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Today the tech site Mashable offered a little help to its technically savvy friends in the online dating department, because based on some recent numbers (and our own personal experience) it sounds like they need it.
According to the online dating service OKCupid, only 32% of messages sent on the site receive a response. (We must have helped bring down the average, responding to maybe one out of every thirty messages we received.) Also, apparently first messages sent by guys are only half as likely to get a response as first messages sent from women. So men, what are you doing wrong?
For starters, they say, your initial messages are probably too long.
Longer messages will increase your chances of getting a response, from about 22% to nearly 35%. So you should write longer messages, right? Wrong, says OkCupid. Their rationale is that, while that long messages will get more responses, you’re not going to be able to send as many.
They estimate that if you can only send three messages of 3000 characters in an hour, resulting in 0.71 conversations (a response and then a response from the original sender) per hour. However, if your messages were 200 characters each, you could send 10 messages and get about 1.71 conversations per hour, more than doubling your chances of finding the one. Of course, if you’re focused on just one girl, and only one, write a very lengthy message.
The shorter the message, the better. Period. You can write about 11.4 messages per hour if they’re 50 characters. This will give you 3.43 conversations per hour. So yes, in both instances, you want to write shorter messages for the best chance of success. [Mashable]
Also, even people on the Internet care about looks to some extent and (we hate to break it to you) you might just be ugly (Wah). Okay, we're sort-of kidding. But it's highly possible that your picture makes you look ugly. And if you're that guy, we can't really help you, though we can offer you this little ray of hope: a few years ago a guy sent us a seemingly witty and well-thought-out message on Nerve personals, but we thought he was, well, ugly. A year later we met him in a bar and fell hard. We were together for almost two years. So that's something, right? Anyway, here are a few tips, from us, to help you get a few more responses out of your online dating profile:
1. Do use a good picture; do not make it a glamor shot. Have a few friends (male and female) look at your pictures and ask them to be completely honest. If that one of you in the black button-down makes you look like you might play D&D in your spare time, maybe you should choose another.
2. Try not to talk about how much you worship and love women in your profile. It's creepy. No one really wants to be worshipped.
3. Have a friend, who also happens to be a decent writer/editor or at least be really good at the online dating thing, look at your profile. If you have something on there that's too embarrassing for your friends to see, it probably shouldn't be there anyway. There is nothing worse than a poorly written profile.
4. Last but absolutely not least, do not, under any circumstances, use abbreviations like UR and 2 and LOL in your initial (or any, if we're being honest) email. Yes, this is the Internet but "words" like those make you look lazy and uneducated. Even if you follow up UR with a big word. Promise.