Not to undermine what is OKCupid’s main selling point — besides, of course, its price (and those lovely quizzes that reveal which Power Ranger you’ll end up in a threesome with) — but the match percentages they offer are highly suspect. It’s true — if someone is a 50% match, things aren’t going to work. False negatives are almost nonexistent. False positives however? All the rage. So before you move to Quebec to spend the rest of your life raising alpaca with that dreamy, blue-eyed hunk of meat just because you two match 99%, remember: OKCupid gives more false positives than a 99-Cent Store pregnancy test.
What follows is Part 1 of a new Inspecting Cupid feature called “You are the 99%,” in which we examine users with whom we match 99% and tear them to shreds. Let’s begin, shall we?
User basics: Male, 36, Taurus, wants kids, six-figure income in entertainment/media field, answers the leg-shaving question this way:
First impression: When your main profile picture is a MySpace-style iPhone self-portrait, you begin your at bat with one strike on you. Our subject also includes not one, but three travel braggart photos (i.e. pictures that are neither clear nor flattering, but show our subject in exotic locations, such as Paris, India, or Four Corners, Utah). Yes, yes — travel is amazing, and everyone with the means should do it, but you don’t need to include photos of yourself in hideous green Patagonia garb for us to believe that you went to Machu Picchu. So far, this guy feels like a real Duberstein. And yet, we match 99%.
Now, with 25% more viscosity!: (My self-summary) “I’m single and want to go out on dates. I feel like anything I write here without the benefit of eye contact, voice, body language, and reciprical conversation is somewhat meaningless, buuuuuut what the hell.
Some things that describe me:
- - human
- - male
- - downright friendly
- - viscosity!
- - well-traveled
- - open-minded
- - whatever the opposite of creepy is.. not creepy? Thats creepy.
- - creepy
- - happy with my life
- - always about to get a dog
- - into sweet-ass jams, but also into crunchy grooves
- - NOT into sweet ass-jams
- - well-traveled
- - repetitive
- - active
- - I want to say “funny” but calling yourself funny is completely un-funny, so let’s just say hilarious.. SAY IT.
- - old fashioned (the drink) but also in the hold-the-door-open-y way (open-y??.. I suck)
- - BlueRay.. thats right girl…. BlueRay
- - I have a point of view about a lot of things.. soooo chatty?
- - i like live music
- - i like kids.. and they like me.. we see things eye-to-eye I guess.. but not literally.. I’m 6’1”.. its awesome.
- - Beard
- - Scotch not Whiskey.. unless it’s Bourbon.. or Whiskey.
- - LOL.. but also WTF
- - I arrange the keys on my keychain by size.. so thats pretty sweet.
- - I once shot a man just for snoring to loud
Some things that describe you:
- - I don’t know you.”
Analysis: Gold mine. One piece at a time:
- If you’re going to use the word “reciprical,” please, for the love of god, spell it right.
- “Viscosity” describes engine oil, not any person I’d want to date. (For a real good time, do a Google image search for “viscosity.” Check out all those awesome graphs!)
- The opposite of creepy is someone who doesn’t go out of his way to tell me how creepy he isn’t. Using the word “creepy” three times in your self-summary? Decidedly creepy.
- Take “always about to get a dog” as literally as possible. Could you imagine being mid-coitus with this guy, and then he suddenly withdraws, throws on his clothes — condom still dangling from his johnson, of course — and runs for the door. “Sorry, honey, I’ve got to go get a Labradoodle right now! We’ll finish when I come back.”
- How could someone not be into “sweet ass-jams”? (NB: What the hell is an ass-jam?)
- Oh! Oh! You guys see what he did there? He lists “well-traveled” early in his endless list, then does so again, and immediately follows that with “repetitive.” That is so brilliantly funny.
- Wait, my bad — I meant “hilarious.” Because calling oneself “funny” isn’t funny. (NB: Calling oneself “hilarious” isn’t any better, so put the thesaurus away before you get yourself hurt, okay hold-the-door-open-y guy?)
- “Hey, girl. I noticed you’re watching a DVD. That’s cool. I’ve got BlueRay, though. How about that? Let me share some BlueRay with you.” — Ryan Gosling, probably
- Having a point of view = opinionated. Talking a lot = chatty.
- “Its [sic] awesome” refers to his height or the fact that he gets along well with kids?
- Definitely agree about the “WTF” part.
- Arranging one’s keys by size is not “pretty sweet” — it’s borderline obsessive-compulsive. (NB: We’re just jealous that we didn’t come up with that idea first.)
- I once shot a man for filling out his self-summary in such a horrible way.
“I’m a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”: (What I’m doing with my life) “Exactly what I want. With a few dreams of things I’d like to do mixed in.”
Analysis: Wait, if he’s doing exactly what he wants, but there are still things he’d like to do, then isn’t he not doing exactly what he wants, but rather some diluted version of that?
And I thought I had a bad case of arrested development: (I’m really good at) “Answering questions about myself.. this answer sucks.. but all the other ones totally RULE”
Analysis: The last time I heard the verbs “suck” and “rule” used in tandem was on an episode of Beavis and Butthead. In four years, the guy will be forty. Next!
I bring him everywhere I go: (The first things people usually notice about me) “my soul.”
Analysis: Look, if you’re not going to take this seriously, we’re not taking you seriously. We all know this question is bullshit, but the least you could do is show us some of that “hilarious” you boasted about in your self-summary, rather than dipping your bucket into the well of cliche existential humor.
Way to answer the question, pal: (Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food) “I’ll try anything.. and I’ll have an opinion about it.”
Analysis: In other words, he’s susceptible to peer pressure and will give insufferably long movie reviews unsolicited. Brilliant.
Trains and automobiles?: (The six things I could never do without) “Friends/Family, Restaurants, Bikes, Airplanes, 2 other things.”
Analysis: What’s more asinine — the fact that our subject couldn’t make it to six (and readily implied it), or the fact that he included two modes of transportation among the four(-ish) things he chose to include?
Also, he may think it reveals a refined palate on his part, but listing “restaurants” second — unless you’re a restaurant critic — suggests a certain extravagance. It’s the rich man’s version of the frozen food section, really. It tells us he can’t/won’t cook, and is willing to spend lots of money to have someone else do this for him. Not per se bad, but worth noting.
Hasta la vista, baby: (I spend a lot of time thinking about) “the robot apocalypse.”
Analysis: No you don’t.
What’s the opposite of “IN”?: (On a typical Friday night I am) “OUT”
Analysis: Short, simple, all caps. An assertive, but altogether unclear response. Does our subject mean “out” as in — “hey, honey, I’m going out right now — should be back before midnight, unless something wacky happens at kickball tonight”? Or does he mean “out” as in “I’m going to leave this reality for a while, either via drug-induced coma or a space-time portal I keep in my wardrobe”? Ambiguity is the worst.
Who is Hermes?: (The most private thing I’m willing to admit) “I have tiny vestigial wings on my ankles that allow for brief periods of flight. ..and every Easter they grant one wish to anyone who buys me a Land Rover.”
Analysis: Oh, just shut up already.
And all women just want to be treated like cats: (You should message me if) “If you like the pictures/answers then message me. I’m a gentleman. I’ll make you laugh and treat you like a lady, promise.”
Analysis: It’s great how our subject has to reassure potential suitors that he will treat them like ladies. It’s almost as though people have called him out for not doing that. Not saying it’s a red flag, but… It’s a red flag.
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Final thoughts: Nowhere — except on America’s Got Talent — is playing to one’s strengths more important than in the realm of online dating. However, without adequate self-understanding, it’s impossible to know what those strengths are. This guy thinks he’s funny — no, “hilarious” — yet he’s anything but. He also fails to understand the line between “childlike” and “childish,” his behavior frequently falling into the latter category when he’s probably aiming for the former. If this is what our 99% matches look like, it may be time to search for love somewhere else, such as a hookah bar, or unisex bathroom at a regional airport.