There are a lot of balances to strike in your online dating profile. Do you upload your professionally staged selfies, or post candid shots with friends? Do you say upfront that you won’t tolerate jerky losers who send you unsolicited dick pics, or do you just wait to tear into the creepazoids like an Amazon warrior princess when they slide into your DMs? If you aren’t making it to that first date, it may be time for a dating profile makeover. And a new study just found a major don’t, if you want to see your matches go up.
Your mom always said to put your best foot forward, right? Well, that actually doesn’t apply when it comes to Tinder. The study, published in Communications Monographs, found that people who emphasize too many of their “best qualities” in their online dating profiles are actually less attractive to potential matches.
Two researchers at the University of Iowa surveyed 316 online daters on one of four profile types, and asked them to rate the users for attractiveness and trustworthiness. They were interested in seeing the effects of two key attributes: “selective self-presentation” (where the user highlights their most positive qualities) and “warranting” (where they not only say what makes them great but link to evidence that can back it up). And while a little bragging might seem like the best way to get people to swipe right, it turned out that users with the highest instances of each — whether they were talking about their lives, looks or accomplishments — got the lowest scores.
However, in instances where selective self-presentation was low but warranting was still high, participants perceived the profile owner as “honest as well as humble and approachable.” Since they weren’t immediately turned off by heavy bragging, they’d actually look into the warranting points, and having access to those corroborating links helped them feel like the user was legit. (In other words, they didn’t worry that a dude who says he “works in finance” would surprise them with a third-date confession that they’re actually just a teller at the local bank.)
So if you’re looking to give your profile a boost, it’s fine to throw in some links to that article you’re proud of or your company bio. But keep it low-key and humble, because your friends were right — you’ll get more dates if you can actually possess some chill.
What’s your best dating profile advice? Tweet us your tips @BritandCo.
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