The world of dating apps has made it possible to connect with hundreds, if not thousands of single women that live right nearby. What a time to be alive, right? But, there's a downside that comes with the seemingly endless options that online dating has bestowed upon us. With so many single dudes on any given app, you're looking at a lot of competition when it comes to getting a response back from a prospective match.
Not having much luck with online dating? Despite your best efforts, there are a few things you might not realize are hurting your chances out there in the virtual dating pool. To shed some light on the lesser known online dating don'ts, we took the latest data from Zoosk, and asked some real online daters to say why these mistakes can end up working against you. Read on for the factors that might be hurting your datability.
1. Using Poor Grammar
Sure, it's not like you're sending an email to your boss or anything. But letting those rules you learned in your high school english class fly out the window doesn't fly with the ladies. According to a recent Zoosk survey, 32% of women think poor grammar is the “ultimate turn off” and a major deal breaker. In fact, 68% of women say poor grammar gives them a negative perception of someone, and 32% of women say poor grammar makes them think a man is uneducated and/or unintelligent.
What Real Women Say: "When a guy uses incorrect grammar it raises a few red flags for me," says Kayla, 31. "I know that we don't know each other yet, but I do expect the same 'best foot forward' attitude to be put toward a message that a match sends me on a dating app — and that includes reading your message over to make sure everything is correct. Not doing so makes me feel like you're just shooting messages out into the ether without caring what's in them. It also makes me concerned about whether or not you actually know proper grammar."
2. Posting A Selfie
Online dating is funny (and by funny I mean extremely frustrating) because the tactics that work for women can work the opposite way for guys. For example, women who use selfies on their dating profiles tend to fare better than those that don't, according to Zoosk. But not all selfies are created equal. Men who use selfies on their profiles get 8% fewer messages.
What Real Women Say: "I know it's a double standard, but there's something that rubs me the wrong way about guys taking selfies," says Jessica, 26. "Selfies are just more of a girl thing in my opinion — like, I'll take one if I want to capture a cute outfit I have on or a good hair day. But when guys do it, it comes off as weird and douchey, like they're way too into themselves."
3. Coming On Too Strong
Listen, we get it — the whole point of online dating is to find someone you'd want to meet up with IRL and get off there, STAT. But rushing things is going to result in less return responses, Zoosk found. First messages that mention grabbing drinks, lunch or dinner had 35% fewer responses than those that didn't. So even though you might be stoked about your latest match and can't wait to ask her out, you're better off playing the long game.
What Real Women Say: "I think that men don't understand the implications that come with meeting someone off the internet from the female perspective," says Sonia, 28. "I know there's no true way to weed out the potential serial killers on here or anything, but if I'm going to commit to a night out with a match, I want to have at least a little back and forth to get a feel for what he's like, and decide from there whether or not I want to meet up for drinks."
4. Using Pet Names
Speaking of coming on too strong, using a pet name on a girl you just matched with is also a no-go. Zoosk found that calling a woman "baby" will get you 10% fewer messages, and "beautiful" will get you 13% fewer responses. Easy on the flattery at first, fellas.
What Real Women Say: "I don't even let the guys I'm dating call me baby," says Sarah, 26. "I think it's annoying when it's coming from someone I'm in a relationship with, but from some stranger on the internet? It's downright creepy."
5. Copy And Pasting The Same Message
You guys, we can totally tell — and the data doesn't lie. One Zoosk study found that 87% of guys who weren’t getting replies to their messages were sending the same exact message to multiple women. How many women are we talking? On average, it was about 15 in total.
What Real Women Say: "The worst are the ones where you know they haven't even really looked at your profile," says Makayla, 24. "I know it's more time consuming on their end, but I'm way more willing to respond to a message that references something in my bio or a photo that I have up than one that they've clearly sent to every other girl on the app."
6. Including Cliche Dating Phrases
There's nothing sexy about a guy sending a message that's a compilation of the most generic things you could possibly say to someone on a dating app. And yes, according to Zoosk (and any women with a vagina) that includes phrases like "hey," "want to get to know you," and "hope to hear from you." Other offenders include describing yourself as a "nice guy" (nice guys don't have to point it out), describing how you look (we swiped right because we think you're good looking, you're halfway there) or giving a laundry list detailing "what you're looking for."
What Real Women Say: "There are so many of those types of phrases that bother me," says Jasmin, 27. "But 'hey' is the one that I really can't stand. I try not to sit on these apps all day long, so when I check it at night I know we'll likely only have gotten past the 'what's up' phase of this very mundane back and forth."