There’s no easy way to say this, so here it goes: My friend and I have a ghost OkCupid account. I know, it’s weird and we need therapy. But this fake profile has proven itself to be immensely helpful and afforded us opportunities that simply don’t exist when playing by the standard OkCupid rules — including but not limited to:
1. Stalking people without having them know that YOU are the one visiting their profile five times per
2. Seeing what your real profile looks like to outsiders, and if it is listed as “replies often” or “replies selectively.”
3. Spending inordinate amounts of time browsing profiles on the site. (Doing this from your real profile would cause your “Last Online” meter to perpetually read “Online Now,” making you look like a desperate person who probably has four cats and a freezer full of ice cream/maybe eight DiGournos — and that’s just not ideal.)
The other day I logged into this secret weapon in order to check out some dude’s pictures, and inevitably ended up combing through the profiles of every gay man in Connecticut (because what else is new?).
And then I came across a page that was hilarious, well written, and actually fun to read. And — bonus! He was really cute.
Unaccustomed to such compelling content on the site, I decided it was imperative that I send him a message. I spent a good twenty minutes coming up with something that referenced the things I liked most about his profile while simultaneously introducing myself as someone who is funny, well-read, and totally worth his hand in marriage.
And then I went to check our compatibility match and saw that we were rated as 50% enemies. That’s weird, I thought, we’re so similar.
I looked to the top of my screen and came to the earth-shattering realization that I had sent the message from the ghost account! (The ghost account, mind you, is a straight man from Tennessee with no pictures.)
Unsure of whether or not to cry or laugh or scream bloody murder, I did all three.
I tried to ask myself, “What would a normal person do to fix this?” but instantly realized that a normal person would never be in this predicament to begin with. Then I tried to ask myself, “WWJD?” but realized that Jesus would never need to create a ghost account in the first place because he’s Jesus and would probably just be like “I’m the son of God and I’m going to browse anonymously right now, and you’re going to be fine with that — okay, Cupid?”
So then I evaluated my realistic options:
1. Send the exact same message from my real account and pray that he’d just chalk up the duplicate message to a strange OkCupid glitch.
2. Come up with a brand new message to send him from my real account — one written in a markedly different tone than the one sent from the fake account — and hope that he’d just be like, “Hm. Two guys named Nic in the same day. Weird.”
3. Say this: Hey — I’m about to come off as the creepiest person ever, but well, my friend and I have a ghost OkCupid account for stalking purposes… and I just accidentally sent you a message from it. I know. I need therapy. But the thought of formulating a NEW message that didn’t involve anything from the sent-from-creepy-TN-profile original message was too daunting, so I’m just coming clean.
Inexplicably, I somehow decided that number three was the best option and I sent it and I KNOW — anyone on the receiving end of a message like that should absolutely be cautious that the sender is a psychopath and probably block him or her.
In the heat of the moment, though, I ridiculously expected that he would see it and be like, “Wow, I admire this guy’s honesty. He’s keeping it real. He’s also handsome and brilliant!” and then message me with something to the effect of, “Hey, thanks for the message. You seem like someone I could spend the rest of my life with, probably. Totally okay about the ghost account; I understand. Let’s meet up for a drink sometime and maybe get married?”
Instead, I got this: Haha. Well, this profile is very different from the other.
Polite, but doesn’t exactly open the floor for me to respond with anything at all. The subtext was obviously very I’ve-seen-both-messages-and-you’re-crazy-but-I’m-just-going-to-give-a-dead-end-response-now-so-that-you-don’t-continue-to-stalk-me, but really, the fact that he responded at all is probably more closure than I deserve in this whole scenario anyways, so I guess on some level I got lucky.
What did I learn from this experience? A few things:
1. I’m the biggest contradiction ever. Like, my sending of the overly honest second message was clearly me trying present this whole, “I’m just going to be so real with you right now. I’m that kind of person — I’m impulsive and transparent and don’t care what people think. I’m just doin’ me!” vibe to him — but someone who doesn’t care what others think would never create a ghost profile in the first place, so, yeah. Contradiction.
2. Sometimes, when trying to make yourself not seem like a crazy person even though you are, it’s okay and extremely necessary to lie and take the secret with you to the grave.
3. Life would be so much easier as a non-crazy person to begin with. (But how to become one?)
Oh and also — I really, really need to stop trying so hard.
But this we knew.