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I’m a funny, free-thinking girl who loves philosophy, disco dancing to 70′s music, going on spontaneous adventures, and living life to the fullest. I love dogs and have an inexplicable affection for elephants. I know who I am and I know what I want out of life.

Why I Broke-up with OKCupid

Unfortunately, I cannot take credit for this awesome picture. It was posted online by a very talented 12 year-old. So, girlsdrool99, whoever you are, I thank you.

I have found there to be two main criteria that must be met before considering someone a dating prospect: the first is chemistry and the second is compatibility. Different people have different ideas about the concept of “chemistry.” Personally, I’m not sure that I know how to describe it, but I am positive that if it’s there, I know it. I must digress at this point to note that interestingly, my definition of chemistry is disturbingly similar to Justice Stewart’s definition of hard-core pornography: “… I know it when I see it. Jacobellis v. Ohio, 378 U.S. 184 (1964). I suppose some things are better left undefined, as forcing overly-clinical terminology onto such concepts often has the ability to destroy their salacious appeal (see: Clinton Impeachment Trial).

In any case, it seems that the concept of chemistry may have different implications for men as compared to women. As Bravo’s the Millionaire Matchmaker, Patti Stanger, so crassly puts it: for men, “if the penis gets off of the couch,” there is chemistry. Conversely, I have found that chemistry and physical attractiveness are not perfectly correlated; finding someone physically appealing is no guarantee that there will be a spark. Several of my readers have expressed such a phenomenon which they describe as the guy who is “perfect on paper,” but with whom they inexplicably lack chemistry. Although the causes of chemistry may be more ambiguous for females, the response is not delayed as a result. Studies have shown that it can be determined definitively within the first five minutes of meeting someone whether there is chemistry. It may be a sad reality, but I have found that if there is no chemistry within the first five minutes, that will not change after another one, two, or three dates: it’s either there or it’s not.

Evaluating compatibility on the other hand, is a much more time consuming process. Depending on the openness of the two individuals, it can take anywhere from days to weeks to determine whether you are minimally compatible with another person. And ironically it is only once you reach that level of comfort with one another that people are prone to unleashing their “secret selves.” “I’m so glad that I have finally found someone that I feel so comfortable around…I feel like I can be completely honest with you. In fact, I would like to take this opportunity to tell you all about my… [previous career as a male escort, passion for rogue taxidermy, wife and children in upstate NY, affiliation with the Russian mob, sexual relationship with my sponsor from Narcotics Anonymous, battle with “manopause,” attraction to inanimate objects, and/or my life-long struggle with hoarding…ahem, I mean “collecting.”]

Thus, in order to maximize efficiency and minimize crazy, chemistry should be the first criteria examined when considering a dating prospect. This is easily achieved in real-life situations since you would only approach someone with whom you felt there was strong potential for chemistry. Additionally, approaching them and chatting awkwardly in the produce section of the grocery store gives you the brief amount of time that you need to determine whether there is sufficient chemistry to warrant going on a date.

Meeting people the old-fashioned way provides you with a sort of “chemistry filter” that allows it to have an edge over the presumed efficiency of online dating. You see, given that chemistry is a requirement for a potential relationship, in order to maximize efficiency one would have to spend time pursuing only those matches with whom they have chemistry. However, online dating has no such filter as it is impossible to feel chemistry through a computer screen. E-harmony and similar dating sites boast their ability to match people on countless levels of compatibility, however they have it backwards. Without first knowing whether there is chemistry, compatibility is not determinative. You can talk for days; having deep and meaningful conversation, you can even Skype; giggling when the screen freezes on a particularly unflattering facial expression. However, until you actually meet that person, it is impossible to know conclusively whether you will get those infamous butterflies. Unfortunately, this back-and-forth online messaging which can last anywhere from days to weeks, is largely unavoidable as it seems to have established itself as a required social convention prior to setting up a date. People feel like they have to “get to know you” before they meet you. Sadly though, “getting to know” someone that you may or may not have chemistry with is a grossly inefficient use of time. Days can be spent mindlessly chatting to a potential match about their family history, college major, career prospects, hobbies, and at his bequest, reviewing his 800+ pictures on Facebook; however it only takes a matter of minutes to determine whether there is chemistry (the first hurdle). It seems then that the only logical thing to do would be to first make the chemistry determination, prior to investing a gross amount of time getting to know this person. Thus, dating the old-fashioned way would seem to be the logical alternative.

Of course one could argue that while that may be true, statistically your odds are still better online since there is a much larger pool of available people. I generally find this argument to be without merit. It may be true that you are frequently bombarded by fifty or more messages to your online dating account, and you may not be approached by so many people in real life. However, out of those fifty messages, how many actually have any potential? Let’s break it down:

  • 50% of the messages will not even be opened due to the thumbnail-sized profile picture accompanying them (trucker hats, face tattoos, Santa Clause beards, 600 pound men, neon hair, horns, pretentious shirtless-mirror-pictures, men wearing T-shirts displaying such 1992 gems as ‘FBI: Federal Booty Inspector,” etc.)
  • 30% will be opened but will be paid no attention due to boring/offensive messages or inexcusably bad grammar (for the love of all that is holy: ‘you’re’ is a contraction which means you are, ‘your’ is possessive. Here’s a helpful example:  “You’re an idiot if you actually need this explained to you at this point in your life.”) [boom]
  • 10% will be read but never responded to due to something unfavorable found in their profile (“religion: I pray to the Jesus-shaped grilled cheese sandwich in my fridge”; “children: lost count years ago”;  “job: what’s that?”)
  • the remaining 10% (which is a whopping 5 messages) you will actually respond to
  • Out of that 10%, you might actually hear back from half (we’re down to 2-3 potential matches now)
  • Of the 5% (2-3 potential matches) you hear back from, you will likely only get to the point of setting up a date with 1.

So, to those who tout the statistical argument I would say that for every fifty matches that you invest time and effort sifting through and talking to, you have approximately a 2% chance of finding a single match worthy of going on a date with. Additionally, having chemistry with someone is not as cut-and-dry as a coin landing on either heads or tails. I think it would be a gross miscalculation to say that you have a 50% chance of having chemistry with any given person. Based on my St. Patrick’s Day festivities a small experiment that I conducted using a random sample of boys; I would estimate that the likelihood of having chemistry with any given person is closer to 1/10, or 10%. That means that if you have a 2% chance of finding someone to go on a date with, and a 10% chance of actually having chemistry with that person, you’re left with a .2% chance of actually finding a potential match online. I refuse to believe that your odds of meeting a date-worthy person in real life are worse than .2%. If you honestly think that they are then we may have found the root of your problem: pump up that self-esteem and you’ll be reeling in dates in no time.

So I’m truly sorry OKCupid…really, it’s not me, it’s you.

xx,

K.

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17 Comments on “Why I Broke-up with OKCupid”

  1. ajonespua March 19, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

    That was money, sooooo sharing this lol.

  2. xoxo bb March 19, 2012 at 8:06 pm #

    First 5 minutes for chemistry? I didn’t realize that…but it obvy makes sense…now, women who say they fell in love over time…how does that work then? I cannot incubate chemistry! lol

    • sorryiamnotsorry March 19, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

      Well chemistry does not = love, but it is a necessary ingredient. You can have chemistry without love, but not [romantic] love without chemistry. Love is the result of a strong physical attraction in combination with a deep emotional attachment. Such an emotional attachment develops over time. Thanks for your comment!

      • xoxo bb March 19, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

        Yes, which is why if you can’t have romantic love without chemistry how does their chemistry develop over time because it’s never worked for me!

      • sorryiamnotsorry March 19, 2012 at 11:09 pm #

        I don’t think their chemistry does develop over time. I think either you have chemistry or you don’t. But it’s the other component of romantic love (the deep emotional connection) that develops over time. If I don’t have chemistry with someone within the first 5 minutes, I never will. But just because I have chemistry with someone doesn’t mean that I love them; it takes time to develop deep and meaningful feelings of love.

  3. just3fornow March 19, 2012 at 9:04 pm #

    I don’t know if this helps but…

    In actual chemistry there’s usually a chemical reaction. It can be vigorous, like fireworks (doesn’t last too long though).

    And if you’re patient, you might end up with a diamond! (coal turns to diamond, you know, in like a million years)

    Also, sometimes no chemical reaction is needed at all. When you remove your dates vomit from your dress, the stains actually just dissolve because of the solvent you use.

    That, if something, is love.

  4. Dating Superstar March 20, 2012 at 6:03 am #

    Love the image lol

  5. victoriasvisits April 2, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

    OK, now that I’ve wiped the tears of laughter with the hem of my “Peace, Love, Grammar” t-shirt, I get it now, YOU’RE a statistician!
    Sorry, nail on the head, once again. Here’s my two cents of disagreement though.
    My husband and I first met in the Stone Age. Very few successful people owned cell phones, and only the office had a computer. Online dating sites did not exist, and we worked in a non-profit and ignored each other for months. (1984) I thought he was a scummy, unwashed, pot-smoking ______snorting druggie. Well, he was! 🙂
    Long story short, we started chatting (in person) over a little handicapped girl I was babysitting that summer. I found him passable, and very slowly, discovered that Mr. Scummy actually had the heart of a poet and the soul of an adventurer.
    Mr. Scummy didn’t change much for about a year, but my misjudgment of him slowly, slowly morphed into an appreciation for a really decent guy. We “cassette taped” each other long messages via “boom boxes” (Show of hands, who knows what those are ?:)
    We went to school in different states, and kept this up for a whole calendar year. He arranged to spend the summer in my state. When I picked him up at the airport, guess what? Passable had morphed into goofy, froufrou, butterflies galore! Took over a year for chemistry to develop though, babycakes. Not too sure e dating has done much for our patience.
    Twenty three years didn’t dampen it either. He was just as hot to me at 45 as he was at 25. That is to say, totally. 🙂

    Grins,

    Victoria

  6. The Hook April 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    I like your style, young lady! Keep up the good work!

  7. anissalouise April 10, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

    This is hilarious, and so freaking true. You are an awesome writer, and you make me feel better about breaking up with OkCupid – it really IS them! I kept feeling like I should just keep trying, but the message from the seventy-four year old dude who thought we “had a lot in common” just sent me over the edge.

    I’m so happy I found your blog!!

    • sorryiamnotsorry April 10, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

      Aw thanks!! I’m really happy you found my blog too!! 🙂 I can totally relate to what you experienced with online dating. I would get messages all the time from creepy old guys being like “Hey, how do you feel about dating a fun, older man?” It’s like…”um…not good.” haha

  8. rondiedoo April 10, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    I agree! To me, although I am an OkCupid member, I try to developing friendships with the people I meet first, or at least spend more time getting to know them before committing to a relationship. I feel as though, while it definitely helps me, because it’s another way for me to meet people who could become potential mates.

    I’ve had really good experiences in which I’ve met nice guys that I’ve befriended, and learned from, but I’ve also had some really, negative experiences with online dating, and specifically OkCupid that almost turned me off of it. I definitely see where you are coming from, but I guess I haven’t quite gotten the balls yet to end my relationship with OkCupid; our relationship status “is complicated”, haha.

    • sorryiamnotsorry April 10, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

      haha, well I certainly wish you two all the best!! 😉 Thanks for your comment!

  9. lipstickandplaydates April 11, 2012 at 10:06 am #

    Had no such luck on OK Cupid and, in fact, wrote a post about it. http://www.lipstickandplaydates.com/

  10. David January 26, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    Your analysis makes a lot of sense. However my experience has been completely different.

    I took a different approach. everyone with less than 90 percent compatibility I ignored. everyone who didn’t want to meet right away i also ignored. Why waste time sending lots of emails?

    Over a period of a couple years i met 5 or 6 women. There was chemistry every single time.

    I’ve been living together with the last one for about two years now.

talk to me

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