This is just the introduction to the first listed thing in Experience: what I’ve learnt :).
I’ve been using dating apps for a couple of years now.
- OK Cupid
- Grazer (Basically Tinder for vegetarians and vegans)
- Plenty of Fish
And possibly some others that I can’t remember :).
The one I’ve stuck to most closely and have actually, wait for it, paid for is OK Cupid.
I find it’s generally reliable and I quite like how it’s all set up and it’s not too expensive (think it might be around £25 every six months for “A-list”, something along those lines).
It’s more than just a scrolling stream of photos with minimal bios like Tinder and Grazer, where I feel like I haven’t got enough information to decide whether I do or don’t like someone. Also if I’m feeling a bit indecisive, I often feel like I just have to end the application rather than make a decision about a person. And then, they can keep coming up every time I log back in and I still have no clue what to do – there’s no maybe pile.
You get to answer questions at any point, it’s all multiple choice, and from that, it assigns you with a range of qualities.
As an example, I’ll read you what it says on my current profile.
OKC describes me as :
- Less Ambitious
- More Compassionate
- Less Arrogant
- Less Sex-driven
- More Polite
- More Love-driven
than the average bisexual woman of my age on OKC.
(I must confess, I am less inclined to actually answer many of the sex-based questions on the app, mainly because I don’t want people who may want to creep me out to know any particulars of what I like or don’t like in the bedroom.
I don’t want to give certain people “ammunition” if you know what I mean – you can just imagine it …
OKC question: “Would you rather be tied up during sex or do the tying?”
OKC answers: “Be tied up; Do the tying; Neither thanks; I like both.”
Person A: Be tied up 🙂
Message from Person B > Person A: Oh you like being tied up do ya luv? *rubs knees*
You understand. I just like to keep some of the information to a minimum because I don’t trust everyone that could be witnessing this information to not use it to taunt or threaten or insult or shame me.
Therefore, perhaps OKC’s conception of me and my sex drive is slightly skewed. Although I don’t know I haven’t asked a sample group or anything.
Anyway, based on your answers to these questions, and what answer you’ll accept from a potential match, you are given a percentage match score to compare with every other member of the site.
Obviously, the match score can do little in terms of conveying how chemical you’ll feel in real life, but, I feel answering questions in this way does help get to know some basic things about a match.
For example, once I “liked” a match (gave him a little star) and he gave me one and we started chatting, he was a fellow vegan and from his profile and pictures, he seemed like a lovely smiley guy, bit of a free spirit.
We exchanged a couple of messages each, I complimented his pies (you can link to your instagram), and then I thought I’d have a quick look through how he’d answered some of his questions.
I found that he still seemed OK, we had quite a high match percentage maybe somewhere in the 80s or 90s.
And then, I got to the sex section…
One of the questions there was: “Would you ever film a sexual encounter without your partner knowing?”
And he’d answered yes.
So, basically, I feel for this sort of thing it can be really helpful, because if you have a few deal-breakers – you can weed them out without even having to actually chat. As much as I dislike the idea of commodifying one’s search for love or measuring the effort you may have to put in, if you’ve been on dating apps as long as I have you’ll know how difficult and time consuming it can be.
A couple of my friends and I who were all on it at once at one point, called it admin, because it often felt like a job – a risky, sometimes exciting, sometimes disappointing, but most often, extremely tedious job.
You often find yourself having quite similar conversations with strangers until one of you decides you’re not really fussed about talking anymore, or you meet, and then decide the same thing.
And then there’s the struggle of dealing with the titular awful people you can come into contact with, of whom there are different types. I’ll talk about some of these in more detail in the next section.
(Sorry there’s been quite a bit of convoluted describing of the landscape of the app here, I just felt I needed to give a bit of context and background info to start with and I’m not the most concise writer.)