I’ve more than dabbled in online dating. I am regularly swimming in the murky water of of profiles and personality measures and age range stipulations. I thought I had it all worked out. Tinder, the “breeders’ Grinder,” is for hook-ups and OKCupid is for those seeking something “real.” And then a friend made a very naked, honest observation: OKCupid is Tinder with subterfuge.
Tinder is more honest. Tinder is more like seeing someone across a bar, feeling that “spark” (ie. lust) and giving them bedroom eyes, a come hither look, by way of a swipe Right. OKCupid allows you to FEEL like the connections are more real, but how many of us have met up with an OKCupid date who had a great profile, and lackluster photos, and were pleasantly surprised? How many of us have regretted pretending not to be as shallow as we are? How many of us have wasted someone’s time because our loins, they were not a’burnin’?
OKCupid gives us a warm fuzzy feeling by making it seem we want more than simple animal attraction when we meet someone. We do, eventually, but if the looks aren’t there to begin with- if there is no initial spark, there is nothing to ignite a flame. And you need that initial flame. Romance is about the the heat as much as it is the head and heart. The heat stokes the flames, the head and heart keep the home fires burning. OKCupid feigns that connections are deeper than skin, and allows us to do the same, by coming up with pithy and clever answers to “List five things you can’t live without,” and “You should message me if…” We love to pretend we care more for the inside than the outside, while answering question after question about ourselves. We really just want to talk about ourselves, that’s why we complete a profile.
And the kicker is, we honestly expect our OKCupid admirers will read our entire, witty, original profile. Sentence after sentence of our deep thoughts on our favorite TV shows. We read maybe the first two sentences of each profile attached to a photo of a person we might consider hitting on, if they happened to be standing in front of us. It’s the most public and disconnected form of mutual masturbation you can find today. “Aren’t my opinions and musings so very interesting??” “Oh yes, of course, I read EVERYTHING. Don’t you think my favorite books show how intellectual I am?” “Oh my gosh, yes! Nothing says deep independent thinker like Ayn Rand!.” “Tell me how much you want to get to know me better because you found my ‘What do you think about’ answer inspiring!”
It’s true, a photograph is worth a thousand words, but no number of words will make you hot for someone you don’t feel that initial spark for. So, Swipe, my friends, Swipe to your eyes’ content, and perhaps you will Swipe a flame you’ll want to stoke.