After nearly five years, I'm breaking up with OkCupid.
It's not me, it's you, OkC. It's not that I don't believe in online dating. I've met some great guys this way, and I certainly find it way less intimidating than striking up a conversation with a guy at a bar/volunteer site/party hosted by a mutual friend. I mean, I can do it in my pajamas. I can take the time to edit and plan what I'm going to say. And in my OkCupid profile picture, I'm always having a good hair day. Plus, it's free and I can use it as little or as much as I want. So why quit?
I've sworn off before, tried to take some time away. But just not logging in isn't enough. I mean, with the relentless emails about visitors to my profile, new matches, and reminders that activity on the site goes up when it's raining (no joke!) you're kind of clingy, OkC. [note: I've gotten two OkC emails since signing in "one last time" to write this post]
And if I'm being honest, OkC, you're pretty high maintenance, too. Finding someone worthy of contacting takes work - reading profiles, adjusting search criteria (what difference does it make if I limit myself to 26-34 year-olds, rather than 25-38?), checking in regularly to see what's new. After an eight or nine hour day in front of a computer at work, that's the last thing I want to do. My after work computer hours are for important things like Pinterest, Serious Eats, and catching up on my blog reading.
And after nearly five years of it, I feel like I've seen it all a hundred times. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You work hard and play hard. You equally enjoy a Friday night out bar-hopping or staying in watching a movie on the couch. You have pictures of yourself in front of Machu Picchu and/or playing with a gaggle of cute African kids (undoubtedly from your time in the Peace Corps). You love dogs and can't wait to live someplace where you can have one. You love spicy food and your mom's home cooking. Your iPhone and your friends/family both make the list of six things you can't live without. . . . I'm sure this goes both ways, I'm sure I fall into the same kinds of traps with my profile. The point is, I'm bored.
And then there's stuff like this:
And this, which is OkC's version of spam, complete with bad grammar:
I'm starting to wonder how we even lasted this long, OkC. I guess with this ever-present online dating "life" happening, I can feel like I'm doing something. Having a profile is the same as "putting myself out there" right? I'm out there, universe, now bring me a soul mate! Being on OkC has become a crutch, a way to feel like I'm making an effort towards meeting people, dating, falling in love, all without having to actually DO anything.
So, I'm quitting. Probably not forever, since I do actually believe it can be a good way to meet people. Especially when the bar scene would break my bank, and really just doesn't interest me anymore. Plus it makes for great stories, like the guy who couldn't name a single thing he liked to do for fun. Not one! But for now, I'm going to save my precious computer time for important things like 100 new recipes for butternut squash for fall, and try to focus on meeting someone "offline."
This is what OkC wanted to know when I broke the news:
Since "I'm turning 30 and it's time to move on" wasn't an option I chose not to say anything at all.
So long, OkCupid.
[One last clarification: OkCupid gives you the option to disable your account, which is what you do when you meet someone on OkC, and you've started sleeping together and had the exclusivity conversation, and are probably using labels like "boyfriend" and "girlfriend" but aren't yet living together or otherwise committed. This isn't what I did. I deleted my account, meaning it's gone forever. Of course, I could create a new account tomorrow, but for now I don't exist in the online dating world.]