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I spent four years telling anyone who asked how we met that OkCupid’s matching algorithms must have been off. “We were only a seventysomething percent match, with like a twelve percent chance of being enemies. Guess they need to work some bugs out!” The joke’s on me, of course. I emailed the right person at OkCupid to apologize for the years of disparagement.

This about a 4 year relationship? The whole thing reads like someone who needs to do a lot more self-reflection.




>The whole thing reads like someone who needs to do a lot more self-reflection.

He's 28; 4 years is a big chunk of that life. I'm not quite sure what you mean though. He seems to do some self-reflection, and this post is an example of it made public.


The suggestion that OkCupid's algorithms were right all along and that's why the 4-year relationship failed is, if taken seriously, indeed questionable. But I'd assume that remark is more an offhanded joke than anything.


That part of the story stuck out to me. I don't think he's mentioning it just because it's funny. I think he regrets brushing off that warning flag. I could almost feel his pain when he mentioned it. 12% enemy is significant. It means you are misaligned on some things that are important to you.

Years ago, when my SO and I calculated our compatibility using OKCupid, there was a way to run a report on items that decreased compatibility. We didn't have many, but it was helpful to talk about the few things we did disagree on. I wonder if they were able to do something similar before their marriage; maybe it would have helped.

Sorry for your pain Alex, but glad to see you are getting to experience some wonderful new things. Thank you for sharing this touching piece.


Don't put so much stock in an online dating algorithm. He was just trying to illustrate how perfect everything seemed, how sure of everything he was, until suddenly that stable-seeming foundation fell out from under him.

There's no way that in a post that explores the limits of technology, he's actually trying to make some claim that he missed a huge red flag in an online dating algorithm's output, nor that we should interpret the situation in that way.


> Don't put so much stock in an online dating algorithm.

I wouldn't put so much stock in someone like eHarmony, but OkCupid--sure! Those guys use math!

disclaimer: I work for OkCupid Labs.


The fact that you use math doesn't prove anything, especially in an area as complicated as human relationship.


eHarmony uses math!

OKCupid uses reader-generated surveys.


I would say eHarmony relies on pyschology; okCupid on sociology or anthropology.

Was somewhat disappointed when okCupid was acquired by match.com.


Good point; you're right that the example does a good job illustrating their optimism.

I agree with you that we shouldn't put too much stock in these algorithms. Still, it's interesting that OK Cupid reached the same conclusion as Alex's wife: we're too different.

The enemy part is particularly interesting because it indicates conflict. The story would seem different if it was like "Ok cupid says we're 70% match but we think we're 99% match!". Instead, it's OKCupid saying: "you have conflicts" and the couple deciding to move forward despite those conflicts.

I'm not trying to make a big point here; I just find this part of the story fascinating.


Years ago, when my SO and I calculated our compatibility using OKCupid, there was a way to run a report on items that decreased compatibility. We didn't have many, but it was helpful to talk about the few things we did disagree on. I wonder if they were able to do something similar before their marriage; maybe it would have helped.

We didn't meet on a dating website, but my current partner and I have done pretty much this. We sat down, and talked, and had a very frank, logical discussion of the things we disagree on, to try and weed out any red-flag issues before they became issues. It transpired that politically, we're quite different - but we both think it's pretty boring to be with someone who feels the same as you on every issue, all the time. I think it was good to do that - to talk thoroughly through things in a calm way, before they turn up in a completely unrelated fight.


I read it as multiple simultaneous realizations, one of them about marriage (a realization forced by his wife initiating the divorce), leading him to reboot himself.


[deleted]


Why did he do? Post this article?

Or are you talking about something else?

Please explain, thanks

Edit: the now-deleted parent said that Alex was selfish for what he did to his ex-wife and company.




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