While wading the treacherous waters of online dating, there are a few islands that provide respite to the weary traveller from the Cuthulus that are catfishing, Instagram hunters and probably the worst of them all, people with no personality.
Making compatibility and security into a literal science is OKCupid, and here’s our definitive guide to making the most out of the plethora of features the app has, to get you one step closer to that perfect match.
1. Pic Me, Pic me
Well, we all have heard the phrases “A picture is worth a thousand words” or “Don’t judge a book by its cover” but all it teaches us is that gem advices handed down over generations can be a bit contradictory to say the least. For dating apps though, it might be best to consider them with a pinch of salt by going ahead and “putting your best foot forward”. Your picture is your first impression and first impressions are what matter the most while on the way to getting that all-important match.
Make sure your first picture is the best version of you that you can possibly immortalise in a digital format. For the guys out there, please, for the sake of all that’s holy and good in the world, DO NOT GO SHIRTLESS. Yes, we know you spent all those long hours in the gym to chisel out that Greek God bod, and yes we know you want to show it off every chance you get but more often than not it’s not gonna work.
Maybe try flaunting some interests that do not revolve around the radius of your biceps, like a picture while on a cruise, or trekking or a picture with your pet, or even riding a motorcycle. Actually on second thought, a picture on a bike might not be that great of an idea as most people think it’s a two wheeled death machine exaggerating your irresponsible nature. And because nobody can see your butch mug under the helmet.
If you are one of those who do not photograph well, get help. No, we don't mean plastic surgery. Having a professional photographer take your shots are your best bet and can bring out your best side no matter how unphotogenic you are. If somehow that does not work out (which is extremely unlikely) and you are still keen on online dating, fall back on plan A, plastic surgery.
Safest bets for pictures in the vast experience of the guy writing this, pictures of you on your travels, shots with pets and maybe pictures of you at comic book conventions to attract similarly minded crowds.
2. Know it all
What sets OKCupid apart from most dating apps out there are the questions that let the app know the user better. This results in a significantly better quality of matches that you have more in common with.
Probably the most important tip of all would be to answer as many questions as you can on the app to improve the quality of matches. And trust us when we tell you, there are a ton of questions for you to answer. The best part is, since September, OKCupid has included a whole range of questions for its Indian audience. It might be a bit inconvenient for some as it takes a while and forces you to think about the things you like and the things that make you who you are while you are in a romantic mood and daydreaming about that faceless person you are on the verge of going on a date with but trust us, it's worth the effort.
These questions also give you and your matches an insight into each others likes and serve as a reserve of conversation starters and continue-rs keeping the conversation far from the dreaded “So, what else is new?”
3. On the house ice-breaker
Think of OKCupid as an excellent wingman/wingwoman. It gives you all the opportunities to make your mark and then it’s up to you to do the rest. The opportunity in question is the chance to make the first move with someone you think you might be into. How does it help with that? It lets you send the first text. Here’s how you go about doing it.
Going through the feed, you stumble across an attractive individual. Intrigued, you click on their profile (see what we mean by pictures making the first impression?). The profile is filled with all the stuff you like and before you know it, you have reflexively hit the like button, that has now turned into a message button. This is your opportunity! This is your chance to stand out among the rest of the people that might have liked that person. But you are different. You have the ability to see things through and not leave them half-baked. You have the perfect response to something interesting in their profile and thank your lucky stars, it makes for an excellent ice-breaker. And that, my single friends, is when you furiously type it out, send it, lay back and relax until that inevitable reply.
4. Not a sprint, but a marathon
Now, let’s get serious for a bit (yes, we know it doesn’t happen often but bear with us). Online dating can be a slow and arduous affair for both sexes. Most guys out there get on it hoping to find a match the moment they sign up and that for the most part is not true, unless you are Brad Pitt maybe. On the other hand, for girls it's easier to get a match, but it does not go any further than that due to a plethora of reasons that are not worth going into. For the fairer sex then, it's a marathon to find the “right” match.
This should definitely not deter anyone from exploring the sea of possibilities that online dating brings to the table. All we are saying is, don’t expect to get on an app while you are drunk or lonely, use it for a few minutes and expect to find what you are looking for.
It takes time and some degree of effort to mould your online personality and sticking with it will ensure definite returns. Yes, there might be a few stumbles and bad experiences along the way but that holds true for other non-online methods as well.
Top tip: Don’t give up if it does not meet your expectations. Be decent while having thick skin against others. It’s the internet after all.
5. Get A-List
Whew. That was enough serious to last a year. Let’s get back to what you are used to.
For all that can be done for free on OKCupid, there is quite a bit more that is offered if you are willing to shell out some dough. The A-List and Premium A-List accounts open up a whole range of features like seeing who likes you before you have liked them, fine-tuned searching options, read report with conversations, automatically boosting your profile during prime time and getting rid of those pesky ads.
There is also an incognito mode that keeps you hidden from anyone you haven't already texted or liked and separately purchasable Profile boosts.
It might be a bit steep considering an A-List membership starts at ₹357 per month if purchased with a six month package, but it certainly is quite helpful for serious users.