What to do on online dating sites

Go shopping

For the greatest part, dating sites aren't doing anything unusual. Sometimes you need to see through their marketing ploys. Sites generally create taxonomies and match users focussing on their answers. In some cases, sites examine the gap between users' responses and their behaviours. For example, you may say that you like a very tall man with dark hair who follows a religion, but mainly click on profiles for stockier non-believers. As such, the algorithm would try to match you according to your behaviour.

However, maybe you're going on all of the profiles and even those that don't meet your preferences, or you’re sitting next to your sister, and she is also after a boyfriend – one who is short and blond. In that case, the algorithm will not work either. It's best to think of dating sites as giant databases for you to search through.

Keep your profile short

Long profiles generally didn't fare well in my tests. I think that for cerebral women, or women who are quite intellectual, there's a tendency to give a bigger bio. Popular profiles were shorter and intriguing.

Create a curiosity gap

Why are Upworthy and Buzzfeed are so popular? It's because they have mastered the art of the "curiosity gap". They provide just enough information to gain interest, which is exactly what you'd do if you met someone in person. This doesn't mean your profile should begin with "9 Out of 10 New Yorkers Are Completely Amazed By This Mind-Blowing Fact" or "You'll Never Believe Who This Person from Somerset Wants to Date …" However, it does mean talking about yourself in roughly 97 fascinating words.

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What to do on online dating sites

This website is all about dating sites and how people get together online.

Make a wishlist

Have a strategy before you start. What, precisely, are you after? Craft a shopping list and be as picky as possible. Instead of saying "somebody who wants kids", get more specific. Say that you want a person who wants two kids, roughly three years apart and wants to go through fertility treatments with you should pregnancy become a problem! Part of organising your list is defining what you want.

Keep score

Once you've considered all the traits you are after in a partner, prioritise them. Think about the characteristics in the context of other relationships, your friends and your family. Come up with a scoring system. Give points to your top 10, and fewer points to another set of a dozen traits. Decide the lowest amount of points you'll get in order to go out on a date with a person. This is basically developing a handcrafted algorithm just for yourself.

Get online

Pick some websites to use. Match.com is a more general environment with several options. People who use Tinder are often not looking for long-term relationships but hook-ups. It's alright to use two or three sites at a time. Bear in mind that you'll be after most of the features beingactivated, and that some sites can be expensive.

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