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I began with Christian Rudder, OKCupid’s founder and the author of , a book that uses data from the dating site to draw conclusions about message language, message length, depressing discrepancies between male and female age preferences, and more.

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It does, however, illuminate broader trends about how our online language use has changed over time.

“Females tend to include more personal attributes in their usernames,” Herring says.

They represented a dry humor than aligns with my own.

Admittedly, my personal history of username selection isn’t without blemishes.

"Five of 71 men and six of 93 women included their birth year, and two men and two women included the current year, 2015," Herring said.

Age, after all, is just a number -- a number that's listed prominently on OKC user pages, so displaying it in a username is a little redundant.

I don’t attribute this to an alignment of stars, to the mercy of the web gods and goddesses, or even to OKC’s algorithm, which supposedly uses questions such as “What’s worse, book burning or flag burning? Instead, I chalk up my positive online dating experiences -- which, with the exception of a brazen date who rudely shushed fellow theatergoers (referred to amongst my friends henceforth as “the shusher”), has been without horror stories -- to my careful evaluation of a potential match’s username before arranging a date.

Puns and hyper-masculine references were mostly no-gos.

On my fourth or fifth date arranged through OKCupid I met my current boyfriend, who happens to be the most communicative, fun, and kind person I’ve met, online or off.

I’ll spare you the gush-fest; suffice it to say we’re an awesome match.

I’ve swiped, I’ve messaged, I’ve boldly gone where no right-thinking relationship-seeker has gone before (to see a vampire movie on a first date), all in the name of finding love, or at least a cool guy to hang out with.

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