The online dating success report which appeared in the “Crunch Time” section of the Times Magazine looked at the statistical likelihood of receiving contacts based on the profile photographs which singles chose to post. This was based on a survey undertaken by US dating site OKCupid.com. The dating service monitored the number of contacts and dating conversations which were generated in relation to their members’ profile pictures with rather interesting findings.

What the Internet Dating Survey Says About Singles

In general, a woman was found to be statistically likely to generate more new contacts if she:

  • Posted a MySpace style photograph
  • Chose a photograph which showed an “interesting” pursuit such as playing a musical instrument.
  • Posted a profile picture which showed cleavage.

Males were found to be more likely to increase their number of new contacts if they:

  • Chose a picture of themselves with an animal
  • Posted a photograph which exhibited their muscles

Factors Which Decreased Online Dating Success

For both sexes, those with a profile picture which showed the participant drinking had a reduced effect on the number of contacts received on average. Interestingly however, whilst men posing with animals were up to 50% more likely to increase their contacts, when women were pictured doing the same, this reduced their success rate by almost a quarter.

A similar incongruity was to be found in the reaction to photographs where the dater chose to use “eye contact”. Whilst this slightly increased the success rate for women daters, men who looked directly at the camera but did not smile, received fewer contacts.

For more information on how profile pictures worked for the members, see the fully detailed report from the data mining carried out which can be found on the OKCupid site blog.

Choosing a Dating Service

These dating statistics clearly suggest that photograph choice can affect dating performance but a carefully selected dating service may also hold the key to success. There are an overwhelming number of services out there so online daters need to think about the type of person they wish to meet and search for the site which is most likely to have these members.

There are lots of differentiated sites available – dedicated faith oriented dating services for example; if it is important to meet someone of the same ideological persuasion this might not be a bad place to start.

Online Dating Review Sites

There are a number of review websites available which enable research into a cross section of online dating services. This way, singles can find several possible sites which are most likely to meet their criteria. DatingSiteReviews.com allows the user to search through categories such as “Award Winning Dating” or “Wealthy Singles Dating” and covers sites across Australia, Canada and the UK.

Once a potential dating service is found, it is advisable to find out as much as possible about the site before signing up. The UK based onlinedatingtips.org gives the following advice: “Always read the Privacy Policy, About Us page, and the FAQ page. Each of these will give you a good look into the philosophy of that service.”

Free Online Dating

Finally, whilst it may not be the key to dating success, how much singles wish to pay for their service needs to be a consideration; many online dating services offer individuals the opportunity to sign up for free but, to actually view contacts and start dating conversations, a member will more often than not have to pay a fee. Thus when viewing potential sites, online daters should make themselves fully conversant with all the financial aspects of the service prior to signing up.