Some people take to online dating like fish to water, receiving several messages from quality suitors as soon as they sign up. Others however, don't seem to have as much luck. If you're one of the latter, take heart. These eight tips may help you to increase your dating site success.
Tip #1: Choose a Great Screen Name
Along with your picture, this is the first thing a potential match will see and, believe it or not, your screen name can play a big part in how often you are contacted. Research from Evidence Based Medicine suggests:
- Playful screen names, such as "Happy4U" or Playful1" for example, tend to be attractive to almost everyone.
- Men prefer screen names that describe physical attractiveness like, "PrettyInPink" or "BlondeGirl."
- Screen names that begin with letters in the first part of the alphabet tend to get more hits than those beginning with letters toward the end of the alphabet, so think "BlondeGirl" before "WunderWomn."
- People are attracted to screen names that are similar to theirs. Before deciding your screen name, look at the profiles of attractive people. You may want to choose a screen name in a similar format.
Tip #2: Pick Good Pictures
Generally speaking, not only is the profile picture the first thing you look at, but it also plays a big part in your decision whether to look any further at a profile. The same is true for those people looking at your profile. Consequently, you must make sure your photos are what people are looking for and that they portray you in a positive light. Your profile picture should be a good, accurate representation of you. Choose a close-up photo that shows your face well. In addition, the following tips will make your profile picture stand out more.
- No one looks good fuzzy. Make sure your picture isn't blurry.
- Edit the picture if necessary so you don't have red-eye. With the technology available today, having a picture with red-eye is just lazy, and it makes you look creepy.
- Sunglasses don't allow people to see what you really look like, so make sure your picture shows off your eyes sans glasses.
- People are naturally more attracted to happy people, so choose a picture that displays those pearly whites.
- Slightly tilt your head. The same research on screen names found this to be more attractive to men.
- Wear red. Men are more attracted to women who wear red (in clothing and lipstick).
- You look self-confident, but not self-centered.
Your profile picture shouldn't be the only picture in your repertoire. Make sure to add a few supporting photos.
- Add a photo that show your full body so people can see your body shape.
- A picture of you engaged in a hobby shows your personality.
- Don't be afraid to add a photo that shows something a little silly. Again, this is an opportunity to show who you are.
Also, don't overload your photos with group shots, especially shots with other men. It makes would-be suitors wonder about your relationships.
Tip #3: Answer the Basic Questions Truthfully
All dating sites have basic, close-ended questions for your age, height, weight, sexual preference, etc. The choice is yours about what level of honesty you want to give but, at some point, you'll have to tell the truth. Most people won't appreciate finding out you've lied to them.
Most sites also have other questions you can answer regarding your personal views and habits. Although these questions don't seem to play a big part in overall perceived attractiveness, they do tend to be used for potential partners to see if there are any "deal breakers," or things that the person absolutely cannot tolerate in a partner. If there are questions about things that are very important to you, you may want to answer them to weed out people who have values or behaviors you can't tolerate.
Tip #4: Write a Killer Bio
Writing your bio is probably one of the most agonizing parts of creating your online dating profile. When writing your profile, you should avoid:
- Spelling and grammatical mistakes - These give the impression you are unintelligent or just don't care.
- Including a lot of sexual innuendos - This can make you seem promiscuous.
- Giving too much information - Longer profiles get less hits because they provide more information that can show incompatibility.
When writing your bio, you should definitely:
- Show your strengths but be honest. There's no need to let others see your more negative traits but you should also be accurate about who you are.
- Write about who you really are rather than who you want to be. It's great you love to skydive, but if you haven't done it in the last five years, it should probably be left out.
- Don't give descriptions of yourself. Show who you are. Rather than saying you're funny, show your sense of humor through your writing.
- Most of all, have a friend (or two!) read your bio before posting it. Friends are much more objective about who you really are.
Tip #5: Initiate Contact
Don't be afraid to initiate contact. Women send messages four times less than men do, but women who initiate contact connect with equally desirable partners as often as women who wait to be contacted. So, get typing ladies! Research shows there are some definite things you should, and shouldn't, do.
- Don't send a generic message like, "Hi. How are you?" Mention something from his profile or ask him a question about something not listed in his profile. Make it personal.
- Both men and women prefer messages using strong emotional words like "excited" or "wonderful" rather than "happy" or "fine." Show your enthusiasm.
- Men prefer women who either self-disclose a lot or very little but not those who self-disclose moderately. It's unknown as to exactly why. Maybe high self-disclosers are seen as open and low self-disclosers are seen as shy but moderate self-disclosers are seen as less truthful?
Tip #6: Replying Frequently
If you just can't get yourself to initiate contact, you'll definitely be receiving messages. All of the above advice also applies to replying to messages, but here are a few other things to keep in mind:
- You are under no obligation to reply to every message you receive. If you aren't interested, you don't have to reply.
- Decide for yourself how much information you want to share.
- Have fun with it! You are there to meet people, after all.
Tip #7: Check In Regularly
Make sure you are on your dating site often. Most sites show when you were last active. If you aren't online for several days, you can be seen as being unavailable. This will discourage people from messaging you. If you are offline for a couple of weeks, it can be assumed you are dating someone else. Just like in the face-to-face dating world, you can't find a date if you're not looking.
Tip #8: Look for the Important Qualities
There's one area in which online dating fails miserably. The qualities that can tell you whether someone is really a match for you are frequently not the qualities readily available in another person's profile. According to research, there are two types of qualities people possess:
- Experience qualities are those qualities which are subjective, emotional and produce some type of sensation. Experience qualities consist of things such as sense of humor, empathy, intelligence and rapport. Frequently, these qualities are determined through face-to-face interaction.
- Search qualities are those that are tangible and frequently vary across a continuum. Search qualities can affect performance and achievement. Search qualities include things such as income, religion, race and hobbies.
Online dating sites operate primarily based on search qualities rather than on experience qualities. Although search qualities may be important, they aren't going to be the deciding factors on whether someone is a match for you. Finding experience qualities may take a little effort. Read his profile carefully; this is where you will get a sense of who he really is. Contact him and ask questions. Pay attention to how the two of you interact. If it seems promising, schedule a first date. After all, experience qualities are best recognized face-to-face.
Successful Online Dating
There is no "perfect profile" since everyone isn't looking for the same thing. What you need to think about is the type of person you want to date. Set up your profile with that person in mind. How would you want that type of person to see you? What do you want that type of person to know about you? Remember, you aren't trying to attract every man on the site... just the special one you can connect with.