How to succeed on OKCupid

Preamble

I am no longer on OkCupid myself. I erased my profile sometime¬†before¬†I got engaged. However I talk to many friends who ask me how I managed to find my wife on OkCupid, and I found myself explaining it so many times that I decided to just post it on here for everyone to see. Now I can just refer my friends to this post and save myself ~15 minutes for every friend who asks ūüôā

Background

I have been on OKCupid for many, many years. In fact it is where I found my first wife! Anyway when the four Harvard students who made this wonderful web site first released it, all of their formulas were publicly exposed on the site in the form of very detailed graphs. It really explained their matching algorithms, showed the Bayesian math used for matching, and the theory behind the matching algorithm. It all made perfect sense to me, in a very nerdy kinda way. I absolutely loved it.

What I did wrong

The short answer: I answered too many questions, and I didn’t know my own values. I answered too many questions that were not really relevant or related¬†to my core values. I wasn’t really aware of my core values. I took my values¬†for granted and it cost me dearly (as will sometimes happen when you take something for granted). I didn’t understand the importance of finding a life partner who had similar core values to mine, I thought the world is one¬†big global village, and I felt myself cosmopolitan enough and open minded enough that I might¬†accommodate a partner¬†of any cultural background. I figured I would learn and adapt, and that love trumps all. And¬†boy was I wrong… That mistake cost me 11 years of life progress. Simply being aware of¬†the importance of matching core values would have helped me find a more suitable¬†partner, earlier in life. Who knows, by now I would have had 5 kids! (which is the¬†number of children I would like to have, ideally). Don’t get me wrong, the people I dated (and married) were wonderful, and I love them all to this very day, but it wasn’t meant to last.

How I fixed it

After my first divorce I had plenty of time for self-analysis (which followed¬†a painful period¬†of denial and self blame…). It was really important for me to understand where I went wrong, what was absolutely my responsibility and what wasn’t, what things I could have done better, and what things I could never have changed no matter how hard I tried. This is¬†when I realized it was really a matter of core values, which I had very few in common with my first wife, and my fianc√© before her (again, both wonderful ladies!). I sat down and actually created¬†a document¬†listing my core values by order of importance. Putting it down into a document really helped me figure things out for myself, and I recommend you do this regardless of your relationship status. In fact, try to do this before you start a relationship, and try to look at your dates through the lens of your newly discovered¬†values & priorities. I feel at the very least it’s¬†an important exercise. Following my¬†core values epiphany, and armed with my core values document, I logged onto OKCupid, nuked¬†my profile and started from scratch. This time around I simply skipped questions that¬†weren’t¬†related directly to my core values.

Why / How it works

OKCupid matching scores are calculated based on how users answer their questions, how they specify their partner should answer, how their partner answers his/her questions, and how they specify you should answer yours. This is a 4 parameter match (two from each side). The algorithm can only match two questions if both you and your potential partner answered that same question. This means that in order to achieve a high level of accuracy, you need to match on as few questions as possible, as best possible. Any irrelevant question you answer simply pollutes your pool of matches with irrelevant candidates.

Exceptions to the above

This assumes your matches took a similar approach, and unfortunately many do not. It’s entirely possible you’ll miss out on people who made the same mistake of not fully realizing what their values were, and who simply saw the Q&A feature of OKC as more of a game or cheap entertainment (it is lots of fun, after all, and is an easy way to pass time!). However, consider that in America today, 50% of all marriages will end in divorce, most of them within the first two years of marriage. So sure, you could walk into a bar and perhaps find a potential partner, and live happily together into your late 90’s. But what are the odds of that happening?!

More pro tips

Your photos: Do NOT upload crappy / low quality photos. I repeat, do NOT upload your crappy cell-phone selfies. You¬†have some high principles about beauty being skin deep? That’s admirable, but keep that for when you educate your children about inner/outer beauty. Your goal is to hook that potential partner of yours, and like it or not, your photo is the first hook that grabs people’s attention. I am not exaggerating when I say that you should probably have a professional photographer take photos of you wearing something¬†nice. And specifically with OkCupid:¬†did you know that when you are rated as “attractive” (using OkCupid’s “Hot Or Not” feature), your profile will be exposed to an entirely different group¬†of people who are in the “highly attractive” tier, people you would never even see on the site unless you were also in the “Attractive” club? Now you do! So have someone take really great photos of you, and do not upload anything else. Besides, we know people always look better in person, so it’s not like you’d be lying about your appearance. And please, no deceptive practices. Just because you were 50 pounds lighter 5 years ago does not mean you should use those photos. What do you think will happen when you go on your first¬†date? Lying about anything on your profile is the biggest mistake you can make. It’s better to under-promise and over-deliver. Trust me on that one.

Your dating strategy & first date chemistry: Most people are extremely nervous on their first date (and rightfully so, dating is pretty stressful!). They will fumble, mumble, and make mistakes. They will be sloppy, drop things on the floor, or be very quiet and shy (I call this: Deafening Silence). It doesn’t mean they are boring or have nothing to talk about. In most cases, do yourself a favor and give your date a second chance. If you are into drinking, start the date by drinking a glass of wine. Allow yourself to be surprised by¬†your date. People are whole¬†universes, you really can’t¬†judge them based on a single half hour date, and doing so would be a huge mistake.

On the matter of attraction: I love giving this example to my friends – Imagine you meet the most beautiful woman in a bar. She sits alone, and it just so happens the seat next to her is the only seat that’s free. You sit next to her, order some exotic drink which sparks her curiosity. She asks if she can taste it, and you start talking and you can’t believe how lucky you are. Now imagine she says something so horribly wrong, that you completely lose respect for that woman. In other words, she gets instantly transformed from an extremely attractive lady, to a really horrible, repulsive human being, so much so that you can’t even imagine yourself touching her (and you feel the need to just pay your bill and leave the place). This is not completely far fetched, it can (and does) happen. And just as THIS can happen, please entertain the possibility that the opposite can happen: You meet a person that is not the most¬†attractive to you, at first, but once you start talking, their manners, body language, knowledge and personality have you completely hooked, attracted and even aroused. In fact, many women out there do not conform to the “Playboy” stereotypical body image (which I think is awesome!), and yet are¬†extremely sexy and attractive. So let this be a lesson to you: Get to really know a person before you decide if they are attractive¬†or not.

Don’t stall, Talk about what really matters: The big things in life have to do with the geographic location where you plan on settling, whether or not you’re interested in marriage, whether or not you plan to have a family, and the details of how you plan to raise your children (religious? atheist? circumcision? public/private school?…). Most¬†other issues¬†you can usually work¬†around. I know¬†there’s tons of¬†couples out there that vote for different parties (republican husband + democrat wife), believe in different gods/religions, have different cultures or race, etc. ¬†If your date can’t handle discussing the things that truly matter to you, that’s probably a strong indication they aren’t right for you (at least, not yet). You might want to get that stuff out of the way by your 3rd/4th date.

Beyond the technicalities, Love matters: Don’t forget that love really does matter. It’s not enough to find a person that shares your values, or is ready to settle down with you. It’s really important that you also really love and respect your partner on a very deep level. I see love & matching as a Yin & Yang thing. Matching on values and goals is the Yin, and being attracted and in love is the Yang. When the Yin is low, the Yang pulls you up, and vice versa. This isn’t some mystical mumbo-jumbo, it’s just plain common sense. You need both foundations for your relationship to stand firmly.

The larger the city, the better the chances: One of my¬†own recent epiphanies¬†about my current¬†marriage is that living in New York City has improved my chances significantly. On the one hand, I’ve had many dating horror stories. On the other hand, once I¬†figured out the process I describe above, I¬†realized what I was doing wrong, and I figured out¬†exactly what it is that I’m looking for in a partner. Once I reached that step, I became laser focused, to the point of even cutting certain dates short (which may not seem the “nicest” thing to do, except¬†I figured we both had better things to do!). My theory is that large cities such as New York¬†are so multi-cultural, you’re bound to find someone who is very similar to you in terms of value systems, and who has similar goals to yours. It also means you should be as specific as possible, because no matter how much you filter, you’ll still get a massive list of people in your match results.

 

Single again!

As Forest Gump’s Mother said: Life is like a box of chocolate. You never know what you’re gonna get. Aren’t mothers amazing?

I won’t get into the reasons here, but the plain and simple truth is that as of last Sunday, I am officially divorced. Since I married religiously according to the Jewish Faith, I also had to divorce the same way.

Just to clear up some confusion – I have not seen my ex-wife for 9 months. It just took forever to do the procedure, due to many factors (some of which are related to travel, some because my ex is in Israel and I’m in the USA now, and some just related to bureaucracy and logistics).

The procedure was quite elaborate! There were 3 rabbis who acted as “Judges”, one of them doubling as the Scribe (The “Sofer” in Hebrew, who is normally a separate person) and also as my first Witness, and yet another Rabbi, this one was to be my second witness (According to the Jewish Faith, you are supposed to have two witnesses when you sign your Marriage Certificate, and also two witnesses when you sign your Divorce Certificate).

There were 3 potential complications in my divorce:

  1. The fact that I am in the USA, and my Marriage records + ex-wife were both in Israel. This meant the Rabbis needed to communicate with the Israeli branch, and this took a considerable amount of time. However, fortunately, it eventually happened and I received a call summoning me to sign my Divorce Papers.
  2. If there’s shared property or children, or some disagreement between the sides, the judges would have to intervene and judge according to Halacha (Jewish Law). Fortunately, our decision to divorce was mutual, there were no children, and no shared properties that were under any kind of disagreement.
  3. The procedure itself, which is quite elaborate. The Rabbis must make sure you will not retract your request to divorce, and that you were not forced into the divorce, or paid money to divorce, and that no threat of violence is placed on me, etc. Fortunately none of that is true, and the divorce was allowed to happen.

I followed the ceremony, which I have to note, was wise and obviously carefully worded, in what I assume is the result of a few millennia of learning from bad experiences…!

Another interesting point, is how your parents are identified. I had to call my parents during the ceremony, so that the Rabbis can verify with them what they are called, by their community and/or circle of friends. It turned out this was not without merit, as my dad goes by 3 or 4 different names!

Following the conclusion of the ceremony, the Writer (“Sofer”) must go about his business, which is to write the Divorce Papers in my name. Once that was done, a courier was designated (turned out the Writer was also the Courier…). I had to task him with the job of notifying my wife that she is now no longer my wife. He accepted the task, and the ceremony was concluded.

The Sexy Cripple?

I know this post may disturb some of you, but I have noticed some guys (who’s names I will not disclose here) find the sight of certain crippled people arousing. A friend of mine saw this blond girl on a wheel chair and I swear if I didn’t hold on to a nearby lamp post, his errection would send me flying to Zimbabwe…

Is it because supposedly that person in the wheelchair is helpless, and an easy prey? Is it this kind of inner ferocious instinct usually found in carnivorous mammals?

Or is it because he thinks she is desperate for Sex and will do anything? Or maybe he is imagining her stiff legs and the thought of her dead limbs is arousing in a very perverse way?

This reminded me of the story of Safran and his dead arm, from the book “Everything is Illuminated” by Jonathan Safran Foer. In that story, Safran, supposedly the author’s grandfather, has a dead arm from birth. This somehow gets him into the arms (and underwear) of most of his village’s women… to the point where it has become a sort of a “secret weapon” for him, which he used to “fish” for his gipsy, non-jewish girlfriend. I seriously recommend that book by the way, it’s awesome in so many ways. And definitely read the book BEFORE you see the movie.

How to properly measure your member

Nonsense warning: I’m in a good mood, so I decided to write a completely silly entry in my blog. I did not try the method mentioned below, so try at your own risk!

There have been lots of debates on penis size. Some say size matters, some say it’s how you use it, etc. The “size” however is not always very well defined. Are they talking about Length, or Girth? Lots of articles (mostly written by Women) talk about how the length doesn’t matter, and it’s really all about the girth, and yet some other women will tell you the length AND the girth matter.

I say, the only right way to measure your Penis is not by length or girth – It is about absolute atomic mass!

That’s right boys and girls. And how do you measure this? Fear not, for I’ve devised a sure method for you Math challenged people, that will also make you look like a “Real Man” while measuring your mass (because Beer is involved). You will need a large empty pot, a glass of beer filled to the top, and a cooking scale to weigh the fluid.

The Beer Displacement Method (Thank you Leah for the name!):

  • Step 1: Zero the scale by placing the empty pot on the scale, and turning the scale on. The display should show “0 grams”.
  • Step 1: Take a pint of Guinness beer, and place it inside the pot.
  • Step 2: Look at a photo of¬†Scarlett¬†Johansson to obtain an errection.
  • Step 3: Stick your member into the glass, the beer will spill from the glass and into the pot.
  • Step 4: Remove the glass from the pot, and weigh the liquid content.
  • Step 5: You are done! This is the mass of your penis!

So from now on, when you brag to your friends about how large you are, remember: what really matters is your mass! ūüôā

And another thing: If you are crazy enough to actually try this I will be happy to get comments below about your measurements! ūüôā