% Enemy

Friends and Enemies
Friends and Enemies

I had thought that trying to see the good in people was a positive trait, but it turns out I’m only seeing the 75% friend and not the 25% enemy.

The online dating site OKCupid has many interesting characteristics. It has quizzes to take, questions to answer, and lots of ways to filter profiles. One unique characteristics is that, based on your answers to questions, the site will tell you to what extent someone else is your friend or your enemy. If someone is at least 85% friend, their profile is worth considering. If they are more than 20% enemy, you just pass on by.

It turns out, though, that the % Enemy number is much more helpful in determining potential matches than is the % Friend number. For example if you think that being a 75% friend is a good proportion, it is disappointing to realize that, in spite of being good-looking, well-educated, and rich, the person is racist. On the other hand, if he’s 25% enemy, you will never, ever, get along. He’s pompous, racist, chronically unemployed, and leaves litter.

So, now I think I have been going about forming all my relationships from entirely the wrong angle. I don’t normally go around figuring out to what extent my friends, associates, family, and colleagues are potentially my enemy, but maybe I should. If I could clearly identify Joe the Plumber or Great Aunt Minnie as 25% enemy, I would probably steer clear of them–entirely.

In the OKCupid scheme of things, 25% enemy trumps 75% friend.


  1. I agree about the relative utility of the “% Friend” and “% Enemy” numbers on OKCupid; by the time I took down my profile there last August, I had come to rely almost entirely on the latter and more or less ignored the former.

    I question whether either number, though, has much predictive value. One lovely lass I encountered there early last Summer had a 99% Friend/1% Enemy rating with me, but when I sent her a message suggesting we chat she replied, “Thank you for your interest. It doesn’t appear to me we’ve got much in common, though. Good luck on your search.”

    So I remain a wee tad skeptical.

    • Clearly, the lovely lass had not actually looked at your profile! Either that or she was new to the site and overwhelmed with responses.

  2. This explains why I’m estranged from most of my family … they are all my enemies!

    Oh wait, maybe I’m taking it out of context…. 😉

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