Picture a twenty something single living in the depths of Brooklyns. With hour commutes to work, and having no luck meeting that special someone in a social scene of silent movie festivals at the Film Forum, my lovely lady-friend Lisa joined the fleets of Millenials trying to find love—online, for free—on the dating website Ok Cupid.
To her chagrin she found love—after two attempts with the website—and one night sipping cocktails out and about a trendy bar scene she shared the nitty gritty of finally getting it right.
What she realized was dating online was exhausting. You have to recreate at the best of your ability the charismatic personality all family and friends know and love—except to a zillion strangers online. After completing a profile and uploading the best selfies one can find from an Instagram feed, you then have to answer countless questions asking moral, political, and ethical questions meant to connect one to matches with similar world views.
This was Lisa’s second attempt on the website. Her first go-around only led to dizzying circles of self-contempt and confusion. Most Ok Cupid-ers were serial daters only wanting a night of fun, while my friend was looking for a long term relationship. Her disgruntled first attempt led to a brief three month hiatus from the website. With summer in the air she was ready for another go, and she started fresh with a new online profile and a devout agenda of complete honesty. Her new strategy was to be herself—online—and it paid off. After only a few months she met a great man who is now her loving boyfriend.
Interested in learning how Lisa nabbed the partner of her dreams? Here are the secret tips for her success:
Be yourself. Online.
If you have read Ok Cupid profiles you would think everybody is Louis CK guest starring on the Office discussing their middlebrow love for The Hunger Games and J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye. We are all the next Lena Dunham when it comes to our status updates, but it is important to project yourself, online. Lisa wear glasses, a ton of faux fur, and reads more Art Criticism than your average NYU student, but is far from being an ironic scenester. She’s an aggressive conversationalist, and on the first date with her now boyfriend, chit chat quickly became a discussion on Marxism and art. Later on he told her after their first date, he re-read her profile and thought, “Yes, this is her.” Hiding behind a facade may only misguide and stall meeting potential matches.
Message Less. Meet more.
Lisa learned this through trial and error. She invested time and energy into a very detailed back-and-forth with an early thirties programmer living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It was a match made online. They both loved Vittorio de Sica more than Fellini, shared a passion for Japanese Ramen, and had just visited the public art museum Storm King. All points were bells to any art enthusiasts ears. She became connected to his internet persona and had high hopes for their dating potential. They went on one date, played Jenga by fireside at a Williamsburg beer hall while he showed her photos of his recent paintings on his iPhone. Much to her chagrin, he never called her back.
On the flip side, her now boyfriend messaged her on Ok Cupid a week later, “hey do you want to meet up sometime?” and her response was, “Yes.” And scene. Spending too much time sending Shakespearean soliloquies back and forth in an attempt to get to know someone before an in-person commitment is like throwing dust in the wind.
Dating is difficult, especially in New York City, let alone the vortex of Ok Cupid and the influx of emails from serial daters and party people. Call it luck, coincidence, or being online at the right time, Lisa found her boyfriend because she laid it out online from the beginning.