I stopped back by OKCupid again recently, after about three years away from it, and was reminded all over again how impossible I find it to answer most of their questions.
Here are some made-up examples of the types of questions that bug me.
Some questions have a huge number of built-in and unquestioned assumptions:
How old do you want your spouse to be when the two of you have your third child together?
Some are really vague:
Are people good?
Some provide a range of answers that are nonetheless too specific:
Do you like animals?
- Yes—wombats are the coolest thing ever.
- Sometimes, but only when their little wings are flapping.
- No, because my boat was once capsized by one.
Some ignore the fact that different people might have two diametrically opposed reasons for an answer:
Is President Obama the best U.S. President ever?
The possibility of different reasons for a given answer wouldn't be an issue except that the system also asks you to say how important it is to you that your ideal match give a particular answer. It's very important to me that my ideal match not say "No, because he's too liberal," but not at all important to me that my ideal match not say "No, because he's not liberal enough" or "No, because I'm not an American and don't keep track of your Presidents enough to have an opinion," or "No, because ____ was the best," or various other answers. So I end up saying that my ideal match's answer is irrelevant—which is true inasmuch as the only thing I might care about is the reason for their answer.
Another example of something similar: an actual OKC question (I don't have the specific phrasing handy) asks which is bigger, the sun or the Earth? If taken literally, that seems to me to be a silly question—does anyone believe that the Earth is literally physically bigger than the sun?—so I can easily imagine people answering whimsically or metaphorically (e.g.: "The Earth has a higher population" or "The Earth is a whole wide world to explore" or something). I'd probably be dubious about anyone who would answer "the Earth" in the literal sense, but might really like someone who would give that answer non-literally.
Anyway, the most frequent thing that bugs me about most of the questions is that there's generally no "it depends" answer. Like, questions of the form "What if your SO asked you to do X?"—I dunno, how important is it to them? Is that "always do X" or "do X once" or somewhere in between? What about doing partial X, or alternating X with Y? And so on.
Oh, and here's an actual example from the site:
Imagine that you come home to find a partner pouring red wine all over a stranger's naked body and then licking it off. Which, if any of the following, would bother you most?
- The spilled wine.
- The cheating.
- The fact that I was not invited to join in.
- Actually, this would not bother me.
Fun question, and it allows for a range of answers, but it leaves out most of the most important pieces of information that I would need in order to give an answer. Like: Is the wine staining the gorgeous Persian rug? (I don't have such a rug in real life, but this is a hypothetical situation.) And: What kind of wine is it exactly? And: Did I know about this in advance? And: Is the stranger hot? And: Was I saving that wine to pour all over another partner's naked body? And: Has my partner checked on the stranger's STD status? And: Is the stranger alive and conscious and consenting? And: Am I really not invited to join in? And: Is the other person I brought home to fool around with invited to join in as well? And: Was I planning to watch a movie in that room that evening?
Of course, I can just skip the questions that I can't answer. But I think you can only skip n questions in a row before it requires you to answer one.
I should probably create and post some questions of my own, questions with a dozen answers to choose from, like "Not sure" and "It depends" and "Interesting question; let's discuss it" and "I reject the premises of this question" and "Maybe" and "Sometimes" and "Partially" and "Somewhat" and "All of the above" and "Some but not all of the above" and "Yes, but this answer is misleading" and "I've always had a hard time making up my mind about that" and "Only if the llama were wearing overshoes."