Starter questions for online dating

We analyzed over 500,000 first contacts on our dating site, Ok Cupid.Our program looked at keywords and phrases, how they affected reply rates, and what trends were statistically significant.The result: a set of rules for what you should and shouldn’t say when introducing yourself. Let’s go: are nice things to say to someone, but no one wants to hear them.

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Besides, when you tell a woman she’s beautiful, chances are you’re not.

On the other hand, more general compliments seem to work well: The word is a perfect case study for our point.

As an adjective, it’s a physical compliment, but as an adverb (as in, “I’m pretty good at sports.”) it’s is just another word.

When used as an adverb it actually does very well (a phenomenon we’ll examine in detail below), but as We took a close look at salutations.

It could be that appearing unsure makes the writer seem more vulnerable and less threatening. But either way: men should be careful not to let the appearance of vulnerability become the appearance of sweaty desperation: Mentioning your religion helps you, but, paradoxically, it helps you most if you have no religion.

We know that’s going to piss a lot of people off, and we’re more or less tongue-in-cheek with this advice, but it’s what the numbers say.These are the religious terms that appeared a statistically significant number of times.), but maybe that shouldn’t be a surprise on a site that is itself named for a member of the Classical pantheon.After all, the way you choose to start your initial message to someone is the “first impression of your first impression.” The results surprised us: The top three most popular ways to say “hello” were all actually bad beginnings.Even the slangy Obviously, all successful Ok Cupid relationships outgrow our in-site messaging feature.But an offer to chat or of an email address right off the bat is a sure turn off.

50 Comments

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