OKCupid releases “Mutual Fit” for better matches

Back in April, OKCupid announced a new feature of their famous (and secret) matching algorithm: Mutual Fit. They don’t go into the technical details, but basically this new feature ensures you will “only see, and be seen, by other members when both of you match one another’s stated preferences for age, location, gender, orientation, and relationship status.”

This functionality was available prior to this, but at that time you had to do a specific search with the right filters and checkboxes. Now, they’ve cut out the extra step and take care of that for you.

Have you noticed a change in your matches since April? Let us know in the comments.

Give us your best first date ideas

You’ve swiped right. You’ve had a little online back-and-forth. Now it’s time to take the next step: The First Date. Sure, you could head to your favorite bar and get a drink, but we think you can do better than that. Why not make it a first date to remember, and give yourself an edge over the competition. Besides, if things work out, you’ll have a great story about the first time you met…

Okay, Internet! Tell us your best first date ideas!

Would you go on a first date without messaging each other first?

A new dating app called First has entered the scene, and it’s sparking a lot of discussion. We know, we know, new dating apps come on the scene almost on a daily basis, but they are all ultimately the same. So, what sets this one apart? Well, for starters, you don’t get to talk to your date before you meet in person.

Say whaaaaat?

Here’s how it works: You post a date idea and people can request to join you. You look through your list of options and choose who you want to go on the date. And then…you just show up!

The goal of the app, according to creator Truman Kain, is, “getting you off of your phone and onto the date.” At its core, this is a great concept. How many of us have gotten stuck in the messaging black hole, chatting endlessly online but never taking the next step to actually meet in person? But, according to our unscientific poll around the water cooler, the idea of meeting up with a stranger without the vetting process of a conversation is a scary concept to some.

“Noooo…. sounds so, so sketchy and like a farm team for predators…” says editor Gaya Gerdie.

But for others, it makes a lot of sense:

“It’s not unlike meeting someone at a bar.” says writer Misty Manson. “You see each other across the room and you have little to go on other than looks. But you can’t just start texting right away. You have to actually walk up to him and have a real, in-person, conversation which, in my opinion, is the only way to get to know someone for realsies. It’s easy to be Mr. Perfect online.”

[Editor’s note: Yes, our 40 year-old head writer does say, “for realsies,” but we hired her, anyway.]

What do you think, dear readers? Would you go on a first date without messaging first?

Would you go on a first date without messaging first?

I’ve gotta rethink my image

Excerpt from his first message on OKCupid:

“I am looking for…a person who is well mannered, is stable in life, is clear about things she wants/doesn’t want in life…”

First line of my profile:

“If you’re looking for a girl who showers every day and knows exactly what she’s doing with her life, you should ‘swipe left’…”

Couldn’t even make it to the first line! So I guess it was all the photos of me in wacky wigs, playing in a punk rock marching band, grabbing asses in the desert while holding a PBR, and shoving my fist in a pie that made me seem stable and put-together. I’ve gotta rethink my image…

Dating Site Rankings in the U.S. vs My Own Little World

websiteSeveral marketing companies have released their year-end rankings of dating sites and, I have to admit, I’m a little surprised at the results. Three different marketing firms ranked Plenty of Fish and Match.com as the top two dating sites of 2014. This surprises me because I rarely hear anyone in real life talking about their Match or POF accounts. My beloved OKCupid ranks in the 3 and 4 spots on two of the lists, and isn’t present on Comscore’s top 10 apps list at all. This is a great example of your view of the world being skewed by the tiny environment around you.If you’d asked me, based on anecdotal evidence, what the top dating sites were from the past year, I would have said OKCupid. Virtually everyone I know uses OKCupid, with Tinder chomping at its virtual heels for the top spot. But my social circle is largely made up people practicing nontraditional relationship styles -(such as polyamory),  people of alternative sexualities,  and those who just aren’t looking to settle down and want to have a little fun. OKCupid and Tinder are great for these demographics. Match and POF are targeted more toward the traditional, marriage-minded community, and Plenty of Fish won’t even allow us queer, horny, or poly folk onto their precious (Christian-owned) dating site.

Despite my occasional little jabs at the more conventional sites, I don’t think they are doing anything wrong. In fact, these rankings prove quite the opposite. I may be surrounded by alternative lifestyles and relationships, but that’s certainly not a good sampling of the attitudes and practices of the rest of America. The lesson here is twofold:

  1. Don’t assume that your experience is the common one.
  2. Not all dating sites are created equal. Pick the site or sites that appeal most to the kind of people you want to date. Don’t go looking for your straight, Christian, marriage-minded partner on Adam 4 Adam, and don’t expect to find a wealth of fellow poly partners on Christian Mingle. Sure, it might take a little extra time and research to narrow down your options, but you’ll save yourself time in the long run by targeting your efforts in directions more likely to pay off.

And, without further ado, here are your top 10 dating site rankings of 2014, according to Experian Marketing Services:

  1. Plenty of Fish
  2. Match.com
  3. Zoosk
  4. OKCupid
  5. Adam 4 Adam
  6. AshelyMadison
  7. OurTime
  8. DateHookup
  9. Badoo
  10. BlackPeopleMeet

How does this list compare to your world?

Is Friend Zone a sexist term?

ecardAn article on Mic.com takes a feminist look at the friend zone concept, and I think this author was way off the mark. She says it’s a sexist term, but is guilty of sexism herself by never acknowledging that girls aren’t the only ones putting people in friend zones and guys aren’t always the ones being “friend zoned.” She then goes on to say that the friend zone implies some sort of bank balance where spending time with and being nice to a girl equals points that can be redeemed for sex. I disagree, wholeheartedly. This concept suggests that men (since they are apparently the only ones who ever get put in this dreaded zone) only put time into relationships with women to get sex. While that’s true of some men – men I have no interest in knowing – in my experience, most men are not this shallow.  Strike two for YOUR sexism, lady.
I believe that it’s human nature to put more time, thought, and effort into romantic relationships than friendships. While no one calls it that anymore, courtship still happens. It looks very different from when our grandparents or even our parents did it, but it’s still there. And while people in movies and TV shows are notoriously bad at picking up signals, in real life, people can usually tell when someone is courting them.
So, here’s my proposal to end Friend Zone Whining (or FZW) once and for all:
If you’re the one being courted and you’re not interested, say so. Sure, it feels nice to be treated like a romantic partner, but if you accept this attention and interest without returning it, you’re a dick.
If you’re the one complaining of being put in the friend zone, you should be grateful. I firmly believe that if you are put in the friend zone, you were always meant to be in the friend zone. You didn’t play the game wrong, the person just wasn’t into you, and was never going to be. And now that it’s clear that this friendship isn’t going in the direction you’d hoped, you are free to focus your romantic attention on someone new. However, if the other person’s lack of romantic interest in you makes their friendship not worth your time at all, you’re a dick.
Well, there you have my rant. What are your thoughts on the friend zone?

Stop posting pictures with your dog, and other things Zoosk learned in 2014

OKCupid isn’t the only site using its massive amounts of data to make observations and predictions about online dating trends and behavior.  The highly ranked dating site released a graphic showing 2014 trends alongside their predictions for 2015. The whimsical nature of the predictions makes me suspect that they are just fluff like the kind of stuff you’d find on Cosmo.com, but the statistics on the 2014 trends side are quite interesting and may teach us a few lessons.

The Photo Style section, for instance, both confirmed a few of my own opinions, and gave me a few surprises.  Zoosk found that posting selfies decreased men’s messages by 8%. I guess I’m not the only gal that hates selfies. Guys don’t seem to mind it as much in their potential matches, however, because women who posted selfies got an average of 4% more messages than those that didn’t. Eek, as if women needed more encouragement to point their cameras in their own faces. Interestingly, outdoor photos increased messages to men by 19%, while it decreased messages to women by a whopping 40%. I agree with the guys on this one. If I never see another dude with his beloved snowboard on a dating site, it’ll be too soon. Unsurprisingly, full body shots increased messages for both genders. The shocking part was by how much: an extraordinary 203%! Also unsurprisingly – to me, anyway – posting  photos with your friends decreased messages by 53% for both genders. Now will you please stop posting all of those group photos? We don’t want to squint and try to guess which one is our potential date, we just want to see YOU! Besides, half the time the one I thought was the cutest wasn’t the owner of the profile I was viewing. Talk about a backfire.

 

See the full graphic on Zoosk’s blog.