Flowchart to My Heart

July 7th, 2009 by Chris Coyne

Christian and I have been sorting through stats requests from last week. “Are Some People’s Lives More Valuable Than Others?” will be getting graphed soon, among other match questions, and we’ll also break down last week’s graphs by gender. Some of the new graphs will be global, too. Or even Canadian.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share a toy we’ve been working on: a chart generator that converts your match questions into a printable pdf file, a visualization of your dating decision process. It takes potential suitors on a path from “Hello” to burning rejection. Or to a first date. All using the questions you marked as “mandatory” on OkCupid.

Here’s my graph, the flowchart to my heart, generated by my answers and preferences. Click through to the pdf or larger image to see the full glory.

chriscoyne’s flowchart

view larger | see the pretty pdf

Now you know how I determine if I’ll go on a date with someone, though I have to say that because I’m married and I wanted my match percentage with my wife be as high as possible I’ve asked to match with other married people—that’s not really my general dating m.o.

Anyhow, it’s interesting to see these important questions all in one place. I (like most people) don’t consider myself a collection of opinions about radically divergent issues, but these questions are all crucial for me. I’m allergic to cats and catlike beasts. I fully expect someone to know that $1.00 plus 50% then minus 50% is $0.75. And I can’t deal with religious people. If I were still single and found someone who navigated this graph successfully I’d have certainly said yes to at least a first date. And then it would’ve been up to chemistry and the wine.

OkCupid Rules

Thoughts? I’d love to hear them. If you post a comment, please start by saying where you ended up on my flowchart, the one above. OkCupid users can expect this toy to be available to them in the next couple weeks. Until then, here’s another example from someone on the site.

The below chart is from a girl in London who proclaims herself “a tough ass to crack.” Indeed. She allowed me to post the image, but not the full pdf, so I can only give you an arm’s length view of a very complicated personality. This is what “dying alone” looks like as a png.

user X’s flowchart

Printed at a pleasant and readable resolution, this graph is 10 feet tall. And the best wallpaper ever. We’ve printed out a couple of these things and they look really cool—definitely frame-worthy. Do you think yours will end up this complicated?

OkCupid Rules

In other news: 32,000 people read our first blog post! Sadly, Diggy still rejected it because I used the word “rape” in the title.

Also, OkCupid co-founder Sam has started tweeting site news. If you find these blog posts interesting, add him on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/okcupid. He’ll let you know when Christian and I post new findings.

187 Responses to “Flowchart to My Heart”

  1. Aaron Collom says:

    No Date

    I think this is a great tool. I just wish people thought like me. “is homosexuality a sin” “Yes, in Catholicism it qualifies for a sin. *click*” No Date. FUCK.

  2. Tara says:

    Cat question did it to me, otherwise I passed. I’d be quite interested to see my own chart (and ESPECIALLY other people’s! Because I’m nosey).

    Cool stuff.

  3. Justin says:

    This is awesome, I hope it becomes a feature! 1700 questions should be enough to wallpaper my room.

    It would be even better if you could select search criteria as well. For instance, being located within 50 miles of me might be mandatory criteria but there might not be a question for it.

    Being able to go back into your question history and not use certain questions would be a nice feature too.

    Keep it up, you guys are on the cutting edge of great dating tools.

  4. infinitree says:

    Bravo! This is an amazing idea. I really hope you guys start getting flooded with members. The pickin’s in my area is getting kind of slim.

  5. marimachita says:

    Who cares if anyone can get through X’s labyrinth? That’s the whole point of everything she does, to make it impossible.

  6. Om says:

    I’m paying- meow.

    Great idea, I’m really looking forward to seeing mine!

  7. carlyzx says:

    wow, I want to make flowchart!

  8. Tony says:

    Best line: “This is what ‘dying alone’ looks like as a png.” Perfect.

  9. hey_I_found_you says:

    PLEASE MAKE THIS OPTION AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE! We want to see our own flow charts!

  10. Hank says:



    From looking at *your* chart, it appears that any answers pointing to the right result in “success.” One answer pointing to the left results in “only if you’re paying.” Any beyond that are a flat out go to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200 on the way, and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out, thank you very much.

    The interesting thing, though, is that *technically* you only have to get half the questions correct to get a date, since the other half will never be asked of you. 😉

    I think it would be *really* interesting if you could interleave the “very important” questions, but we very well may ‘die alone’ just bothering to read the chart.

    So, if you and your wife ever… oh wait, that answers my question right there. You’re a guy. Figures. Damn.

  11. munineye says:

    Okay, this looks amazing and insightful. I prefer to look at it as a visual function for the individual who orders it rather than for any potential mate, but I love the concept.
    Then again, I’m rather introspective.

  12. Pilgrim3 says:

    This looks great.
    Self-analysis reigns!

  13. okfabian says:

    I was getting close but got a “no date” because I’m not married otherwise I think I could have won. Haha. This looks awesome!

  14. christian says:

    Yes, her chart is long because she’s tagged a LOT of questions as mandatory. She has a long list of demands, basically.

  15. Harvey_HiPoint says:

    Hey Chris, kudos for this!

    Check out how crazy this is: I’ve actually set up an alternate fake profile (mainly to weed out the readily-hypersexual-with-any-random-good-looking-stranger kinda people). When people wanna date me, I message them from my sexy, undetectably fake profile just to see what they’re about…or to play with them.

    Needless to say, I think I’m with Lady “X” on the dying alone thing (lmao @ that, btw), but at least it won’t be of AIDS! I’ve avoided a lot of creepy, kinky, downright whorish gay men in my city this way. And who says being bi opens up the playing field! 😛

  16. Nikki says:

    I ended up on no date because I had a brain fart when it came to the maths question!

    But I think it is a fabulous idea. I have answered nearly 2,000 questions so mine will be ridiculously intricate 😉

  17. ruby says:

    see, this is why, after a rather strange courtship, i returned to okc,and am enjoying it. this site is FUN. kudos to you guys for taking what you learned in school and making it into a playful adventure (for yourselves, too, i hope) and also i hope a reasonable livelihood.

    and yes, i would love to see what my flowchart looks like.

  18. IvanKaramazov says:

    “Only if you’re paying”

    But I love my cat! Oh well, a couple of the questions on the left paths would’ve stumped me too, had I ended up over there. But if I’m ever in New York, I’ll buy you a drink.

  19. Kathleen says:

    I definitely support the flowchart tool.

    Resource intensive, but most totally worth it for users. … that said, I may have to revise my answers to some questions.

  20. MaaJake says:

    Yeah, it’s definitely interesting. I loved the dying bit, it was hilarious.

  21. atrigent says:

    Why is sadomasochism listed as a victimless crime…?

  22. Miss Jayney says:


    What a brilliant new toy!

  23. Rich says:

    I was so excited, I answered honestly and made a success on the first try, only to find out chriscoyne was also male. :-/ Oh, well. 😉 I’d love to have this tool available for use to play with live on the site! That might even be more useful than the comparison charts between profiles.

    Keep up the great work!

  24. Lynn says:

    I’d get a date :)

    Think this is an awesome idea. Can’t wait for the release date!

  25. Brian says:

    Only if I were paying (and, likely, not male).

    The question that got me was “Did mankind evolve from primates?” My answer to that is “no”, in the same sense that “Did salmon evolve from fish?” is a no — humans *are* primates, whilst the question implies that we *aren’t* any more. That said, I think this particular disagreement is more apparent than real.

  26. Brian says:

    This is really cool! I can’t wait to use it on the site (along with everyone else on this list)!

  27. Meredith says:

    haha this is hilarious. No date for me 😉

  28. cris says:

    how cool! as an information and graphics junkie, i’m really into this. good stuff!

  29. cris says:

    oh, and i totally would’ve gotten a date!

  30. cmu_central_guy says:

    No Date, but hey, I WANT ONE!… well, a flowchart…. not a date…

  31. robotjackie says:


    [in other words.. Hey, Chris. Sup?]

    I really dig the flowchart idea. Suddenly I’m very curious to know what mine would look like..

  32. Daniel Howard says:

    Damn. I want that flowchart, too! Maybe you could send me an e-mail/ 😉

    User: dannyman08


  33. remymurphy says:

    This really is impressive. I would like a flow chart for myself, so I can fold it up and place it in my wallet in place of the condoms I never use.

  34. prettyANDwitty says:

    “SUCCESS LET’S DO IT!”-green light for me :) i got there by the right-most set of arrows at each level (except for the very bottom one)

    i like the concept, and i love graph-like representations of various concepts even more than the concepts themselves sometimes. BUT! for me to see its utility as a valid tool, a roadmap, a guide of some sort, i gotta ask, how does the sequence of boxes get determined from the match questions alone? how can it get so chain-like when we have only 2-3 levels of importance that can be considered significan (i’m assuming mandatory, very important, and somewhat important).

    and what if i can deal with with a wrong response to a very important question if they get all my mandatories right, or if they have a ton of “somewhat important” questions right in line with what i want? basically, what are the rules for compensatory algorithms when an answer to a certain important question is not favorable?

    plus, i think that 3 lights may not be enough. maybe a 5-star system at least would be more appropriate. the reason why is that even though some important things may not align, one can still consider a date but with less guarantee of success, maybe not get the hopes up as much, but with some possibilities of having other redeeming qualities compensate.

    the graph is also biased by the breadth of questions one answered and therefore, so even if some important ones are red flags, perhaps there are other potentially MORE important questions that are unanswered that would reveal perfectly green light for that person.
    is there some error margin that you can provide then? so, like for the 5-star system, maybe if the # of Qs is less than X, then it would be 3+-2 stars, as opposed to 3+-0.01 stars (in the case of many questions)

    finally, what someone said above would be great: to incorporate the match criteria.

    so, when will u make at least some beta-version available so i can finally get my hands on it and play around?! :))

    thank you so much in advance! this definitely got me interested.

  35. LilBilly777 says:

    I made it to the “Does Smoking disguist you” before I got the No Date. I’m excited to check this chart out.

  36. randomdorkgirl says:

    I would love one of these! Even if it was huge I would still like one. I hope we get to have our own soon.

  37. Robert100 says:

    I don’t how useful it will be, but I really must use this software – ASAP. It brings out the inner geek in me (which is never buried deeply to begin with)
    Please let us known when it will be available.

  38. GJ says:

    So when can we expect to view such a graph of our own match questions? :-) Even more amusing, if someone “fails out,” It’d be fun, if a little cruel, to show them how “close” they got to that final “let’s date” green circle. 😉 Maybe blur or grey out the unanswered questions, so some things are left a mystery. 😉

  39. blodgettwaxwing says:

    this is fantastic.
    can you do an overlap of 2 people’s flowcharts, and predict what possible dating outcomes would be, choose-your-own-adventure style?

  40. demented_pants says:

    Reddit is better than Digg anyway.

  41. baconman says:

    I’m with the consensus here. Yes, it will probably be nigh-impossible to navigate, but hella fun to check out some of these. Everybody has some wiggle room, though… so maybe an option for dropping the “kinda important” and “somewhat important” degrees would simplify things greatly.

    And yes, that is “dying alone in a PNG” if I’ve ever seen it.

  42. baconman says:

    What’s the deal on the “Married/Seeing Somebody” thing, though? You’re a bad, bad bastard aren’t you?

    *hi-five’s that shit*

  43. Happy Aardvark says:

    Brilliant – with the exception of the cat branch 😉

    Do you have the URL for the pdf of this what “dying alone” looks like (comic gold by the way)


  44. slug0307 says:

    I hope you guys make this a feature… it’s pretty dope.

  45. Erich Riesenberg says:

    Yes, this is a neat feature. I don’t think it even needs to be a flowchart, though that is fun. Just a quick score card to compare values is helpful.

    Hope you guys are making money. Alas, less than 20 “guys who like guys” age 35 – 45 in central Iowa!

  46. Manda says:


    I can’t even wait to compare flowcharts with friends. I’m pretty selective and answer a lot of match questions, so I suspect my chart will be long…

    I could definitely see myself putting a potential date through the maze for my own amusement, and as a subtle way to let them know what I’m looking for. As an ultimate date-decider, though, it might be a little harsh. I am answering match questions for my ‘ideal match’, after all. My ‘ideal match’ MUST think x, do y, etc… or else he’s not ideal. This imaginary lover is a pretty tough standard for anyone to live up to.

    In any case, great fun. Can’t wait!

  47. sidsix says:

    Cool, I look forward to trying this out. Apparently I wouldn’t be dating you though, I imagine my chart would be similar in length to the London girl’s.

  48. Jerri Lyn says:

    No date. If you got me pregnant, I’d never have an abortion.

    Your loss.

    I am very much looking forward to when this becomes available. Since my ex is on here, I want to find out where we wind up on each other’s charts!

  49. James says:

    Hey! This is pretty cool – and have you noticed that your particular flowchart looks kinda reminiscent of a map of the UK??

  50. BilgeMunky says:

    Oh, I need to see this as a feature. I would love to see what mine would look like. I hereby state that you guys could thankfully use my answers to do this. Hehehe.