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OkCupid’s not getting worse—you’re just getting older

Tastes change as we grow older, and so can our perception of OkCupid.


Beth Cook

Internet Culture

Posted on Sep 27, 2013   Updated on Jun 1, 2021, 5:29 am CDT

Word on the street this week is that OkCupid has a pretty short expiration date.

A great guy I know said, “It seems to be getting worse and worse… I left within two weeks of reactivating my account.” And a lovely gal I just met told me something similar: “I barely lasted two weeks. It’s just a site full of rebounders.”

Come to think of it, the only times I have thrown an account up on OkCupid is following a breakup. A few dates with complete strangers will perfectly grease your back-on-the-dating-scene wheels. You get the nerves out of your system (the first date is always the hardest!), you dust off your flirting skills, and you realize there are lots of single people out there: I’m not alone; I’m just lonely.

So maybe it’s true that there are a ton of rebounders on OkCupid. But I also think that us 30-somethings are getting a bit pickier.

Gone are the days where we think that everyone has potential, where we casually date around and slowly see what things turn into. Now we want super high-quality connections, people to be on the same page as us from the get-go, and singles who have their shit completely together—that is, those of us who want to partner up. My recently divorced friends have a different attitude. One friend said, “It’s kind of a turn off when girls write that they’re looking for a long-term relationship in their profile.” I replied, “Yeah, cause you’re not.”

There are, in fact, handfuls of men and women on OkCupid looking for something long-term. The proof is in the advanced search pudding. I wish I could tell you what the percentage is, but this is exactly the kind of information OkCupid does not want you to have. You don’t get to see the number of people who match your search terms—unlike eHarmony, where you often get a single digit number of matching folks (or zero)—which means, you never really know what kind of dating pool you’re dealing with. The same goes for real life of course, but that gambler’s perspective always comes into play when online dating. What are my chances of winning?!

According to the people I’ve talked to this week, they’re pretty low. My recently divorced friend said it was great to go on a couple of dates and have sex with someone new, but now he’s getting frustrated because he’s not finding someone with whom he has a deeper emotional connection. The other 30-somethings have all quit OkCupid and are taking their chances the old fashioned way, asking friends if they know anyone fit for dating and getting out to socialize.

Yes, it’s true that as we age we seek quality over quantity. I’d venture to guess this is why we perceive OkCupid to be worsening, why we can’t last two weeks (or two months, in my case). The online landscape is looking dire, and since we can’t get a global view of real life, we assume (and pray to god) that it must be better. I really do think it is. I know a ton of amazing single people, none of whom are currently on OkCupid.

So, where do we go from here? Well, as I always say, do the things that make you happy and you will eventually meet someone. If online dating makes you happy, do it. If it’s just a reminder that what you want is very hard to find, get the hell offline and pick up a couple of new activities.

I’ll leave you with one of my mom’s favorite lines which always makes me feel better when my romantic future seems doubtful: “You’ll probably live until the age of 85. Do you really think you’re never going to fall in love again? Of course you will.”

Beth Cook is a dating and career coach. Want advice? Have advice? Send her an email at

Photo by Mike Baird/Flickr

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*First Published: Sep 27, 2013, 11:49 am CDT