This is part two 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: Writing a Dating Profile.
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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Writing A Dating Profile
Like any dating site, the most important part of meeting people is your profile. On OKCupid, the profile consists of 10 questions ranging from a self-description to a list of favorite books, movies, music and food.
When writing your profile, try to keep it upbeat and friendly but be honest about yourself. Try to avoid using clichéd phrases like “I never know what to say here” or “I hate talking about myself” — instead come across like you are confident and comfortable being on a free dating site. I also think it is a bad idea to have a long list of deal breakers. While we all have them, it looks better to put a positive spin on it; instead of saying, for example, “I won’t date introverts or the shy,” say something like “I love to date extroverted people! Let’s get out of the house and have an adventure.”
One of the profile questions is to list ‘The six things I could never do without.’ The point of this question is not to sarcastically point out that we can all survive without our cell phones, but to share a few of your favorites. I mention things like my bicycle or books to read, both of which keep me happy. Pointing out that you could not do without air, water, or food is neither clever nor original anymore and does not teach your visitors anything useful about you.
Free users can upload up to 10 pictures of themselves, which is a good idea — I recommend recent, clear photos; most should show your face. OKCupid has also created their own guide to picking the right photos for dating based on data drawn from tens of thousands of users.
The site doesn’t make it easy to create couple’s profiles, so you are better off creating individual ones and linking to each other, which you can do by putting a profile name in greater than/less than symbols: <<PROFILE>>. Remember that if you are part of a committed relationship, you should list yourself as Available by choosing Married or Seeing Someone as your relationship status and selecting casual sex, short-term dating, or long-term dating in the Looking For section. Just find the pencil icon next to the appropriate part of your profile to make this change.
You can mark special interests with square brackets, such as: [[Polyamory]]. This makes it searchable by others. You can also take user-written personality quizzes like The Ethical Slut Test; the site displays the results on a special tab of your profile. You should answer all the questions on the profile. It is possible to have a profile which is too long and bores people; you want to save something to discuss when you meet in person or communicate online, after all. It’s important to strike a balance between enticement and over-sharing.
Some people, bisexuals in particular, may debate about how to present themselves on the site. There is a belief that some potential dating partners will shoot you down if they know you are bisexual as opposed to completely straight or gay. Personally, I think bi men and women need to be out of the closet if possible. By being open about my orientation, I show the world that I exist while simultaneously avoiding later grief. If I’m going to scare off a girl by the fact that I love to suck cock or a boy by the fact that I have lovers with girl parts, I want to know up front. In part six we’ll take a look at OKChoices, a third-party script which provides more options for self-identification.
If you have difficulty writing a paragraph or two about yourself, ask your friends (or, even better, partners) to describe you in a few sentences. Take those concepts and construct your profile.
The more of your profile you fill out, the better. Provide people with as many openings to contact you as possible.
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.
The best way to make your profile appealing to other poly folk is by answering the right questions… which is next week’s topic!