Not Another OKCupid Question... best practices for paring down matches?
December 4, 2016 1:36 PM   Subscribe

I realize that this is the ultimate in, well, problems-that-aren't-really-problems, but I get WAY too many messages on OKC. Help me figure out how not to get bogged down?

I immediately delete messages that just say "hey what up gorgeous" or whatever, and I tend not to respond to anyone who's less than ~70% match. But say I get 100 messages in a day... maybe 15-20 of those people say something that resonates with me, or seem compatible enough for me to want to strike up a conversation. How do you manage 20 conversations at once? Hell, how do you manage 5 conversations at once?

My current strategy is to try to keep <5 conversations going at any one time, and to decide relatively quickly whether I want to meet someone IRL or not so I'm not wasting anyone's time by shooting unnecessary messages back and forth. But it's still overwhelming to log in and sort through it all, much less to keep track of which people really grab my attention when the messages keep piling up.

Do I need to just communicate with one person at a time? Should I institute some kind of ranking system? More stringent criteria for instant deletion? Should I make a .txt file with brief notes about the people I find most promising?
posted by Pizzarina Sbarro to Human Relations (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Well, you could change to a less flattering photo to filter out more people who are mostly focused on appearance.
posted by amtho at 1:46 PM on December 4, 2016 [3 favorites]

The only way I've been able to manage it is:

(1) Filter out all low effort or gross messsages immediately
(2) If I'm interested in continuing the conversation, send a message and then have a short conversation. If I am not interested after the conversation, leave the message in my inbox
(3) For those I am interested in, give them my Google Voice number, and continue convos there
(4) After a first or second date, if I am still interested, give them my actual phone number

This way, I sort of have a tiered system that is easier to keep track of.
posted by sevensnowflakes at 2:00 PM on December 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

Oh! Should have mentioned that leaving the message in your OKC inbox after the first convo fails to grab your interest leaves open the possibilty for later, more successful convos.
posted by sevensnowflakes at 2:02 PM on December 4, 2016

It sounds like you're getting rid of all the 'definitely not's and then feeling obliged to respond to all of the 'sure, maybe's. It's probably a better strategy to ignore all but the 'fuck yes's if you're getting that volume of messages.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:08 PM on December 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Honestly, the way I function is I just ignore all incoming messages and look for people I'm interested in and message them directly. I delete 99% of incoming messages unread, including some from people I've eventually decided to contact based on their profiles. I know I miss out on some good ones but the time & energy required to keep on top of the wave just isn't worth it. Plus, I've noticed that since men rarely get messaged first on OKCupid, you really tend to stand out.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 2:45 PM on December 4, 2016 [2 favorites] a not-very-femme lesbian, I most certainly do not have this particular problem, but I still find the process of messaging people and managing conversations draining. I deal with this by a) not continuing conversations that are not fun for me, and b) meeting up with people for coffee or a drink as soon as possible. I really need to meet people to decide if there's any spark, and there's no point in investing much energy before you know that. You have to be pretty hard line about both of those things to make it manageable. One thing that helped was to realize I was not obligated to do any emotional work or labor to keep conversations going -- I give them two or three chances (exchanges) to do equal work or play back at me, and if they don't, I just drop the convo. Life is too damn short.

lol forever at the idea of being awash in messages tho. Man that is a different experience
posted by schadenfrau at 2:49 PM on December 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

When I was okcupiding i basically ignored my inbox. It's too insane. Instead I would peruse profiles a couple of times a day, and if anyone caught my interest I would check my inbox to see if they had already messaged me. Then either respond or start a new conversation.
posted by pintapicasso at 3:08 PM on December 4, 2016 [6 favorites]

In the settings you can put a filter on your inbox to only show messages from users with 70+ match percentage within your preferred age range.
posted by delezzo at 4:59 PM on December 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

make a small ask near the bottom of your profile. only an interested party who has read your whole profile will comply; toss out anyone who hasn't.

ignore all but the most fascinating of comments.

if you haven't agreed on a meet within ~3 sentences, toss it.
posted by fritillary at 5:06 PM on December 4, 2016

As a guy previously on dating websites, I fairly quickly gave up messaging for the reasons you are describing. I never got a single reply to any messages. All progress was made following messages sent by the female, and those progressed very well. Ditch your inbox and check for really stand-out people to message yourself, even with just a "Hi".
posted by tillsbury at 6:43 PM on December 4, 2016

I would caution against filtering profiles based on match percentage... I know some people have great luck with that but the profile that became my husband was a ridiculously low match, like 40%. We hit it off right away in person.
posted by pintapicasso at 4:01 PM on December 5, 2016

Just wanted to second tillsbury's point, but from the cis-hetero-female perspective - hunting through the weeds of messages wasn't producing the most interesting dates for me. But I had great chemistry with every single person who I reached out to first. I have fairly specific taste in terms of what attracts me personality, and I was a much better judge of which guys were good fits for me.

Also, the match percentages are a bit of a science. They are only helpful if you use the priority ratings ("mandatory", etc), and then you have to use those carefully. When I went through and figured out which questions were truly most important to me and altered the priorities for those, my match percentages got much more useful.
posted by thelastpolarbear at 11:36 AM on December 6, 2016

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