Although I’m in a relationship and not actively looking to meet new people, I still have my profile up on OK Cupid, which was sadly acquired by Match.com a while back. It hasn’t been seriously updated in years, and I never reply to anyone or initiate contact with anyone, because I would not really like The Guy I Am Currently Dating spending his time doing that. However, every now and then, I log into my OK Cupid profile to see what people have sent me, because it is an endless source of amusement. If someone seems intelligent or has put thought into what they’ve written me, I’ll click on their profile. One person who wrote to me and introduced himself in a way that included his Meyers-Briggs type, convinced me I should click on his profile. The guy would never be my type, even were I single, but I loved his profile. Under “You should message me if….”, he wrote:

“You know what polyamory means.
You know where Venezuela is.
You want to start a polka-metal band with me”

I’m hoping he’s willing to settle for someone who fits into any one of those three categories, because the likelihood of finding someone who fits into all of them is probably up there with being struck by lightning.

In all seriousness, I’ve had some people I know recently go off on “Why do people keep up their profiles on OK Cupid if they’re not really single?” rants. It isn’t as if it’s just one person complaining about it; I’ve heard it from maybe three or four different people in the span of a few weeks.

Since I’m that person everyone is bitching about, even if they don’t know it, I feel compelled to answer.

I actually like OK Cupid. It is the ONLY dating website from back in my single days where I met people who weren’t complete douchebags (I met “The Worst Guy In Atlanta” via E-Harmony), married or living with someone (I met someone whose girlfriend answered the phone and yelled at me, after 3 months of communication with a guy I really quite liked, via Match.com), someone who was just looking for no-strings attached sex (a short-lived stint on FriendFinder), or a serial cheater (I started getting e-mails from an angry wife of someone I’d started communicating with via LiveJournal, of all places.). I never found love or romance on OK Cupid, but I’m intrigued by psychology, and their fairly extensive online personality testing/comparison drew me in. I made two really close friends via OK Cupid, both of whom lived nowhere near me, but I took a chance on meeting in person, and didn’t find a romantic connection, but found something perhaps more meaningful. Through those people, I met friends-of-friends through OK Cupid, and found out that one’s circle could be so small that when my ex-boyfriend was cheating on me and made the mistake of hitting on my friend’s roommate, I found out about it in no time. So, I’m not in any hurry to delete or deactivate my profile. There’s a lot of nostalgia there, good and bad.

Second of all, my profile kind of rocks. There’s a reason I still get e-mails there, and while my friends are telling me “I only meet people who send me e-mails they obviously send to everyone, say “Hey”, or commit some sexual harassment violation”, I get e-mails from people who make an effort to talk to me about books, psychology, philosophy, politics, music, and other things I’ve indicated as being of interest to me. I’ve gotten some e-mails that are extremely flattering and sincere, and make me think “That’s the kind of guy I’d want to fix my friend up with”. My profile may also be the longest profile on OK Cupid. That’s not an accident. While I am indeed a loquacious human being, I am aware I made my profile longer and more revealing than necessary. Why? Because it takes a lot to really get to know me, much less date me. If your attention span/interest in me doesn’t even warrant reading a full page of text, you’re definitely not right for me.

Numerous friends who use online dating sites have asked me why my profile seems to work for me, and attracts mostly the “right” kind of attention…and if I’d help them improve theirs. I think having a good profile is key. I have two friends who met via OK Cupid, and they are happily married, and comprise a third of our trivia team. One of them, like me, crafted a lengthy and slightly arrogant profile to attract the kind of girl he was seeking. It worked. In the future, I plan to post another blog called “Why Your Dating Profile Sucks, And How To Fix It“.

Finally, I do not delete my profile because OK Cupid was never founded strictly as a dating site. Yes, yes, Match.com bought it out and screwed everything up, and now those of us who aren’t looking to date feel pressured to not be there—although, ironically, it’s become a gathering place for members of the poly community looking to meet new partners, which I might have appreciated five years ago. The reason there are all the options for your relationship status is because they wanted it to be something akin to Facebook for strangers, where you could meet like-minded individuals based on personality testing.

It isn’t that site anymore, and eventually, I’m sure I’ll delete my account. But I still find some sort of amusement via some of the e-mails I receive, and some of them are genuinely touching and restore my faith in the idea that I still have more soulmates floating around the Universe, some of whom I may encounter someday.

I don’t understand, however, the ire of single friends who believe those who are not single shouldn’t be on the site. After all, there’s no “cap” on the number of people who can be on the site, so it’s not as if my never-updated profile is drawing attention away from someone who actively wants to meet others. And just because I’m not going to be interested in dating you—well, how is that different from seeing the profile of an available person who isn’t interested in dating you?

I specify that I no longer do online dating, I’m in a relationship, and not looking to meet people…and if I do, it’s a strictly friendship-thing. Frankly, I have a hard enough time keeping up with the friends who occupy space in my life and my heart, and I don’t have too much room for meeting new people. But, perhaps one day, I’ll be at a different phase in my life and new friendships will be more important to me, or I’ll remember how some of the closest relationships in my life came about online and turned my life upside-down, and feel compelled to explore that again. In the meantime, though, I’m intending to leave my non-dating oriented profile up, and I don’t see why anyone should take issue with that.

Let’s face it, it’s not as if the world will be heartbroken that I’m unavailable…especially when the site will show you a string of pictures of women similar to me, and say, “You may want to meet these people instead”.

Oh, OK Cupid. You’re so fickle and do nothing for a girl’s ego. That must be why I stay with you, even when others tell me to go.

(P.S. It’s amazing the number of people I know from my “real life” that OK Cupid suggests I meet. I want to write back and tell them, “I met all these people who are totally not my type on my own, but thanks!” It reminds me of an incident a few years ago where my then-roommate was recently divorced, and signed up for E-Harmony. One of her “matches” was the fiance of one of our close friends, and the two are nothing alike. *laughs*)

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