They should showcase other people having a good time in your company, preferably with you right in the middle of the act and touching someone else – but only on the upper arm.

They should showcase other people having a good time in your company, preferably with you right in the middle of the act and touching someone else – but only on the upper arm.

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    Using a playful screen name, commencing with a letter near the beginning of the alphabet, could be the key to online dating success.

    Writing in the journal Evidence Based Medicine, researchers said getting the profile seen was as significant as an attractive photo.

    While women react to names indicating intelligence, studs go for names suggesting physical appeal.

    Using humour in a clever way can also give online profiles an edge.

    The research, led by Prof Khalid Khan from Queen Mary University London, investigated how dudes and women could get the most out of online dating and improve their chances of setting up a face-to-face meeting.

    To find out, the team looked at the results of more than 80 studies on the art of attraction and persuasion.

    What’s in a name?

    Creating a profile is the very first requirement of online dating sites and this review found that choosing a good screen name was vital.

    For example, names with negative connotations, such as Little or Bugg, are often linked with inferiority while playful screen names, like Fun2bwith, are more attractive.

    Fellows are more likely to react to screen names which indicate physical attraction, eg Blondie, Cutie, whereas women go for names that indicate intelligence, such as Cultured.

    But getting the profile seen is identically significant, the probe says, so make sure it emerges near the top of the list.

    When it comes to the photo to accompany the profile, there are various things to consider.

    “A genuine smile, one that crinkles up your eyes, will make a good very first impression,” the paper advises.

    For women, a slight tilt of the head and wearing crimson can also enhance attraction.

    The right kind of group photos are also desirable.

    They should display other people having a good time in your company, preferably with you right in the middle of the activity and touching someone else – but only on the upper arm. These will help to convey your friendliness and status.

    Women, however, find a man more attractive when they see other women smiling at him.

    Don’t showcase off

    In the profile description itself, the advice is to be fair and positive about yourself, combining details of who you are and what you are looking for.

    Prof Khan said: “Staying close to reality is the most significant thing. People think they have to portray themselves as superheroes, but the opposite is actually true.”

    It is worth bearing in mind that fellows and women react to different personality traits too.

    “Fellows choose physical fitness in women gained via yoga, aerobics and gym, not via rugby and bodybuilding, while women choose bravery, courage and a preparedness to take risks rather than graciousness and altruism in their playmates.”

    Using humour “can give the edge”, he says, but it is preferable to write in a clever or humorous way rather than telling people you are hilarious.

    Once you have reached the stage of communicating with a potential mate online, the researchers provide some helpful tips getting to the next stage – the very first face-to-face date.

    Prompt reply

    Firstly, ask open questions, don’t write lengthy essays and do reply promptly.

    If there is webcam contact, smile, don’t slouch and end every conversation on a positive note or with a positive revelation about yourself.

    But they also say not to leave it more than three weeks before arranging a meeting.

    All these strategies can be time-consuming, the paper says, but they are ultimately worth it.

    The paper concludes: “There do not show up to be shortcuts in successfully converting electronic contact with innumerable potential dates into a face-to-face encounter with one.”

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