Love in the Time of Algorithms

17 Hot Tips That Prove Online Dating Is a Nightmare

Unless you're a real‐life Surfin' Ken doll.
Settle.

Settle.

Everyone knows the only thing more awkward than searching for love IRL is trying to find it online. Even the experts say you should be yourself. But if that really worked, you wouldn’t be scouring Tinder for someone to make out with, would you?

Luckily, WIRED has assembled a series of infographics explaining how to “optimize your online dating profile.” That’s tech for “get laid.”

The folks at OkCupid and Match.com helped them create the tips. And now, the folks at Betabeat are telling you the most important points. These are actual real facts gleaned from hundreds of the most popular online dating profiles. Just to reiterate, we did not make these up. 

1. Men with tattoos are popular, while inked women are not. Better rethink that YOLO tramp stamp.

2. Don’t talk about karaoke. This is just a good general life rule.

3. Pretend you surf.

4. If you’re a girl, talk about London, NYC, yoga, surfing and “athlete.” And always refer to yourself as a girl, despite the fact that you have completed puberty and are well beyond first onset of menses.

5. If you’re a boy, use the words “surfing,” “surf,” “yoga,” “skiing” and “the ocean.” Basically, pretend you are a merman with a lift ticket. Never use the word “girl.” Steadfastly avoid females who refer to themselves as “women.”

6. If you’re a man, talk more about crafting and your children, and less about electronics. You’re Martha Stewart in a pair of Dockers.

7. If you’re a woman, talk more about electronics and don’t bring up crafting. Never, ever mention your children.

8. Talk about critically acclaimed movies and TV shows like Homeland, Arrested Development and Pulp Fiction. Common sense and statistics dictate that talking about The Big Bang Theory is a turnoff.

9. Radiohead is the only band/musical entity you should ever talk about.

10. Talk about “cats” in general, just don’t say “my cats,” because that makes you sound like a lonely freak.

11. Don’t ever age, unless you’re a man. The word “retirement” is the most attractive work related word in men’s profiles. When women use it, though, it’s the second least attractive word.

12. If you live in Detroit, take a picture of yourself posing in Chicago.

13. Shirtless pics are creepy.

14. Smiling with teeth is attractive; it denotes good health and rich parents who sprung for the good orthodontia. Stay away from duck face.

15. Be hotter than you are now. Start working out. Nobody gives a shit about your pretty eyes. No matter your gender or sexual orientation, you need to have a six pack.

16. Men who use “whom” get 31 percent more contacts from women. It doesn’t even have to be grammatically correct. Whom knew!

17. Early Sunday afternoon is Grindr’s peak time, while it’s best to use Tinder, Match and OkCupid from 5 to 10 p.m. on the Lord’s Day. We’re sure this is either because boozy brunch gives people balls, or attending church strikes the fear of god in them that they might die alone.

Basically, just pretend you are rich, hot, thin, and totally chill. The good news? All of this stuff is way easier to fake online than it is in person. Happy hunting.

Follow Molly Mulshine on Twitter or via RSS. mmulshine@observer.com