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28 September 2021

Entrepreneurs and Online Dating: Insights from OkCupid’s Data

Jairek Robbins

Did you know that being an entrepreneur could potentially boost your chances of finding love as you use an online dating app? If the data released by OkCupid is anything to go by, a category of entrepreneurs seems to get it easier during the online dating game.

OkCupid, an online dating service, conducted a study spanning a year from July 2020 to July this year. The company noted that there was a 10 percent increase in the number of people who indicated that they were entrepreneurs while filling out their profile on the dating app.

Not a coincidence…

It isn’t surprising that there is an observable uptick in the stats of people professing to be entrepreneurs. Remember, the Covid-19 pandemic broke out at the end of 2019 and brought the global economy to its knees in 2020.

Many people lost jobs, and many others realized that their jobs weren’t as secure as they initially thought. Consequently, thousands, if not millions, of people entered the entrepreneurial space to find a new source of livelihood or to augment their existing but fragile source of income.

It is therefore not surprising that the profiles on OkCupid saw an increase in the number of people declaring that they were entrepreneurs. Damona Hoffman, the app’s resident dating coach, admits as much.

Interestingly, OkCupid users who indicated that they were entrepreneurs seemed to have higher odds of exchanging numbers with the people they match with in comparison with those who didn’t say they were entrepreneurs on their profiles.

Entrepreneurial men and women fare differently…

It turns out that saying you are an entrepreneur is perceived differently depending on whether you are male or female.

OkCupid’s data shows that self-declared entrepreneur women tended to stand a higher chance of “conversation” (exchanging at least two messages) with their matches when compared to the conversation rates of men whose profiles indicated that they were entrepreneurs.

Men seem to form a better impression of women who say they are entrepreneurs. This is because such women are seen to be achievers, go-getters, independent, and focused. Men will therefore be strongly inclined to seek a connection with such a woman, and OkCupid says that entrepreneurial women had an almost 50% higher rate of starting “conversations” with matches.

In contrast, men who indicated that they were entrepreneurs had a 13% lower chance of having “conversations” with matches in comparison to men whose profiles didn’t say they were entrepreneurs.

A case of past societal programing?

It turns out that men who say they are entrepreneurs on their OkCupid profiles immediately face two disadvantages.

First, it isn’t clear what exactly such men mean when they say they are entrepreneurs. Does it mean they run a small e-commerce store as a hobby or they founded a fintech company that is on the verge of listing on a major stock exchange?

Potential dates want clarity, and unfortunately the label entrepreneur can mean a whole lot of things. As a result, men saying they are entrepreneurs lose out on some potential matches due to the ambiguity surrounding that description.

Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, society has given men the role of provider, and a vast majority of women looking for dates want to be sure that the man they choose can be a provider and will not place an unnecessary burden on the finances of the woman.

Saying you are an entrepreneur feeds the thinking that you are struggling financially, and this impression is strengthened by the lack of clarity regarding what one means when they say they are an entrepreneur. Rather than take the risk of someone sponging off of them, women tend to avoid self-professed “entrepreneurial” men.

The online dating scene also has this thinking that men have a tendency to exaggerate a little when writing their dating site profiles, and that perception hurts the chances of male entrepreneurs during online dating.

Shouldn’t men say they are entrepreneurs?

It may appear that it is counterproductive for males to write in their dating profiles that they are entrepreneurs, but should they drop this title altogether?

Remember that the objective of paying attention while crafting a profile is to increase the chances of getting the right match. Withholding information can therefore spoil it for you since people who would have been right for you may be kept away.

OkCupid recommends that you still indicate that you are an entrepreneur but go a step further and provide additional information to clarify what you mean when you say you are an entrepreneur. 

For example, you can indicate that you are in the HVAC business so that potential dates know that you are working full-time growing your business in that industry.

Will this guarantee more dates? Not necessarily, but you will at least be spared from matching with the wrong people who will end up terminating the connection anyway. It is lonely being an entrepreneur, and narrowing the sample space of potential dates will increase the odds of finding that one person who is best suited for you. After all, eHarmony, the online dating site which matches people who profess the Christian faith, has an admirably low divorce rate (3.86 percent) when compared to the U.S. national average divorce rate of 50 percent. This means that when done right, online dating can help you identify a lifelong partner. Go find that partner and enjoy your entrepreneurial journey!

To Your Success,

Jairek Robbins

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