How many dating sites are out there at this point? There seem to be hundreds. I know folks who have met their partners on Match.com, Nerve.com, Yahoo Personals, eHarmony, JDate, and OKCupid. The idea behind Bumble, a newer dating app, where only women can send the first message, intrigues me. Another new app, WooPlus, features plus-size men and women and their admirers. So many sites and apps to choose from!
Well, I don’t have any problem with you trying any app or site that appeals to you. In fact, I encourage you to explore and see which ones feel welcoming or fun.
But the one I recommend is OKCupid. Whatever sites, apps, and dating strategies you put your energy into, make sure OKCupid is a part of your dating portfolio.
OKCupid’s match questions let you screen out fat-phobes without even having to talk to anyone.
One of my clients’ greatest fears about online dating is that they won’t find any guys who like plus-size bodies. While it is true that Cool-With-Curvy guys aren’t the majority, they also aren’t exactly an endangered species. Turns out, they’re 20% of the population! Not two percent, or 0.02%. Twenty percent.
So how do you find these rare fellas? A lot of sites don’t offer an easy way to see if someone’s a fat hater. But OKCupid has a way so simple, it almost seems too easy.
You use the match questions. OKCupid has this feature where you answer hundreds of personal questions about yourself. It takes your answers and sends them straight to the NSA. Nah, just kidding! It takes your answers and inputs them into its evidence-based algorithm in order to find your perfect-fit matches. Now, there are ways to make this system really work well for you. We’ll go into that later. But to see if someone’s a fat hater, all you have to do is search his match questions for the word “overweight” (OKCupid is a little behind the times in their terminology).
Just a side note: remember that you’re going to see 4 fat haters for every 1 fair-minded fella. This can be discouraging at first. But here’s your mantra:
“I don’t need to waste my time on fat haters. When I see one, I click off his profile and never look back. On to the next!”
OKCupid features both picture and personality.
So, as a coach, I often hear this one big reason from folks for why they DON’T want to use OKCupid: it takes a lot of work to set up a profile!
(One of the lessons in my Plus-Size Dating Starter Course walks you through the process of setting up a simple profile – check it out).
Those swipe-right, swipe-left sites are just much simpler to set up. And that is so true, my friend! No argument here! Unfortunately, “easy” isn’t a word that works well with online dating.
For my plus-size clients, one of the hardest parts of online dating is posting “honest” pictures. It can be so tempting to draw from that trove of old photos from back when you were a size 12 or whatever, squeezed into those straight-size slacks and just gleaming with self-confidence.
Unfortunately, old, out-of-date pictures lead to some awkward and downright bad dates. Trust me. I’ve been there. You need gorgeous, current action shots of yourself doing the things you love, right now, in your plus-size body.
And those sites that use only a photo as the jumping-off point for a love connection? They’re just not a good fit for plus-size women. It can be too hard for us to resist the temptation to post that photo of ourselves from five years ago. And fellas will choose to contact us knowing nothing about us except what we look like. It goes both ways: you don’t want to choose a guy just because he was cuuuuuute in his profile photo, either. You want the right guy. You want to have more to go on, too.
OKCupid collects data on what works and what doesn’t work.
How do I know so much about how to game the system and make OKCupid work for you? Because they do outcomes research!
What kind of main profile photo is most likely to result in you receiving an email? The action shot!
How do you increase the chances of you meeting a good-fit guy through the site? You answer the questions in a specific, patterned way.
They’ve done the research and they provide cool tips on what works and what doesn’t work. And they know the site does what it’s intended to do. In fact, they know that it works better at its purpose than any other dating site: it throws you into the path of a whole bunch of well-matched fellas.
You can use a few cool hacks to make OKCupid work better for you.
OKCupid is quick to brag about its evidence-based algorithm for matching people up. But if you want it to really work for you and find you a wide range of fine guys to choose from, you’re gonna have to work it.
Yep! That’s right! You’re going to have to game the system a little bit. Step one is that you don’t want to answer every match question that comes your way. Otherwise, you’ll end up matching with a bunch of so-so fellas and some downright jerks. You want to follow these three rules:
- If you don’t care about the question at all, skip it
- If everyone in the area would answer the question the exact same way you would, skip it
- If it’s a question about body size, ANSWER IT
(You guessed it, much more on this trick in the Plus-Size Dating Starter Course!)
Also, looking at lots and lots (and lots) of profiles, whether they’re a good fit or not, expands your selection of matches. So as weird as it may seem, you might schedule some time to just click on random profiles while binge-watch House of Cards, just to work on increasing the number of guys in your match network.
There are a few more tricks, all of which are covered in the full Curvy Cupid Course. But the point is, OKCupid provides a massive data set just ripe for you to mold it to your advantage. (Damn. Somehow that doesn’t make this process sound very romantic… But luckily I’m here to teach you what works, not what sounds good!)
It’s free, so everyone’s on it.
Seriously. They’ve got a million people logging on every day. That’s means you’re choosing from a lot of fellas! While I’m a huge fan of the thinking behind sites dedicated to curvy and plus-size women and men (and their admirers), the reality is that you’re pulling from a much smaller pool of guys on those sites. I’m all about playing the odds in this game. You gotta go for the bigger set of guys.
OKCupid does have a paid version, but it’s definitely not a necessity to get the full effect. So they just get more subscribers than paid sites, which is a big advantage for you!
So there you have it, the five reasons why OKCupid should definitely be in your dating strategy. No harm in playing around with any sites or apps that strike you as interesting, but be sure to also set up an OKCupid profile and schedule some time to make it work for you.
Heck, make it simple on yourself. Just sign up for OKCupid to start. Don’t overwhelm yourself with all the different choices; start here and then add other apps if you want as you catch your dating stride.
Remember that dating is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t use up all your energy in the first stretch. And remember to have a good support system at your back!