Are you an apocalypse survivalist, a cunning linguist, or perhaps a kinky nerd? Confused? If yes, perhaps understandably. These are just some of the Quickmatch Flavors that dating site OkCupid has, they say, “carefully curated” from users’ profile information.
The app encourages you to define yourself according to the specific flavors [sic] of human-being on offer and continue to find your match by swiping through other users who have similar preferences. The site says “OkCupid Flavors is kind of like turning vanilla ice cream into a sundae. You add the fixings like cherries and chocolate goo, and end up with something more satisfying.”
So implying that you’re just a bit too vanilla to make it on your own, maybe?
Although OkCupid seems keen to promote the technology as reinforcing what makes people unique, what they’ve really done is take a simple audience segmentation – a technique used by marketers and researchers for decades – to categorise daters into neat little, easily understandable, packages. This, apparently makes it quicker and easier to find someone who’s just right for you.
It would be churlish to suggest that there’s no merit in making important decisions such as who to date with no thought given to whether you have shared interests. As OkCupid points out “you could like someone who’s piping hot, but unreasonably obsessed with the gym. Or pass on a mega-nerd who’s great in bed”
Our question is will you actually have a better chance at finding Mr or Miss Right if you limit your searching to the flavor pods that speak to you?
Personality and opinions matter hugely when it comes to connecting with people – but which ones and to what extent are these the ones that will make a good love-match is the key question. Each of us is unique. That’s why for centuries people have been quite adept at finding good love matches through the as-near-as-dammit process of randomness.
Finding and choosing a partner is an adventure not a race to a mythical finish line where ‘the one’ is waiting for you. It is an emotional journey where we meet others who will challenge us and drive us crazy, make us despair and celebrate life. We may lose heart and hope and direction along the way, but we will learn more about who we are in the process of looking and trying out the different flavors available (by kissing a few frogs so to speak). One day then (and maybe several times), if we’re lucky enough, we’ll actually be ready and know how and where to find love.
This doesn’t often happen when we choose someone just like us. It happens when our uniqueness finds a home with anothers’. And mostly the magic happens by chance.
So, if you feel tempted to build your sundae-profile have fun and enjoy it, but don’t forget too to flavour it up with a dash of differently coloured sprinkles every now and then. Alternatively, just close your eyes, count to ten and swipe right. Once you’ve checked out you have just a little something in common, there’s a slight possibility of hitting it off, and there’s no god reason to reject them, evaluate no more. As American Psychologist Barry Schwartz suggests, randomness “may be the most efficient, fairest and most honest” route to love.