While dating apps and match-making websites have made the process of searching for a partner more convenient, these online platforms also have many shortcomings. For instance, making first impressions on the web is slightly more complicated than doing it in person. Online, there is no direct eye contact, no verbal conversation in most cases, no handshakes, and no physical attributes you can observe in order to make a judgment.
Instead, online dating has its own set of parameters and unofficial rules, and according to a new survey, one such rule is the need for impeccable grammar while communicating with a potential partner.
The study, conducted by the dating website, Zoosk, found that 65% of the women polled felt that poor grammar was a deal-breaker for them when it came to interacting with people online. These women considered poor grammar a sign of someone being “uneducated, lazy and unintelligent”. Of the men polled, 40% shared the same views.
For 72% of those polled (men and women), spelling errors were the biggest turn-offs. Even basic typos, including spacing errors between words or the use of SMS lingo, can decrease your chances of getting a positive response by 12%, says the research that studied the views of 9,000 people in total.
Follow the rules
Incidentally, these aren’t the only mistakes people must avoid while dating online. There are a lot of other factors that must be considered by those who want to increase their chances of success on online dating platforms.
To start with, the profile picture mustn’t be taken lightly. The idea is to look real and natural. Avoid deception at this stage by uploading a recent picture, or at least an image that doesn’t look blatantly Photoshopped.
Pooja Meswani (27), a city-based software consultant, had a similar experience last year, when she finally decided to meet someone she met on a dating site. “He looked good [in his profile picture], sounded intelligent, and fitted my preferences. So, after a month of chatting online, we decided to meet. But before that, we became friends on Facebook. Although his profile picture was the same, when I looked around a bit, I saw his other photographs on Facebook, in which he looked totally different,” she says. Despite this incident, Meswani asked him to email her his more recent pictures, but after he gave her a few excuses, she decided to unfriend him.
Some other put-offs include excessively messaging at odd hours, using inappropriate or offensive words, sending lengthy emails or messages, becoming extra personal or acting overly friendly in a short span of time.
While most of these rules apply to both men and women, men tend to veer away from arrogant women and exaggerators in specific.
“If a person turns down a chat request once, don’t try to convince him or her again and again. Keep your initial messages short, but make sure they are not too short. The idea isn’t to show off, so putting pictures that display your well-built body, for instance, might sometimes even backfire,” says relationship expert Vishnu Modi.
THE STUDY ALSO FOUND…
1 Of those polled, 93% said that messages with a full-stop at the end of the sentence made them happy.
2 Your chance of getting a response increases by 10% if your first few messages are sent with an exclamation mark in the end.
3 The use of abbreviations like YOLO (you only live once) reduces the response rate by 47%. Typing words like LOL (laugh out loud) increases your chances of a response by 25%.
4 About 43% of those who were above the age of 45, said that poor grammar didn’t mean anything to them.
DOS AND DON’TS
1 Have a natural profile picture.
2 Run a spellcheck, and cross-check your description for grammatical errors.
3 Update your profile on dating apps and sites regularly.
4 Keep your emails simple and to the point .
5 Don’t display your emotions or insecurity on your profile.
6 Don’t reveal any confidential information on your profile or chats.
7 Meet someone only after you are comfortable talking to him or her over the phone.
– Mary George Varghese, relationship expert