When it comes to dating in Vancouver, the struggle is real.
Entering a Gastown bar is daunting, and even a little depressing. Nobody wants to talk to each other, and buying someone a drink is practically code for “Come back to my place.” Luckily, online dating is here to save all the love-lorn Vancouverites.
But, like cruising the Gastown pubs, many online dating sites tend to cater to people who are looking for Mr. Right Now. What about those of us who are looking for something long-lasting?
eHarmony is an online dating site that focuses on bringing people together for long term relationships and specializes in the scientific approach to dating. They took this scientific approach even further with a study covering six years of online dating matches. Dr. Karyn Gordon is a relationship counsellor and leadership coach who says the study was designed to help people.
“We’re really trying to equip people with the right tools so they can find their forever partner,” she says.
We teamed up with her to compile this list of tips so you can bring your online dating game to the next level.
Using the right keywords is paramount to finding success with online dating – women who used men’s favourite keyword got more than 35% more communication requests than women who didn’t.
So what are those top keywords? Well for men, it’s ambitious, hardworking, and passionate. For women, it’s physically fit, ambitious, and hardworking.
“You think about the headspace, the psychology of what a male is looking for,” Gordon says. “They want a woman who basically has her act together. She’s got her goals, ambition, her drive. But she’s also got heart.”
Men tend not to like women who describe themselves as spiritual, respectful, and dependable. For women, it’s the quiet, thoughtful, and spontaneous descriptions.
“Who do I think of when I think of spiritual, respectful, and dependable? I think of my mom,” Gordon says. “And they don’t want to be dating their mom.”
The same goes for women, with quiet men generally being perceived as more introverted.
“In our Western culture, we idolize extroverts. We idolize people who are outgoing,” she says. “We almost look down upon introverts. And this study exactly showed that.”
It can be tempting to fix up our profiles with the top keywords, but Gordon cautions against that.
“The key is not to manipulate the system,” she says. You have to be authentic, and also prove to your potential partners that you are. “All of your messaging, words and pictures, need to be congruent,” she says.
If you describe yourself as physically fit, you should include photos of yourself hiking. If you describe yourself as passionate, include images of yourself indulging in your passions.
“Once people have a bad experience, they almost want to shut off,” Gordon says. “My encouragement to them is to give it another try.”
The best time to be active online is when there are more people signing up for accounts – and one of those times is between Boxing Day and the first few weeks of January. It has the most registrations and people receive the most communication requests during that time. The New Year also marks a great time for a fresh start, and applying this to your dating life could be a great decision.
The most important tip for having a great online dating experience? Be open.
“Sometimes we have this idea with who we want, but who we want might not be really a good fit,” Gordon says.
Sites like eHarmony use psychology to match you up with people that complement your personality profile, so the people you see are people that can challenge you for the better, while still fitting in your value system.
“Go on a couple of dates with somebody maybe you would not have expected,” she says. “To have that sort of open mind can be incredibly helpful for people.”