We live in a digital age that is constantly changing, so it makes sense for us to change our dating habits with the times. However, with the rise of Tinder and other dating websites that are solely focused on attraction, it’s important to know how to set up a profile when you are looking for love, not just a fling. RESCU asked Jonathan Beber, eHarmony Matching Scientist about how to navigate online dating correctly. True love might be a mouse click away!
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RESCU: What are your top tips for setting up a profile page to meet someone who is serious about a relationship rather than a fling?
Jonathan Beber: The best thing anybody can do to attract the more serious pool of daters is put some effort into your profile. When a match sees how much you’ve put into your profile, they get the sense that you’re looking for something real rather than just a quick fling. When somebody sees a profile that is half filled out, it can give the impression that if this person doesn’t have the motivation to really put down that much information but has some pictures, maybe they’re just looking for a physical connection rather than something more meaningful. On top of that, put some more personal things on your profile, like what you’re really passionate about. If you live to go hiking on the weekends, and it’s on your profile, someone who shares that passion may read that and want to start up a conversation with you about it.
RESCU: What information should you not reveal in your profile?
Jonathan Beber: While sharing personal things on your profile can attract people with similar interests, over-sharing is definitely not a good thing. The thing everybody should always leave off their profile is anything about past relationships. Mentioning a past relationship can be a major turn-off because it can show that either you’re not completely over that relationship or that there is some drama in your past that is still hanging around. And while many of us have heard that “honesty is the best policy”, being overly honest in a profile can hurt your chances of meeting someone. Don’t post any vices you have, or any drama you have in your life, like “I haven’t spoken to my sister in 10 years because she made me mad once”. And maybe most importantly, contact information should never be publicly posted, like a phone number, home address, or where you work. You need to make sure you’re sharing that information with someone you feel comfortable doing so with.
RESCU: What information and photos increase your chance of attracting a man who is interested in a relationship?
Jonathan Beber: Including information about what you really enjoy in your day-to-day life, what you’re really passionate about, and what makes you unique are the things you should highlight in your profile. Sharing similar passions and interests is key to that initial attraction, because it creates common-ground for men to bring up when reaching out to you. Having at least a couple of photos on your profile is also key to getting communication requests from men. From the research we’ve done, for every photo women post, we’ve seen a 15 per cent increase in the number of communication requests they get. The main profile picture should be one of just you. Men don’t really enjoy guessing which one you are at first sight. Research has also shown that women who are smiling in their photos, and women who wear red, were rated as more attractive. In some of your other pictures you post, you can include a group photo with some friends, doing things that you’re really passionate about, or interesting places you’ve traveled to. The mirror selfie is something you can leave off of your profile though.
RESCU: What advice do you have about discussing exclusivity and boundaries around dating multiple people once you’ve had a few dates?
Jonathan Beber: Relationship formation is a very tricky process. After a few dates, you may want to have “the talk” with your date and show that you’re really into them, or that you still aren’t sure. Don’t force “the talk”, let it come naturally. If after a few dates, you still aren’t sure if you want to be exclusive yet, then go on a few more dates before you have the talk. If they bring it up, and you still aren’t sure, be honest with them, but don’t be brutal. Tell them you love how things are going so far, but you don’t want to force a label on it quite yet. But don’t leave them hanging too long. Because on the flip side, if you wanted to have the talk about being exclusive, and they aren’t quite there, you’d like to know within a few more dates if this is something serious. So if one of you brings up the desire to be exclusive and the other doesn’t reciprocate for too long, then maybe it might be time to find someone who does want that exclusivity.
RESCU: What advice do you have if you find someone you’ve been talking to and possibly dating suddenly ‘ghosts’ you?
Jonathan Beber: Ghosting can be a somewhat shocking event in dating. Things may have been going so well and then, poof, they’re gone. Why? Research shows that people who ghost most likely have a very avoidant attachment style, where they are more emotionally unavailable, and will do anything to avoid conflict. What this means, is that even if they hadn’t ghosted you, in the future they may not have been so emotionally available to you and wouldn’t want to be as close as most people in relationships normally are. My advice for anyone who has been ghosted, is you dodged a bullet.
RESCU: What is the best online etiquette for declining future dates and or repeated advances from someone you’ve met online?
Jonathan Beber: If you’re not feeling it with your newfound dating partner, then just be honest with them. Rather than ghosting someone and avoiding any conflict where you feel like the bad guy, being honest with someone about the lack of romantic feelings is the best way of declining future dates. Research has shown that ghosting is the worst way anyone can break up, for both people. While being honest with them about lacking the romantic connection, you need to be gentle in how you tell them. By telling them you’ve enjoyed your time together, and that you’ve really enjoyed meeting them, but you’re just not feeling that chemistry is a simple and gentle way of telling them. Will it hurt? Probably, but the pain of this is much less than being ghosted and left wondering where you went wrong.