This is part four of a seven part series on using OKCupid for the non-monogamous and others seeking polyamory or open relationships. It is cowritten with Molly Rene. This week: Finding People on OKCupid.
Table of Contents
- Introduction / What Is OKCupid?
- Writing a Dating Profile
- Answering Match Questions
- Finding People on OKCupid
- Meeting People on OKCupid
- Extra Features of OKCupid
- Conclusion: Finding Polyamorous Love
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Finding People on OKCupid
You’ve filled out your profile, uploaded great photos, and answered questions until you’re sick of radio buttons and check boxes; perhaps you’ve even taken a quiz or two. You’ve given the site a good idea of who you are, so now it’s time to meet other polyamorous people! OKCupid gives you several ways to do this.
The simplest and most common way is to use the Match Search in the Matches menu at the top of the site. This page will pull your default dating preferences from your profile and show you a list of similar people, but you can further refine it if you like. You can list only certain genders, filter based on new profiles or recent user activity, or many other factors. Be wary of specifying people who are ‘single,’ as that may exclude Available people in existing open relationships.
There are several other ways to search. You can browse profiles on the front page, and each profile will also link to a number of other similar people. You can search by interests, such as polyamory. Once or twice a day, OKCupid will even select three people for you to look at and put them in a special feature called the Quiver. These are people with some interest in common, but you won’t know which. It’s worth looking at but OKCupid will often send incompatible people — in my case, I always get a monogamous person and often at least one homophobe. You can skip Quickmatch, which is an ineffective “Hot or Not” style feature.
Though I am a skeptic about personality tests in general, the breadth of the question database means that the site really can make a lot of educated guesses about you. Now that I’ve answered many questions, polyamorous and kinky people show up by the dozens in my top matches, usually ranking 90% or higher in match compatibility. There can be false positives, like someone who is monogamous but has something else in common with me such as a love of Burning Man.
Happily there is a way to look at any answers another person has made public — on their profile, look for a tab labeled The Two of Us; on profiles of people who are very incompatible this tab will instead read Y’all Got Issues. Clicking on this tab will show match questions that you both have answered and made public. Along the right hand side you can filter the answers — Unacceptable Answers, which shows places you disagree, is often the most useful. Questions about polyamory will also show up under both About Dating and About Sex. Remember that if the other user hasn’t answered those questions yet, or has selected to make them private, it might be harder to determine compatibility.
OKCupid has recently adjusted their algorithms, making percentages less accurate in my opinion. I wish there was a way to actually exclude people who answer certain ways — I’m never going to date anyone who is monogamous or opposed to dating queer/bisexual people. Until that happens, the match percentages are still a handy starting point; they are often quite correct when it comes to surface compatibility. Anything deeper requires personal interaction.
Molly says: The Match Search has an advanced tab that allows you to search by a variety of parameters, from religion to pets. This is very useful if you have specific needs (such as a severe allergy to cats.) You can also sort your search results in different ways on the Order By menu.
As a woman, I get contacted much more often than my male partner. However, OKC does make it fairly easy to hide people if you’re not interested. There’s a button on everyone’s profile allowing users to hide someone (so they don’t appear in search results) or flag the profile (if the profile doesn’t adhere to content standards.) Also, all messages you receive will have a Block User option if you don’t ever want contact with that person again.
Copyright © 2011 Molly Rene and Kit O’Connell. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.
This license applies ONLY to this guide, not to other parts of this site unless otherwise noted.
Now you’re on OKCupid and you can search like a pro. Next week we’ll tell you how to write private messages that get replies!