The instant gratification generation has revolutionized dating. Swiping left, pouting profile photos, and emoji-driven flirting are hallmarks of millennial tech dating. Choosing a dating site can seem overwhelming, especially when each dating app has its own reputation and stereotypes. Let’s be honest, when you hear “Grindr,” “Tinder,” “Black People Meet,” “Christian Mingle,” and “eHarmony” you visualize very different people on each site.
OKCupid is a popular dating site for college students looking for more than just a hookup. The site is designed to produce matches who relate to each other through a series of personality and lifestyle-based questions. Matches are arranged based on your interest in age, gender, orientation, and location of other users. User profiles detail sexual orientation, ethnicity, relationship status, desired relationship type, height, body type, diet, smoking habits, drinking habits, drug habits, religious affiliation, astrological sign, education level, and language skills. I was pleasantly surprised to see an “offspring” status option as well. This section allows users to tell others if they have children and/or desire children.
OKCupid’s site interface is visually appealing and easy to navigate. The messaging aspect of the site can prove tricky, though, when users are trying to communicate on their phones. It’s easier to message baddies on your laptop or tablet, rather than on your phone—the phone app is slow to show messages, which is annoying when you’re in the midst of quick-fire flirting banter. On the other end, messaging on the laptop falls a little flat since OKCupid does not have built in emojis in their messaging tab. Who doesn’t love a laughing cat, a sparkling diamond, or a sushi roll picture when inviting someone to dinner or dubbing someone for a hookup?
While the site isn’t perfect, the flaws don’t trump the successes of OKCupid. OKCupid’s initial signup is quick and uncomplicated. There are plenty of options for users to identify their gender(s) and sexual orientation(s). Users can choose up to five different gender identities and sexual orientations. While these options are pretty progressive, I suggest adding the option for users to write in their gender and sexual identity so everyone can truly self-identify.