The Psychology of Online Dating: He Wants and She Is

In the first article in this series (The Psychologists Viewpoint) I outlined the different types of research using personal advertisements, generally printed advertisements published on the ‘lonely hearts’ pages of newspapers and magazines.

You will recall that over the last few years psychologists have collected and analysed thousands of these personal descriptions, and have found patterns and sex differences in what people want from a partner, how people advertise themselves to a prospective partner, and how well they pick up on the sort of things the other sex is looking for. This article looks at this from the perspective of male desires and female self-descriptions; looking at what men have actually said they are looking for in a partner, and how good women are at saying the right things to attract a man. Although this is about male wants it is probably of more use to women, particularly when you are considering the sort of thing to say in the ‘in your own words’ box of your online dating profile.

Firstly we will discuss the features that men particularly seek when describing their ideal partner and how women use their knowledge of this when describing themselves. Secondly we will consider how good women are at this – are there some things that women could say that would make a big difference? Finally we will consider how women can best use this information to hook the interest and get a proper look from men who are browsing through pages and pages of online profiles.

Before you read any further, pause for a moment and ask yourself what men are typically looking for in a female partner. Think of maybe four things and note them down … now read on.

What does the research say?

One of the strongest results to emerge from examining personal advertisements is the sex difference in the importance of attractiveness. Apart from age and sex, attractiveness (beauty, good looks etc.) is the most frequently described characteristic in personal advertisements written by both men and women but a whole range of studies have found that women are much more likely to describe themselves as attractive or using similar terms (handsome, beautiful, good looking etc.) than men are, and men are far more likely to say they are looking for someone who is attractive than women are.

This suggests that not only are men more interested in a partner’s physical attractiveness than women but that women already know and use this information. This is also backed up when you look at other physical descriptions such as hair and eye colour. Women are far more likely to mention their own hair and eye colour than men and men are far more likely to say they are looking for a ‘brown eyed brunette’ (or whatever) than women are. The other physical attribute that stands out is build or weight, often expressed as dress size. Granted there is no simple male equivalent to a woman describing herself as a ‘size 10’ (pretty slim in UK dress sizes) but there are plenty of other words (trim, slender, muscular) that could be used. Even so, men are more likely to describe the size/weight range of the person they are looking for than women, and women are more likely to describe their own size, build or weight than men.

Another important factor that emerges from the research is age. Age is almost always mentioned in advertisements written by both men and women. Usually both the age of the writer and the age range of their preferred partner are specified. There is little difference in whether or not age is mentioned so it looks like it is similarly important to both sexes. However there is a difference when you start looking at the actual numbers. In general, women are looking for someone of similar age to themselves or someone who is older by a few years. It is rare to come across a woman who states she is looking for someone younger. Men are usually looking for someone of a similar age or younger, in some cases considerably younger. This suggests youth is something that is valued by men, and perhaps this ties in with ideas about what is attractive.

Apart from stating their physiological age in years, many women who are (perhaps) re-entering the dating scene a little later in life give a more subjective evaluation of their age, usually saying something that implies youth such as young at heart, youthful, or looks younger. Older men also do this but it is much more common in women’s self-descriptions and women begin to use claims of youthfulness at earlier ages than men.

Overall, then, looking at personal advertisements the biggest difference between men and women is over description of physical characteristics including attractiveness and body size or shape, and specific physical features that may be considered attractive such as eye colour and hair colour. Age ties in with this if we assume a link between youth and attractiveness. Men tend to want younger, sometimes much younger partners while women, particularly older women, tend to describe themselves as being youthful in outlook or directly tie this in with looks by claiming to be young looking for their age.

On a wider level, a number of researchers have remarked that when women describe themselves they tend to emphasise their male-valued, physical traits rather than the traits that they, as women, place value on. It would be easy to argue that women do this because they hold stereotypical, even prejudiced views of men but the strong evidence of a match between how women describe themselves and what men actually say they want indicates women have got it about right. It appears that when women write an advertisement or dating profile, they often do a good job of writing for a male audience and seem to have a pretty clear idea of how best to promote themselves and attract male attention.

How can we use this?

Most of this is unsurprising and you may be thinking that you already knew this. However you now know for sure that this is not just prejudice but is backed up by scientific research. More importantly, this is knowledge you can use to improve your own profile.

Although there is little you can do to change your age, attractiveness and physical features, there is plenty of scope to decide what you emphasise and the kind of language you use. I am not suggesting that you lie, particularly since the whole idea is that you will eventually meet up and overt lying about physical features would do you no good at all. Without lying it is perfectly possible to focus on your best features and try to use the kind of keywords that men are likely to pick up on.

With online dating profiles, photographs are generally a prerequisite to getting responses and given the sex differences in the importance of attractiveness, it’s probably fair to say a good quality photo showing you in your best light is particularly important for women.

Apart from this there are the ‘in your own words’ sections of your profile. If you or others consider you attractive then mention this, don’t worry about the fact that it is already in the form-like section of your profile. If you are slim then mention this. If you are not comfortable with claiming either of these then mention your most attractive features such as your beautiful eyes, lovely auburn hair, attractive personality and/or young outlook. Notice the language I am using: it may seem trivial but adjectives like attractive, beautiful, lovely and young will catch the attention of the men who (on average) are more interested in this sort of thing than women. Men are predisposed towards spotting this kind of thing and even those who claim to be more interested in personality than looks will notice these words. If you feel you can refer to yourself as young and stunningly beautiful with a great figure then do so. If you don’t feel that confident then use more moderate language or qualify these statements (young at heart, considered beautiful by some, attractive figure) and refer to specific features like your hair and eyes. Using key words such as these and mentioning your physical features makes it more likely you will grab his attention and your profile will get more than a brief scan and then move on.

To wrap things up, this article has outlined the results of psychological research into what men say they want in a partner and how women describe themselves. This information has then been used to provide insight into the sort of language that might help a woman’s personal description catch a man’s eye.

The next article in this series, She wants and he is, turns the tables and considers what women say they want from men, how men describe themselves, and how good (or bad) men are at picking up on what women are actually looking for in a partner.

Online Dating Guide For Men Over 40

In fact, maturity gives you distinctive advantages. By now you know who you are and what you want in life. The women you will be dating also have grown up and learned how to live their lives. It’s time for less games and more transparency and openness.

1. Write down what you seek.

You can get exactly what you are looking for. If you simply want some casual encounters, enjoying ladies’ attention and entertaining, this is achievable.

If you desire a committed partner to spend the rest of your life with, it’s also possible to find. You are still young enough to make it happen.

Even if you dream about family and kids, it’s not too late. For example, Slavic women from countries of the former USSR with unfortunate gender ratios are seeking partners online and they are willing to accept someone older to be able to realize their dreams of family and marriage.

For instance, in Ukraine women are in the situation of 86 males for 100 females. It’s plainly impossible for some single ladies to find partners. A single 35-year-old Belarus woman would be usually open to accept a man who is 30-50 years old, or even older. Besides, a 35-year-old lady will be really eager to cut the chase and get married quickly to start a family sooner. Such realistic options in our age of total Internet connectivity became accessible to anyone.

No matter what you are looking for, there is a quick and efficient way to make your dreams come true. Just be honest about what you really desire and don’t sell yourself short.

2. Get great photos.

Online dating is all about presentation. You will improve your chances to meet quality women and cut down rejections dramatically if you have an excellent photo in your profile, as compared with a gloomy selfie shot.

Save yourself time and money that you will inevitably waste in dead-end dates by getting nice pictures for your online dating profile.

>> Women love style. A guy in a collared shirt and pants looks more attractive to ladies than a man in a stretched T-shirt. Better quality women pay even more attention to the way you dress.
>> Smiling in your photo helps you appear approachable and happy with your life.
>> Beautiful surroundings lift up the spirit of your photo. It makes your picture stand out from the crowd.

3. Write positive texts.

We all know people who manage to bring the liveliest party down. Certainly, no one wants to spend the rest of their lives-or even one date!-with someone who constantly complains. If you want to talk about things that are important for you, make sure you do it in a positive way.

For instance, instead of “I despise smokers” write “I prefer people who do not smoke”.

4. Be open and truthful.

It may be tempting to shave a few years or pounds in your online dating profile but resist the urge. Sure, we’d love to think that we look younger than our biological age. This is quite typical for people, while it’s unlikely for anyone to make a statement, “I look older than my age”.

Ladies will notice if you indeed look good for your age and they will be excited about it. But starting with lies is not a good way and could drive the girl to feel used. Rather tell the truth and lay a strong foundation for a first-class connection.

5. Let them see the real you.

There are certain things that make you unique. If your friends were asked to characterize you in 3-4 words, what would they say? You may think some of your distinct features are unremarkable or even negative, but you could be surprised, there are other people who have a different view. They find such traits attractive or admirable.

Some Romanian women may view certain qualities in a man attractive, while local ladies would see them in a different light. By the way, even in your local area people have different opinions. By being sincere you will attract like-minded people and put off the ones who are unsuitable for you.

This is why it’s best to describe precisely what makes you the person you are. That’s the easiest way to find a good match through online dating.

Online Dating Guide For Men And How They Can Be Successful

In today’s world meeting new people has become easier and definitely more interesting. Now you are more likely to meet someone nearer to the individual’s requirement list. In this world of progressive computer technology and net – savvy people, the latest trend of meeting new people is through online dating. In this you can avoid repetitions and you can also save yourself from peer pressure of asking someone out only to get rejected after a drink maybe. In online dating you can know someone through their profiles and later on if you are confident enough you can start chatting with them and then finally ask them out on an actual date.

Now here are a few tips to help you with dating the right women:

· The first task is to choose the right dating service website. Each website specializes in different aspects of dating. For instance, some are for Asians, where you can date Asian ladies. Pick the one that fits you and verify its reliability from your friends and family. There are some websites which are filled with fake, erotic profiles but they are just a waste of time.

· Do not rush. Exactly like real life you should not rush with things in online dating too. Do not try to act smart to someone and ask them to meet right away. You should first build up a connection through chatting online and then ask out for a date.

· Do not trust the person totally. You should not believe him or her blindly whatever she is saying.

· Make your profile attractive but you should not overdo it as it will give an impression to girls that you are trying too hard, rather quite desperate! So put a decent picture of yours and update the profile with genuine information.

How to be Successful with Online Dating:

Here are some tips on how to succeed with this whole online dating experience.

· For dating women show your best side through your profile. In your profile talk about your qualities and interesting hobbies and passions. Do not write about your infirmities in your profile. Your profile should send a positive vibe and be upbeat.

· While making contact with someone, you should keep things real but stay positive at the same time. While dating a woman you have keep in mind not to be a question bank.

· Do not move too fast. Women find guys rushing to be cheesy and try to avoid them instead. Girls like guys who go with the right pace. First chat with her for quite some times online, and then when you find her interested too, ask for her phone number, then talk through phone regularly and then finally decide to go a real offline date.

· Dress according to the place where you are taking the girl out for the first date. Try to look presentable and decent. Everyone likes good looks and girls like taking pride in their partner’s looks. This is one of the keys to dating women successfully.

· Be simple and confident on your first date. Do not plan on spending the whole day out, and instead plan something short and simple. For example, you guys can meet over a cup of coffee at some cafe so that you guys can part ways if things do not work out, and if things seem good then you can think of going for a movie.

· Keep a check on your personal hygiene. You should be clean in your dressing and your nails, hair and shoes should also be properly polished and good. Females have a thing of knowing a gentleman through their shoes.

· Do not expect sex on the very first date. If you looking for the girl of your dreams, the sexiest thing is to be patient. This is one way to succeed in dating a woman.

· Be a good listener and treat the girl with all the due respect. They might bore you but you should listen to them anyone if you want to impress her. Remembering what she said will impress her even more.

Just keep these basic tips in mind and see how it works magic in your online dating.