Why I’m Not on OKCupid Anymore

by: Mariann Devlin


This week, I realized that I’ve been dishonestly commiserating with my friends about the woes of being single. “Why can’t I find a guy I’m mutually interested in? I want a boyfriend already!” I’ve been saying it for a while; two years to be exact.

The factors involved in my singledom are many. I’m picky. Maybe I’m still shedding some romantic baggage. Because of how busy I was, I didn’t know how to start dating from scratch, outside of online dating websites. Yet I’m beginning to happily accept the fact that I’m not attached, and most importantly, I’m not so desperate anymore to use online dating as a means of meeting potential partners.

I’m not saying that people who use OKCupid or Match.com (I’ve used both) are desperate. A lot of people are secure enough in their lives to go online without high expectations for finding the perfect partner, which only leads to disappointment. A lot of people have enough confidence to not use these quick-and-easy dating tactics, the joys of being deemed interesting to tons of random people, to secure their self-esteem.

The truth is, I’ve been guilty of using online dating for both–but not anymore. I’m resting comfortably as a single woman, so much that I can shed myself of the expectation that I will meet someone on OKCupid. (I’m going to pretend I never even paid for an account on Match.com.)

A couple years ago, when I started using the site, I was one of those annoying OKCupid “manic pixie dream girls.” Attractive, interesting, chatty and whimsical. I filled my free time with lots of suitors, who all fell short for reasons I’ll explain. I’m not going to judge myself too harshly for that time period, because I was in my dating prime. I was, and still am young. People liked me, and I had only just discovered the possibilities of meeting cute guys online too. But I’m not that person anymore.

All those dates were clearly unsuccessful in landing me a boyfriend.  For one thing, the guys I had a lot in common with, who were into literature and philosophy and indie music, and had really kind hearts, didn’t look like their profile photos. I’m also horribly picky, and I’ve only just started to figure out what my type is. I’ve made some really great friends on OKCupid, that’s for sure, but I can make friends just about anywhere as long as I put myself out there.

And that’s what I’ve decided to do. I’m tired of meeting really smart, interesting, sweet guys online only to not be attracted to them. (I get the reason why average-looking or unattractive men post pictures that look nothing like themselves. But first impressions are the most important thing on a first date, and when the first feeling that washes over someone when they meet you is disappointment, then you probably won’t be very successful online.) I’m also tired of said men being romantically interested in me, when the feeling is never mutual. It makes me feel like a shallow asshole.

There’s just no good reason for me to keep going on OKCupid, unless I want the attention- which I hear is true of many people on the site.

I’ll pass. I’d rather be scoping out dudes in the world. I’d rather approach men who I’m naturally attracted to, instead of travelling all the way from Rogers Park to Wicker Park to meet up with a guy who just doesn’t match up to his fascinating and clever profile and his handsome pics.

Basically, I’d just like to stop wasting my time and everyone else’s. I’m okay with taking it slow now, letting the universe work its magic. That’s how I met my previous boyfriends, isn’t it? And to prove the goofiness of the whole online-dating endeavor, the one guy from OKCupid who I grew closer to than anyone else, I initially rejected. That’s right, folks. I stopped responding to his online messages because I figured we probably didn’t have much in common. Funny thing is, I met the same person in real life and wanted to jump him.

Profiles have rarely indicated to me how well I’ll get on with a person. Besides, I don’t need a boyfriend. The feminist in me is ashamed of the conversations I’ve had with people about being single: I’m afraid I’m going to be a spinster. My life is incomplete because I don’t have a man. I’m lying when I say those things, because although I do have some issues to work out in my life–mainly the woes of finding a reporting job in a failing industry–landing a boyfriend is just not one of those problems. I have so many wonderful, beautiful friends who provide me with all the things my ideal boyfriend would, minus the sex and cuddling (I have a vibrator and my roommate’s cat for that, RESPECTIVELY). Unconditional love and acceptance, thought-provoking discussions about books and philosophy, mutual sharing of life’s ups and downs. Laughter. Hugs. My social life is pretty damn awesome.

So, here I sit, in a cute, independently-owned bakery and coffee shop in Evanston, typing this out and scanning the room for cuties. Maybe I’ll find one and make googly eyes at him, or maybe he will first. But in the meantime, I’ll be living my life–preparing a graduate school application, reading my first Murakami novel on my Kindle, writing an essay, and sipping peppermint tea to settle the spicy Indian food I ate before I got here. Living without expectation.

Mariann Devlin is a journalism school graduate from Loyola University. She’s a reporter for Patch.com, and a volunteer contributor to Streetwise magazine, a publication dedicated to ending homelessness. Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, Mariann moved to Chicago four years ago and still complains incessantly about the cold winters.

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13 responses to “Why I’m Not on OKCupid Anymore

  1. Mariann, the ones that have the potential to give you the most love are the ones that choose to want you. If you push all of those asides because they are not handsome enough, you may meet a hot guy you like eventually, but you may not get genuine love and appreciation, which are what matters the most. Those are what makes relationships last after everything has been said and done in bed. If you pick based on looks and not based on whether the man shows those for you, then chances are the relationship will go downhill after you two experiment with sex for a while because that was the motivation that started it, rather than common interests or friendship.

  2. you came off very full of yourself. pretty delusional since you arnt super model status. that’s why you are alone and yet you wrap it up to other people’s fault. I can’t believe you are a writer and actually published this, I mean wow nothing wrong with standards but no guy deserves a ego bitch like you. 1/10 such a water time reading.

    • what. this is honest. and model looks have nothing to do with it. does a model have more benefits than those who don’t look that way? we can be attracted or not attracted to people, but looking like a model doesn’t change your opinion. maybe you missed the point.

  3. I don’t think she sounded all that full of herself. Actually, as a guy who’s tried one of these sites and had to deal with many of these delusional, attention needing, full-of-themselves kinda women (as well as dates that didn’t pan out for whatever reason), I think it’s good this writer now knows what she wants and doesn’t want to waste her time (or someone else’s) playing around. Sure, you shouldn’t base your feelings on a person solely on looks, but if there’s no mutual attraction, what can you do? I just say it’s good to have standards, but try to be open to people. Best of luck out there Mariann :)

  4. I think online dating is a roulette. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you get a psycho. Usually its somewhere inbetween. I went on a dating site after my boyfriend of 5 years abruptly dumped me. Most of our friends were mutual, and as we worked and went to school together (and lived together) I felt completely tied up in his life. I used the dating website not explicitly to find someone new romantically, but as a way to get out of my social circle and make some new connections. Ended up hanging out with a guy on a whim with no romantic interests initially, but now we’re dating. While maybe if you’re looking for the perfect man to marry or you’re super nitpicky, I can see the annoyance, but if you’re just looking to meet new, good people, it can be rewarding.

  5. I’m extremely pleased to uncover this site. I need to to thank you for your time for this particularly wonderful read!! I definitely really liked every part of it and i also have you book-marked to see new things on your web site.

  6. oh you are so cute. Girl I feel your pain. I’ve been so disappointed with guys online. They are either criminals or just look like criminals. Hey, the next time you see a guy you like go right up to him and ask him out. Hey, you already got no so go for it! Don’t be shy!

  7. Well, for what its worth you are not particularly attractive either. So I guess its not just about whether the guys are good looking but how incredibly insecure you may be with yourself?

    Take it from a guy- your insecurities come out screaming when you claim you care about their looks so much you overlook everything else about them.

    is it any wonder then that beautiful ladies constantly date men who are not as good looking? Probably because they are very secure in themselves.

    • She looks adorable to me. You mad, bro? Since when do beautiful ladies constantly date men who are unattractive, unless aforementioned man is rich or famous? Most people are paired pretty equally. Sorry to burst your bubble.

  8. I think attractiveness is in the eye of the beholder. Other people may not see the same thing I do in guys that I may find attractive/be attracted to. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t some special ingredient in someone’s appearance or how they carry themselves that makes me go “oooh.” And there are plenty of guys who I just don’t feel “oooh” over when I’m on Online Dating sites, even if they are perfectly nice and interesting. That’s the fine line between potential platonic friend and romantic interest. I don’t think the author is being superficial or full of herself or insecure; I think she’s being realistic that there’s something in particular that gets her excited and not everyone does it for her. That doesn’t mean that some other girl won’t come along and feel that way for a guy she didn’t go for.

    As an aside, I’ve actually met a couple guys online who I’m more attracted to in real life than I thought I would be based on their photos. So I do think that it’s worth giving someone the benefit of the doubt to at least meet in person. It’s in the meeting that the reckoning occurs.

  9. There is nothing wrong with being more interested in your partners looks than the majority of people. Just because you are not like them does not mean that what you want is wrong. Some people are more into art than others, does that mean that they are doing something wrong? No! That just means they are into art more. Plain and simple. It just means that you are more interested in your partners looks. Plain and simple. I too am “picky” at times, but thats ok. Know what you want in life and don’t settle for anything less.

    Now, as for “I am a feminist so therefor I can’t feel that I need a man.” Why is it that a feminist cannot NEED a man. What is wrong with needing to be paired with the opposite sex? Just because you feel that you require a man (or woman) as a life partner does not mean that you are any less of a voice for womens rights. As a man I am interested in womens rights. But I feel this view on partnerships is so destructive to the movement.

    I did enjoy the read though. But put the kindle down and visit a used book store : ) Physical books stimulate the mind more than a tablet.

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