September 9, 2009
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Forget poetry and rambling emails if you want more online dating replies.
Short and sweet are the way to find your soulmate in cyberspace, US dating site Ok Cupid reveals.
Women are attracted to longer messages of 1000 to 3000 characters, but for men wanting the highest success rate, the ideal opening lineis 200 characters long.
Men want even shorter first messages.
The optimal first online message from a woman to a man is just 50 characters long.
And men like women taking the lead, with more than 40 per cent of female-initiated messages getting a response.
But only one in five women replied to messages from potential suitors.
Ok Cupid told singles in a recent blog the reply rate dropped as messages got longer.
“After about 360 words (1800 characters), you start scaring people off, like the online equivalent of a face tattoo,” the company said.
Dating expert Katia Loisel-Furey said short messages built excitement and anticipation. “It’s almost like dangling a carrot and saying, ‘Come and get it’,” Loisel-Furey said.
She said too much detail could be a turn-off.
“Most people aren’t fantastic at describing themselves,” she said.
“They’re not sure what the other person wants to hear. They sort of write their message accordingly.”
University of Melbourne gender and sexuality expert Dr Lauren Rosewarne said content, not length, was the most important in online dating messages.
“Write the way you’re hoping the other person does,” she said.