous experience
  • are about common healthy relationship habits and traits
  • are clear, complete (cover all possibilities), specific and with obvious answers (observable)
  • don’t create confusion and don’t give birth to more question and speculation
  • their answers is important to you (so you should mark it as such)

Some examples…

Are you ready to settle down and get married right now?

 

Do you smoke?

 

Is jealousy healthy in a relationship?

  

If you want a happily ever after relationship with your ideal partner then you should answer to this question with NO and also look for a partner which answers the same. And also mark it as Important. Because it is!

Not sure?! “Jealousy is a complex emotion that encompasses feelings ranging from fear of abandonment to rage and humiliation.” – Psychology Today

Could you date someone who was really messy?

 

Yellow questions

These questions involve a medium risk of messing up the matching score with your ideal partner. Therefore you should answer them ONLY after careful considering the implications. Or much easier for you, DON’T!

Yellow questions:

  • seam to be specific and very easy to understand… with some underlying assumptions
  • have answers that might be interpreted in a misleading way
  • may not have the answer that describes best your reality
  • have answers that do not cover all possibilities (black or white kind of answers)

For instance…

About how long do you want your next relationship to last?

  

How long do I want a relationship to last?! Is it referring to the minimal acceptable time or the ideal time. Because if I answer an year it might be interpreted as if I can’t commit to a long time relationship. And if I answer for the rest of my life it might be interpreted like I am being desperate or unrealistic.

Are you currently employed?

  

The answer is obvious because it describes the current reality. Unless…

  • Fancy you are an entrepreneur or investor. Do they consider themselves as having a job?
  • What about the student who has a part-time job or a start-up? What will (s)he answer to this question?
  • Or what about the millionaire who has taken an year off from work in order to write a book? He doesn’t have a job but would you date him / her?
  • Also if I am between two jobs would my ideal partner want to date with me? Or the other way around …

If you are a student or a full-time employee and you want to be with someone like minded to you then you may give a straightforward answer to this question. If not… please skip this one.

Red questions

These questions involve a high risk of messing up the matching score with your ideal partner. Therefore you should NOT answer them.

Red questions:

  • are interpretable in different ways
  • having ambiguous answers
  • are controversial by nature (about religion, politics, money, beliefs, racism, etc)

For instance…

Which word describes you better?

 

It seems a straightforward question with one sure right answer. If you compare the two answers one is better than the other but if you compare them with the best word that describes you then things get complicated…

Lets measure the words which describe you on a scale of 1 to 10 where:

  • 1 means that the word does not describe you at all
  • 10 means that the word does describe you completely

Let’s assume that there are 3 words that describe you

  • pragmatic – 10 on our scale
  • carefree – 3 on our scale
  • intense – 4 on our scale

And for your ideal partner

  • pragmatic – 9 on our scale
  • carefree – 4 on our scale
  • intense – 3 on our scale

Clearly you and your ideal partner are very alike when it comes to pragmatism and also you are very alike when it comes to carefreeness and intensiveness. But wait! What happens if you two answer the above question? You will answer intense and the ideal partner carefree. So you will get a mismatch at this question. Bumer!

Even if you accept from your ideal partner both answers that will make this question irrelevant. So you can skip this kind of question from the start.

How important is religion / God in your life?

 

What religion or God we are talking about? What does it mean that is important to you? Better skip over this one…

Are you looking for a partner to have children with?

 

The trick here is that men and women usually answer to “children” issues differently: a woman usually knows that she wants to have children while a man “finds out” that later in life. Not everyone is aware of this asymmetry. So it is much better not to answer this question.

Do you enjoy discussing politics?

 

With whom? With your partner? Men usually like to do that with other men and women with… no one?! And do they know that about each other? Not sure?! Better skip this question…

Would you strongly prefer to date someone of your own skin color / racial background?

 

Strongly prefer?! Racial background?! Don’t expect people to be frank about saying things that would make them appear being racist, Don’t rely on this question. Next!

Is astrological sign at all important in a match?

 

This question is asking you to guess whether your ideal partner is believing in the zodiac or not.

My current partner believes in zodiac signs. She is a Scorpion and she noticed that she doesn’t get along with Libras. Until she met me 🙂 And I do not believe in zodiac signs. And still we’ve met on OKCupid. That’s because I haven’t answered to these kind of questions 😀

Would you date someone who was in considerable debt?

 

What does it mean “considerable debt”? Or “justified debt”? Personal loan or business loan or colleague loan?

If you get confused by this question then OkCupid will most probably get confused by your answers too.

Which would you rather be?

  

What is “normal”? What is “weird”? Which one is desirable and which one is not? Confusing? Then skip!

Choose the better romantic activity:

 

Similar with Which word describes you better?. This question omits a full range of romantic activities. An open minded person would most likely want to try all of them.

Besides, think of a person who hasn’t tried before Paris or camping in the woods or maybe (s)he’d tried just one of them. What answer will (s)he pick?

  • the safe answer, the thing (s)he already experienced before?
  • the one based on the stories of her / his peer or the stereotypes promoted by the media about romance?
  • the new answer, the option (s)he hasn’t tried before?

Confusing, stereotypical, limited options -> SKIP!

  • 100-500 questions -> 99% compatibility
  • De răspuns cu “Somewhat Important” doar la binary questions

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The Habit

Success does not happen over night and is not the result of luck. It’s the result of a journey which requires perseverance. Succes is the result of a habit.

The same is with online dating. There are a couple of tasks you have to do every day or weekly.

Weekly tasks

  • Update the photo – Keep a set of photos of you and change the order of them regularly by placing a different one first. OKCupid will make sure your profiles will be shown first to other users.

Daily tasks

  • Reply to likes – If someone likes you then send them a message. You can see who likes you on the Likes page.
  • Like the profiles of your best matches
    • go to Browse Matches
    • sort by Match %
    • open the profiles with more than 90% match
    • Like those with whom you really resonate.
  • Answer relevant questions to your best matches
  • Sent messages to your best matches – more about this in the next section.
  • Reply to messagesmore about this in the next section.

How much time does it take to do all this? Not much. You can use the dead time during the coffee break, commuting, waiting lines, etc. No more than 30min in the morning and no more than 1h during the evening.

The Conversation

Filtering messages

If you are a woman than you might want first to reduce the number of conversations initiated by men who have a low Match %.

You can do that by going to the Messages page and hit Set filters gear button.

You can also filter who messages you by sex, age, location or status.

If you are a man than you should be aware that a woman might not be answering because she only wants to talk with men with high Match %.

So before sending a first message to any woman make sure that you have at leat a 90% Match. If you have a lower Match % then you can improve the score in the following way:

The first approach

If you are a woman then you should do only one thing: send them a message, they will answer if they are interested.

If you are a man then things are a little bit complicated. If you send to a woman a message then it might not get answered for a couple of reasons: your message it’s too simple or generic (just a simple greeting like “hello!”) or she gets a lot of messages of which a lot of them remain unopened.

Therefore you will need a first approach strategy.

Predefined message list approach

Some guys have used a list of messages to be copy/pasted for each conversation. There are two ways to use this: a list of message to be used to filter the prospects or a list of message to be used until someone answers.

Filter message list algorithm:

  • write the first message
  • if she answer the previous message, then write the next one
  • if she answers all your messages then talk naturally 🙂

One example used by Justin Long and described in this article:

  • First write “Are you a fan of avocados?”
  • If she responds yes then “So if I asked you to have a guacamole party with me, would you do it?”

Icebreaker message list algorithm:

  • write the first message
  • if she does not answer the previous message in 1 day, then write the next message from the list
  • if she does not answers any of your your messages of your list then give up
  • if she does answer then ask her for her number

Sending 1 message per day to a woman keeps yourself on top of all her messages.

One example used by Sebastian Stadil and described in this article:

  • Bonjour! Care to meet over coffee some time next week?
  • Perhaps I can tempt you with some pastries instead? I know of place with fruit tarts, chocolate pies, and macaroons. 🙂
  • Can I interest you in a chai latte then? Better than coffee, and we can still get the pastries!
  • Fine, if you don’t like coffee nor pastries nor chai, we can do tea. How does tea sound?
  • Yeah, you are right. Tea is a little boring. We should get ice cream! How about the Bi-Rite Creamery?
  • Ice cream is too cliché anyway. We should do something no one else does on a first date, like meet at a gas station and get beef jerky! Think of the stories we could tell our grandkids!
  • Alright, I’ll admit that meeting at a gas station isn’t the most romantic. And let’s be honest: American food portions are so large we don’t need more calories. How about a boat ride on Stow Lake? We can get a nice pedal boat and get fresh air and plenty of exercise. How about that?
  • (if she answers) Great! Whats your number?

Obviously you should write your own sequence of messages.

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The Dating

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Activities for a date

Indoor activities

  • Watch a movie
  • Watch a relationship training
  • Cook something together
  • Play a strategy board game, like Monopoly or Cashflow
  • Play chess or go (the Chinese game)
  • Fix something at her place
  • Teach her how to use electronic devices and her space and time better
  • Optimize her computer / laptop, teach her how to use different software
  • Tell her about your memories since you were a child. Try to open up emotionally and trust her with some of the difficult times you’ve been through and maybe she will do the same.
  • Answer to all of these questions together  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/11/fashion/no-37-big-wedding-or-small.html
  • Plan a party together at which you invite your close friends
  • Exercise together (physiotherapy, kinetotherapy, muscle exercises)
  • Learn and apply time management together
  • Go wine tasting

Outdoor activities (good weather)

  • Rent a bicycle in the park
  • Go jogging together with a group
  • Go to a terrace and celebrate something special on an occasion
  • Go to a picnic
  • Go to the seaside within a larger group
  • Climb a mountain together within a larger group
  • Go to a theater play outdoor
  • Go to a rollercoaster in an amusement park
  • Go on a double date
  • Rent a boat
  • Watch some celestial special events (a comet, a star spectacle or some extraordinary planet alignment, etc.)
  • Go skating in the park
  • Go to a cool concert (important for both of you to like the musician, so don’t do suprises without asking here)
  • Volunteer for a cause or charity you both care about and donate your time
  • Visit an orfelinat together and bring presents to the kids.

Outdoor activities (crappy weather)

  • Ice-skating in the park or mall patinoire
  • Go dancing
  • Go to a restaurant
  • Find a meetup group which organizes thematic meetings on things you are interested in both and go to the meetings
  • Go to a theater play
  • Do bungee jumping together
  • Take a martial arts class together
  • Go to the swimming pool together
  • Go to an escape room and collaborate to find keys
  • Go to an art gallery or to a museum or to an event promoting such a thing
  • Go to explore different locals, coffeehouses, tea-shops which have some interesting atmosphere
  • Go grocery shopping together once per week
  • Go shopping together for clothes and such (for advice or support)
  • Paint together at organized painting sessions
  • Debate a book after both of you have read it

Is (s)he right for me?

After a couple of weeks of seeing someone you might wonder whether you should settle for just one of the possible candidates or just keep looking.

Here I can offer you one simple rule to help you decide: if you meet someone with emotional issues then you should definitively keep looking.

Emotional issues originated in childhood or in previous relationships are the main obstacle in having a working and happy relationships.

How can you identify them? Here is a comprehensive quiz that should help you identify any potential signs of abnormal behavior manifested in a relationship by your (potential) partner.

↓↓↓ Take the Test ↓↓↓
Danger Signals in (Potential) Partners

You might be inclined to say:

  • “Yes! (S)he has problems. But who hasn’t?”
  • “(S)he has great qualities”.
  • “It’s the best option that I’ve got now.”

A first date question: "How aware are you of your traumas & suppressed emotions and tell me about how you are actively working to heal them before you try to project that shit on me."

My opinion on this is:

  • The real problem is not having emotional issues. The real problem is not handling them.
    • Is (s)he aware of them?
    • Is (s)he going regularly to therapy or counseling?
    • Has (s)he made any progress so far?
    • If (s)he hasn’t made any progress so far why should (s)he make any with you?
  • Qualities are important but more important is the bottom line results you get.
    • At the end of the day are feeling happy or not after spending time with that person?
  • There is no such thing as “best option”, “best partner”. You can create options, search for better partners, become a better person yourself if needed. In the end you will attract a decent person just like I did.

 

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