grammar and online datingSuccessful online dating is all about knowing the tricks of the trade. Although no two daters can (or should) be approached the same way, there are a few common denominators that appear in all successful online matches. While things like basic politeness, a keen sense of self and a unique opening line are likely all a routine part of your online dating repertoire, some of the more basic aspects of online dating may slip your mind altogether.

As we reside comfortably in a world of texting, direct messaging and instant Internet connection, we’ve adopted a rather careless, if not lazy, approach to our rhetoric in day-to-day online interactions. Whether it’s replacing a hearty laugh with a simple “lol,” abbreviating words to save time while texting or simply paying less attention to our grammar and spelling, something¬†cannot be ignored — these habits may have more of an impact than you think. In fact, Zoosk recently conducted an experiment to show just how much of an affect poor grammar and spelling can have on an online dater’s success and overall experience. The results were not entirely surprising, but serve as a good reminder to all online daters that they should put some time and effort into creating their profile as well as the messages they’re sending while looking for love.

Why you should proofread

Some daters assume that just because they are looking for love within an online community, they are free to throw around euphemisms, acronyms and abbreviations as they please. However, after performing a survey of 9,000 people, Zoosk found that a whopping 72% of online daters consider poor spelling and grammar to be a deal breaker. This means that for those who scrawl out their messages hastily and send without proofreading should know that the likely reason for an unanswered message is simply a matter of incorrect punctuation, spelling, grammar and overall tone. While it may seem nit-picky, making sure your messages are carefully crafted is actually much more telling than you might think. The reason that 72% of online daters are so turned off by a match who writes poorly is not because they have a problem with that person’s lack of finesse, but rather because a sloppy first message (or second, or third) is an indicator that the person may be too busy or lazy to do a quick proofread or worse — they don’t care.

Avoid pop culture phrases

Most of us can admit to throwing out an occasional “OMG!” or “lol” at the end of our messages just to add a little something extra. While these phrases might seem harmless, they may not be phrases you should use in an online dating forum. As a society, we’ve become accustomed to finding the quickest, most abbreviated shortcuts to typing out the point we’re actually trying to get across — so much that there‚Äôs even an online dating language. This seems convenient, but when it comes to online dating, these phrases can be more detrimental than you may realize. In fact, Zoosk found that sending the phrase “YOLO” (which stands for you only live once) decreased response rates by 47%. It’s fun to keep up with pop culture and try out silly new acronyms as they come, but it’s best to leave them out of your online dating vocabulary entirely. Instead, focus on creating sentences that are well thought out and considerate without skipping any letters.

Add some final touches

Punctuation makes a surprisingly positive difference in the reaction to messages sent on an online dating platform. A shocking 93% of singles in Zoosk‘s study revealed that even something as simple as adding a period to the end of each sentence can sway their opinion of another dater favorably. Coming to a complete stop after each full sentence you send is not only the grammatically correct way of formulating a message, but it also makes things significantly easier for the recipient, as they don’t have to spend time re-reading each message to decipher what is being said. In the same vein, daters who included an exclamation point in their first message received a response 10% more often than those who did not. Positivity and enthusiasm goes a long way in the online dating world, so why not use correct punctuation to show off your good attitude?

While perfect grammar and spelling won’t guarantee the perfect date, paying extra attention to the way you craft your messages can definitely have a positive effect on your overall online dating success rate.

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