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Over the following months, I would play with this slightly: I variously described myself as a dreamer, book lover, learner, educator, and writer, someone who views the world with a glass half-full of optimism and a dash of sarcasm.
I noted that my friends describe me as “sincere and hilarious,” “fun to do things with,” and “a great trivia partner.” I peppered my profile with jokes and references to climbing, yoga, learning, eating all of the things, and drinking all of the drinks.
My filter settings are pretty generous—if you have a compatibility rating of higher than 70 percent, are of at least “average” attractiveness, and send more than a three-word message—“Hey” and “Yo girl” are not acceptable—your message will make it to me.
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I liked the concept of Ok Cupid’s “match percentages.” The site projects the compatibility of its users, assessing it on a scale from 1 to 100.
I was a high match with a seemingly large number of men—quite a few of them were in the 99 percent range.
I mentioned my penchant for ’60s soul, ’90s hip hop, indie rock, and the writing of Kurt Vonnegut—and alluded to my fondness for the board game Settlers of Catan to attract hot nerds.
That first night, after crafting what I thought was a suitably witty, cool, and interesting profile, I let the site’s algorithms work their magic.
Theoretically, the online world offers greater odds of finding a partner than does a chance meeting at a party.
Being online is like going to a party without encountering all the people who trap you in boring conversations.
Even when you decide to answer, many users will not respond, having lost interest or been tempted by one of the site’s many other profiles.
Some people disappear after a few exchanges—sometimes even after you’ve made plans to meet.
I would take the time to read a guy’s profile and then mention common interests or things I found interesting, posing an easy question for him at the end—but I still received few responses.
Of the messages that did make it to my inbox, many were from men who were not a good match for me.
You may also start talking to someone only to realize that you are no longer interested in getting to know them better.