Somebody’s doing it wrong

This Valleywag piece describes the OkCupid user base as “the Web’s most normal pool of singles,” a dubious claim to the extent that said pool includes me. (Then again, as just one among a million or so, I figure I’m not doing much damage.) I’ll be the second to tell you, though, that the system has its drawbacks. Here’s the first:

Married Guy was looking for a little adventure with or without his wife, who had approved the whole thing. He signed up at OkCupid, and got a teaser email with photos and opening profile quotes of a few available women in his area. He recognized one as Single Girl, a professional colleague of his wife. Out of curiosity, he clicked Single Girl’s profile.

What he didn’t realize was OkCupid notifies its members as to which other members have checked out their profiles. Single Girl, unbeknownst to Married Guy, found his profile in her inbox and realized omigod he’s cheating on his wife what do I say to her? She had specified “no married men” in her preferences, so she presumed he had listed himself as single. He, on the other hand, presumed she was into married guys, since OkCupid sent him her profile. Cue mutual embarrassment.

I’ve explained how this system is supposed to work once before.

Left unsaid in this whole semi-sordid saga is whether Mrs Married Guy also has a profile on the site.

I mention in passing that those folks who look me up are either around my age or very much younger: a lot of fifties, a lot of twenties, and not much in between. I have no idea what to make of this. (Is this pattern at all representative of the user base? And if so, can it truly be called the “most normal”?) Twentysomethings had no use for me when I was their age, fercryingoutloud. And should they be seeking sugar daddies, you’d think they’d be looking for somebody with, you know, money.


  1. Tatyana »

    6 April 2008 · 3:23 pm

    for 20-something a guy who owns his house IS a sugar daddy with money.
    also – did you mention in your profile what car you drive? adds to misrepresentation, I guess.

    re: net dating. As a normal (whatever that means) single woman in “between 20something and 50”, I don’t participate in it. I believe in spontaneous combustion, not in carefully constructed arson.

  2. CGHill »

    6 April 2008 · 4:18 pm

    I signed up mostly to take the tests, which seemed like they’d make good blogfodder, but I stuck around just to see what would happen. (Which, so far, is nothing much.)

  3. Tatyana »

    6 April 2008 · 5:35 pm

    I just ventured to offer my version of the questions you seem to ask, that’s all.

  4. Carol »

    6 April 2008 · 5:48 pm

    A (single) (female) friend of mine has decided that online dating services are good mostly for stories to amuse married friends with.

  5. McGehee »

    6 April 2008 · 5:52 pm

    I had tried the spontaneous combustion route, and was 30 years old when I signed up for what was then the cutting edge of long-distance romance-seeking — for me at least: Mensa’s Singles SIG.

    That’s how I met Chris, who is now my wife.

    Had I been an early adopter of internet access I suppose I might have been one of internet dating’s early success stories.

    Then again, if I’d had the means back then to get on the internet, all that money would surely have been adequate kindling closer to home…

  6. fillyjonk »

    7 April 2008 · 7:22 am

    I’ve had people suggest online dating to me as a way to “meet people.” However, I’ve heard far too many horror stories from friends about it. (Not to mention that if I’m going to risk that kind of rejection, I’d rather do it face to face.)

    And besides: at this point in my life, the guy would have to be pretty darn wonderful for me to want to give up the comparative freedom and quiet of single life. And from everyone I’ve talked to, “pretty darn wonderful” is fleetingly rare on Internet dating sites; “you’ll do” is a lot closer to reality.

  7. CGHill »

    7 April 2008 · 7:47 am

    I’ve managed to meet some pretty darn wonderful types over the years, though the dating sites played no role. (Purely by coincidence, they all read this site.)

    But as we get older and more set in our ways, we tend to resist the idea of Sudden Lifestyle Changes, even if somewhere in the back of our minds, or perhaps a few inches farther down, we think we really want them.

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