OkCupid KO’s

A brief guide to finding success on OkCupid.

Leah Garaas

Students have busy schedules, and time (and money) wasted on bad dates can be a bummer. Online dating gets a fair amount of flak, but since we socialize online, why not date there, too?

OkCupid is a free online dating service with more than 3.5 million active users that’s most popular with the twenty-somethings crowd — perfect for college students.

A&E gets you started with some of the fundamentals of building a successful profile, but you must first and foremost think of five adjectives that accurately describe your personality. By the time a potential date sees your photos and reads your rundown, they should be able to draw those adjectives from your profile.

1. Photos

Photos are no doubt the first component to be judged by your profile visitors, and making a good first impression is crucial.

You should have at least five photos that make you look attractive. All pictures should be of high quality and taken by someone other than yourself — this is not the time or place for mirror shots and pop-art webcam filters.

Clearly show your face head-on in a minimum of two photos, and post a full body shot, flaunt your best attributes. With the remaining two images, show your interests — how do you spend your free time? If you like biking, strike a pose with your favorite fixie.

2. Profile

At all costs, avoid saying any form of, “I’m bad at this sort of stuff.” Set time aside to really think about the profile prompts. It’s best to be descriptive, too. Instead of saying, “I’m funny,” tell a joke that reflects your sense of humor — just like your English teacher said, show, don’t tell.

If it’s too short, it looks sloppy, but writing a novel doesn’t appeal to 21st century attention spans either. Make every word count. That means steering clear from clichés like, “I like hanging out with my friends,” — yeah, you and the rest of the world, OkCupider.

3. Sending a message

Generally, females get far more profile activity than males, so don’t let this discourage your efforts.

Keep it short — three or four solid sentences at most. Pick out something that particularly caught your interest and comment on it: “I see you volunteer at The Humane Society, I love dogs!” and you can even take it a step further by asking a question: “What kind of pooch do you have yourself?”

Do not send anything that your profile already states. If you send a message to a cutie, chances are they will peek at your profile — no need for redundancy.

4. Dating

You and a potential match kick it off and plan for a date — right on! Messaging is different for every user; some may be comfortable meeting after one or two exchanges, but others may want to continue casually messaging for one or two weeks before meeting. Do whatever feels right for you.

Socializing online has played a key role in maintaining our real life relationships — if you follow these basic OkCupid dos and don’ts, you can begin them online as well.