The words “I’m sorry” have received a lot of attention in the two weeks since Hillary Clinton’s concession speech on November 9. In her address, Clinton became the first ever losing presidential candidate to apologize to a national audience. In professional settings outside of politics, saying “sorry” is more often associated with women — so much so that the app Just Not Sorry was developed to flag it (and other similar words) in emails. On a lighter — and more personal note — a recent study from dating app Hinge reports that the word “sorry” can also cause the biggest negative hit to your chances of receiving a reply from potential matches online.

Pretty and young designer in a coffee shop

Hinge used a text analysis model to track words and phrases being used within the app. What happens when you use apologetic language? Results show that using the word “sorry” in an initial communication reduces your chances of getting your love interest’s phone number by 56 percent.

Next time you find yourself saying “sorry it took so long to get back to you!” — don’t. Instead, make up for your delay in response time by being a great date if you get the chance down the road.

woman texting on bed

The Hinge study also said that a lack of specificity related to making plans was another problem for users. People who suggested dates at vague times like “this weekend” or “next week” were 40 percent less likely to get a phone number than those who offered more specific dates and times to their matches. If you’re interested in seeing someone, be clear and confident about setting up a time to make it happen!

Luckily for us, Hinge also used the results of their study to help us figure out what we should do if we want to score a number.

  • In initial conversations, using laugh-related words or abbreviations (lol, haha, etc.) were 17 percent more likely to end in the exchange of contact information.
  • Compliments also proved successful, especially those directed at a match’s name.
  • Users who responded positively to another user’s name increased their chances of getting a phone number by 12.5 percent.

The moral of this study? Remember four simple rules when reaching out to a potential match online: Apologize less, be clear about a plan, laugh more and notice a name. Paying closer attention to these small details in phrasing and tone should result in more phone numbers and more opportunities to meet your next dreamy S.O.!

What words make you more (or less) likely to keep chatting with a match online? Tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)