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Dating online? 6 mistakes to avoid

October 06, 2009 11:26 IST
Experts from a dating website have put together a list of faux pas of online dating.

The team at examined over 500,000 first messages sent by members, and analysed response rates.

They found that trying to get a date online might not be very different than real life, since the same rules of engagement apply on the World Wide Web.

The experts advised flattering someone in the first message with the right compliments, observing that the words 'sexy', 'beautiful' and 'hot' got much lower response rates than personality-based ones, such as 'awesome', 'fascinating' and 'cool'.

"When you meet someone in a bar, all you have to go with has to do with physical appearance. Because of profiles, the expectation is that you should have something more than just, 'You're pretty,'" the Globe and Mail quoted Sam Yagan, co-founder of OKCupid, as saying.

Dropping the slang in favour of a proper language, along with recommendations for proofreading, also featured on the list.

Rachel Greenwald, a dating coach and author of Why He Didn''t Call You Back, said: "A typo means they're not paying attention to detail. It's a metaphor for what they're like in a relationship."

Asking for someone's IM screen name or e-mail address in the first message was also said to be moving too fast, since messages with the words 'chat', 'e-mail', 'yahoo' and 'msn' got a response rate of only 10 or 11 percent.

People were also cautioned against the type of profile picture used, especially women.

Greenwald added: "(Men) scrutinise every element of the photo."

Giving much thought to the opening line was also suggested since they could be the deciding factors to a conversation or rejection.

Yagan advised a 'how's it going?' rather than a 'hello', explaining: "There's something in there engaging the other person."

Talking too much and writing mini-essays was also a strict no-no, with Kate Bilenki, an operations manager at, pointing out there might be "too much detail way too soon."

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh

Source: ANI