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Honesty on online dating sites

The second issue—what individuals are most likely to lie about—can be divided into several categories, including physical appearance, education, relationship or job status, and issues related to personality traits and interests.

Women are, however, more likely to describe themselves as sexy, but they’re less likely to ask for someone sexy in return.In fact, this latest proclamation on the state of modern love joins a 2010 study that found more couples meet online than at schools, bars or parties.And a 2012 study that found dating site algorithms aren’t effective. It’s a simple question and a common one — one whose answer could determine the fates of both a multi-billion dollar industry and millions of lonely hearts.It’s a question that seems distinctly answerable: we have user data, surveys, clear metrics for success or failure, entire books full of colorful charts.In terms of what to avoid, there’s nothing that screams “undateable” quite like referring to yourself as shy, curvy or, again, happy; just 1%, 0.09% and 0.4% of women respectively are looking for these traits.

In terms of how people described themselves, you’re most likely to stumble across a man who’s honest (10%), intelligent (9%) and confident (8%), while women are honest (9%), sexy (8%) and intelligent (7%).

In an earlier post, I discussed how people involved in online relationships can develop intense bonds due to the unique ability for the anonymity and control provided by online interactions to enable expression of the “true self”: traits that a person possesses, but does not normally feel comfortable expressing to others.

Research has shown that when we chat online, even briefly, these normally hidden traits become more cognitively accessible to us and we actually do succeed in expressing them to others (Bargh et al., 2002).

In the meantime, stay well clear of describing yourself as shy (2%), trustworthy (1%) and, oddly enough, happy (0.3%).

If you’re a man whose profile is filled with references to how handsome everyone tells you you are, remove all of that and instead refer to yourself as honest (13%), intelligent (10%) and confident (9%); women value your character over your vanity.

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