A popular article in The Wall Street Journal told the fascinating story of one woman's unusual online dating success story. After a series of terrible dates, Amy Web, 30, decided to get serious about her approach to dating online.
She realized her profile was clearly missing something to attract quality men. So, she put her data analysis background to work and figured out how to improve her results and, ultimately, find a husband.
The first thing Amy needed to know is what single men are looking for in a woman and then adjust her profile to reflect these qualities. Posting a profile as a man for a month, she examined how the "popular" women on JDate described themselves. She discovered that the most active women's profiles used language that shared their aspirations such as "I want to travel" or "A big ambition of mine is … "
Amy found their descriptions were short (under 500 words) and "easygoing, youthful and spontaneous." She also discovered that the popular women online reached out to men, sending friendly, informal messages that were short and mentioned something that caught their attention.
Bearing Amy's study in mind, here are eight tips to help YOU stand out from other ladies online while catching the attention of quality men:
1. Post quality photos. You need between three and five really fantastic photos. Professional shots are perfectly fine, but not required. You won't look like you are trying too hard—you'll just look your best!
2. Share your interests. Start your profile by sharing your interests and hobbies rather than talking about work or children. If you have some activities you know men like too, note those first to catch a man's attention. That said, Amy points out it was better to leave her black belt in Aikido out completely since it did prompt a few guys to want to fight with her!
3. Don't brag about your career. Even if your career is your life, it is not your most attractive quality. You want to appeal to men on a more personal level, demonstrating the enjoyment you'll be bringing to his life (as you would want from him, too, right?).
A woman who is all about business won't seem like much fun. And worse, you don't want to bring out a sense of competition in a man—that is the most anti-romantic thing you can do! I am not suggesting that you dumb down your accomplishments or not be yourself, but this is only for the profile. You just don't want to seem like all work and no play.
4. Respond to emails promptly. Responding to a man’s email within 24 hours works best. If you let it go for a few days, he might have moved on to others, forgetting you. While you don't need to get back to him within minutes (I'm not suggesting that you seem desperate), you do want to strike while the "iron is hot" and you are, too. Amy also recommends responding to instant messages from men if you are both online at the same time.
Not everything from Amy's analysis points to the most effective actions for online dating—just what "popular women" did most frequently. So, here are a few more savvy tips that her data analysis experiment did not reveal:
5. Don't create a huge list. Don't use a laundry list to describe your personality or say what your friends think of you. Instead create sentences that give a true feeling of who you are.
For example, "One of the most fun trips I've taken was white water rafting on the Colorado River—that was so exciting!" instead of "My friends say I'm adventurous and I like to travel."
6. Make your profile conversational. Make the profile conversational so it seems like you are talking to the reader to encourage men to read further and become more interested. But be careful with humor—it's not as easy to pull off as you might think and can backfire. (Sometimes what you thought of as witty, comes across as snarky).
7. Don't list what you don't want. Avoid writing about the men or qualities you don't want such as "no couch potatoes" or "must be honest." Men will see you as being critical and this detracts from your fun quotient.
8. No "group shot" profile pictures. Don't post group shots of you with your female friends as your profile photo—men get frustrated trying to figure out which woman you are! Since men are visual, don't think you are getting away with something. You are simply hurting your chances of getting contacted and meeting men.
And by the way, Amy did meet her match! By making these changes to her profile and the way she interacted online, Amy is now happily married and has a book deal, too. A successful outcome, indeed!
For more of Ronnie's dating tips, download her free book 5 Big Turnoffs that Drive Men Away.