These 5 Profile Tips Are the Secret to Online Dating

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Meeting new people, let alone having a romantic connection with them, doesn’t come easy and can be intimidating, exhausting, and disappointing. It’s no wonder that one in 10 American adults are members of various online dating sites, including OKCupid, Match, eHarmony, and hundreds of others. Although many singles have found success through online dating sites, there’s never a guarantee. After all, more people than ever are logging on with the hope of finding “The One,” which means sites are overflowing with members. Turns out, the secret to winning at the online game might be all in your profile—and we’ve got tips to make it sing.

New York Times article highlighted findings by two very smart people—Sameer Chaudhry, an internist at the University of North Texas, and Khalid Khan, a professor of women’s health and clinical epidemiology at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry—who delved into the topic of online dating to answer the question of why some people gets more hits on their profiles than others. According to the Times, Chaudhry first became interested in starting the project when he noticed that his own online dating profile wasn’t getting any responses from the women he reached out to. He enlisted the help of his friend, Khan, and they set out to understand the science behind online dating success. Their results—obtained by sifting through 86 studies that focused on “factors that seem to transform computer-mediated interactions into real-world dates”—were printed in the journal Evidence Based Medicine.

By following these guidelines, the Times reported that Chaudhry’s dating life greatly improved and he’s now in a committed relationship with a woman he met online. So, whether you’re in an online dating lull, or you’ve always wanted to give it a try, it can’t hurt to try these scientifically-supported tips to optimize your dating results.

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MORE: 7 Dating Tips to Discard Immediately, if Not Sooner

Success Starts With the Right User Name.

The findings show both men and women respond to usernames that are playful, and—surprise, surprise—men are drawn to handles that reference physical traits (ie: “BlueEyedBritt”), while women prefer usernames that include something about intelligence. Both sexes stayed away from names with negative connotations (e.g., “Bugg”).

User Names Starting With Letters Higher in the Alphabet Get More Hits.

This, according to the Times, reflects human instinct to “give things at the top of a pile more value.”

Successful Profiles Have the Right Content Balance.

The winning formula? A 70/30 split between personal information and description of what they are looking for in a partner.

Succinctly Written and Honest, Friendly Profiles Get the Most Views.

Adding a bit of humor and eliminating any flowery or overly wordy language help make results more ideal.

Photos Count (Duh).

Profile pictures that show the user smiling in the center, surrounded by friends, are statistically promising. For more profile photo help, click here.