OKCupid has this section where they ask you hundreds and hundreds of multiple choice questions on everything from mathematical riddles to your sexual preferences and your politics. They then take your answers and use them to give you a percentage match rating between you and potential dates. Seems pretty straight-forward, right?
Well, it would be except that these questions go FAR beyond what you would expect them to ask. The OKCupid questions can be downright ridiculous, thought-provoking at times, occasionally offensive but always addicting. Don’t believe me? A few of my personal favorites include:
1. Would you consider performing anilingus on a partner who asked you to? Yes or No
2. Which pubic hair style do you prefer on your partner? Nature, neatly trimmed, completely shaven or it doesn’t matter
3. Are you more horny or lonely?
4. Which would do more to improve the world? Fewer stupid people, fewer ugly people or this question upsets me
5. Imagine you have an identical twin. You’ve had many sexual experiences, but they remain a lonely and frustrated virgin. Would you secretly swap places to give them ‘a piece of the action’? Yes or no
6. When you hear the name Dylan what is the first to come to mind? Bob Dylan, Dylan Thomas, 90210, something or someone else / Nothing
7. Which most closely describes how you organize your sock drawer? I pair them before I put them away, I pair them when I get dressed, I have them paired and organized by color, I take them out of the laundry when I dress
8.You have a one-time opportunity to use a machine with a numbered dial, which, when turned, adds that number to both your IQ and your weight. What do you do? Turn it up — I’d love the extra smarts, turn it down — I’m smart ‘n’ chunky, don’t touch that dial — I like myself as is.
You can see how answering these could get entertaining, right??
But I digress… Back to the date. approximately 3 vodka sodas into our evening, the lawyer asks me if I read through his questions prior to meeting him. The true answer? Yes, of course I read every single one of the 400 something questions he answered (see above, regarding addicting…). However my response was something along the lines of, ”Oh maybe I might have seen a couple…”
And then he asks me if I remember any of his answers – a question which definitely made me cringe. Remember them? Um yes, there were quite a few gems in there that I was wishing I had never read and had been thinking a lot about ever since going through them. In fact, after reading through his questions I had strongly considered not meeting him at all because I feared he might be a bit of a douche. However, instead of explaining all of that, I just blurted out, “I remember you’ve had a threesome!”
He understandably fumbled a bit with responding to that and looked pretty darn embarrassed… clearly someone hadn’t really thought through his audience while answering all those OkCupid questions. And you know what — I really can’t blame him. It’s something about how they ask them, it sorta feels like a Cosmo quiz and you forget that the answers are public for potential suitors to see. It’s so easy to get caught up in the fun of answering, that you forget that there are, gasp, SOME things that your date doesn’t need to know before they ever meet you.
So in order to help us all keep it straight, here is my best guide on how to answer OKCupid questions:
Avoid the sex questions – I know, I am no fun, but seriously, no one needs to know this much about your sexual preferences prior to ever shaking your hand. There is a time and place for sharing your love of S&M, group sex, hickeys, up the butt, video-taping and more and it is not before the first date. Here’s the thing, even if I think video-taping a sexcapade might be sexy, I am still going to get a little skeeved out if you mark, “yes I’ve done it and loved it.” Why do I need to know what you and some ex-girlfriend did in the bedroom? I don’t. And I can only imagine that if I were to ever sleep with one of these guys who answered yes to threesomes, videotaping and S &M, I’d feel incredibly stressed out that he wasn’t enjoying our regular old vanilla sex.
Add Context - It’s no surprise that sometimes you need more than a few multiple choice options to explain your feelings on relationships, love, life etc…
However, so FEW people add context to their OKCupid answers and I think this is a big miss. Take my friend the lawyer…. on multiple occasions he indicated he couldn’t date a girl who was even slightly overweight; answers which left me thinking 2 things: 1. Wow this dude must be pretty darn pleased with his own body and 2. What does he consider overweight? I won’t lie to you, my life in NY has involved a ton of amazing parties, dinners, dates and fun – leaving my waist line with a few extra pounds. Do I think I am fat? No. However I definitely found myself wondering if I should even waste my time. Maybe this guy was only into rail thin model types and that’s not me.
As it turns out, he seemed to find me attractive (or at least his kiss said he did) and I got the impression that his “skinny” answers had to do more with his past experiences on OKC than his actual life preferences. According to him, he had met quite a few “stealth fatties” on the site in the past and was hoping to avoid being duped again. Had he (delicately) explained that when answering his questions, I might have met up with him much sooner.
Side bar, I really enjoy the term stealth fatties. It’s mean, but also pretty darn funny.
Don’t answer questions that make you look bad - This really shouldn’t have to be included, however, it seems people approach these questions like they are a required test of some sort. They aren’t! Don’t be shy to skip questions. There are some topics that can ‘t be tackled in a multiple choice question no matter how much context you add. For example, I always skip the “How long do your relationships usually last?” question. Hmmm let’s see, D and I were on and off for 10 years…. and if that doesn’t scare someone off, than the fact that all the rest of my relationships ended after 2 months definitely will.
The reality is, you could have 500 awesome answers and still 1 scary answer could send a guy/girl running. I mean hey, they’ve never met you, they don’t know how amazing you are in real life, or why that scary answer should be overlooked. So it’s no surprise that they might just bail.
Time your answers strategically - Every time you answer a question your adorable little picture gets served onto the OkCupid news feed, displaying you to a whole new set of potential suitors. So choose a smart time to answer these questions (eg around 8-9 PM) when everyone is just chilling on OKC, wishing they could find their future significant other. You’ll be stoked at how many messages you get without even having to browse matches.
Go back and edit – As aforementioned, answering these questions can be super addicting and sometimes you find yourself, an hour later and a hundred questions deep, without even realizing it. So take a little time, go back, and read the answers as if you were a member of the opposite sex. Are your answers helping your case or hurting it? If it’s the latter, either add context, or make the question private.
I’ve also noticed that sometimes, I pick a certain multiple choice answer because of a particular mood I am in (eg ”No I do NOT believe in true love” after a particularly bad date). During those times I feel it’s best to go back and respond more accurately.
So there you have it, my top 5 tips for answering OKCupid questions. Hopefully this helps you avoid scaring off someone before they can meet you, fall in love, and decide to not care about all those “scary” truths we all have. Or at the very least, hopefully this helps you get more dates.