What you post and how you reach out—let’s call it your online dating MO—can be the difference between a hot love life and romantic Siberia.
So we asked experts at the online dating sites eHarmony, Match, OKCupid, and Hinge to reveal which moves work and which are dating duds.
1) Add profile pics. Don’t stop at just one shot: Adding a second doubles your chances of being contacted, and posting 10-plus quadruples them. Sports-related shots are 45% more apt to get a like; B&W pics are 106% more likely.
2) Smile but don’t show your teeth. Men who don’t flash their pearly whites in pics are 43% more likely to score a like. “It gives more of a ‘take me seriously’ vibe,” says Hinge’s Olivia Abramowitz.
3) Show you can laugh at yourself. Self-deprecating profiles get 4% more likes. For example, a good answer to “on my bucket list” could be “just once getting through cooking a meal without having to pull the instructions back outta the trash.”
4) Turn the tide. Write “sailing” in a profile and you’ll get 69% more contact; “beach,” 29% more. Top profiles also tend to mention waterside spots, like Caicos or Nantucket. But don’t post bathing suit pics, says Hinge: They earn guys 80% fewer likes.
5) Message just 40 to 90 characters. That’s the average length of the most successful first missives. E.g., “Expert camper, huh? How many national parks have you been to?” (61 characters).
6) Wait at least three hours 52 minutes before re-messaging. Contact her twice in less time and the odds of getting a response are against you.
7) Use the “Bloody Marys and fried chicken” gambit. Amazingly, in 50% of app chats that mention Bloody Marys and 24% that mention fried chicken, the chatters exchange digits, Hinge says.