If you feel like you’re the only one who hasn’t found that near-perfect partner, you're not alone. While there are plenty of benefits to being (and staying) solo, I understand the allure of finding that special someone. To help you out, here are 5 science-backed, expert-approved ways to boost your dating prospects for dating online. Read carefully, and you may not be so single come next February 14th.
1. Perfect your online presence.
Whatever dating service you choose, take time to polish your profile. Avoid swear words, as these can make some people wary, and use spellcheck to be sure you don’t come off as careless or… less than smart.
But don’t be afraid to be funny and show your sense of humor. This make you seem more approachable if someone appreciates your wit. Plus, if someone opts not to message you back because they don’t like your style of hamming it up, that’s fine—you probably wouldn’t get along with them anyway.
Finally, keep it simple. No one wants to read a 1,200-word essay on your childhood. Nor should you see a dating profile as a platform to outline your political agenda, pet peeves with humanity, or all the insights you've gained from therapy.
2. Be real.
Choose photos and details that best represent you. Uploading untruths attracts folks who don’t share your true interests and courts difficulty once you have to explain yourself.
If you’re not a partier, don’t post a shot of you out and about with a beer in each hand. If you prefer to sleep in on weekends, don't lie about loving your 7 a.m. Saturday gym time. Same goes for images of you doing sports or activities you’d rather not try again, or listing hobbies you aren’t actually into but claim to be just to seem cool.
Be honest about what you're looking for, but don't get too "heavy" about it. Think: "Looking for someone who loves old movies / who's active and enjoys the outdoors." Not: "Looking for someone to spend the rest of my life with, who supports me unconditionally, and loves me for all my flaws." (We all want that, but shoving it in everyone's face right off the bat can feel intimidating, oppressive, and desperate.)
3. Set yourself apart with specifics.
“There is nothing less informative than, ‘I am very close to my family and friends’ or ‘I love to go to dinner and hang out with my family and friends.’ Avoid generalizations and be specific to stand out from the rest of the online crowd: “Instead of ‘I love to travel,’ say where you’ve traveled, how often you travel, if you do it for work or for pleasure, or where you’d like to go in the future.”
4. Stop swiping so much.
Having lots of options is great, but the more choices we have, the less likely we are to make a (satisfying) decision, studies confirm. Same goes for online dating: Research shows the more profiles we compare, the pickier we become.
Plus, swiping left too many times may cause us to devote more energy to vetting candidates who may be out of our league, connect with people who don’t actually match up with our personal preferences, or issue “no’s” to potentially good matches simply because we assume something better is just a click away. End result: We spend more time browsing than actually dating. Which kind of defeats the point.
This is where Nike’s slogan comes in, If you come across a profile full of similar interests to yours, and you’d like to meet in person, just do it.
5. Show your enthusiasm.
Once you’ve moved to the messaging stage, replace neutral words, such as "happy" or "fine," with more upbeat ones, like "excited" and "wonderful." Subtle lingo tweaks like these have been shown to boost our appeal to potential suitors.
Also, express interest in what the other person is saying: "Oh, that's interesting you work in finance. How did you choose that career?" or "Very cool about your meditation practice—what do you like most about it?" And bring up topics that make you psyched—like your fave TV show, a great book you're reading, or an upcoming trip you can't wait for.