Here's How to Make the Best Online Dating Profile, According to Science
A new review of research lists the precise traits of an online dating profile that will help you get a first date.
How was your Valentine’s Day? If you spent the holiday moping about your singledom (or if you find yourself newly single, ugh) you might be considering a dive into the wild world of online dating—or perhaps just revamping your existing profile. Yep: love it or hate it, gone are the days when every dating success story started with a "meet cute." Now it's all about who swiped right on Tinder. It's all so technical and unromantic, you might say.
But at the very least, today's landscape certainly lends itself to efficiency. In fact, this week, one research team published a review in the journal Evidence-Based Medicine detailing the precise traits of a profile guaranteed to get you a first date.
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Inspired by his own stagnant love life, Sameer Chaudhry, MD, from the University of North Texas, joined forces with his friend Khalid Khan, a professor at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, to scour 86 scientific studies on online dating to uncover some rules for making the perfect profile.
Number one on the list of dos and don'ts: choosing a username with a letter from the top half of the alphabet (sigh, how technical and unromantic). It turns out that a name higher up in the ABC’s is subconsciously correlated with signs of success, like making a lot of money and holding advanced degrees. “As human beings, we have a tendency to give things at the top of a pile more value,” Dr. Khan explained to the New York Times. Plus, it helps that on some dating apps users are sorted alphabetically, and seekers are less likely to make it all the way down the list.
Your username should also lean toward the playful side. Both genders preferred names like “Fun2bwith,” over ones with negative connotations (like those including words such as "little"). Men are more likely to look for names related to physical appearance (think "blondie" or "cute") while women seek out handles that suggest intelligence ("cultured").
As for your profile photo, pick one with a genuine smile, one that crinkles the eyes, and with a slight head tilt (it's linked to attractiveness). And if you’re looking for a male partner, go for that photo of you in siren red—the color makes men more likely to get in touch.
As for your other pics, group shots are more desirable, but make sure you’re in the center to show importance (plus, it’ll avoid all those “I hope she’s the cute one” thoughts).
Overall, shoot for 70:30 ratio between personal details about yourself and descriptions of what you’re looking for. And finally, show, don't tell. Instead of listing yourself as "funny" for example, insert some genuine humor to your “About Me” section. All these things combined can give you an edge.
You can use these tips with confidence—these days Dr. Chaudhry is off the market. According to Khan, the lead author spent Valentine’s weekend in Rome, with someone he met online.
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