Can’t Find Love Online? Try These Scientifically Proven Tips!
Some people can spend weeks, even months, on dating sites, trying to find their one true love. But somehow, they get passed by. Why?
According to research published in the BMJ: Evidence Based Medicine, there are little ways you can enhance your profile and self-image across to potential partners – all while just being yourself. (Which, let’s be honest, is what we should be doing anyway… )
The study was led by Professor Khalid Khan from Queen Mary University London. He and his team analysed the results of more than 80 previous studies to investigate how men and women could get the most out of online dating, and improve their chances of setting up face-to-face meetings.
When you first join a dating site, one of the first things you have to do is create your profile and your online screen name. Choosing the perfect name is vital to getting you noticed – after all, it’s the first thing about you someone is going to see.
According to the research paper, choosing a playful name from near the start of the alphabet is the way to go. As most lists tend to default to being alphabetical, you would want your name to be as close to the top of the list as possible. The closer your name is to the top of the list, the most likely your name is going to be seen, and, therefore, your profile.
Generalising, women were found to prefer names of potential partners that indicated some level of intelligence, while men leaned more towards names suggesting physical attractiveness. Screen names with negative connotations are also advised against as they can suggest inferiority, and we want to show we are the best of the best.
The researchers say that getting your name just right is just as, if not more, important as an attractive photo. A great photo is no good if no one is going to see it!
According to the paper, there are various things to consider when it comes to adding a photo to our profile. For men to make a good first impression, the researchers recommend a genuine smile that crinkles your eyes. For women, a slight tilt of the head and wearing something red should do the job.
And contrary to popular belief, certain group photos can be a great idea if they show people have a good time in your company.
Moving on to the profile description. Perhaps unsurprisingly, you will want to be as honest and positive as possible about yourself here, combining around 70% “about you” and 30% of what you’re “looking for”.
“Staying close to reality is the most important thing,” explained Professor Khan. “People think they have to portray themselves as superheroes, but the opposite is quite true.”
And using humour in a clever way could give your profile the edge over someone else’s. But it’s no use just declaring that you are a funny person – you are much better off showing off your wit with a clever one-liner as your header or something like that.
When it comes to messaging someone you like the look of, you are more likely to get a response if your message is personal, and not a generic copy-and-paste paragraph or the website’s default message. Professor Khan said that one of the most important things to remember when you are messaging someone is that you want them to feel special, and sending a generic message won’t do that.
And once you have reached the stage of one-on-one communication, the researchers recommend asking open questions, not writing too-long essay-like responses, but making sure you respond promptly. Also, make sure you end any contact on a positive note and don’t leave it more than three weeks before arranging a face-to-face meeting.
“The findings from this literature are directly relevant to how one can employ online dating to be most attractive,” Professor Khan explained.
Of course, something to take into consideration is that not everybody is going to react in the same way. In fact, they may even be someone reading this who found their partner through the medium on online dating.
But this study is a general universal guide and has been shown to be effective. If you have been unlucky enough to have spent weeks, or even months, scrolling through lists and lists of potential partners on dating sites, why not give these tips a shot? What’s the worst that could happen, right?
While this all might sound rather time-consuming – and the paper does not deny it as such – the researchers do agree that ultimately, it is time well spent. As the study concluded: “There do not appear to be shortcuts in successfully converting electronic contact with innumerable potential dates into a face-to-face encounter with one.”