Math Quiz

by | Mar 7, 2013

This post was imported from an old blog I used to have.

One of my favourite things about OkCupid is the questions. They have an enormous database of questions (mostly yes or no, a few multiple choice) for you to answer about your preferences, and you also include which answers you’ll accept from a potential match and how important the question is to you.

Then the site uses SCIENCE (well, math) to figure out good matches for you. Every other user’s percentage as your potential Match, Friend and Enemy (based on the answers they’ve completed) is shown. The site also evaluates your potentials based on star ratings you give other users, what you say you’re looking for, and other computational site activity.

This is one of my favourite parts of OkCupid. I like answering questions. And some of them are challenging. And you can skip the ones you don’t want to answer. Since this is a fresh, new profile that I set up last week, I am starting from scratch on the questions. But last time I used the site I remember being surprised that my answers to questions in 2004 really had not changed much in 2010. I felt that I had grown and learned a lot in those 6 years, and yet, I still had almost all the same answers to the questions. And I suspect my answers are still the same now, but it’s fun to go through and answer them again.

I think there might be some people who don’t like this part of the site (and you really do need to participate to get good potential matches, I think). Some people just want to cruise through the photos of who is ONLINE NOW and send them quick messages to see if they might be willing to chat. Some people don’t care about the percentages at all, they are just looking for a pretty face. Now, this isn’t to say that I only rely on the numbers and won’t even consider replying to someone who has a low match, or that I’ll always be into someone with a high match. But I have found it interesting that the people with low match percentages for me, no matter how attractive I find them, usually always have responses to questions that are unacceptable to me. Questions like “Do you think homosexuality is a sin” or “Do you think women have an obligation to keep their legs shaved.” They are usually conservative,¬†capitalistic,¬†cocky, agressive or narrow-minded. Which just isn’t for me. And I’m probably not for them either.

And there are plenty of really high percentage matches that just aren’t going to do it for me either. But I tend to be a little more willing to take a chance with them. After all, it’s pretty hard to figure someone out from an online profile, isn’t it? But put me in a room for 20 minutes with someone new and I’ll know pretty quick what kind of potential we have. I’ve got pretty good intuition. And I’m absolutely willing to give someone the benefit of the doubt, but when you know you know.

And this is why, this time around, I am all about meeting people in person as soon as possible. I’m forgetting about the shy and nervous bullshit and I’m getting out there. I don’t want to drag out a month long message chain with someone and really get to like them, only to find out that there’s something missing when we meet. That “click” when you just know that this is someone you really want to spend more time with. And I suspect that most of the time these connections are going to lead to friendships, not romantic relationships, but that’s okay too. I could use a few more friends. And when one really clicks? Well, that’s when things get interesting, right?



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