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The Biggest Mistake People Make in their Online Dating Profiles

Studies
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Are you disappointed with online dating? Are your messages not getting responses, or are you just not getting enough matches?

You might wonder why you aren’t getting the kind of responses to your online dating profile that you imagined when you first signed up. Instead of wondering whether or not you picked the right service or app, a new study shows you might not be getting the results you want because of your profile and how trustworthy you seem to other online daters. In other words – do they actually believe what you have to say about yourself?

A new study published by Routledge takes a closer look at what we think of as our "idealized selves," which is what we project on our dating profiles. The researchers found that online daters are less trusting of people who post photos that appear too carefully crafted, preferring matches who appear more carefree and natural in their online dating photos as well as how they describe themselves.

Let’s face it, we’re a self-obsessed society, at least when it comes to our social media feeds and posting carefully crafted photos of ourselves. Regardless of whether or not you’re a fan of the selfie, we’ve all been guilty of enhancing our images, whether through a filter, friendly lighting, or photoshopping app, so that we look younger, have more glowing skin, or somehow camoflouge our perceived flaws.

The researchers also studied "warranting," or providing evidence about your achievements and accomplishments on a dating profile, like a link to another website or Wikipedia page to prove you are who you say you are, to see if this affected an online dater’s perception of your trustworthiness.

Researchers created four dating profiles with various combinations of high and low “selective self-preservation,” or the tendency to tweak a profile and photo until it looks “perfect,” along with high and low warranting. The fake profiles were then shown to 316 online daters, who were asked to complete a survey focusing on trustworthiness of the profile and how likely they were to want to date the person.

According to the results, your online profile stands the best chance if you appear more humble and real (revealing some flaws, either in your profile or photos), and if you do provide some back-up to your claims of success or accomplishments. So a little warranting goes a long way, just don’t do it too much.

In other words, craft a profile that is more authentic, which means don’t filter or photoshop every photo or pick only your professional headshots to post. Instead, show some photos that look more true to your every day life. And describe yourself and your interests with some modesty, because bragging is definitely a turn-off.