Gemma @ '#DATEME: An OKCupid Experiment' - even bad dates have not taken the fight out of me
What’s it about?
Two comedians created 38 fake dating profiles on OkCupid to find out whether there really is someone for everyone. The real online interactions, usernames and messages from this experiment were turned into #DateMe: An OkCupid Experiment featuring songs, improvisation and MORE.
*This is NOT one of those shows where they ask you to silence or shut off your phones.
I didn’t date in high school, but boy did I want to!
I had SO MANY unrequited crushes. If a boy was straight and so much as looked my way, I was a goner. Then came college and suddenly I was meeting guys, but they were bros, the fratty kind, and just really not my type. And so, unbeknownst to my friends, I made a dating profile in 2013 at age 18, hoping that I would meet men who were a little more mature. Fairly quickly on a site called HowAboutWe, I met the man who became my boyfriend for two years. That particular romance didn’t work out but, ever since, the vast majority of my relationships with men have come from online dating sites or apps (OkCupid, Coffee Meets Bagel, Bumble, Tinder, etc.). I am very pro-dating site/app. The way I see it, they are helpful tools to meet people you might not encounter otherwise. So when I started seeing ads EVERYWHERE for #DateMe: An OkCupid Experiment, I felt a strong desire to experience the show because I had a feeling I would relate.
It needs to be said: #DateMe: An OkCupid Experiment has its own app. Like literally a free, installable app that was made specifically for the show, and is modeled after a dating app. Before the show started, audience members were encouraged to connect to the show’s WiFi, download the app and create a profile. We had the option to enter the code for that night’s show and follow the action through the app.
I had a little fun with my username when making my profile, choosing to add “-thecat” to the end of it when given a few creative prompts, because I like cats, and why not? I proceeded to swipe left and right for various profiles, some blatantly fake, and some profiles of my fellow audience members. We were unable to message each other, which was probably for the best. But I got my fair share of messages from some of the fake profiles. And remember, these were verbatim messages and usernames that were collected from the real-life OkCupid experiment.
Several people in lab coats stood on stage, representing what I can only imagine were dating app scientists. They addressed the audience, asking us the following question:
What do men lie about most on dating apps?
Now my mind immediately went to height, having been on a bad date myself with a guy who was at least an inch shorter than my 5 feet, 3 inches. Okay, he didn’t lie about his height, I guess, but he left the height field on his profile blank entirely. That should have been my first red flag. Anyway, I wasn’t the only one thinking the answer to this question was height, because my fellow audience members practically shouted the word in unison with me. To our collective surprise, the answer was income.
Next, the scientists asked us another question:
What do women lie about most on dating apps?
This time the audience, myself included, had the right answer: Age. I couldn’t imagine lying about my age at 24, but I understood why some women do so as they get older, particularly given our ageist society.
What’s the one thing someone can mention in a profile that results in a higher response rate?
This one stumped me, but I didn’t have to wonder for long.
Apparently, including the word “guacamole” in your dating profile makes you more desirable to others, and therefore more likely to receive messages from other dating profiles. 🤷 However random it may be, we can’t argue with science.
Two men were brought up on stage to talk about the six things they couldn’t live without. Afterward, the cast of the show proceeded to improvise several hilarious scenes about what would happen if these two men ended up together. The tiniest details gathered from the six things each man listed were used as material. I was impressed with how much they were able to create from so little information.
I tried to think of the six things I couldn’t live without. Without trying to being funny, I would say:
Theatre/Film/TV, etc. (the arts)
An older couple in the front row happily identified themselves as having met online. They were clearly smitten with one another and giggling up a storm, and while they couldn’t agree on how long they had been together (she said two months while he claimed eight years), she did mention that the reason she responded to him after he reached out was because he had described her as sexy and alluring.
A woman went up on stage to talk about the worst date she had been on:
After a torturous 12-hour shift as a copy editor (a job she hated), she walked from work to meet a man at a diner for dinner. They both ordered large stacks of pancakes. She ate hers with syrup and a little bit of butter like a normal person and he ate his pancakes WITHOUT THE SLIGHTEST BIT OF SYRUP OR BUTTER and he chased everything down with PEPSI.
Oh, IT GETS WORSE. On the train ride home, he started obsessively going off about fructose, getting way too animated and gesticulating, eventually outing himself as a conspiracy theorist.
I have been on too many dates to count, but thankfully, even my dates that weren’t love connections were, for the most part, dates with perfectly decent men; the main issues were lack of compatibility or attraction.
I’ve been on dates with guys who have had HORRIBLE breath, revealed themselves to be Creationists, described themselves as having “unnaturally small feet” and even believed Philly to be superior to NYC. The list goes on… But even bad dates have not taken the fight out of me.
I still believe in love and fully support every legal, consensual method of obtaining it. It is a lonely world and a short life, and love makes it better. And as much as people claim that meeting somebody in a bar is better than meeting online, at the end of the day, the meeting itself and the love that might blossom are the only matters of importance.
Tell us about your experience.
In the comments below.