OKCupid Review: We’ve Heard Mixed Things
When we talked to people who had used OKCupid, we heard mixed reviews. Some said it was one of the better free online dating options out there. Others told us that the quality of matches that they and their friends had received was much lower than what they’d seen on other sites and apps.
Overall, we weren’t hearing from a large amount of Christians who were using the site or the app. In fact, in our 2016 SingleRoots Online Dating Survey, only 28% of survey participants said that they or their friends had even used OKCupid. (Compared to 74% who’d used eharmony, 58% who’d used Christian Mingle, or 57% who’d used Match.)
It kept coming up in conversation, though, and with such a mixed bag of anecdotal responses, it was time for us to figure things out for ourselves.
OKCupid Review: What You Can Expect
Owned by the parent company for Match.com, OKCupid is a free online dating site. Technically, it’s not completely free, but we’ll get to that later. It’s been around since 2004, which makes it one of the older online dating sites, but it’s completely updated with a user-friendly design aesthetic.
OKCupid is not a mobile-only dating app such as Tinder or Hinge, and consequently, you can’t connect it to your Facebook account like those do. Although you can connect your Instagram account to it, if you so choose.
Because it doesn’t pull information from your Facebook account, it takes a little longer to fill out an OK Cupid profile than it does a typical mobile-only one. It’s not significantly longer like eharmony, but a little longer than Tinder or Hinge.
Once you set up an OKCupid account with a username and password, you’ll answer a few starting questions, add some profile pics, and fill out the rest of your profile. The good thing about OK Cupid is your profile allows for you to express yourself more than the mobile-only apps do. On your profile alone, you’re able to answer the following:
- What I’m Doing with My Life
- I’m Really Good at…
- Favorite Books, Movies, Shows, Music, and Food
- The 6 Things I Could Never Do Without
- I Spend a Lot of Time Thinking About…
- On a Typical Friday Night I Am…
- You Should Message Me If…
You’re also given the option to answer basic multiple-choice questions about smoking, drinking, drug use, monogamy, etc. and to share about your religious preferences, as well as how important those are to you.
Once you’ve set up your profile, OKCupid also has (seemingly random) questions you can answer. They can range from best date practices to drugs to sex to pet peeves to whatever. OKCupid uses those questions (many generated within the community) to figure you out and which matches you’re most compatible with. It all contributes to their algorithm. You can skip questions if you find them offensive—and many Christians will find many questions offensive—but you’ll find there are clean ones, too.
They’ll then use this algorithm—which adjusts based on the questions you continue to answer—to let you know a percentage of how well you and a match would get along. They also give you a percentage of how easily you and a match would be enemies.
OKCupid also has a Quickmatch feature that functions similar to other mobile-only dating apps. The matches are based on proximity and compatibility. If you swipe one way, you dismiss the match; if you swipe the other way, you express interest in them. If you both express interest in each other, you’ll be notified. Otherwise, nothing happens and no one is the wiser.
Like most traditional online dating sites, you’re able to conduct searches for matches based on information that is most important to you, like religious preferences. Having been around since 2004, OK Cupid has a large user base so chances are you won’t be running out of match options soon.
OKCupid Review: Should Christians Use It?
Keep in mind that this is anecdotal, but our experience falls in line with what we’ve heard from other Christians who do not like the site:
When we signed up for OKCupid, no matter how much we peppered our profile with our commitment to Christ—including a “if your relationship with Christ doesn’t define who you are, move along”—few actually read it. We were never lacking in people trying to communicate with us; however, the large majority of them were people we had little in common with, especially in matters of faith.
In the first 10 minutes of creating a profile, we were bombarded with 7-8 messages telling us how hot we were. When we looked to see if those users had actually viewed our profile? Nope, most of them had not. And that process pretty much continued throughout our use of the site.
In the first 24 hours, we’d had nearly 30 messages. Self-esteem builder? Sure. Until we read the messages and then looked at their profiles. Many didn’t profess to be Christians at all, let alone have a life-defining relationship with Christ. After an entire week of endless, persistent messages, not one match that sent a message had any discernible Christian traits on their profile, nor did they mention anything about our profile being exclusively Christian.
Billing itself as a “progressive” company, OKCupid takes great pride in tolerance and the inclusion of any expression of sexuality. An infographic the company released at the end of 2015 shows that 58% of the users want to participate in bondage, more than half masturbate at least once a week, 1 in 4 users are non-believers, and in 2015, the usage of “Netflix and chill” across OK Cupid messages rose by 5,357%. (If you don’t know what that term means, check Urban Dictionary.)
The infographic also rates states by the number of OKCupid users who are willing to have casual sex (Congrats, Oregon. You’re #1.) and those who have the most virgin users (Congrats, Vermont. You have the least number of virgins using OKCupid.).
We’re not saying other online dating sites or apps aren’t seeing the same things at similar rates—we don’t know. But what we do know is that most sites don’t celebrate, make fun of, and publish user information on these kinds of topics. However, much of the OKCupid line of communication—whether questions created within the community or marketing materials put out by their own people—tend to have sexual discussions, innuendo, and connotations.
All of that being said, some Christians use OK Cupid and find dates on the site or app. We hear from a few of them occasionally. Typically, they’re in the under 30 demographic. However, as we mentioned on our Tinder discussion, if you struggle in the area of sexual purity or lust and would be tempted in any way by using OKCupid, it’s good to do a heart check before getting on it. Sure, those temptations lurk on any online dating site, but on OKCupid it’s far more blatant and difficult to avoid.
OKCupid Review: How Much Does OKCupid Cost?
OK Cupid bills itself as a free online dating site and it is, but it’s also not. There are hidden places for payment all throughout the site. And that, in and of itself, isn’t abnormal. There are premium options for most “free” sites.
But the things OKCupid charges users for strike us as odd.
You can message back and forth with other users and see their full profiles for free, which are things that most sites would charge a premium for. We can understand how they’d add a price tag for ad-free browsing, going incognito to browse other profiles, or boosting your profile to the top of the search pile during peak hours. Makes sense to us.
However, the simpler things—like seeing who “likes” you or the last few visitors to your profile, getting more storage space, and advanced search options (body type, personality, etc.)—those you’ll have to pay for. (Who needs more storage space on an online dating site or app, btw?)
If you were to pay for OKCupid’s premium fees, you’d be looking at $19.99 for 1 month, $14.99/mo for 3 months, or $9.99/mo for 6 months. If you compare that to the price of other traditional online dating sites, it’s not bad. But when you consider the quality of matches and the likelihood of finding like-minded Christian matches on OKCupid, your money is better spent elsewhere.
OKCupid Review: Bottom Line
One last thing: OK Cupid has been been known to email people who are in the top half of attractive users and let them know that they are, in fact, attractive. Consequently, those users will then see more attractive users in their feed. We’re not sure if they still do this, but they’re pretty open about conducting experiments and studies on users—unbeknownst to the users. Granted, even Facebook conducts experiments on their users, so this isn’t exactly new. But considering how “progressive” they are about sexuality and other areas, we just aren’t left with good feelings about OK Cupid.
There are better options out there for Christians considering online dating. Check out our recommendations for the Best Christian Dating sites.
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