OKC Profile Reboot Pros and Cons.
January 8, 2019 8:33 AM   Subscribe

My current and very-longstanding OKC account is about to expire. What are the pros and cons of letting my current subscription expire, deleting my profile, and starting a new profile afresh?

My current OKC profile goes back many years. I constantly tinker with it, both as a way of keeping it fresh and as a way of boosting it in news feeds. So while it has been constantly updated, the basic structure has remained the same. I keep polishing, and keeping photos current. I have not tossed it and started something completely new, because frankly, it's a good profile (but as for effective, umm...).

Some time ago, I did ALL of the questions. The system would not let me answer any more questions. Lately that has changed, and new questions are being offered to me (which I have not really gotten into). Potential dates have asked me about some of my answers from time to time, and honestly, I can't remember what I said a lot of the time, having done them in a flurry years ago.

Is it time for a reboot?

I've invested a LOT of time into honing my profile, and I'm reluctant to let that go and start all over again. If I start afresh, obviously everything will be more current, but at the cost of doing all that work over again. But OTOH, if I start afresh, all the profiles I've passed on previously (for whatever reason I had at the time) will be available to me again, making for a more accurate picture of the dating pool. Similarly, those I've blocked will be offered up, too.

What are some pros and cons of starting all over from scratch?

Following my earlier questions, I am not interested in dating sites other than OKC for now. Tried Match, was unhappy with it, found it terribly expensive. I'm sticking with OKC for its price point, and the fact that the faces are all the same as on the other services I've tried.
posted by Capt. Renault to Human Relations (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I have also done that, killed a long-established profile to start another one. But I also created a second, totally new profile as my place-to-tinker profile, which is fun to have and experiment with (this is the kind of thing kinky and poly people often do, so they can refer people to their more honest, more out profiles or the reverse).

BTW, I am not convinced that having answered all the questions serves you well but I may be wrong about that. I think it gives visitors more potential points of disagreement. I answered way fewer questions for my shorter, experimental profile and it seems to be equally effective for me, at least. (In the US. In the country I now live in I match with a tiny number of people. YMMV either way.) Good luck!
posted by Bella Donna at 8:44 AM on January 8, 2019

I would think one potential con would be not remembering who you've already had contact with and getting or sending messages to people who you've already ruled out.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:49 AM on January 8, 2019

I forgot to add: there may be technical issues as well (disappearing 'likes' which show up as pop-ups but then cannot be found), which deleting the app and reinstalling has not been able to solve. Those technical issues may or may not be connected to the app or website being plugged into an ancient base profile.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:50 AM on January 8, 2019

I think there’s an option to reset all passes, so you could do that without making a new account. That said, I wholeheartedly vote for deleting and starting over. All the questions is too many to have answered and you’re quite possibly putting off people with answers that you don’t even still believe or care about. Also there’s a line between saying something genuine about yourself and oversharing and a profile that is that old and that you’ve put a lot of time into might well be on the bad side of that line (for many people).
posted by desert at 9:10 AM on January 8, 2019

The disappearing likes are probably people who initially “liked” your profile and then later passed after looking at it more closely (maybe after reading some of those question answers:)). Or, also very commonly, happened to disable or delete their account shortly after liking your profile (almost certainly not to do with you or your account in particular). I personally usually have my account deactivated but will sometimes reactivate it, like a few profiles maybe and then realize I’m not in the right frame of mind for it and will deactivate again almost immediately.
posted by desert at 9:20 AM on January 8, 2019

Start over. Only answer questions that are dealbreakers for you, or likely dealbreakers for someone else. Questions that reveal major lifestyle things where a partner needs to either be on the same page or be very understanding and accepting of a significant difference between you that will likely play out repeatedly in the day-to-day over the years.

This lets OKC do its job as a screener more effectively than if you have answered a bunch of questions that you don't even remember how you answered or why.

Hanging on to an OKC profile very long-term strikes me as OKC being a very comfortable place for you. I'm guessing that for some non-monogamous people it is in fact a place they want to stay in the long term, and if that's the situation, no judgment. But for me as a monogamous person, it raises a concern that at the first uncomfortable thing we need to figure out in the relationship, you'll dump me and run back to a comforting pool of OKC possibilities to try to fish out someone who's an even better fit. If you let go of the investment you've made in your profile, it might free you to more fully invest in a person.
posted by Former Congressional Representative Lenny Lemming at 9:40 AM on January 8, 2019 [3 favorites]

I vote for start fresh! You can also deactivate your current profile, start a totally new one, and wait until you've seen how things go with the new one to completely delete your old one, right? Having the option of going back to the old one might make the transition more comfortable.

But agreed with others above that actually answering too many questions can narrow your pool unnecessarily, especially if many of your answers might not be accurate or relevant anymore.

I also have a tiny bit of wariness when I see a very old OKC profile... like, hmm, this person has considered themselves single enough to have hung onto the same profile for a long time. It's not a deal breaker by any means but it does make me wonder what's going on with them.
posted by aka burlap at 9:55 AM on January 8, 2019 [2 favorites]

I'd also suggest starting fresh and focusing on questions that are important and relevant to the kind of relationship you want. Looking for kinky sex? Focus on sex questions. Looking for long term love with someone with similar intellectual pursuits? Focus on questions relevant to that. Of course you should answer a few questions in all areas, but I wouldn't go all in on things that aren't super important.

And of course you can re-use the same photos and text in a new profile, so it's really about answering some questions.

Another advantage (and I'm guessing you know this) is that women who have passed on you at some point will see your profile again, too. So it's not just about folks you passed on. They might be looking for something different now, too.

By the way, you are saying "subscription." Maybe try not going for a paid thing?

(Also please forgive me, but how about Bumble? It doesn't require a Facebook account anymore, and it now has about ten pieces of helpful information in profiles so you can figure out some basic profile stuff like on OKC. It includes the category of what you're looking for, so you can filter out folks who don't want a relationship. I'm mid 40s, and when I talk to folks about what platforms they use, it seems like Tinder is the most popular, but Bumble is up there, especially with folks interested in relationships. A lot of folks have given up on OKC, it seems. I find it a bit overwhelming myself, as someone who has been dating online for about 16 months.)
posted by bluedaisy at 10:35 AM on January 8, 2019 [3 favorites]

You can definitely reset your “likes” and I believe you can reset your questions (answers, really) as well (or could until recently.)

Also, you can always just deactivate (but not delete) your current account and make a new one (with a different email address) and see how that goes.
posted by needs more cowbell at 12:10 PM on January 8, 2019

I wouldn't want to start a new profile because I don't want all the hard work I've done of hiding/blocking people over the years to be undone. But it looks like not only has the question interface gotten worse, its nearly impossible to unanswer already answered questions. All you can do is hide them and/or mark them irrelevant.

So burn it down and start over.
posted by itesser at 2:01 PM on January 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

It does feel to me like a lot of people on Okc treat it more like an ongoing social network (lists of every book and TV show they consume etc!) as opposed to trying to find a well matched partner efficiently. When I see someone with high hundreds or even thousands of questions answered it feels a bit like the former - my goal is to be able to permanently delete my account on there after all! So a reboot could be a good way to just prioritise those important questions, especially as a lot of them feel a bit "so what" or "it depends". The okc match algorithm is effective still - with superficial swipey apps like bumble there seems to be no way to filter or search so is just endless streams of people you have nothing in common with (bathroom and bar selfies mostly!)
posted by JonB at 2:05 PM on January 8, 2019

So: there used to be a lot of utility in answering All The Questions - ten years ago OKC’s algorithms were so good that it would routinely accidentally match me with one of the biggest Loves Of My Life, despite our never having sought out each other’s profiles. You’d get 10% matches and know there’s no point in even looking.

Now it kind of aims for “anyone can be at least a 40% match” which reduces the utility of matching, so I wouldn’t worry about having to start over.
posted by corb at 3:09 PM on January 8, 2019 [2 favorites]

I've had an OKC account (not always active) for ten years. They've removed some of the standard questions on the profile for new users but my old answers are still on my profile. Multiple people have made comments about how "ancient" my profile is and one guy I dated told me he considered it a red flag that my profile was so old (now, I just think it means I'm consistent, but ok). If I ever go back I'll burn it down and start fresh.
posted by sockermom at 7:21 AM on January 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

Thanks everyone -- you've given me a lot to think about, and I still have a couple of weeks to decide. At the very least, I think I will go back and cull/neutralize a lot of questions. As corb pointed out, there was once a great utility in answering All The Questions, and that's why I did it then. That has since changed completely, as OKC will give you a 50% match with someone who has answered no questions at all.

A big con to deleting is unblocking all those whom I have blocked previously. That I would have a second chance at someone I've struck out with in the past, that's one thing, but once again facing those I've blocked -- that's a real sticking point.

As for the age of the profile, well, it's true that that may be a red flag for some, but it's also just a reflection of external reality, that I've been on the shelf for a long, long time. There's no avoiding that harsh truth. While the profile (and my singlehood status) is longstanding, it hasn't always been active. It's been on-and-off, with extended breaks, or when I was starting to date someone. And there, too, disabling my account too soon has proven to be just as much a problem as not disabling it -- that totally depends on the person involved. Usually I disable after Date #2 (if I get to that point), and more often than not it's been taken that I'm moving too quickly (when really, I'm not interested in dating multiple people at the same time). Who knows?

Anyway, thanks for your input, all. You've given me much to think about.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:29 AM on January 9, 2019

Usually I disable after Date #2 (if I get to that point), and more often than not it's been taken that I'm moving too quickly (when really, I'm not interested in dating multiple people at the same time).

Good point. Just a reminder that you can simply stay off of OKC after Date #2 or visit but not respond to messages from new people if there is a danger the person you are dating believes you are moving too fast. That is an understandable (if incorrect) assumption on the part of that person, who may start to feel some pressure, which is weird after only two dates. Consider dealing with OKC in a different way, perhaps, next time around. Good luck!
posted by Bella Donna at 11:47 AM on January 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

Seconding the above - I often don’t want to date multiple people at once either, and I can get 500 steps ahead of myself (quietly, in my brain) with someone I like, but I would still feel an uncomfortable sense of pressure if someone disabled their profile after a second date with me.
posted by needs more cowbell at 5:08 AM on January 10, 2019

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