OkCupid: Where Your Atheism Helps You Get a Date

Last month, I mentioned that the founders of the dating website OkCupid would be receiving the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard’s annual Humanist of the Year award.

The ceremony took place earlier this month and Kimberly Winston writes about the site’s significance for our community (Note: I’m mentioned in the article):

Three of the founders describe themselves as nonbelievers in their onsite profiles. [Max] Krohn, the corporate technical officer, says if OkCupid has become a popular space for atheists and a beacon of humanist values, it’s a happy by-product.

Another humanist value the site embodies, Krohn said, is an absence of judgment — same sex couples, the polyamorous, and those seeking lifelong partners and quick hook-ups are all welcome.

But OkCupid is the only free service that assists nonbelievers with specific advice, statistics and tests. Last December, self-identified atheist users were sent “12 Days of Atheist Matches” and current members can take an “atheist test” to find those with similar levels of nonbelief. The site’s “Darwin Test” looks to match those with similar attitudes about evolution (sample question: Are most people a) good? b) evil?).

You can see one of the 12 Days of Atheist Matches here and don’t forget that mentioning atheism (with good reason) in your first email to a stranger could lead to a higher response rate!

For those of you who have used OkCupid along with other dating websites, did you notice any significant differences between them (besides the price)? Which was better for you?

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Randomfactor

    Loved taking the quizzes there.

    • Randomfactor

       I did get some good matches which ultimately didn’t pan out.

  • scubachick

    I met my current (atheist) boyfriend on OKCupid. I think it’s totally amazing to be able to be so out, and to get such positive response to it!

  • Rbray18

    i live in Oklahoma. so in my experience on okcupid being a atheist hurt. the vast majority of matches for me were all religious of some sort. granted that was the and still is the smallest concern far as my date ability goes. still. i think where you live matters still far as that goes.

    • Artor

      I live in Oregon, and I’m actually kinda astonished by how many atheist women there are in the region. I’d say that MOST of the matches that come up in my queue are atheist.

  • DevilMonkey

    Sorry, but people on dating sites are incredibly picky. Atheists may even be substantially more picky than more traditional Christian women. Rationality is doomed to extinction. It’s the irrational couples with a half dozen children whose genes survive best. Just my 1.999… cents.

  • Annzilla

    About 5-6 years ago, I tried eharmony and was turned off by the amount of attention I received as soon as my profile went live. Not that I was some hot stuff, but as a female testing the waters with a restricted free account on a paid membership dating site (that has predominately males with said paid accounts), it felt like I was at a sausage party with overly attentive, and dare I say, desperate men clamoring for my attention. And while I didn’t explicitly state that I was an atheist, I answered their quiz questions appropriately and was matched with what I viewed as unqualified matches. A few even mentioned how devoted they were to god and such. No thanks. Maybe it’s different now, but back then, it felt like I just had a bunch of unrefined matches dumped on me. That eharmony account didn’t last longer than 2 days before it was deleted. The whole experience felt super uncomfortable and turned me away from online dating for a few years. To be fair, I suppose I am more paranoid than most people, so I guess it doesn’t take much to freak me out and turn me off.  

    As for OKC, it’s great because I was able to lurk for a time which allowed me to become more familiar with the site and comfortable with the idea of online dating again (tip: don’t post pictures or fill out your profile if you want to lurk). During this time, I answered a bunch of the match questions, played around with the quizzes, and checked my matches – all without feeling harassed. When I felt ready, I refined my match criteria (only matches w/ 80% or higher can message me), posted some pictures, and got a few messages. The first guy that I chatted with that didn’t totally scare me off became a good friend. The second guy that didn’t scare me off became my boyfriend. That was over a year ago and I’m pretty happy right now with the relationship and where it’s heading. For me, OKC’s algorithm was spot on. All of the religious type questions that I placed high importance on matched me up with mostly atheist/agnostic types. The other social, education, political, sex type questions further refined the match. The match with my boyfriend was at 98%. Of course, not all experiences will be the same. It also helps that I’m a girl in a major metropolitan NE area (I think?).

    tldr – Eharmony sucks, found a nice atheist boy on OKCupid 

    • Tyrrlin Flamestrike

      I have to agree with Annzilla that eHarmony is a crock.  I tried it years ago, and it had a genuine genius for matching me with men who were fundamentally my opposite in certain areas.  *sigh*

      Thank goodness I’m out of the dating scene now!  :-)

    • CelticWhisper

      I’ve actually had surprisingly good luck with eHarmony as an atheist.  I’ve heard many stories about being rejected, but I think I squeaked by because I was technically neo-pagan at the time I signed up and they don’t care as long as you believe in some kind, any kind, of woo.  I switched my profile over a couple years later when I started using the site for actual dating (signed up for the personality quiz as an idle curiosity), and they must have figured it would be too telling to axe the account based on that one change, so I got to stay.

      I met both my current, as well as my previous, girlfriend on eHarmony and I’ve been with my current one for 4 years and counting.  Both have been nonreligious – the girl I’m with now minored in theology in college and is very fond of telling bigoted christians where to stick it as she knows the bible better than they do, and the previous one was a paleontologist, studying those evil, godless fossil records from (gasp!) longer than 6000 years ago!  Dirty, sexy miocene bivalves, how dare they make the baby Jesus cry.

      That said, anectodal evidence is, of course, not necessarily indicative of anything and there are legitimate complaints to be made about eHarmony’s discriminatory practices.  But it is possible to get good results as a nonbeliever, though you basically have to game the system somewhat, even if only accidentally.

    • Poose

      I add to the chorus of Eharmony sucks anecdotes-I wasted 20-odd minutes to set up my account and was then dumped because I had the “temerity” to admit that I was not single (married but separated, she was dating too).  I complained to a vacuum, and even complained on a ranking site-complaint deleted as Eharmony was a (big suprise here) site sponsor.

      Think I’ll give OkCupid a go (been meaning to anyways).

  • http://northierthanthou.com/ northierthanthou

    I like OKCupid, and I like the mix of people on it. I’m definitely out in my profile, but I couldn’t imagine mentioning atheism in an opening letter, at least not without some specific angle. I figure it’s enough that they see it in the profile. As a selling point, it strikes me as a bit odd. “Hey baby, wanna come up and read some Dawkins with me?

  • Good and Godless

    Churches in fulfilling their needs for more membership are effective dating sites bent on creating couples and obligating them to copulate prodigiously. Atheists and those with Atheist tendencies, in lacking that mate trolling environment, would then permeate other dating forums like OK Cupid.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.pescuma Michael Pescuma

    I met my fiancee (we’re getting married in March) on OKCupid.  I’d tried Match.com and a few others but I never had a good experience.  EHarmony wouldn’t even let me create a profile.. I was rejected outright.  My fiancee and I are a 99% match on OKCupid’s algorithm, and it seems to work out pretty well for us :)

  • Zugswang

    I met my wife through OKCupid.  She was on the site for about two weeks before she saw my profile, and was about to leave after getting a consistent stream of creepy messages from guys twice her age before she was matched with me.  She sent me something like a 500 word message, which was the first time I’d gotten anything like that, and she was actually the first atheist on the site who ever contacted or responded to messages from me.   We spent about two weeks talking online before we decided to meet in person, and from there it moved into a relationship pretty quickly.  We both just really clicked with each other in a lot of different ways, and we’re both very ambitious, but also very laid back, and don’t let minor things upset us. (her moreso than me)

    She was also the first person I ever dated, and I was 25 when I first met her.  Many of you can imagine how hard it is to find someone who isn’t religious, and in the south, it’s even harder, so I was excited to not only meet someone who was interested in me AND an atheist, but also someone who was intelligent, independent, and headstrong, so I fell for her pretty hard right away, but I dated her for two years before I finally proposed.

    The odd thing was, we both worked at the same university, but in different departments and different buildings about 100 yards apart, but if it hadn’t been for that site, I never would have met her.

  • Nena

    I met my beautiful then agnostic, now atheist girlfriend on OKC. We’ve been together since March. I’ve also made some great new atheist friends there. I’m happy they’re being recognized for being so friendly to diversity.

  • http://twitter.com/DearAnia Ania Bula

    I find that the average IQ on OK Cupid was a lot higher than that which I found on sites like POF. I met my SO there and we have been very happy together. Now we are both on the site meeting new friends and potential intimate friends. The amount of attractive, intelligent atheist and agnostics on there is incredible! 

    Edit: I was hoping to post this anonymously xD

  • http://freakapotimus.com/ Andrea

    I like and use OKC because it’s easy for me to find non-religious types (or folks who are pretty lax about their faith), and also because I can focus on dating. Many of the other sites, especially eHarmony, are geared towards people searching for mates, partners, One True Love. I just like meeting people, making friends, going out for a few drinks. There’s less pressure to settle down into the monogamous pairing on OKC. I’m not really sure what the stats are, but I find most of the messages I get from religious people give off the “I’m looking for The One” vibe. I don’t often get that from the non-religious.

  • http://twitter.com/TychaBrahe TychaBrahe

    I tried OKC and POF about five years ago, and one of them, I forget which, kept matching me with people who were totally inappropriate.  I said I wanted someone agnostic or atheist, childfree,  and non-smoking, and that this was very important to me.  They matched me with smoking religious parents time and time again.  

    My last two matches were a father of three who hadn’t graduated from high school and spoke little English, and a guy who had been homeless until a month previously, when some church helped him find a trailer-to-share with someone.  I gave up.

  • Sara Yousuf

    I met my fiancé/love of my life on OKC.  We’re both atheists and clicked on that level immediately….no sexual guilt…no superstition…no disconnect!  He asked me to be his girlfriend on the second date and it was the second easiest decision of my life (next to when he popped the question).  I’m forever grateful to the founders of OKC for creating a space where I could find someone so truly compatible (95% compatible according to them).  We’re getting married in a planetarium, celebrating our union with science!  Did I mention that finding my ideal mate took a mere 5 days on OKC?   

  • Michelle

    I met my atheist boyfriend on OKC over two years ago.  The first event I invited him to was  Michael Shermer lecture.  We’ve been together ever since! 


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