My 5 OkCupid Dealbreakers

Despite what you may have heard from my friends, family, or the internet, I don’t love judging people. Here’s what I love: eating candy, hugging cats, Elefun the Butterfly Catching Game, bear documentaries, skeletons wearing funny costumes, casually referencing Thanos in conversation, and eating candy (also, imagining eating candy), but not judging people. Never! Except sometimes. But mostly never! But a lot of times. It exercises a terrible mental muscle, my ego’s need to latch onto people’s flaws, to reduce or dismiss their worth as human beings based on a knee jerk reaction to, say, wearing a fedora or driving a Hummer. It’s like a terrible drug, delivering opiates to my brain, confirming my secret hope that I’m the best and most important person — and where better to get my fix than OkCupid, the sad seedy heart of internet loneliness, or at least one of them.

OkCupid engages all my worst impulses: objectifying, stereotyping, pretentiousness, haughty-ass bitchiness (although it doesn’t exercise my impulse to carve off my own face and eat it, so I guess not all my worst impulses). After a moment of self-examination, I would guess I have thousands of deal breakers, way more than is at all reasonable for an average looking male who isn’t a movie star or some kind of Saudi prince, so many I’ve never managed to orchestrate a date even after several months of being a member. Here are a few of my deal breakers for your consideration:

Music Preference

If she likes music I don’t enjoy, such as Skrillex, Switchfoot, or LMFAO, I react as negatively as if she had holes in her fingertips that spray gray pus. There’s no stopping it. I know it’s wrong, but mine is a brain evolved to classify things based on observations, even if an observation has limited implications regarding her personality like music preference. In High Fidelity when John Cusack says, “It’s what you like, not what you’re like,” rather than recognizing the shallowness of this statement, I felt profound truth resonating deep in my bones. Of course, it’s absolutely possible she could still be a viable candidate for dating purposes if her favorite band is Alien Ant Farm or “the band.” She could be an amazing girlfriend/date/person and also enjoy what I perceive as awful music. This is all true, and yet… it doesn’t feel true.

Keyser Soze Style Profile Picture

A profile photo in which her back is to the camera or her face is hidden behind a pumpkin. Is she Banksy, a witness to a mob murder, or a surrealist painting by René Magritte? Does she imagine she can keep her weird face a secret for the entirety of a romantic relationship, just wear a horse mask on dates, an opaque veil to the wedding? It doesn’t make sense, my dear. Better to reveal the Lovecraftian horror immediately, so superficial men and men with fetishes for weird faces can make informed decisions on how to respond to your profile.

Creepy Messages

When I signed up for OkCupid, I implicitly condoned the cyberstalking requisite to a functioning dating website, so there’s no point complaining about weird messages. Still, it’s interesting to note girls can creep just as well as any man when they set their minds to it (although the inability to send dick pics means they have to try a little harder; few things can match the creepiness of a close-up photo of an erect penis— maybe a small child with a horse head watching you sleep?).

Here’s a message I received: “I need you to do something for me.” I answered, “What is it?” She said, “Come over to my house, and I’ll show you.” That’s not so bad; just a straight to the point adultfriendfinder type message. The only thing that made it creepy was the profile photo: an older lady in an unfurnished gray room, her face obscured by the giant orange cat she’s holding. But then again, I love cats, especially big orange ones, so… well, I’ll think about it.

Here’s another message: “YOUR CUTE! WHATS YOUR FAVORITE DRINK?” I answered, “Green tea.” Her response: “THATS COOL. MINE’S CUM ;).” No need for the winky emoticon, you elegant duchess. You’ve already said your favorite beverage is sperm; what more can be implied by the wink?


If she spells “conscious” as “conches” or “embarrass” as “embaress,” she’s blown it, and by it, I mean the opportunity to date a person who writes about huffing poop on the internet. Once I see three or so misspelled words, I read the rest of the profile in a Tommy Pickles voice. This might be my top deal breaker, even above Uruk-hai face or Pearl the Fat Vampire from Blade body type. Presumably, this is the idealized version of herself she’s displaying, a carefully considered declaration of self, and this travesty is the best she could do? “Humorus” and “ignorence” and, oh sweet Jesus, “wierd”? When reading these abominations, the mind recoils like a snail poked in the eye stalk, like a father whose newborn has a horse for a head. Every time you misspell a word, an angel gets early-onset Alzheimer’s.

Horse Head

I want to be absolutely clear about this: I will not date a girl with the head of a horse and the body of a woman, even if it’s a hot lady body, even if it’s the head of a famous horse like Black Beauty or Seabiscuit or War Horse. No, I refuse. The huge teeth, the long face, the mane, Shrek ears, the giant nostrils — I cannot abide these features in a candidate for make-out activities. The huge teeth especially. How do people feed carrots to horses and not scream in terror the whole time as the gigantic gnashing jaws rapidly advance toward their delicate fingers? And their eyes, THEIR EYES SEE TOO MUCH. TC mark


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  • Marc Phillips (@mbp817)

    “Elegant duchess” made me snort-laugh.

  • dana

    hahahaha oh my god, i’m dying. “no need for the winky emoticon, you elegant duchess.” but seriously, the spelling/grammatical errors on there are what kill me. i also enjoy the messages that consist of “i read ur profile. u seem cool. do u want to meet up and see a big dick?”

    why can’t i find a seemingly normal guy like you on that website? jeez.

  • Rishtopher

    I can relate to the music one. I feel like people in their teens to early 20s get into a certain “lifestyle” through their music. Like for (a really simple) example, people who tend to like club music really like to club often. I know it’s shallow, but I feel like to a certain extent (and in limited context), you can judge people’s habits/behaviours by the type of music they like.

    To be honest though, I don’t think think it’s accurate enough that you should default to it but on a dating site maybe it’s better not to take any chances that you don’t have to?

  • Sherród

    “Every time you misspell a word, an angel gets early-onset Alzheimer’s.”


    • Prad Bike

      wut r u taking abot?

  • str8ton1

    SRSLY After reading this, I had to check the appearance of the guy who wrote it. My advice: more real life and less online dating shit. As for dealbreaker N 5: I’m sure you have had a night[mare] or you live in another reality.

  • Maybe match

    What’s your username? Conveniently, I violate none of your dealbreaking criteria.

  • alisonwisneski (@alisonwisneski)

    The elegant duchess line had me wiping tears. Brad Pike, I adore you.

  • Kira Hills

    i was definitely eating lunch when i came to number 3. and now i’m definitely not. on the upside, elegant duchess is classic. tehehe

  • JD

    “Every time you misspell a word, an angel gets early-onset Alzheimer’s” brilliant

  • Aria

    Oh my god, the “elegant duchess” part made me lose it. I’m totally stealing that line.

  • The Duchess

    Brad Pike’s on OKCupid? *immediately signs up*

  • Bailey Powell

    Damn horses, seein’ TOO MUCH!

  • Wannabe cowboy

    Are there more than one horsehead-girl profiles out there? I live in CT but for whatever reason my quickmatch seems mostly populated from NYC, and I have admired the (what I thought was) cleverness of horsehead girl’s profile a few times.

  • arrangefarhan

    Reblogged this on Arranging a "Farhan Akhtar" and commented:
    There are others like us! And they’re all not women…phew!

    But all that aside Southie and me LOVE thought catalog and recommend you begin loving it too :)

  • anonymous

    Somebody really needs to write a female perspective of this article. Ideas: guys who only have washboard ab pictures a la taylor lautner

  • bb

    A dealbreaker for me is when guys talk about how nice they are in their profiles (or in a message) or worse why they don’t understand why the douchebags always get the girls. These guys ALL end up being douchebags and the worst part is, they don’t even know it and blame you for it. Seriously, all of them. Don’t tell me how nice and caring you are, show me.

  • Nichole J. (@EarthToNichole)

    I received one new OKC message while reading this article and it was not from Brad Pike.

  • yandat

    Brad Pike is all of us.

  • OHNO

    What is with the horse head stuff? I completely agree, as i would never date someone with a horse head myself but I have a good reason. I once had a nightmare about a guy I was interviewing who enjoyed wearing a horse head to all of his interviews. Anyway, in the dream I offended him with a question and he chased me and it was terrifying and you’ve brought up bad memories. Whew, I feel better after sharing.

  • Aimee Vondrak

    After a moment of self-examination, I would guess I have thousands of deal breakers…so many I’ve never managed to orchestrate a date even after several months of being a member.”

    But Brad you’re such a brilliant writer! I’m on OKC. I’ll go on a date with you for your articulation alone :)

  • zlady6

    I really, really, REALLY want to be your friend.

  • Marie Martinez (@mariedabbles)

    Damn. I thought *I* was a pretentious asshole…

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