OK Cupid (“OKC”) is one of the hottest online dating sites on the Internet. With its analyzing and calculating for you a qoutient as to how each potential partner stacks up against you in terms of their “Match %”, “Friend %” and “Enemy %”, it is a unique service, and many say it’s the best of the bunch as between the legitimate and well-known dating sites such as Match.com and eHarmony.
But, while the process behind the “match percentage” is elaborately explained on the OKCupid website, and one can even infer what the “friend percentage” means, how they calculate the “enemy percentage”, or what the Enemy percent even is, remains a mystery. What does “enemy” mean, exactly? Why does it even feature on a dating website? How can two people who don’t even know each other be ‘enemies’?
First, it helps to understand what the “Match %” is. OK Cupid explains that this is a weighting derived from an analysis of the questions they put to you when you are creating or updating your profile. When you answer a question, you also indicate how important the subject of that question is to you.
For each question that you answer, OK Cupid assigns a value to a) your answer, b) how you’d like someone else to answer, and c) how important the question (or, really, their answer to the question) is to you.
For example, for the question “Have you ever cheated in a relationship” the possiblities are ‘yes’ and ‘no’. Then you can indicate how you hope your potential partner will answer that question, and how important it is to you.
The more answered questions that you have in common, with answers in common, and the importance of the question weighted similarly, the higher your Match % number will be.
And, obviously, the more questions you answer, the more data they will have.
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So that explains, in a nutshell, the Match % points.
Your Friend % value derives from those same questions and answers, but looking only at the matching answers that you gave, without using the ‘importance’ factor (presumably because if you are going to ‘just be friends’ then the importance factor becomes less, well, important).
But it is that “enemy” factor that has flummoxed people, because it is not explained anywhere and seems to make little sense. Theories abound both in the OK Cupid forums, and elsewhere, as to just what that “enemy” means.
We did a lot of digging, and came up with what seems to be the definitive answer, from an OK Cupid employee, answering an OK Cupid support ticket. Keep in mind that this information is from two years ago, so it may have changed, but it is at least a glimpse into just what the heck the “enemy” value on OK Cupid means:
Match % – The number of questions you agree on (taking into account your answer AND the importance value you attach to it)
Enemy % – The complete opposite of that — the number of questions you disagree on (can include questions you answer the same, but where one person says it’s mandatory and the other says it’s irrelevant- that would be a disagreement)
Friend % – Only takes into account the questions you give the same answer to. Ignores importance values.
So, the enemy number is a function of questions on which the OK Cupid system views you as disagreeing, and OK Cupid assumes that the disagreement is important and relevant. Keep in mind that even if you answer the question in the same way, if you indicate that chewing with your mouth closed is mandatory, and your potential partner says it’s not important, OK Cupid considers that a ‘disagreement’ that will make you enemies.
God forbid that one of you snores or leaves the toilet seat up – that is grounds for pistols at dawn.