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In today’s modern world, even the quest to find love has gone digital, and online dating has become one of the most efficient ways to find and forge new romantic relationships. In fact, according to a survey published by Pew Research Center, over half of the general public agree that online dating is a good way to meet people.
However, as in real life, online dating is all about making a good first impression. You want to be able to stand out and charm that special someone who’s already lackadaisically browsing through dozens of other profiles. It’s safe to say a lot can go wrong with those first impressions. Taking this into consideration, perhaps it’s worth putting more thought into your online dating profile than the simple “fun wanderlusting foodie” or “message me to find out ;)”.
1. Have good photos
For starters, you should definitely have photos on your profile. Users with photos receive 16 times more responses than those without, explains Match’s relationship expert Kate Taylor. She adds that the most successful photos are taken in daylight, using an SLR camera (not a smartphone), and show just one person, not a group. Following the concept of “show, don’t tell”, a photo of you engaged in an interesting activity helps to exhibit more of your personality and create conversations.
However, you’ll have better luck not restricting yourself to just one photo. Scientists Khalid S Khan and Sameer Chaudhry have discovered that portraits of yourself alone may not be enough. Photographic proof that you actually have friends would help. Additionally, the research found that a photo with you in the center of a group of people, particularly people smiling at you adoringly, conveys power and desirability that boosts your perceived attractiveness.
Furthermore, aside from the obvious “be good-looking”, there are a few tricks you can employ to come off as attractive. Looking into data from OkCupid and Match, Wired determined that the most attractive users had photos where they were making eye contact with the camera and displaying big, genuine smiles. Moreover, if you are a woman, researchers have noticed that wearing red influences the male perception of your appeal, and increases your chances of interaction.
2. Include sociable interests
Kate Taylor suggests writing a brief yet upbeat profile akin to how you would describe yourself if you were talking to a stranger at a bar. She also suggests including sociable interests that show how someone could fit into your life. After all, what’s a partner in life when you have no room for them?
3. Put in honest, positive qualities too
Professional dating coach and matchmaker Francesca Hogi also advises embracing honesty and describing your passions, as well as your most prominent and positive qualities. Leave out the cynicism, bitterness, pessimism or snarkiness. Negativity is not an attractive trait.
4. Use some choice keywords
Using some select keywords might just give your dating profile the edge it needs. When a team of PhD scientists analysed the words used by 1.2 million profiles on dating site PlentyOfFish, they discovered that users that wound up finding love used the word “love” the most in their profiles. Additionally, successful daters frequently used the words “time,” “life,” “friend” and “music”.
Men have better luck finding love when using words that suggest an interest in a long-term relationship, such as “heart,” “children,” “romantic” and “relationship”. This holds true for women as well: Women who found relationships used the word “relationship” 16% more often than those who are still single. Inversely, those still looking for love tend to use words that describe shorter term activities, like “travel,” “dinner” and “shop” for women, and “hang” and “humor” for men.
5. Apply the 70:30 ratio
The study conducted by Khan and Chaudhry uncovered the 70:30 ratio for perfect online dating profile descriptions. The ratio posits that 70% of your profile should be a description of what you are like, while the remaining 30% should describe what you are looking for. As a brief example, Khan and Chaudhry propose this boring but purportedly effective description: “Genuine, attractive, outgoing, professional female, good sense of humour, into keeping fit, socialising, music and travel, seeks like-minded, good-natured guy to share quality times.”
Francesca Hogi adds that with regards to what you’re looking for, it is better to focus on character as opposed to characteristics to avoid coming off as superficial or too picky. For example, instead of mentioning the characteristic of “having a fit body,” you should state the character trait of “active” or “valuing health and fitness.”
Online dating is tough, but that first step of crafting your profile doesn’t have to be. Perhaps with this guide, you’ll be one step closer to finding true love.
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