The Daily Northwestern

Digital Get Down: The four people you meet on OkCupid

Laken Howard, Columnist

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If you’re unfamiliar with online dating, you may be wondering what kinds of seemingly normal guys you should watch out for. Here’s a breakdown of four categories of men I’ve found — through my nonscientific research on OkCupid — whose levels of crazy range from impossible to detect to right out in the open. (Side note: Sorry, I can’t offer any insight into what kinds of girls are on the site, because I’ve only browsed straight male profiles).

The Rebound Boy

Watch out for this guy — he’s all too common on websites like OkCupid. Because there is a level of anonymity online, many guys with bruised hearts and egos will join simply to see if they’ve “still got it,” with no real intention of finding a relationship, despite what their profile might claim. Any mention of an ex in an online dating profile is a huge red flag, even if it’s an insult or funny comment. If a guy is dragging his baggage into the open like that, it should tell you to stay far away, unless you too are just looking for conversation or a casual hookup.

The Serial Dater 

This one may not be construed as entirely negative, because I’ve also gone on a number of online dates. However, there’s a huge difference between someone who dates often with the intention of eventually settling down and someone who goes on dates back-to-back at the same restaurant. What’s bad about a guy who dates multiple women a week? He might never be satisfied with one girl, because he is constantly comparing her to others. Dating tons of people can desensitize you from recognizing which matches are actually worthwhile. If a guy “replies very selectively,” it could be a sign he gets a lot of messages and goes out with a lot of women. Beware of his ego and high standards.

The Fetishist 

The Internet, needless to say, is the perfect place for people with rare turn-ons to find sanctuary. I’ve found that men on OkCupid with fetishes are pretty open about them, sending messages directly asking if you want to participate in an activity like standing on his face. Though I personally am not interested in anything of the sort, to each his own. I am merely letting you know the oddities that can be found within the realm of OkCupid.

The Socially Inept

Let’s face it: A lot of guys just aren’t very smooth with the ladies. For guys who feel safer behind a screen, online dating is an amazing way for them to branch out and talk to girls (or guys). A good way of knowing if a guy is a little less social than he might indicate on his profile? His pictures are mostly taken with a webcam, and few are group photos. There’s nothing wrong with a shy guy, but they’re not for everyone. Be aware that OkCupid is filled with this kind of guy.

Check out 1,001 Nights with Laken this week to hear about how I sorted through all these types of men to finally find one who is “boyfriend material.”

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