Ok Cupid – are you my best wingman?
Online dating can be an overwhelming venture. A potential sea of singles with hours of infinite “swiping” that makes choosing a movie on Netflix look like a snap decision. Ok Cupid promises to find you a perfect partner through complementary personalities, not just looks. Are you looking for vegans only? Or do you want someone to go fox hunting with? Search for matches by keywords.
Ok Cupid is basically the “serious relationship” alternative casual dating apps like Tinder. Both of these apps are under the wing of the matriarchal dating site Match.com. Like most dating apps, Ok Cupid lets you build up your profile with as much detail as you have time and energy to add. You will need to provide a minimum of one photo and you can state your preferences for long or short-term dating, say whether you are looking for marriage or children, or simply a venture into non-monogamy.
The dating app that matches you by percentage
Ok Cupid? It’s just that – okay.
So what sets Ok Cupid apart from its competitors? While Tinder is largely a human supermarket of fleshy gym selfies, Ok Cupid does allow to hone in on more than just the superficial. It claims to match you based on “who you really are or what you love”. Build up your profile with photos and information. The more information you give the more accurate your matches will be.
Ok Cupid is also one of the most LGBT(QI) dating apps in that it gives you a choice of 12 sexual orientations (everything from Straight, Homoflexible or Sapioflexible or simply “Questioning”). While most dating apps only recognize you as a “woman” or “man” on Ok Cupid there is a pool of 22 options (of which, as which your orientation, you can choose up to five).
“Dating deserves better” is the slogan of this long-standing app. Ok Cupid has been around since 2004 and in that time it has garnered over 10 million downloads and claims to match over 91 million couples a year. When you install Ok Cupid for the first time you will be taken through a short questionnaire. This is crucial as it will set the tone for the suggested users the algorithm finds you. Choose someone who wants to talk about politics or filter out those who want children. Give insight into yourself – are you a feminist? Do you support the current president? Or you can choose to skip these.
Where Cupid drops his bow is with the latest upgrades to what was once lauded as the best dating app on the market. In the most recent version of Ok Cupid many of the key features you need to date are locked behind a paywall. Do you want to see who has liked you? Of course – but you had better have your credit card at hand.
Surf and swipe at will – but if you want to enjoy full access to the app features you will need to upgrade to a paid membership. Alongside seeing the “likes” the A-List Basic or A-List Premium tiers give you an ad blocker and notify you when someone has read your message.
Also, the user interface is almost overly comprehensive. Sure - it is great to be able to search by keyword or browse the issues users are talking about at the time or see the top matches in your area. One at a time would be easier on the eye however, and the information overload can make the app tiresome to navigate.
Do be aware that the swiping mechanism is incredibly sensitive. It is far too easy to accidentally swipe in the wrong direction (with no clear means to undo this). Also watch out for fake users, although this is a risk of any dating site.
Where can you run this program?
Ok Cupid has a desktop version, which you can use on Windows or Mac operating systems. There is also a mobile app for Android and i0S. If you use an Android device, then you will need 5.0 or up. For Apple users, an i0S 9.0 or later is required and the app will run on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. The current version Ok Cupid 33.4.1 takes up 91.74 MB on your Android device, or 103.6 MB for Apple users.
Is there a better alternative?
The dating app you choose is a highly personal choice. It is utterly dependent on what you are looking for. A weekend fling or one-night stand? Straight couples should head to Tinder. Grindr is the go-to for LGBT singles and is well-known as an instant hook-up that uses geolocation to show you users nearby (at their discretion).
For those who want to dip a toe in the online dating waters but who are not necessarily looking to mate for life, then apps like Bumble and Hinge are popular and for good reason. Bumble is known for its slightly divisive feature whereby only women can initiate messaging (to stop heterosexual women being bombarded by men). For those who find this more discriminatory than protective, you may find Hinge is a handy all-rounder. Known as the app to “get you off dating apps”. There is no brutal swiping but a fun combination of lighthearted questions and pictures that are designed to lead to longer-term connections.
Ok Cupid falls into the rather pointless territory between the instant hookups offered by Tinder and Grindr and search for lifetime partners better sourced on Match.com. Short-term dating that is likely to end? A strange and niche choice. Of course, the objective of Ok Cupid is to find you “meaningful connections” through dating, friendships or potentially lifetime partnerships.
The in-depth and varied questions are thoughtful and thought-provoking, and designed to create a killer algorithm to find you the best match. Nevertheless, the user interface is clunky and crowded, and if it is the perfect match you are after then you would be better served going to Cupid’s maker: Match.com.
Should you download it?
No. For a more straightforward experience and a simple middle ground between flings and fairytale endings, give Hinge a go!
- Information-rich profile
- Focused on personality over looks
- Many features are locked behind a paywall
- Fake users
- Profile creation is time-consuming
- Confusing interface