New App Helps Overthinkers Get A Date

Welcome to Oh Gay Cupid! Autostraddle’s OkCupid series. We get lots of questions on Formspring regarding online dating, so we finally got a bunch of people together to talk about it. While OkCupid isn’t the only online dating site for queers, and maybe isn’t even the best, it does seem to be the one we use most often. We’ll be discussing all things OkC, including meeting friends, first dates, profiles, fuck-ups, letdowns and more. Even though it’s the ‘OkCupid Series,’ the advice given in this series could easily be applied to any online dating site.

 Oh Gay Cupid! illustrations by Rory Midhani

 

It’s Friday! Do you have a date tonight? Do you want a date tonight? Why don’t you get on your computer and find one? If you’re anything like my neurotic self, getting an online date requires two days of meticulously editing your profile, two months of cherry picking your city’s offerings, two weeks of nonchalantly bantering back and forth with your potential date and two hours of debating the merits of the city’s different beverage slingers. Which is all well and good if you want to meet someone before the end of 2013, but tonight is Date Night! You just don’t have time for that shit.

So what if you were to throw out all of your preconceptions of How to Properly Meet Someone and actually just met someone? Like saw a stranger across the internet and asked them out on a date without knowing their Google search history? A little more A/S/L and a little less “Will you teach your children to believe in Santa?” I’m a bit ashamed to admit how many profiles I’ve skipped when I saw they liked a movie I hated, were not as enthused by food as I was or were “too into” politics. You and I have an arbitrarily metered match compatibility of less than 98%? This shit’s never gonna work!

There’s something to be said for a bit of mystery and that’s exactly what Crazy Blind Date is trying to embrace. CBD is OkCupid’s foray into the world of instant mobile dating. Fuck crafting the perfect profile. See a person? Meet that person! While Grindr has the market cornered when it comes to gay male mobile hook up apps, there is always room for improvement when it comes to the ladies.

CBD was designed with women in mind, but what does that mean? Is it pink? Does it sparkle? Will it dispense chocolate and Kleenex if I get stood up? Well yes, there are parts of the app that are pink and there is a confetti-like motif on some pages, but sorry, it isn’t that perfect. It just takes a different approach which you’ll discover soon enough. As with all great things, you have to start somewhere.

Step 1. Craft that Profile

Four questions. You can handle four questions. Especially when one of them is "What's your name?"

Four questions. You can handle four questions. Especially when one of them is, “What’s your name?” (Please don’t overthink that one.) Just like the OkC interface, it’ll respect if you’re only looking for ladies.

Step 2. Know your schedule.

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 Are you scheduled to be bored tomorrow? Okay you could go on a date instead.

Step 3. Know Your Area

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Pick your favourite venue and suggest a date there. You can also suggest dates in other cities if you’re going to be travelling in the upcoming week.

Step 4. Get a Date

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The app’ll let other date-seekers in the area know that you’re available. Both of you feel like coffee on a Tuesday? Score! Start a chat an hour before you meet up to ensure neither of you will flake and you’re good to go.

Wait this app sets you up with a random stranger? That sound sketchy as fuck! 

Hold up unbeliever, let’s hear the app out for a second. When CBD keeps ladies in mind, it’s trying to think about safety. Even though you don’t know a lot about the person you’re going to go on a date with, you’ll know a bit about where you’re going. CBD utilizes FourSquare’s resources so you/they can only suggest dates at frequented locations. When you’re choosing your venue, simply click the > to access its FourSquare entry and verify that you are indeed going to a cafe and not Hal’s Back Alley Murder Emporium.

Pulling yet another page from FourSquare’s design, you get to review your date and the app when it’s over. Did you meet The One? Were they actually a fifty year old man? Were they worthy of a second date? You have an opportunity to give a monetary Kudos to the app for a successful or not-so-successful date. But just like your well-meaning great aunt gets offended when you won’t consider going on a date with the wonderful boy she met on the sidewalk, CBD gets in a bit of a huff if you ignore its offerings. Turn down too many dates? Refuse to acknowledge that it helped you find a winner? You’ll notice that the “Available Dates” gets less and less populated. However, if you treat it nicely it’ll keep setting you up and hopefully find a decent date.

In the spirit of getting things done, the app puts a lot of time limits on you. It will only let you schedule dates for the upcoming week. It’ll only let you chat for an hour leading up to your date.

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In a weird feat of technology, this app actually manages to get people to meet offline. While that sounds like a lot of pressure, it’s a bit of a comfort to an overthinker. You simply don’t have the opportunity to psyche yourself out of a date. You can’t spend forty minutes a day crafting a witty yet thoughtful response to, “What’s your favourite colour?” You also can’t go into daydreaming overdrive and create ridiculously inflated expectations of them based off of their witty yet thoughtful responses. Y’all just get to be yourselves.

Given that it’s such a fussy app, will it work? Excuse me for a second while I put away my matchmaking crystal ball and pull out my fortune telling crystal ball instead. CBD has an advantage over mobile dating apps since it can piggyback off the success of OkCupid. You can skip the five steps you took in crafting your CBD profile and use your OkC one instead. The apps are connected to one another, allowing you to choose how you’d like to meet someone that day. Feel like a game of forty questions? Open up OkC. Just wanna share popcorn with a stranger? Open up CBD.

If the idea of meeting someone and talking to them one-on-one still sounds too weird, CBD may not be for you. If you’d rather head to a gay bar and hope you meet someone on the dance floor, you can still use technology to find that party. But either way, you’ll still have to suck it up and start talking to someone if you ever expect to find that date.

Hopefully that doesn’t sound too crazy.

Profile photo of Kristen

Hailing from Vancouver, Kristen's still trying to figure out how to survive Montreal's Real Legitimate Canadian Winter. So far she's discovered that warm socks, giant toques and Tabby kittens all play a role in her survival. Her ultimate goal is to rank higher than KStew in the "Kristen + Autostraddle" Google Search competition.

Kristen has written 140 articles for us.

39 Comments

  1. Thumb up 1

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    “You have an opportunity to give a monetary Kudos”

    Wait, so do we actually have to pay with real money to do this? Because that’s the thing that makes me a bit skeptical about using this app. Otherwise it sounds pretty cool though! I’m totally the type to get over psyched-out about OKC.

    Also, if you use your OKC profile will it allow you to choose just one of the genders if you’re listed as bisexual? Because I’m currently more interested in dating girls, and yet because I’m not dishonest about my actual sexual orientation, I still seem to show up in dudes’ searches on the regular OKC site.

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      I’ve had the same problem before I was in my current monogamous relationship and back then OkC had a “hide me from the straight” button that did the job pretty well. It was in the settings I think.

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        I have that, but all it does is hide me from the straight-identified guys. I still show up in searches for bi guys. The only way that wouldn’t happen is if I listed myself as gay, which would be dishonest, because I’m not – just *currently* more interested in dating women.

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          I used the app for the past week without paying and it still showed me who was searching for a date. From what I can tell, you start off with full functionality and it’ll become stingier if you don’t give Kudos. I’m actually okay with Kudos. If you want something that works, you have to pay them to develop it right? Unlike other apps where you pay and then figure out if they work, this feedback system has you pay if it does work? Like tipping a waitress if they gave you decent service, not paying in anticipation of them possibly giving you a table.

          • Thumb up 7

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            True, but that still makes me skeptical about how useful the ratings are, if they’re based on people’s abilities to pay. I also read an article basically saying that the app expects you to give “kudos” or it considers your date a bad one, and so I’d wonder, are people getting rated down because they’re actually creeps or just because the people they dated don’t feel like paying?

  2. Thumb up 4

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    Hmmm, I might want to try this! Though I am a little nervous about possibly being matched up with an ex, which has happened on OKC before. It was really awkward seeing how well we matched up when we’d just broken up, haha.

  3. Thumb up 3

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    The early iteration of the app had a serious security flaw. There are some articles out there about it. Make sure to update your app if you don’t have it set to do so automatically.

  4. Thumb up 0

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    Hey Rose,

    I’m in the same boat with the identifying as bi but having my eye on the ladies. If you go into your OkC profile and go to the preferences part, there’s a “hide me from straight people” box you can check. The occasional bi guy will still show up from time to time, but it certainly cuts out a large percentage of dudes.

    Happy searching :)

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      Thanks, but I already have that enabled. I’m not looking to “fix” that on OKC – as you said, there aren’t that many bi guys for it to be an issue – but just making sure that if you set up Crazy Blind Date with your current profile, it allows you to choose just guys or just girls for that even if you’re listed as bi.

  5. Thumb up 1

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    what’s the deal with trans and genderqueer people on this site? it doesn’t seem much better for queers than regular ole okstupid, if there’s not more options for trans and gender nonconforming folx.

    • Thumb up 3

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      While I understand your concern, trans is not a “third gender.” Trans men are men, trans women are women. While there are some people under the trans* umbrella who identify as something other than male or female, being trans in and of itself does not automatically imply an identity that is outside of the gender binary.

    • Thumb up 1

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      Yep, this. I find it much easier to talk about myself than to give a simple answer to name or gender. Which makes ordering at Starbucks very awkward (I wind up looking like I don’t know my own name, which is probably somewhat true, since I go by so many names/nicknames/derivatives of my middle name).

      And it is a shame that, like OKC, there are only two options for gender.

  6. Thumb up 4

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    You keep your phone really well charged.

    On an actually related note: I don’t think this would be a terrible app after all if I was single and ready to mingle. Please disregard my previous title suggestion of “Sketchy as fuck app is sketchy as fuck”.

  7. Thumb up 1

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    That thumbnail of your profile picture all jumbled up made you look like this creepy stalker person-situation I had in my life once and it freaked me out a little! I’m glad it’s you, though.

    Just a note though, I read recently in the news that there was a security bug that exposed user’s names and e-mails so you might want to wait until the app is better developed or be careful with what info you use.

    • Thumb up 1

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      My OkC profile pic involves one of my hairy friends which gave the illusion that jumbled Kristen has a lot of chest hair. This is not the case, so I decided to use a photo of me REALLY EXCITED TO GET ON A PLANE. Still creepy, but just in a different way.

      • Thumb up 0

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        No worries, your pictures are always super cute (in a non-creepy way) and I always love your make-up/style/cats. The stalker person thing was just because of the lipstick shade and the wall in the background, it just reminded me of a picture she used everywhere.

  8. Thumb up 1

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    Does it still tie into your ‘match percentages’ like the main okc service, or is just a bunch of randoms? Inquiring minds would like to know!

    I would be really into blind dates as long as some level of compatibility was ensured.

    • Thumb up 4

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      I think the point is it’s fairly random, rather than having you answer a bunch of compatibility questions that make you overthink sometimes. It’s if you’re more interested in getting a date than going through lots of questions.

      As a bi girl, I’m mostly fine with doing this with girls. I don’t think I would be comfortable doing this with guys, because my list of dealbreakers is a lot longer thanks to the many additional complications of heterosexual relationships in a world of male privilege (to sum it up).

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      So in other words, I understand your concerns, as I share them somewhat. But there are some people where they’d rather just date people than go through all the compatibility stuff, and figure some of that stuff by trial and error rather than screening out people before they meet them. I think this app is designed so that OkC can get into that market, too.

      For example, there are a shit-ton of guys in particular on OkC who send out form messages to just about every girl in their age and location range whom they find attractive, regardless of compatibility. Obviously, these guys don’t get a lot of results, and when I’ve had messages from them I’ve mostly found them annoying or creepy. But this app could be good for someone like those guys, someone who is more interested in just finding somebody who doesn’t have a lot of preferences. (Also, it will probably mean less of those people on the main site annoying those of us who really do care about compatibility!)

    • Thumb up 0

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      I noticed that if you click on CBD on the regular OKC website on your computer and “browse” dates, you still see match percentage for some people – I guess the people who made the dates through their regular OKC account?

      In other news, who wants to give it a go and let us know how it goes? ;) I need some more time to overthink before trying this. haha.

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      I think it may be random. I don’t have the app but I tried it out on the site and it gave me men (I’m a “girl looking for girls” despite being “bi”). They had never come up highly rated in my sporadic searches for men. I assume that percentages and all the factors that put people in your quiver are still there if there’s a high number of daters but it probably works as a way to sort through results than filter them.

  9. Thumb up 5

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    My biggest problem with OKC is that you can’t get it to improve/rate your matches based on physical characteristics. Before you think I’m being painfully shallow, I’m a femme exclusively interested in dating butches. So while I’m sure I’d be BFFs with that 98%-match blonde-haired homo in a ball gown, I don’t want to date her. I want to date the 80%-match short-haired blonde in a suit and tie.

    The reason my time-spent-on-website vs time-spent-on-dates ratio is so out of whack is because I have to spend forever trolling through the tiny thumbnail pictures to find someone who looks like they might ID as butch. It seems this only gets worse with this new app, so I probably won’t use it. :(

    • Thumb up 0

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      So agreed with the physical characteristics thing on OKC. I’m a femme who only dates other femmes, and I really wish there was an option to input a “type” (butch/femme/andro/etc.) the way you’d input your body type/education level/religion. That way, people who wanted to could search based on type and people who don’t want to could simply leave it blank.

    • Thumb up 1

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      Agreed. Even in straight dating having a “type”/”dress style” option would be really cool but in queer relationships it can be such a HUGE deal that goes beyond appearance so there ya go.

      There’s a certain queer dating site that implements that feature, I don’t see why OKC couldn’t.

  10. Thumb up 0

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    I’ve actually had a decent amount of success on OKC lately. I think it’s exactly because I stopped overthinking it. I don’t think I’ll be using this app, at least not here in my city. Now, when I go out of town to a city where I don’t know any ladies? Maybe. That way if something weird happens, hey. I probably won’t see them again.

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