Let me preface this by saying that not all of my online dating experiences were bad ones. I met handful of nice, normal guys who weren’t for me and one nice and normal enough man to have a 6-month relationship with. But there were also so many who weren’t nice or normal. There were so many messages that made me feel utterly demoralized about dating and months where I would go without getting a single message from someone I would remotely consider meeting in person. All of this led me to wonder: Who is getting messages?
With the help of OKCupid’s co-founder, Christian Rudder and some OKTrends data, NYMag.com tracked down a few of the the most desirable singles on the site, statistically speaking, and asked them just…HOW? The most sought after straight woman in New York City (technically, one of the top five most desirable women who was also willing to be interviewed) was 23-year-old makeup artist Lauren (handle: formerly nebulaeandstuff, now loandthecosmos). The 5’5″ curvy atheist, who likes “hockey, whiskey, swimming in an open ocean, down comforters, astronomy,” receives about 245 messages a week and has more than 8,000 five-star ratings from other men (!). But take heart, because even the most desirable woman on OKCupid admits to being pessimistic about her prospects of finding love. In the two years Lauren’s been on the site, she’s only gone on about 20 dates. Below, I’ve tried to cobbled together some Lauren’s secrets in the hopes that they might help the rest of us win at online dating. If that’s even possible.
1. Looks are number one. “I’m not a stuck-up girl, but I think looks are No. 1 for everyone, I believe in a head-to-toe shot to show what you look like. But you don’t need to have your ass hanging out!” said Lauren.
2. Reference your idiosyncratic interests because they make you seem smart. Lauren makes it a point to highlight her love of astronomy on her profile. “Even if an amazingly attractive girl said something stupid in their profile, she’ll still get messages. So I feel like I’m intelligent and people think I look good, so I guess it’s as simple as that?”
3. Don’t be looking for anything serious. Since getting out of a long-term relationship with a “pathological liar” who had a drug problem, Lauren is open to everything in her “what I’m looking for section” and she means it.
4. But don’t say that you’re looking for “casual sex.” Initially, Lauren selected “casual sex” as one of her “what I’m looking for” options and discovered that it “triggered a vulgar explosion of come-ons.” She got so many dick pics and online stalkers that she had to delete her account. She has since opened a new profile that does not specify her interest in “casual sex” and has found that “the quality is better.”
5. Delete, delete, delete. Don’t feel obligated to respond to any massages, even if the guy seems normal, but just not for you. “I’m picky. I just look at the first sentence and delete delete delete,” says Lauren.