The online matchmaker put all of 2015 on the table, and there's a lot to be learned

By Lydia Price
Updated January 20, 2016 01:50 PM
Credit: Retna Ltd/Everett Collection

Ah, dating. What a fun, fulfilling experience that’s always filled with exciting new adventures and opportunities.

Just kidding. Finding a person to put up with our particular brand of quirks is a miserable, near-impossible endeavor, the thought of which nearly keeps us locked in our room sobbing into a box of Oreos on a daily basis.

Luckily, OKCupid is here to at least slightly streamline the process.

The digital matchmaker released its 2015 report card, and it’s filled with valuable information for hardened spinsters and desperate millennials alike. Taking in these nine lessons will up your chances of turning your online profile into IRL dates.

1. Whatever you do, don’t say "hey"
OKCupid’s data shows that a message that just says “hey” has a whopping 84 percent chance of being ignored. Really, it comes as no surprise. Even if you do get a response to the simplest of all salutations, it’s likely to be a corresponding “hey” or “hi,” all accumulating in a conversation that’s less riveting than counting the number of people on your subway car, and rarely leads to an actual meet-up. Break the ice with something that calls for a more-than-one-word response. Even “how was your day” is a better call than “hey.”

2. Looking for casual sex? Move to Oregon
With 15.51 percent of Oregonian users looking for casual sex, the state ranks No. 1 in hook-up seekers. Meanwhile, if you travel Southeast to Utah, you’ll find the highest percentage of virgins in the country, at 19.78 percent.

3. Find your inner Christian Grey
The site saw a 5 percent increase in the number of dating hopefuls who “have a desire to participate in bondage” year over year. With 58 percent of all users interested in handcuffs and whips, you might want to take some time to consider whether it’s something that might float your boat (or get it rocking).

4. Skip the smiley face if you want to stand out
The two most-used emojis in 2015 OkCupid messages were the slightly smiling, blushing face (like this) and the smiling blushed face (this), with the ever-classic winking face rounding out the top three. If you want to avoid boring your flirting partner, instead opt for one of the “emotional emojis,” which had the highest reply rate of all. Messages with the sweat emoji, the distressed face or the sleeping emoji were successful at eliciting a response 40 percent of the time.

5. Don’t be racist
A valuable piece of dating and ‘all other areas of life’ advice. The questions most users selected as “important,” “Would you consider dating someone who has vocalized a strong negative bias toward a certain race of people?” and “Is interracial marriage a bad idea?” reveal that most OkCupiders like their romance with a side of tolerance. More than any other questions, people said an answer other than “no” to either of those two inquiries was a deal breaker. This means most Americans are probably going to want to avoid Mississippi, were 18 percent of OkCupid users said they were not okay with interracial marriage, the most of any state.

6. Know the lingo
Want to woo the hippest of OkCupid users? Take note of what the kids are saying these days. The use of the word “bae” doubled in 2015, while “fleek” (on point), “ghosting” (abruptly ceasing all communication with someone) and “dad bod” (a circa-2015 Leonardo DiCaprio) entered the lexicon. The phrase “Netflix and chill” rose in popularity an incredible 5,357 percent this year.

7. If you’re not religious, online dating might be your best bet
While 93 percent of people in the United States identify as neither atheist nor agnostic according to the 2015 Pew Religious Landscape survey, only 76 percent of OKCupid daters put themselves in the same category. So if you’re looking for someone to not go to church with on Sundays, you might want to put some extra time into your online dating profiles.

8. Keep it clean (in more ways than one)
After race-related questions, the biggest deal breakers all revolve around health and hygiene. OkCupid users insist you bathe or shower at least once a day, and are only interested in a Netflix and chill sesh with someone who brushes their teeth twice or more a day. The number-three question most often marked as important, “What’s your deal with harder drugs (stuff beyond pot)?” reveals that most of the site’s visitors want a significant other who can say “I never do drugs.”

9. Catch up on your Taylor Swift and film franchises
The pop star was mentioned 114 percent more times in 2015 than in 2014, so if you know all the lyrics to “Wildest Dreams,” you already have something in common with a lot of people on OkCupid. The statistics also further confirm what we already knew about movies: America loves a good franchise. The top five movies referenced on the site this year, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Jurassic World, Mad Max: Fury Road and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, were all reboots or sequels, meaning making sure you’re up on your mega-movie franchises ensures you’ll have something to talk about on the first date.