OkCupid feels fresher than its rivals, with a quirky sign up process that manages to cover the basics while also including some fun curveball questions. Unlike some of the older dating sites, the approach here is very LGBTQ+ friendly. And while it’s reportedly not as popular as other big hitters like Tinder and Match.com, it still has a sizable user base that skewers towards the 18 – 29 age bracket.
We think it’s one of the best online dating sites and apps available in 2021, with a simple “like” or “pass” arrangement that makes it easy to browse profiles and a compatibility system that lets you see how well you’d get along with others. Its recent addition of “deal-breaker” filters makes it even easier to narrow down your search and messaging other users is completely free.
OkCupid: The best features
As with a lot of younger dating platforms, you have a wide range of options when you’re entering your preferences. Some sites, like eharmony, ask if marriage is your ultimate goal, but OkCupid allows you to state that you’re searching for a hookup, new friends, short-term dating or long-term dating – or a combination of the four.
The initial sign-up process also runs you through several questions, from your basic political beliefs to your personal messiness levels. You’ll put in the same information for your ideal partner, to make it easier for the system to track down your perfect match.
Later, there are options to answer a series of less-serious questions, such as whether or not you like cilantro and if you plan to have the COVID-19 vaccine. A lot of these options can be skipped, if you’re not yet ready to reveal your full identity, but we liked that the emphasis here is on your character rather than your appearance.
In testing we created three fake accounts and waited to see how many matches they would get in 24 hours. The two heterosexual accounts we created got more than 100 matches with about half of them being rated at 80% match or higher. The woman seeking woman account we created only got 42 matches, and half of those were also rated at 80% or higher. In total, that brought our average number of matches in 24 hours to 81, the most of any site we tested.
OkCupid also boasts that it has a high success rate, being responsible for over 91 million connections every year and 50,000 dates every week. It’s also one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly dating sites, allowing you to enter a broad range of genders and sexualities for your potential matches.
The free mobile app is a good option for dating on the go. Like the desktop version, messaging on the app is free and it’s easy to block users and report any bad behaviour.
OkCupid: The drawbacks
Despite OkCupid’s LGBTQ+ friendly approach, we found that heterosexual accounts still got a better hit rate for messaging and matches. As such, it’s not the best option for everyone – you may well be better served by one of the best gay dating apps and websites that we’ve reviewed.
There were also reports in 2016 that men on OkCupid sent nearly four times more initial messages than women, which made the site feel a little unbalanced. OkCupid says that the messaging system was overhauled in early 2018 to address this issue. In an effort to curb the number of inappropriate messages straight women were receiving, messages are now only viewable if a person has “liked” you.
Another big drawback is that you can’t see which users have liked you, so when you drop a like on a profile or try to message someone else you’re going in cold. That said, the compatibility rating should give you a fairly good indication on whether or not you’re likely to get along with the other person.
Is OkCupid Premium worth it?
If you’re serious about relationships, yes. Being able to see who has liked your profile will help you speed up your search. You can also purchase profile boosts, which pushes your profile into the limelight for a limited amount of time. But if you’re looking for casual fun, you probably won’t need all the bells and whistles that come with the subscription.
Should I get OkCupid?
In our view, this is one of the leading dating apps available in 2021. A quirky edge sets it apart from some of the more established – and arguably, stale – websites, with a series of questions that will help you narrow down your search and prompt some interesting conversations .The sign-up process took our reviewers 15 minutes, which was long enough to give the site some data to work with but not so time-intensive that we got bored.
However, the user base is mostly made up of people aged between 18 and 29, so if you’re a little older you might want to consider a site like Match.com, or you could try testing out the waters at one of the best senior dating sites that we’ve recently reviewed.