Today love is hardly more than click, swipe, or message away — and you don’t even need to put pants on to find it. According to the Pew Research Center, an estimated 38 percent of Americans, or 40 million singles-ready-to-mingle, have tried online dating. What does that mean for singles like us? You’re more likely to meet your soulmate online than while shopping for organic produce. Indeed, some 70 percent of online daters agree the wide selection pool helps people find better romantic matches. So there’s no doubt about it: the fish are there. But how to catch a good one? Luckily, science can help! Before you get too click-happy, check out three big no-nos to online dating, as backed by research.
This one is obvious, but you’d be surprised. Berkely research says that 81 percent of online daters have stretched the truth in at least one of three places: weight, height and age — in that order. Guys most often fib about their height, and women their weight. Needless to say, first dates are a lot more awkward when your tall glass of water turns out to be much shorter and murkier in person, and that girl clearly doesn’t go to the gym as much as she implied.
Unsurprisingly, that same research said that 54 percent of online daters felt someone else had seriously misrepresented themselves in their profile. Let’s just be real: Looks matter. Photos and basic info like height and weight are listed for a reason. The truth always comes out anyway, so be honest about your awesome self. Remember: the more accurate your profile, the better your matches!
Online dating is all about being positive and open to possibilities. It’s totally fine that a guy who talks lyke dis all da time is a dealbreaker. But the point of trying something new is to put yourself out there and try something new.
Pew Research says that about one-third of online daters have yet to go on a first date with someone they met online. Just so we’re clear: online dating is about meeting people. Take a chance, go on a date, see what happens. Even if you don’t buy his theory on the mystery of Stonehenge, at least he’s a thinker. You never know who you’ll hit it off with until you start meeting people in real life, even if they’re not entirely your cup of tea. About 5 percent of Americans who are married or in long-term relationships say they met their partners online. Just a wild guess here, but they all probably had their You’ve Got Mail moment at some point.
3. Being Overly Serious/Methodical
Online dating offers a lot of opportunities to overanalyze, well, everything. Stalking that guy’s profile every few hours wondering what he really means when he says he’s “open-minded” about love isn’t exactly healthy. And neither is inviting five of your BFFs over for a serious “Pizza and Profile-Making” session. (Order that pie, though.)
Research says about 30 percent of women ask someone else to help create or review her online dating profile. Guys aren’t totally innocent here, but they’re half as likely to call in the boys for help. Remember that talk about being yourself? Put it on a sticky note if you have to. Online dating isn’t about picking apart every little detail to the point of insanity. Don’t be so serious, have fun with it! Take your friends’ advice, but listen to your own instincts and enjoy the process. After all, even Carrie didn’t land Mr. Big by always listening to her galpals.