OKCupid’s dating research site, OKTrends, did a rather fascinating analysis of 526,000 of their online daters’ tastes, breaking down the most popular words and phrases used within the different self-stated racial groups to find out what each of the genders and races active on the site talked about the most. And then they created charts to represent all of this valuable information.
The charts include whites, blacks, Asians, Latino/as, Indians, Middle Easterners, and Pacific Islanders of both sexes — and OKTrends comes up with some pretty interesting conclusions, one of which is that you’ll know a white guy likes something if you can insert “fucking” in it and it still sounds cool: “Tom fucking Clancy,” but not “Nora fucking Ephron,” for example.
Of particular interest to us, however, with regard to the plight of the single lady, were the things that white women considered important or reflective of themselves in their online profiles. Take a look:
Really, white ladies? Are we that stereotypical (bonfires and horseback riding)? Or is this just what we think men want to see (the Red Sox, “I’m blond,” Nascar)?
The thing is, while some of these seem to be an unabashed attempt to appeal to the menfolk (sports teams, my toes, nursing school) others are just — really, Eat Pray Love? — as mortifyingly generic as announcing a love for “long walks on the beach” and “snuggle time.” To us, the only acceptable things on this list that should be announced to a stranger whom you may or may not want to date are skiing, coffee, and wine. And maybe Ray Lamontagne.
Then again, maybe dating sites in themselves — and certainly an analysis of commonalities within — necessarily eliminate any of the individual personality traits and quirks that makes people seem like we’d want to date them in the first place. In an attempt to get dates we are forced to stereotype ourselves, hoping for the ultimate date that will lead to our ultimate destereotypification. Which would mean, ladies, this is not our fault, exactly. Surely we had, and have, more interesting things to say than this smattering of words.
Meanwhile, here’s where the white dudes stand:
According to the analysis, white men and women had these lonely nuggets in common: boating, the Red Sox, skiing, Nascar, I’m a country boy/country girl.
Other races, by the way, came up as far more linguistically compatible (and less dater-generic), with black men and women topping their charts with mentions of soul food, Latinos/as both loving merengue, and Asians of both genders touting their simplicity.