Full disclosure: I met my husband on OkCupid in 2016, and we’re currently living out our happily-ever-after, so I’m just a tad biased about this particular online dating app.
Don’t worry, though. I’ll try to be as objective as possible. And, I’ll provide as many insider tips as possible, so you can find what you’re looking for too on this increasingly popular app.
So get out your cutting board and let’s peel back the layers of the onion that is OkCupid!
History of OkCupid
OkCupid has a pretty cool story, and it’s been around for a while. Founded in 2004 by four Harvard students, it was the first free online dating site. In 2012, it also became the first online dating site with an app, allowing online daters to connect wherever they happened to be.
Since then, the app has remained forward-thinking and is constantly improving to help make the online matchmaking process more accurate and more fun!
Getting started on OkCupid is probably the easiest part of the whole process. Just download the app from the app store to get things rolling. Once you’ve downloaded OkCupid, you’ll be prompted to sign up for an account. You can do this by connecting to Facebook or entering your email address.
OkCupid Profile Setup
As with other online dating apps, a complete profile will give you a competitive advantage on OkCupid. A lot of people skip parts of the profile or half-a** it, so taking your time and filling out all parts of the profile will help you stand out.
Insider Tip: Once you’ve completed your profile, be sure to update it often. OkCupid says it will show your profile to more people each time it’s updated.
To set up your profile, OkCupid will first ask you some very basic questions, including:
- Your name
- Your birthdate
- Your location
- Your gender
It’s important to note that for gender, you have a lot of options that go beyond just male or female. It’s worth noting here that OkCupid was one of the first apps to offer non-traditional gender identifications.
As is the case with nearly every online dating app there is, OkCupid is highly visual. The app allows you to add numerous photos to your profile. Think of it as a blank canvas!
Insider Tip: OkCupid recommends you add three types of pictures: a solo picture, a travel picture, and a hobby picture.
Experts also recommend you caption your photos. This will add a little intrigue and also help you show up in Discovery (which we’ll discuss later).
For the Bio portion of your profile, Ok Cupid will ask you to write a short introduction describing yourself. As a helpful prompt, the app asks you to ponder how your best friend might portray you. This perspective helps you express your best qualities without sounding egotistic.
As is the case with other online dating apps, you’ll want to try to make your bio stand out. But you don’t have to write your life story here. Something punchy to grab your match’s attention will do. Feel free to save the details for a later conversation.
At the same time, you don’t want it to appear as if you’ve made no effort with your bio, either. Go ahead and flex your creativity and wit in this section of your OkCupid profile.
Insider Tip: According to OkCupid, over 75% of online daters say they are less likely to right swipe on a profile if it contains spelling errors. So spell-check, people!
Inside Scoop: Check Amazing Examples of OkCupid Profile
Technically, you can use OkCupid without connecting your Instagram account, but why would you want to? An Insta connection gives your potential matches another way to get to know you and interact with you, so I say go for it. It definitely can’t hurt!
Instagram Demystifies Your Online Dating Profile
Speaking from personal experience, I can attest to the fact that girls, in particular, are super skeptical when it comes to online dating. We want to know as much about you as possible before we’ll even engage with you. Instagram can provide another avenue for us to
snoop get to know you before making—or responding to—the first move.
Guys Need Insta-Proof Too
My now-husband said that he was contacted by a lot of spam accounts on OkCupid before he found yours truly, so it can work both ways. Being able to look at an Instagram account associated with your potential match isn’t hardcore proof that they are who they say they are, but it helps.
Insider Tip: According to OkCupid, users who connect their Instagram accounts receive more messages on the app than those who forego this feature.
Answering your match questions is a particularly important part of completing your OkCupid profile. It might seem like a pain at the time, but it will be worth your while. Trust me—this is how the magic happens on OkCupid! (And I would know. ????)
Whereas other online dating apps often ask you to provide info about yourself, OkCupid goes one step further. Not only will you be asked questions about your own personal preferences and beliefs, you will also be asked to answer these same questions on behalf of your ideal match.
Let’s look at an example for the sake of illustration.
Here, the app not only asks about your readiness to settle down and get married, but also asks you to pick how you would want your ideal match to answer this question as well.
Match questions are super important because they help the app pair you with like-minded people who want the same things you do.
More Examples of Types of Match Questions
Some match questions are really serious (like the one above), and some are just frivolous. Like this one, for instance:
Other match questions may seem nitpicky or superficial, like the ones below, for example:
But don’t be shy. You like what you like.
- Prioritizing Match Questions
Note that you can choose how the app prioritizes these questions and answers, too. All you have to do is check the box beside the statement “This is important to me” for issues that really matter to you.
You can also skip questions you don’t want to respond to, but you have to answer 15 before the app will let you continue to the next step.
There are thousands of questions on the app, though, and the more you answer, the more accurate your matches will be!
- Take Time Answering Match Questions
A final word about match questions before we move on—give them more than just a passing glance before answering them. Seriously. If you invest any time at all into a portion of your profile, this is where you’ll want to spend it. Your answers to these questions will dictate how OkCupid pairs you with other online daters. If you’re like me, it could affect your whole entire life and future— forever. No pressure, though! ????
Finding Matches on OkCupid
Finding matches on OkCupid is a lot like finding matches on many other dating sites, but better. With OkCupid, you get whole more information so you can match with the right person as opposed to the random stranger with a nice smile.
This has everything to do with those match questions I was telling you about earlier. See, they are super important!
Using Double Take
When you first use OkCupid’s Double Take, you’ll feel like you’re on Tinder. To use this basic feature of the app, you scroll through pics and profiles, swiping left if you’re unimpressed and right if you want to take things to the next level.
Using OkCupid Discovery
If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the sheer number of pretty faces in your online dating feed, then you’re gonna love OkCupid Discovery. This feature allows you to narrow down your options based on things that both you and your potential match are interested in.
You can search for hundreds of different interests using the app’s search feature. The app will then show you the pretty faces of people that you might actually have something in common with. Score!
OkCupid’s free version is a fully functional app in its own right. So there’s no pressure to upgrade or purchase premium features. You can for sure find a good match without paying a dime (I did!).
If you do want more from your online dating sessions, though, then you’ve got options on OkCupid.
A-List is OkCupid’s most popular paid feature. According to the app’s website, this feature is intended to help users “fine-tune” their online dating experience. You have two options here: A-List Basic and A-List Premium.
- A-List Basic
A-List Basic is surprisingly affordable—much more so than paid features on other online dating apps. You can choose to pay $9.95 a month or subscribe for 3 months or 6 months at a time. The longer the subscription, the more bang you’ll get for your buck.
Despite this very limited financial investment, you’ll get a fair amount of enhancement to your account by upgrading to A-List Basic. Here’s what you’ll get:
- A list of people who like you (before you like them)
- Advanced search capabilities (i.e. search by attractiveness, body type, and public answers)
- Confirmation your messages were received
- Ad-free online dating
- A-List Premium
In addition to all of the features of A-List Basic, A-List Premium offers even more perks. These include a daily boost in exposure as well as priority messaging, which highlights your messages on your match’s conversations page.
- OkCupid Boost
If all you want is a little more exposure on the app, you can opt to purchase OkCupid’s Boost feature separately.
Each Boost will put you back around $2 and lasts for half an hour. The app markets this feature as a way to save time in your online dating pursuits.
When considering Boost, keep in mind that you’ll get a daily Boost every day during peak hours with an A-List Premium subscription.
My OkCupid Review
The following pros and cons are based on my own personal experience using OkCupid. Obviously, since I found the love of my life on the app, I’ll have more pros than cons?
It wasn’t all roses and unicorns, however, and I definitely had to kiss a few frogs, so to speak. Therefore, I can speak to some of the cons of OkCupid as well.
It’s important to keep in mind that every online dating experience is unique, no matter what app you use. You shouldn’t expect to get the same exact results as I did, but there’s definitely a chance you could meet that special someone through OkCupid, whether it’s just for a night or for a lifetime.
- It’s Free
Most of the features on OkCupid are free, so it’s definitely possible to find what you’re looking for on the app without having to fork over your hard-earned dough. And as we mentioned, even premium features are economical compared to that of other online dating apps.
- It Boasts An “Insanely Sophisticated Algorithm”
OkCupid is known for being a smarter dating app, and the folks behind the scenes call its algorithm “insanely sophisticated.”
Since it was created by math majors, this should come as no surprise.
One of the founders of OkCupid, Christian Rudder, says it’s all pretty simple despite its superior sophistication to the algorithms of other dating apps. And he attempts to explain it in a TedEd Talk:
While it may not be important to understand exactly how the algorithm works, a general overview can be helpful.
Basically, OkCupid takes your answers to match questions (both your own answers and your answers for your ideal partner) and attempts to reconcile them with other users’ answers to these same match questions. The extent to which these answers match one another’s is your “match score” with this particular user. The match score is represented by a percentage and is a prediction of how happy you would be with this person if you were to date and form a relationship.
- It’s Free
The fact that OkCupid is a free online dating app can be a positive, but it can also be a negative. Since you don’t have to pay to use the app, there’s no deterrent for people looking to make fake profiles or engage in spamming techniques. When he was on the app, my husband was even hit up for money by one user in particular who was obviously using OkCupid for purposes other than dating. You’ve probably heard similar stories from friends or acquaintances.
- Somewhat Limited Messaging Capabilities
OkCupid has updated its messaging feature in an attempt to minimize unwanted or harassing messages. Whereas before anyone on the app could freely message anyone else, now, things are a bit different. While you can still message anyone you like, the recipient will only see your message if they also swipe right on your profile.
Personally, I met my husband on OkCupid before this new messaging update, so I can’t speak to these messaging limitations or how they might have affected my interactions on the app.
While more than a few users have complained, I don’t really see the issue. Why would you want to strike up a conversation with someone who’s just not into you, anyway? But that’s just my humble opine.
Inside Scoop: Learn How OkCupid Messaging Works.
OkCupid Success Stories
You’ve probably heard your share of online dating horror stories, but have you heard the success stories? More and more people are meeting, dating, and even getting married after connecting online.
Inside Scoop: OkCupid Vs Tinder: The Real Winner
My Success Story With OkCupid
Of course, my own success story with OkCupid ended with the exchange of vows after a brief engagement and an even briefer courtship—Eric proposed after just four months of real-life dating!
OkCupid’s Match Score Was Spot On!
I can definitely say OkCupid worked for us, especially the matching algorithm. Our match score was 83%, which is pretty darn high! It definitely played a factor in why I sent him that first message. Of course, his rugged profile picture featuring a full body shot of him standing in front of his motorcycle didn’t hurt either!
And the score proved accurate in the light of everyday too. We are ridiculously compatible in nearly every area of our lives from our spiritual beliefs, political views, and shared love of alternative rock. He even likes tacos almost as much as I do!
The OkCupid algorithm also got it right when it comes to our differences. I like to be in the limelight, for instance, and Eric doesn’t mind living in my shadow for a while if need be. I can be emotional and unpredictable at times while he’s consistently steady as a rock.
These are very important factors that contribute to why our relationship works. And there are so many more examples just like these.
Not all of our interests were shared at first though. After dating for a while, he finally convinced me to try one of his passions—mountain biking, and I’ve come to love that too!
Of course, finding my prince charming wasn’t easy. I met several other guys in real life after connecting on OkCupid, and those experiences ranged from mediocre to horrific.
There were definitely times in the process when I wouldn’t have recommended the app to my worst enemy. Like the time the guy showed up to a first date with a dozen red roses, or the time I drove an hour and a half out of my way to meet someone only to be stood up.
The bottom line? Online dating is hard (even on OkCupid), but if you’re willing to stick with it and fight the good fight, the payoff can be priceless—take it from me!
I’d also suggest that if you’re looking for an online dating app that can help you find someone you’re truly compatible with (as opposed to someone you’re merely attracted to), OkCupid is the app for you.