Guest Post: Scientifically Proven Dating Profile

Friday, February 06th, 2015

Photo of dating expert DuanaThis guest post was contributed by Duana C. Welch, Ph.D., the author of Love Factually: 10 Proven Steps from I Wish to I Do, now available. This is a partial excerpt, copyrighted by the author.  You can read a free chapter and find out more at

Does dating online feel like pure chance—kind of like fishing?  Probably so.  Yet just as pro fishermen take something that looks random and turn it into best odds, you can, too.  And all you’ll need in your tackle box is a bit of science.

Cast more than one line at a time—where similar others swim about

Just as successful fishermen tend to cast several lines at a time, you should too – by purchasing three-month subscriptions at two or more dating sites at once.

Which dating pools should you try?  In study after study, people tend to fall in love with, marry, and stay happily wed with someone who’s just like them.  Give greatest consideration to those sites that are stocked with your kind of woman or man.

Don’t Fish for free

One lady called last week to ask why she keeps meeting weird men online.  She’s at one of the large free sites and I finally convinced her to stop dealing with that, and pay for a membership elsewhere.

Why?  Because when no money’s put up, there are reasons to suspect that a) the Fish are poor; b) the Fish are commitment-avoidant; and/or c) the Fish are looking to mate ever-so-briefly, and then swim merrily away.  Science shows that men invest where they love.  If they can’t or won’t invest to find love itself, how serious are they about it?  I suspect this applies to women as well.  When you’re ready to get serious, go where the serious-minded hang out.

Get your bait on

Global studies agree: Men seek youth and beauty, and women look for provision and protection.

So if you’re looking for a woman, post a pleasant photo or two of yourself, preferably without an ex draped over your shoulder, and move on to the written part of your profile, making sure to emphasize your resources and commitment-mindedness.

But if you’re seeking a man, the photos you post need to have some serious thought behind them.  Contrary to stereotypes, men tend to fall in love faster and harder than women.  The organ with which they first begin the fall?  No, not that.  Nope, higher up.  Yes—their eyes.

Which explains why three-and-a-half times more men than women request a photo in personals.

So if you want a man, you must, must, must post at least one (recent) photo—preferably of you doing something interesting while looking lovely. And position your physical appeal ahead of your career. In one online experiment, for instance, nearly three times as many men showed an interest in a great-looking waitress than in a super-successful attorney of average physical allure.

Yet a great profile pic is not the same thing as a glamorous or misleading profile pic; the photo should look like your current, everyday best.  You do *not* want to make the “but-you-looked-so-much-better-online” impression!  Visually disappointing a man at the first meeting is almost guaranteed to make it the last meeting.

This reminds me of a man I met online, who told me he’d gone to a restaurant for a first date with another woman—whose photo turned out to be from 15 years ago.  He turned on his heel and was about to storm out without saying hello, but he decided to ask her what she’d been thinking when she posted that image: “I thought once you knew the real me, you wouldn’t care about the picture.”  Um, no.  He cared—just as I cared when I dated someone who said he was an attorney but was really a paralegal.

Filter for Fish that match your equipment

If you seek a lifetime with someone who knows s/he’s lucky to have you, and versa-vice, it’s important to set your line—-aka filters— for Fish whose size matches your bait and tackle.

As many studies demonstrate, in real-life personals, women typically offer youth and beauty while requesting various markers of willing, able provision and protection—“financially stable,” “sincere,” “commitment-minded.”  Men broadcast the reverse, subtly (or not-so) asking for access to a youthful, beautiful partner, while offering resources and signs he’s willing to commit.

What this means for online dating:

If you’re gorgeous and want a man, you can set your filters for greater provision from a guy.  Likewise, if you have a lot of resources and want a woman, you can hold out for more beauty in your partner.

And if you’re average in looks or resources, you need to be willing to filter for someone who is like you in these ways.

Use a unique Hook

Of course, what you write is important, too.   Your headline and text need to Hook your reader with style and substance.

If you desire humor, don’t say “I want a funny guy;” be funny.  If you value intellect, be intelligent.  And if you want to spend leisure time in a particular way, descriptively drop in some specific things you’d like to enjoy together.

For instance, which do you think more compelling?  This:

—Sing to tune of the Pina Colada Song—

If you like green Mini Coopers

And ideas are your game;

If you’re politically liberal,

And you have a big brain;

If you like making love at 1 p.m.,

When my kid takes a nap;

You’re the man I have looked for;

So let’s cut through the crap…

Or this?

Looking For Love

I’m a SWF, 37, non-smoker/non-drinker with one kid at home, and I’m told I’m smart.  I like a man with a sense of humor, a dog or two, and intelligence equal to mine…

And if you put in anything about a beach, moonlit strolls, your ex, or backrubs—the Cliché Fish & Game Wardens will be right over.  And I hope the fine is deservedly steep.

Women: Cast ‘til they find you.  Men: Take the bait:

If you’re a woman, you can stop initiating messages to men, starting now. Men respond to ads over 11 times more often than women do.  If you’re not getting hits on your lines, it’s not because men are too shy.  Simply adjust your profile presentation, and then do what fishermen do: Sit back, enjoy what you packed in the cooler, and await your Fish.

And if you’re a man, you can see what this means.  When you see someone you like—write away!