Internet dating do and don ts

6854933580_2c8b688306_z

Online dating has become the norm rather than a rarity, with statistics showing one in ten Americans have used an online dating site or mobile app.

Now researchers have taken a scientific approach to figuring out what can make or break a potential first date while looking for love online.

Their data showed men are more drawn to names that suggest physical attractiveness, like ‘cutie’ while women tend to favor names that hint at intelligence, such as ‘cultured.’ "People are also attracted to those similar to themselves,” he said.

“So before setting up your profile, look at the profiles of people you find attractive and choose a name with a likeness.” Trends showed names with negative associations such as 'little' or 'bug' should be avoided.

Researchers from Queen Mary University of London gathered data from 86 published psychology and sociology studies about attraction and persuasion.

By analyzing computer, behavioral and neurocognitive science, they were able to find the most effective approaches between men and women trying use online contact to get a first date.

“Add to this the fact that search engines sort names alphabetically.” When it comes to what your profile name says about you, researchers found small words can make a big difference.

Spend some time making sure your profile is as good as it can be and that it accurately reflects your personality. Make sure anything you publish on the net communicates the qualities you want to portray. Ensure it reads like a personal message by mentioning a few things from the person’s profile and interests that caught your eye and made you want to get in touch. It’s best not to use old photos for your profile picture and be completely honest about your hobbies and interests. Do meet first dates in a public place and always let a friend or family member know where you'll be. Don't arrive drunk or come from somewhere else where you've been drinking. If you really want this to go somewhere, you'll have to be honest. Before you write your profile, see what people your similar age and gender are saying about themselves.

Do remember that this is a dating site, not a job interview.

For many, however, the prospect of online dating will be intimidating and, frankly, a complete mystery. Don't respond to every email that you receive-unless you really want to. Aim for about ten new messages a day in order to get noticed by other users, and the site's algorithm. It's pretty easy to spot a generic "I send this to all the girls" message, and it won't do you any favours.

To allay these fears, Huff Post UK Lifestyle spoke to dating experts to get the low-down on what you should do and -- more importantly -- what you Do take the time to get your profile right. Do accept dates with people who aren't your “type”. Don't wait for someone you're interested in to message you first! Even slight lateness can set a miserable tone for the rest of the date. You'd be surprised how often dates turn up without showering. It's great that you're "a good listener" but you're wrong if you think letting someone do all the talking makes for a great date. Once you're sitting at a table with this stranger, you're trapped until the bill comes – and they could be a very slow eater and dull to boot.

The findings, published in the journal Evidence Based Medicine revealed that while a profile picture is important, there are other factors that play just as large a role in determining whether you spark a fellow user’s interest. In addition to your picture, the first thing another online dating user sees is your user name.

You must have an account to comment. Please register or login here!