What is OkCupid? And How Does it Work?

What is OkCupid? And How Does it Work?

For those who are interested in getting into online dating, there are many platforms on which to get started. In today’s blog, we’re taking a closer look at one of the longest-standing and still one of the most popular online dating platforms: OkCupid.

Let’s take a deep dive into this platform, how it works, how you can get started on it, its current pricing at the time of writing, and more. You might just find that this is the dating platform that you have been looking for!

What is OkCupid?

OkCupid is owned by IAC, the international group that also owns other large dating site brands such as Tinder, Match, and others. OkCupid goes back to 2004, and therefore already has a fairly long history, though not as long as its bigger corporate sibling Match, which was launched officially in 1995.

OkCupid users set up their profiles as you would do on most other platforms, with the main differentiating factor being the way people are matched based on answers to a specific set of unique questions that are asked to users when setting up their profile. We’ll explain how this works in more detail below.

If you want to know about our opinion of OkCupid jump over to our review of OkCupid for more information.

How Does OkCupid Work?
Step by Step

Step 1 – Account Setup

Initial account setup is easy, both on the app and on the website. Download and install the app first, or visit the homepage and then simply follow the main prompts for signing up. They’ve tried to make this process as easy and painless as possible by allowing users to sign up using their email address or Facebook account, which makes the process as easy as a single click.

Step 2 – Picture Upload

Next comes the step to upload one’s photos. The system allows you to add up to 6 photos, and it’s strongly recommended — though it’s not a rule — that you only upload natural and filter-free photos, since the whole idea is that you’ll eventually meet up in person with the person you connect with. Filters are invariably a one-way street to disappointment.

It’s also a good idea to upload a couple of full-body photos if you can. Once again, your connections will get to meet you one day sooner or later, no? So they may as well love you from the start!

Step 3 – Write Your Bio

The next step is to write a succinct but sufficient bio that tells another person all they need to know to be interested in you, but that leaves enough room for good conversation if and when you go on a first date with them. Include a few sentences about your personality, interests, and maybe a pet peeve or two, though don’t descend into negativity!

Step 4 – Answer the Questionnaire

This is the part where OkCupid differentiates itself from other platforms. OkCupid will ask new members a series of 15 questions — though there are 50 in total that you can answer if you want. These questions are known within the platform as “OkCupid Prompts.” Some of them are quite straightforward, but others are very personal and you may even balk at them when you see them. There’s no need to worry! It’s all about finding you a great match.

Answer them as frankly as you can, and don’t worry they don’t publish your answers on your profile or show them to others, so it’s all kept hush hush. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to finding your ideal match.

Step 5 – Start “Liking” Profiles and Get Matches

Once your profile is set up, the next step is to start connecting with other profiles on the site or app. On the website, this is fairly open and you can “like” other people’s profiles, or just message them directly. The ecosystem online is fairly open. In the app, however, it works using Tinder’s system of swiping left and right. If you like a profile, you swipe right, and if you don’t like them, you swipe left. You can then message with people who you match with.

How to Cancel OkCupid Subscriptions, and How to Delete OkCupid

Whether you use the App platform or the website platform, the basic process of canceling your subscriptions and/or deleting your account is essentially the same, but there are a few variations depending on your device, and it also depends if you think you might want to return to OkCupid later on. We’ll try to cover all eventualities in this section.

Canceling OkCupid Subscriptions


The process of canceling your OkCupid subscription in iOS is the same as it is for any other. You have to first open up your iPhone settings, and then click on your picture to open up your Apple profile. Once inside, you press on “Subscriptions” where you’ll see a list of both active and suspended subscriptions. Click on the OkCupid subscription and then press cancel.

It should be noted that you can’t get a refund when canceling, but any perks or benefits you have should continue through the period you have already paid for. The difference is that you will not be automatically billed again when the expiry date arrives, as you would if you’d kept the subscription.


Go to your Google Play store, then to “My Subscriptions.” Select the OkCupid subscription, then “manage” and then “cancel subscription.” It will prompt you as to whether you’re sure, but assuming you are, then just press confirm to push the cancellation through.


On the website, you go to your profile, and then to your subscription settings, and from here you can cancel your subscription as required. Refunds are generally only available when you can demonstrate that you have had a bad user experience because of a serious flaw in the system, or if the system bills you without your prior knowledge or permission. These have to be processed through OkCupid customer service.

Deleting Your OkCupid Profile

Regardless of platform, deletion of your OkCupid profile is handled through your profile either in the App or on the website. The key thing to note is that OkCupid will give you two different options when it comes to account deletion, and you should be clear on the difference. The first option is to “disable” your account, the second is to “delete” your account:


Disabling your account means that you are removing it from public view, but that all of your bio and other information will be backed up and stored. In this way, if you decide to return to the platform at any point, you can easily restore your account without having to start over with new details, photos, questions, and so on. It’s a great choice for those who are pessimistic about a romantic connection they may have struck up as a result of their time on OkCupid.

It should be noted that while you can “pause” your profile in this way, your subscriptions won’t necessarily be paused. If you do everything through the website, then it will all be in sync, but if you’re using the apps, then payments are processed via iTunes and Google Play, and these systems do not know when you have disabled your account. Therefore, be sure to cancel the subscriptions (see above) if you are disabling your account.


If you choose to “delete” your account, then all your information and data is permanently removed from the OkCupid system. If you were to return to the platform, you’d have to create an all new profile from scratch. If you’re optimistic about someone you’ve met, then this could be a shrewd move. Please note that the same warning about subscription fees applies if you delete your account and you’ve paid through iTunes or Google Play.

What Does “Enemy” Mean on OkCupid?

As we mentioned earlier when we talked about setting up your OkCupid account, the cornerstone of the process is answering OkCupid’s questions. There are 15 mandatory questions, but the more you answer, the better the matches will be. It takes the results from your questions and matches you with other profiles based on those answers, giving you three percentage:

  • % Match
  • % Friend
  • % Enemy

The higher your “Friend” number, the more you and this other profile agreed upon in those questions. The higher your “Enemy” number, the more you disagreed about when answering the questions. The first “Match” percentage is a combination of these factors, an overall score.

Therefore, the easiest way of understanding this term is to think of it as how much of a “mismatch” you are with another profile.

OkCupid: Pros and Cons

To wrap up the article, let’s summarize our foray into the platform with a summary of the pros and cons of what it has to offer:

Pro – User-Friendly Interface

The app’s Tinder-like interface makes it familiar and easy to use even for first-time users, and even the more cumbersome website is well presented and easy to navigate. Keeping it simple is a definite advantage.

Pro – Extensive Search Features

You can filter profiles with a lot of options and really winnow down your choices to connect with people who are an ideal match for you. They start off quite well filtered by the OkCupid Prompts, but further filters make things even easier. And much of this comes free of charge.

Pro – Shorter-Term Subscriptions Can Be Cheaper

Even though the prices are generally higher (see below), if you use the platform well over, you can spend a bit less over 6 months than you would over 12 on other platforms. What’s more, if you find what you’re looking for within 6 months but have a 12-month subscription, there’s a lot of waste. OkCupid tries to cut out that waste with shorter subscription offers.

Con – Web Platform Doesn’t Demand Exclusivity

The openness of the web platform means you might get a lot of inquiries and chats from people that you don’t even like or feel a match with. The app solves this problem using Tinder’s swiping system, but the website is somewhat lagging behind in this area.

Con – Expensive Memberships

No matter how you look at it in reality, OkCupid does seem to ask for a lot more money than other platforms when you compare the full offering they give in return. These expensive features also don’t do enough to deter the unsavory fake profiles (see below).

Con – A Lot of Fake Accounts Reported

One complaint users have is that because so much of the platform is freely available, it does therefore become something of a hotbed of fake profiles and potential scammers. Those with less savvy can find themselves connecting with unsavory characters more easily than on some other platforms.