OKC Questions: L’s Makers and Breakers

For those of you who don’t have the good fortune to be as familiar with online dating as we are, allow me to enlighten you. One of the things these sites try to do, is to determine how good of a match you would be with other users, so you don’t have to sift through every single profile making this determination all by yourself. OKCupid is particularly famous for this, and uses a series of questions (I think there are over 2000) to determine how compatible you are with other users. Once you sign up for OKC, you are given the option to answer  a number of multiple choice questions about all sorts of topics: dating, sex, lifestyle, politics, etc. You also mark which answers you’d find acceptable from other users, and how important the question is to you. The “scientists?” at OKC swear these questions can be great predictors of long term potential. And I kinda believe them. While the questions can be a little excessive, there are plenty of them that S, D, and I use to make decisions about if we’ll go out with someone or not. We use the questions to screen out rapists, and to avoid men, who, in general, scare us. We’ll be doing a series of posts on the questions, starting by each sharing some questions that are particularly important to us. And I’m up first…

1) The Leonardo DiCaprio question:

wherefor question

If you haven’t noticed already, the ladies of StuCu are a little bit snobby about our grammar and spelling. I mean, after all, we are  authors of a venerated literary blog. We cover serious topics like sexting, men who like to wear women’s clothing, and how to live every day like Liz Lemon. I don’t expect every guy I go out with to be an expert on James Joyce’s Ulysses, but I do expect them to know how to identify the meaning of unknown words in a sentence. Or to have seen this amazing Baz Luhrmann flick:

Apparently, Leo and Clare got those lines from a guy called William Shakespeare. 

I’m amazed by how many guys answer “where?”  At the very least, you should be able to google a phrase and figure out what it means before you confidently interpret the question for prospective dates, many of them who will have taken at least a college level English class.

It’s not just the wrong answer to the question that bugs me. If you don’t know it, don’t answer. Or say, who cares? It’s that these guys care enough to answer the question, and then they still answer it incorrectly. I can already smell their bullshit.

2. The Animals vs. People Question

starving children question

Now before you go all PETA on me, I want to state for the record that I don’t LIKE abused animals. In fact, I think abusing any living thing is a pretty shitty thing to do and a symptom of being a sociopath, (OMG guys, that Wikipedia link is truly terrifying. Do not read at night like I just did or you’ll “have to” watch 3 consecutive episodes of Parks and Rec to calm yourself.)  So clearly, I want to avoid men altogether who are completely OK with humans and animals in pain. (And you should too!! Did you read the above Wiki article about sociopaths???)  But, I have a clear hierarchy of what matters to me in life, and people rank above animals.  

In case you were wondering, nothing ranks above cheese.

lizlemon5

Now, you’ll notice I also said it was acceptable for someone to say both are bad. I made this answer “acceptable,” just so I didn’t miss out on any super compassionate, empathetic guys. But, truth be told, I’d still MUCH prefer somebody who knows where he stands on dairy products, people, and animals. In that order, of course.

3) The Make Love, Not War Question

nuclear war

My parents went to Oberlin, and I am pretty sure I could sing you a mean acapella version of Buffalo Springfield’s, For What it’s Worth. So I have a pretty healthy skepticism of war in general. I can say with confidence that I would not enjoy nuclear war in any way, shape, or form. It would not be exciting, cause we would all be dead. Fans of nuclear war include:

adolf_hitler

Kim_Jong-il_on_August_24,_2011

So I tend to avoid men who want to join the good company of the above gentleman. I assume they are a dictator in the making, or, and perhaps WORSE, they don’t what nuclear war is.

Let me tell you, eliminating on these three questions alone weeds out a lot of men. Which is why I am heading into this weekend dateless. (WHOMP WHOMP). But I’d rather be dateless than going out with the next Kim Jong-il.

Happy One Year Anniversary (of still being single) to me!

That’s right, folks. It’s the one year anniversary of my infamous first okcupid date. A lot has happened in a year; some good, some bad, some laughable, and mercifully, plenty that’s blogworthy. And while it’s tempting to focus on this fact:

mindy single

there are plenty of other things to discuss. For instance, I thought you’d all like to know that G, or as my friends and I fondly refer to him, “the guy who couldn’t find his car”, reappeared a few weeks ago! After our terribly awkward first date he asked me out again and I politely declined, and that was that. For a year. Until I received this message:

g message

I swear, I have awkwardness PTSD from my date with G, and this message sent me into a full on Nam flashback. Initially I was so confused by the bizarre subject that I didn’t even process the improper grammar, the emoticon, the spelling of ‘hiccup’ and ‘recurrence’ (I’m going to give him a pass on ‘therefore’ and assume it’s a typo. Please, let it be a typo).  God, this is embarrassing to share with you all because frankly I can’t believe I went out with this person.

I actually went out with this person.

tumblr_m84h3tJkBC1qmxcc6o6_250

Please note that it was sent at 2:59 am. He was drunk, right? He had to be drunk. That would make me feel better so I’m going to go ahead and believe it.

As for the subject, it took me a few minutes to process what he was talking about, but then a light bulb went off in my head. I’d forgotten this detail of the date completely until G INEXPLICABLY brought it up again. Besides the fact that he was a nervous, stammering mess who lost his car on the mean streets of Old City Philadelphia, at one point in the evening G took a sip of his drink, tried to say something, went into an insane coughing fit and semi started to choke. Then, when he finally stopped coughing, he proceeded to get the hiccups (badly) but rather than just ignore them and try to move on, he repeatedly brought attention to the whole thing by exclaiming how weird it was, how it’s never happened to him before, etc etc. Oh God, the awkwardness. I can’t even. But the absurdity of the rest of the date actually eclipsed the coughing incident so completely that I totally forgot to mention it in my original post! Until now.

And as for ‘my overwhelming beauty’…it’s technically a nice thing to say, but it’s also wildly exaggerated and disingenuous. Most importantly, G, we went out a year ago and I said I didn’t want to see you again, so if I may: 

Luckily, I’ve come a long way since that date, and I definitely don’t feel like such a hapless amateur roaming the streets searching for a stranger’s Chevy. Here are some of the biggest things I’ve learned in my year of online dating:

  • People lie about what they look like.
  • A good profile does not necessarily = a good date. This may be the biggest revelation I’ve had since starting this thing. Men were presenting themselves as these awesome, fun, witty, gregarious people online, and I’d meet them and they’d be dull as bricks. And yes, I’m sure men experience this with women as well (possibly even with me). I think the takeaway from these two points is that online dating requires you to basically sell yourself, and more often than not, people sell who they want or perceive themselves to be rather than who they actually are. So it’s tough to “meet” someone online, form expectations based on your messages and their profile, and then almost inevitably be disappointed when you meet in person. Therefore…
  • The less time you spend messaging online with someone, the better. No matter how awesome someone’s profile is or how great they seem over messages, texts, or emails, you’re never going to know how you really feel about them until they’re sitting in front of you. Even if you know you like them, you don’t know if you’ll have chemistry. So if a guy has messaged me but is taking his sweet time asking me out (and trust me, many do), a year ago I would have been irritated and confused, but I probably would have waited it out. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still irritated:

meryl

But now rather than just stew about it, mama gets down to business…

  • Don’t be afraid to make the first move. Do not fear rejection. I’ve been both the rejector and the rejectee, and while being on the receiving end may have caused me to do a bit of this:

gretchen weiners                                                                                          

I totally survived, and I definitely don’t take it as personally when it happens now. Everyone is on the site for the same reason (correction: most people are on the site for the same reason. I was once propositioned for a threesome by a couple with a joint profile. So admittedly not everyone has the same end game) and as a friend of mine likes to say, there’s no way you can become more single, so you have nothing to lose by putting yourself out there.

  • Screen, screen, screen. Before you say yes to a date or ask someone out, go immediately to the ‘unacceptable answers’ section of their okcupid questions. This conveniently lists all of the questions that are important to you which the person answered “incorrectly”. You may discover, for instance, that your potential date has rape fantasies, believes homosexuality is a sin or (LSD’s personal favorite) thinks THE EARTH IS BIGGER THAN THE SUN. Better to know these things up front than to waste your Wednesday night discovering these horrors over craft beers when you could be on your couch watching Nashville. AS YOU CAN SEE, I did not screen my first date properly. In fact I shudder to think of the time I wasted in the beginning by not doing this immediately, but boy have I learned my lesson since. 
  • Despite the annoyances, dating can be fun. Talking about it can be even more fun. I’ve met some pretty cool people this year, had interesting conversations, discovered new bars and restaurants, played quizzo, seen movies and plays, and even done a few things that I can’t mention on this blog (hi, mom!). Even with the rejection and confusion that online dating often brings, I don’t regret doing it for a second. Especially since I now have an incredibly fun and satisfying way to chat about my experiences and vent my frustration when I inevitably encounter an asshole or two. So thanks, dear readers. Here’s to you!

leo gif

(God, how does Leo still look so good?)