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Tue Nov 13, 2012, 08:38 PM

At OKcupid, being an atheist is a date-maker, not a deal-breaker



Dominick Reuter/RNS PHOTO BY DOMINICK REUTER - Cambridge, MA - OKCupid founder Maxwell Krohn prepares before the Harvard Humanist Community recognized the online dating Web site OKCupid at an event at the Harvard University Science Center.

By Kimberly Winston| Religion News Service
Nov 13, 2012 11:20 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 13, 6:20 PM

In some circles, being an atheist is a strike against you. But at the online site OkCupid, it might just help you get a date.

In 2009, the site’s founders analyzed responses from more than 500,000 users and discovered that including the word “atheist” in a first message to another user was more likely to garner a reply than any other religious descriptor except Christian.

“Mentioning your religion helps you, but, paradoxically, it helps you most if you have no religion,” co-founder Christian Rudder wrote on the site’s blog at that time. “We know that’s going to piss a lot of people off, and we’re more or less tongue-in-cheek with this advice, but it’s what the numbers say.”

OkCupid’s founders — four 30-something guys who met at Harvard — recently took home the “Humanist of the Year” award from their alma mater. Previous winners include “Family Guy” creator and comedian Seth McFarlane, evolutionary psychologist Steven Pinker, biologist E.O. Wilson and California congressman Pete Stark.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/at-okcupid-being-an-atheist-is-a-date-maker-not-a-deal-breaker/2012/11/13/7d246d82-2dcb-11e2-b631-2aad9d9c73ac_story.html

13 replies, 2578 views

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Reply At OKcupid, being an atheist is a date-maker, not a deal-breaker (Original post)
rug Nov 2012 OP
left on green only Nov 2012 #1
rug Nov 2012 #2
longship Nov 2012 #3
choie Nov 2012 #4
rug Nov 2012 #5
choie Nov 2012 #7
cbayer Nov 2012 #6
Dorian Gray Nov 2012 #8
cbayer Nov 2012 #9
RoccoR5955 Nov 2012 #10
cbayer Nov 2012 #11
RoccoR5955 Nov 2012 #13
FreeBC Nov 2012 #12

Response to rug (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 08:53 PM

1. If you are only agnostic, does that mean you get shunned?

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Response to left on green only (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 08:58 PM

2. Maybe you can only meet for coffee.

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Response to left on green only (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 09:01 PM

3. Not necessarily. The data on agnostics is uncertain.



(I like rug's response, too.)

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Response to rug (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 09:15 PM

4. It's true!

my fiance and I met on OKCupid - he's an atheist, I'm an agnostic!

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Response to choie (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 08:38 AM

5. Congratulations!

Just don't tell him Cupid is the Roman god of desire.



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Response to rug (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 06:19 PM

7. Thanks, Rug!

n/t

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Response to rug (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 10:30 AM

6. I think that sites that use algorithms to match personality types are worth

much more than those where you basically window shop until you see something you like.

The other big one, eHarmony, has had issues around being inclusive, so it's good to know that this one is more so.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 06:31 AM

8. It's funny

I have a very close friend who is an atheist/non-believer, and she tried one of the dating sites that promises a match for everyone. I believe it was eharmony. But because she mentioned that she was a non-believer on the form, she was told that there was no match out there for her.

Now, you might ask me how I know that it was that statement. I'm extrapolating because I had another friend who worked for the eharmony parent company who informed us (upon being told) that it's a company created by a Christian to match people up by their religious ideals. Okay. That seems fair enough. But then why hide that? J Date and Catholicsingles.com do quite well. Why not admit that in the open PR of the company? Why make people feel like crap that there are no people out there for them.

(My friend has since had better luck on Match.com, where her atheism didn't seem to be a problem for her potential suitors.)

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Response to Dorian Gray (Reply #8)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:02 AM

9. While eharmony was founded by self-identified christians, it uses many, many criteria

to make it's matches and does not promise to find matches at all. So perhaps it was a different company. They take religion or lack thereof into consideration, but they also gauge how important religion is to a person and use that as one of the many criteria.

I know this for a fact and from personal experience. eharmony was sued because they were refusing to match same sex partners, but the story you are telling here about atheism is not about them.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 04:17 PM

10. Please give me a break!

For cryin' out loud.
After a long time, I have finally given up on ALL of these damn dating sites.
Women are only looking for their perfect man, so if you're not thirty-something, six foot something, with abs you can bounce a roll of quarters on, you'll NEVER get a date.
I can't believe that after so many years, people are still buying into this garbage.

I can tell you from personal experience NONE of them work if you aren't perfect!

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Response to RoccoR5955 (Reply #10)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 04:30 PM

11. Not so.

My husband, who I met online, is tall but otherwise meets none of the criteria you describe. He is my dream, but by no means perfect. I would have never met him elsewhere.

Is it possible that it is your criteria that set the barriers?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #11)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:27 PM

13. nope...

I have such low expectations any more they are under ground.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 04:37 PM

12. Not where I live!

 

Apparently all my matches are on the other side of the country in the Pacific Northwest.

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