Maybe you’ve been through all of the paid dating sites and had no luck. Or, maybe you just cannot wrap your mind around paying a monthly membership to meet people when there are 331 million in the United States alone.
Or, maybe you’re the third person who is not sure your OkCupid review will be a five-star experience, so you’re testing your dating options on free and paid sites. There’s one thing you’ll know for sure. Is OkCupid free? Yes, it is.
Four friends from Harvard University made sure it was a freebie when they created it 16 years ago in 2004. However, the OkCupid free trial will only allow you to see who is bold enough to send you a message.
All of those mysterious likes won’t do you much good unless you pay. Do you care? Maybe, maybe not. On OkCupid a list, you may get what you’re looking for. But let’s help you figure out what this site is all about first.
How does OKCupid Work?
If you have ever wanted a stranger to read your mind and come over to talk to you, OkCupid A-List Basic is the best way to go about it. You click a “Like.” This person gets an alert and (assuming the person you like has paid for membership) and clicks “Like” back.
Now you two have a Mutual Like and can connect. But if one of you clicks “Pass” on the other, then there’s no mind games involved. This person is dismissed from your potentials and vice versa, for you to “Like” on with someone new.
Sign Up Process
If you’re one of those kids who asked your parents a lot of questions, the sign-up process is right up your alley.
OkCupid wants to know everything that’s a dealbreaker for you, whether big or small, including what kind of relationship you’re looking for (i.e. New Friends, Short-Term Dating, Long-Term Dating, Hookups), whether you’re looking for marriage and/or whether you want pets around.
OkCupid Questions List
In 2014, OkCupid became the first dating app to introduce 22 gender and 13 orientation options.
So if you’re a bit more old-school when it comes to dating, all the questions about what orientation you’re interested in and what pronoun you prefer can be a bit overwhelming at first. You’re just trying to find a date. The thing is, so are millions of other people in the world.
With a list of questions about your relationship, career, and living priorities in the sign-up process, and then plenty more questions to answer on your profile, this will give you the chance to really brainstorm on what it is you’re looking for—if you don’t already know.
OkCupid Match Search
The dating app tries its best to suggest people who match your “This is important to me” deal-breakers. But if you’re someone who is constantly on the mobile app and clicking “Like” and “Pass,” you may find yourself coming across the same person again.
Is this match a glitch in the system, or could it be a hint that you might want to give this person’s profile a second shot? With OkCupid DoubleTake, your preferences will be matched with whatever your “Looking For” specifications and listed locations are.
With Double Take, the goal of the app is to see new people each time, so you don’t have to re-Like someone or re-introduce yourself during an OkCupid introduce yourself prompt.
Where are the bulk of OkCupid members from?
Users have the ability to control how far they’re willing to go for love. According to the website, there are 91 million connections made every year. You can choose the mileage you’re willing to travel to get it there.
With more than 20 million coronavirus cases worldwide and a little over 5 million in the United States, it makes it especially hard for “Catfish” users to try to pull the wool over your eyes (1,2). Nowadays, new daters are all having virtual dates.
Although it makes sense that you want to protect your privacy and not share too many personal details, keeping things too close to the vest also means you won’t get to know the person you’re interested in.
Using a real name (even a legitimate nickname) and real photographs creates an honest conversation from the first introduction. OkCupid will not share any vital information like your email address and/or phone number with other users, although it is required to join the site as a member.
Membership pricing options
The most popular membership option is $24.99 per month for a total of six months (a total of $149.94). Next up is $33.33 per month for three months (a total of $99.99). Finally one month for $49.99.
All three options allow you to see the full list of people who like you (although this doesn’t mean that they’ll automatically start a conversation; sometimes a Mutual Like will end just there). You can view all of the intros from people who want to skip the process of waiting out the Mutual Likes.
There’s also an option to search for attractiveness, specific body types and other dating specifications. Unlike with a free membership, a paid version allows for unlimited likes, no ads and faster page loads.
OkCupid has plenty of “Get Started Guides” to help you figure out how the mobile app works. If you have specific questions, you may want to start with their directory first. There are some things you absolutely need to know though, such as the rule that in order to receive and send messages, you must have a photograph.
That doesn’t mean get tricky and put up any photo. Users can report fake photos or stock photos to a handful of moderators, who voluntarily team up to have questionable images taken down.
Browse around and get comfortable. If it seems like it’s taking a while to get to this message, “If you still need help, you can email a friendly human,” that’s not by accident. Most of the answers you need are probably in the dating guides.
Pros and Cons of OkCupid
OkCupid is surprisingly well-done for a “free” site.
Usually, you get what you pay for, but the mobile app creators of this site have done a fine job of helping you find what you’re looking for (ideally, anyway, assuming your “Likes” actually read your profile and don’t base their decision off of looks alone).
Obviously, no one wants to have a bunch of people privately liking them and not know about it. (In the time since joining this site for free, I have received 28 Likes that I cannot see.) Is it worth it to pay for membership? It really depends.
If you’re going to be as shy on the site as you may be in person, you probably won’t get your money’s worth.
If you are someone who knows what you want and will be open to conversation, especially considering the social isolation factor that has put a damper on in-person dates (or at least the same volume of them), OkCupid will definitely be worth the money.
However, as with any dating app site, no moderator or digital specialist can control the personality of the person you choose. It is up to you to fish out people who you really think are worth your time.
Your biggest problem with OkCupid may not be which questions to answer or who to “Like.” The bigger challenge may be knowing when to log off of the website. Clicking that “Like” and “Pass” option can become extremely addictive.
Expect minutes (or even hours) to fly by with you just clicking away at random photographs. However, as cliche as it may sound, “Looks aren’t everything.”
If you know a happily married person, someone involved in a Jada Pinkett Smith style “entanglement” or someone who enjoys the dating scene, there’s about 100 percent chance that that person has plenty of bad dating stories from good-looking people.
One of the reasons that OkCupid’s site asks so many questions, and makes sure to highlight profiles to let you know where you and other users agree and disagree, is so that you can see past the obvious.
Physically being attracted to one another is always nice, but it’s only one-fourth of the battle. In order to make OkCupid, or any dating site, work for your needs, you should be able and willing to read more and click “Like” less. (Or, at least do them both equally.)
Because at some point, you will have to meet this person in the flesh or talk to this person via computer, and you two must be able to hold a conversation. If all you can talk about is how much you “Like” each other’s face, you probably won’t end up with a “Like” in the end.
Enjoy the questions. Enjoy the experience. Most of all, enjoy finding someone who appreciates all of your idiosyncrasies, along with your face and body.
Visit the Perfect DM homepage for more detailed online dating reviews!
- CDC. 2020. Corona Virus Disease. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
- CDC. 2020. Cases in the US. cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html