Update: OK Cupid's Crazy Blind Date is no longer in operation. We have retained the review below for "historical" purposes.
OKCupid's Version of "HowAboutWe.com"
Apparently, OkCupid realized they were behind the 8 ball in the recent trend of members wanting to get off their derrieres and out into the real dating world as soon as possible. Although this app has been around for about 5 years, it has recently been re-featured on their site. Like HowAboutWe, Circl.es, and Grouper, OKCupid is now offering an alternative to endlessly clicking on potential matches and playing the waiting game.
Ready For An Adventure In Dating?
Check out OKCupid's newer feature, Crazy Blind Date, where members who are willing to take a risk can literally end up on a date every night of the week. Crazy Blind Date is different than the true blind date with the friend that your co-worker or sister suggested, where you have no clue whether "Attractive" = "Not on your life", since the member's photo is there, only scrambled:
How It Works:
1. Sign up for the free Crazy Blind Date's App to verify that you are who you say you are with your phone number, since each Crazy Blind Date account is tied to a phone number. Download the app to your iOS [iTunes link] or Android (Google play) device.
2. The App does all the work for you by scrambling a picture you have chosen. You have the option to make it less scrambled, to let the potential match see you more clearly. You will indicate your age, gender and sexual orientation, or you can connect your OkCupid account to import that information automatically.
3. Tell Crazy Blind Date when you're available and where you'd like to meet. (8 p.m. tonight at a brewpub in Portland). If a match is found, the app will message you to confirm the place and time. A half hour before the date is set to start, an anonymous chat window will appear so you can find your date (and help your date find you).
4. After the date, Crazy Blind Date will send you a request for feedback. Here's where the free site might make some revenue; if your date was good, you'll be encouraged to give your date "kudos": one kudos ($0.99) if you liked your date, and 10 kudos ($2.99) if you really liked your date. The more kudos you have, the higher positioned you will be in the dating queue. (Kudos are not a requirement, but an incentive). Kudos aside, you and your date continue to have the option (if both parties agree) to message each other to set up a second date.
If You Are SEEKING a Date:
1. Simply click on the potential blind (hopefully not crazy) date's scrambled pic, and you are taken to the next page, where you'll find a pic, a map with a meeting place (in this case, you'll see a Seattle bar). You'll see a date when they would like to meet, or alternate times they are available.
3. Click on "Set us Up", and then" Confirm", verify through the code sent to you, and presto... your response will zoom over to your Crazy Blind Date.
So What's it Like? Experiencing OKCupid's Crazy Blind Date
Salon contributor EJ Dickson was curious about this new feature, and whether it represented a new frontier in the online dating world. As an experiment, she went on 3 Crazy Blind Dates, using the app, and wrote about her experience. (Note: Ms. Dickson used these poor shlubs as subjects for her article without telling them that she was in a long term relationship, so it's not exactly a reflection of whether this kind of blind date would have worked out better for her if her energy was more open to a possibility of developing a dating relationship).
Yelper Gina C. from NYC wrote about her experience here:
I have used this website twice in the last two months. http://Crazyblinddate.com is pretty much tailored to people like me: those who don't really have a physical type and like to meet people who like to meet people. I'm the kind of girl that'll chat up anyone on the subway if they're willing to converse.
I found http://crazyblinddate.com to be an entertaining way to kill time and meet new people. I think that the matching up is completely arbitrary except for the few criterion they offer (age, neighborhood they're willing to meet up in, minimum height, religion). Each potential suitor and suit-ee have the opportunity to write a few words saying what they're looking for in a date and what they expect, but this really tells you nothing. I think my first date said that he was looking to play Ms. Pacman and have a beer and my second date wrote something even less telling. My first date wanted exactly as he said, but it told nothing about his personality and my second date should have mentioned that he was looking for a wife.
I had very little in common with my dates, but really enjoyed the company of both though again, I like talking with everyone. If you're not the kind of person that loves all sorts of people, if you have high expectations and even if you're looking for a love match, I would say that this website is not for you.
If you love meeting new people that you probably would never date on the regular or have much in common with, I recommend you try the site at least once.
Kate T. from Portland, OR had a slightly better experience:
I had a pretty good time with CBD, but i stopped using it after a month or so. I'm not sure if it was that the newer sign-ups were less serious about it than the first-movers, but the longer i stayed on, the more flaky my dates got. Which is to say, the first three showed up, the fourth wandered in late and couldn't have cared less about me, the date, or anything else, and after being stood up three times after that, i quit.
The first three dates were quite fun, though, and all very different. We always outlasted the 30-minute minimum, and while none of them lead to a second date, i'm entirely glad i went. I met interesting people, checked out new venues, and felt daring.
So, if you're bored and restless, i say give it a try, but don't get your hopes up too much. You probably won't meet your soul mate, but you may find a new friend (or a new cafe).
Crazy Blind Date probably is a good add-on to your already existing dating repertoire, but certainly not as a standalone way to meet someone. Blind dating through a friend or family member takes into account that the two of you have something in common, even though you might not be attracted to each other. Crazy Blind Date can offer you a social opportunity and a way to get back "out there" or to practice your dating skills.