Everything you need to know about finding love online.
The internet can be an effective place to find love. According to a recent Pew Research study, approximately 37% of single people have used some form of internet dating site, and approximately 17% of online daters have found long-term love online. With well over a million paying members and 20,000 new members joining each day, Match.com is the leading online dating site. And, overall, online dating sites are expected to earn 1.9 billion in revenue this year alone!
So, what has the mental health community gleaned from this internet love boom? Here's what you need to know:
1. Young and pretty. While women focus on finances, men opt for beauty and youth. These preferences can be explained by evolution: while gals seek security, guys look for reproductive compatibility. A man wants a woman with whom he can have healthy, attractive offspring.
2. Similarities. Online daters — both men and women — are more likely to date people within their own race. However, women have a higher preference for same-race mates than men do. Most dating site users also prefer to date within the same religion and political group. Smokers tend to prefer smokers; non-smokers seek out non-smokers; and those without kids are more likely to prefer otherchildless singles.
3. Grammar. Studies have shown that when it comes to online dating profiles and messages, grammar matters just as much as the content itself. Poor punctuation is a turn-off to both sexes.
4. Honesty. Accurate representation of self is more likely to lead to a second date. While it's okay to choose the option "I will tell you later," it's not okay to lie. A recent Newsweek article discussed how 20% of online dating users lie about their age. On average, women decrease their weight by 8.5 pounds.
When outright lies are contained in an online dating profile, it can lead to immediate discontinuation of the relationship. Don't waste anyone's time — just be honest.
5. Fun photos. Pictures that show you engaged in an activity are far likelier to stimulate a successful conversation. On your dating profile, post photos where you're doing what you love to do. Not only will they gain more attention, but they'll also offer something to talk about.
These tips should come in handy when looking for love online. But remember: these facts are just averages and not absolutes. Conduct your own research about online dating, and always stay safe when meeting potential dates.