OKCupid is ok with the numbers but not chemistry

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My editor recently sent me an article about how dating site OKCupid deliberately set up “bad” matches with each other to see how they would react. For example, two people who only “match” at 30 percent were told they were a 90 member match and so on. And members went insane.

Apparently this isn’t the first time the site has messed with their members. They have also conducted similar experiments, one in which they removed all photos from their site to gauge member interactions, and another where they told bad matches that they were actually “good.” Member response was mostly blind outrage, with one user calling the tests “human experimentation” and another cancelling his account all together. I’m assuming these people are the ones who aren’t finding many matches on the site.

I get how it could come off as annoying, but I don’t really see how OKCupid is in the wrong here (OKCupid agreed with me; the article stated they were “unapologetic”). First off, it’s free to use OKCupid’s services so in my opinion if you are willing to give them all of your personal information, they should be able to do what they want with it. Everyone freaks out when they think the government is spying on them but yet they tell anyone with access to the Internet all of their personal business anyway. How does that make sense?

Secondly, how is it going to hurt you if you have a bad date once in a while? Think of it like you think of job interviews — it might not be the right job for you but at least you got some practice. And most people need practice at both job interviewing AND dating.

Third, and in my opinion most important of all: What if — and I mean WHAT IF — you end up actually hitting it off with the person? When did we start basing chemistry on the nerds over at OKCupid? Are they professional matchmakers? I mean, I haven’t done a lot of research into it but they more than likely use a mathematical algorithm that matches people who like dogs with people who like dogs. It’s not Earth shattering.

My fiancé and I have dabbled with the idea of getting a “couples’ tattoo” and the other day we were trying to think of things we have in common that we also wouldn’t mind having permanently inscribed on our bodies. After literally days of thinking, I came up with two things — fish, and climbing. And technically, climbing is Awesome’s hobby and I just tag along sometimes. So, fish. We both really like aquariums and marine life. We also tend to like the same movies and TV shows, but I’m not trying to get the Game of Thrones cast tattooed on my arm.

My point is, I very much doubt that Awesome and I would be declared “compatible” by OKCupid’s standards. Or any other dating site, for that matter. If I had judged his compatibility by what we have in common, I probably would have written him off before even meeting him. And I never would have known what an amazing person he is and fallen in love with him.

Just because you don’t have everything — or even most things — in common with your date, doesn’t mean it wouldn’t ever work. An algorithm can’t tell you if you have the same sense of humor, or if you are attracted to each other, or how you feel when you are around them. If you really aren’t feeling the spark, go for the last resort and make a new friend. Who knows, they might have a friend that you DO feel compatible with.