Online dating is huge, and growing rapidly due to the acceptance of swipe-oriented apps by Millennials. It now accounts for nearly a quarter of “how me met” stories among newlyweds. Here are several resources I find especially helpful in navigating the online dating process:

Online Dating: How to Make Your First Impression Count

I like this article at the Wall St. Journal for a couple of reasons. First, it’s nice to see advice from a source other than the very limited number of dated how-to posts on the defunct OKCupid blog. Second, the adviser here is the founder of happn, a Paris-based online dating app. His advice is both refreshing and helpful.

“Be yourself. There’s no space for lies.”

For starters, Mr. Rappaport, whose app logs 4.7 million users world-wide, with its biggest U.S. user bases in New York City and San Francisco, believes the first photo your potential matches see is hugely important. “The world of today is a world of immediacy,” he says.


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He focuses primarily how to use photos and craft a good profile. Here’s an interesting one:

Exuding sexiness is a big don’t, Mr. Rappaport says, noting that a survey his app did of its users showed that only 21% of men and 4% of women responded well to sexy looks or poses on an online-dating profile. “It’s not natural,” he says. “When you are too sexy, it’s intimidating—it also says you put a lot of importance in the way you look and you’re trying too hard. It shows an over confidence.”

Contrary to popular opinion, people find arrogance and overt sexuality unattractive online – unless the goal is a one-night stand. :-/

What Do People Say on a Good First Date?

good first date


Features of a person’s speech that correlate to their date feeling like they “clicked”, by gender. (p < 0.05); Rosie Cima, Priceonomics; Data: Jurafsky, McFarland, Rawlings

These are the results of speed dating research.

The researcher’s aggregate conclusion from this extremely detailed and labor intensive analysis was a relatively reasonable portrait of a good first date: A heterosexual couple on a good first date pay attention to each other, show each other they’re listening, are kind and agreeable, and — interestingly — focus the conversation on the woman.

I find it interesting that men don’t like hedging by women – the researchers say it indicates discomfort and disengagement, but I think it also implies a women who lacks confidence and independence.

How to Stay Safe With Online Dating

This post is supported by Caller Smart, an app that allows you to check a person’s phone number against a database for crowd-sourced information. Specifically, it’s designed to help you identify “cheaters, creeps and scammers.” While such a service might generate some false positives, it’s potentially useful as a filter.

In any case, the article is chock full of tips on how to be prudent and smart when meeting strangers online, e.g:

Most dating sites require that you use an email to sign up. It’s a good idea to create a separate email that you use specifically for dating. Not only will this help keep you organized, but it will keep the new contacts that you make while dating separate from your personal and work email accounts. If anything goes wrong and you no longer want to talk to the person it’s easy to close the email account.

Online dating deserves a place in your portfolio of dating strategies. Think of giving it about 20% of your dating effort. It’s simply too powerful to ignore as a way of meeting new people. But it does require intelligent filtering for safety and appropriate matching, as well as an effective marketing strategy for putting your best self forward.