Every day, millions of singles crawl dating sites and apps, flipping through photos and profiles of potential matches. He’s got nice hair! She’s a skydiver! He’s a pastry chef! Users skim profiles looking for a reason to send a message or dismiss (hint: do not mention your mom or exes). Finding a date, let alone love, just isn’t easy—even though there are plenty of apps for that.
Here at WIRED, we couldn’t help but think there might be a better way to optimize your chances, so we pulled massive amounts of data from OkCupid and Match.com, searching for tips that might help you master Internet dating and find someone awesome.
Call it the algorithm method: Working with data crunchers at the dating sites, we put together 25 tips for writing the perfect profile, selecting the right photo, and really understanding your audience. We analyzed the 1,000 most popular words on both men and women’s profiles, tabulated the most popular movies and TV shows, and crunched stats on what people consider their best feature vs. what features their potential dates are attracted to. We even scoured the top 400 most popular OkCupid profiles—the hottest people on the site in ten US cities—to see what their profile pics could tell the rest of us about attracting a date.
We couldn’t have done any of this without the help of the data maestros at Match and OkCupid: Christian Rudder, cofounder and president of OkCupid, and Jim Talbott, director of consumer insights at Match.com. These guys and their data teams ran queries of all kinds and pulled spreadsheet after spreadsheet of information to try and answer our strange questions. We also needed OkCupid to get permission from their users to enable us to publish those popular profile pics. In short, we couldn’t have scraped all this data and derived this advice without the help of these talented data crunchers who are as dedicated to data analysis as we are.
Buried in all that data were some surprising facts about how to optimize your dating profile. If you’re a gay man, pose outdoors—48 percent of the profile pics of the most popular gay men on OkCupid were snapped outside. (It was 80 percent in Atlanta!) Selfies are acceptable for women (45 percent of top-ranking straight women used them, as did 4 percent of lesbians), but not so much for men. Enroll in a yoga class and learn to surf—they’re the most popular activities for men and women alike, so either desirable singles are super mellow or it’s aspirational, and everyone wants to be mellow. Mentioning cats is fine, but mention “my cats” and you’re a weirdo. The data shows that lesbians appreciate nice legs, gay men prize nice arms, and straight women and men are looking for flat stomachs above all else. The tips got pretty specific in some cases: It’s 28 percent better for a male to refer to females as women rather than girls, and men who use “whom” get 31 percent more contacts from the opposite sex.
Our best advice? Learn to surf, listen to Radiohead, mind your grammar, use Tinder, OkCupid, Match, and Grindr on Sunday, watch Homeland, stop listing your eyes as your best feature (nobody cares), and please, please make eye contact with the camera and smile with teeth in your profile picture. Happy dating!
Online Dating: Be On The Safe Side
Posted on March 30, 2016
We’re all geared towards wanting to find that perfect person, a love of the life. Yet, thousands things on the To Do list, college responsibilities and home commitments sometimes have higher priority than “Find the One.” Modern life adjusts to the pace of everyone encouraging using online opportunities to find a partner.
Dating sites, social networks and chats allow us to get acquainted with new people without leaving home. Using Facebook has become the familiar part of our life, yet when it comes to online dating, it’s necessary to remember about security.
Most people who use dating services are open and sincere in providing details and purposes of connecting, however there are special cases. You should know how to protect yourself when communicating via dating sites. Here are the expert tips for a safe date.
Choose the Site Wisely
Selecting a particular dating site can be a problem as there are so many options. Zoosk.com, eHarmony.com, PlentyOfFish.com are the most popular services today. All of them are different as some match you with potential partner while others give you an opportunity to browse and choose your own. For example, eHarmony suggests you people based on compatibility. But if you decide to use Match, you need to go through hundreds of profiles to find the ideal partner for you.
If you like to control everything and want to make choice yourself, use the dating sites that offer such opportunity. If you want to save time and have no wish to look through the candidates’ accounts, choose the online dating service like eHarmony.
Don’t Forget About The Potential Risks On The Dating Sites
- Personal safety when meeting with someone you found online. There is always a danger of being offended by a person from the dating site when you meet face-to-face.
- People feigning to be someone they are not. Sometimes a person can pretend to be someone else to cause interest and get favour.
- Using shady dating sites that contain fake profiles and stop sending messages when you make payments. The danger of becoming a victim of scammers is a common problem among the users of dating services.
- Providing too much personal information. Giving personal details about you, your credit card and bank account can cause serious financial consequences.
- Chasing and badgering. There is a risk of harassment and persecution as there are different people with various intentions.
Follow These Safety Tips to Connect People Online
You need to get to know people and follow your inner feelings. Learn as much as possible about someone before contacting him or her outside the dating site. Usually if you like a person, your instincts can be confused by your feelings. That’s why don’t tell the whole story of your life when you chat for the first time. You’ll have plenty of time to share such details in future.
In addition, you need to be responsible and do a small research about someone you connect online. To learn more, use social networking sites, such as Facebook. You can find photos, images and interesting information online about a person you are interested in. Absence of profile in the networking services, unwillingness to talk about themselves, to answer questions and provide details should alert.
If you see some unusual or inappropriate behaviour when talking with someone, stop chatting immediately. Don’t feel embarrassed to report the issue to the dating service. You’ll just do them a favour.
How to Stay Safe when You Meet Face-to-Face
Planning a date with someone is a new and interesting stage in relationships but you should continue being watchful. When meeting someone in person, keep the following dating advice in mind.
- Plan it. It’s your first date. Discuss what both of you expect from your
- Meet in a public place. The safest thing you can do is to agree to meet in public. Don’t feel pressured to go home with a person you meet.
- Get to know the person. In person meeting is a different experience than chatting online. Don’t be surprised if the person seems different for some time.
- If something goes wrong, you need to make excuses and leave. There is always a risk to be sexually assaulted on the date, so be smart and careful. If you notice something strange, don’t feel embarrassed to leave.
Online dating can be an amazing way to meet someone with the same interests to share your life, but keep in mind staying on the safe side. Follow the tips above to find you true love and form relationships you will be satisfied with. Be lucky!