You have been hitting up Tinder and Coffee Meets Bagel for some time now with not much success. Instead of getting more numbers added to your contact list, you’re racking up expenses in your credit card bills with the string of failed dates you have been going on.
But this doesn’t mean you should give up on romance or just meet people in your neighbourhood to have walks in the nearby park as a free date activity. Science can perhaps nudge us a little closer to finding your elusive would-be partner successfully out of the massive dating pool you have submerged yourself into. Take these tips from science to stop the trend of failed dates you seem to be having and stem the ever-increasing expenditures you have been incurring in your prolonged search for love:
1. Make your online profile stand out
Crafting a better online profile ensures you get more hits, increasing your chances of finding someone you’re more likely to be attracted to.
Giving a leg up to you and other clueless online daters, researchers from Queen Mary University of London first collated nearly 4,000 pieces of relevant literature on online dating that came from fields of study from psychology and sociology to computer and neurocognitive sciences.
After whittling down these studies to 86 relevant citations, the researchers synthesized them to find the most effective strategies for success in the online dating space. Their findings and tips for those seeking love in the virtual space include:
- Choose a screen name that hints at playfulness, such as “Fun2bwith”, as they are considered “universally attractive”, wrote the researchers in their paper published in the Evidence-Based Medicine journal in 2015.
- Use simple language to write about yourself. That makes processing information about you easier, which then increases likeability.
- Keep the ratio of information you craft on your user profile about yourself and your dating preferences to be around 70:30. For example, “genuine, attractive, outgoing, professional female, good sense of humour, into keeping fit, socializing, music and travel seeks like-minded, good-natured guy to share quality times” achieves the best results, states the researchers.
2. Plan a thrill for the first date
If you’re always stuck at Date No. 1 multiple times, perhaps a novel choice of activity might be the key to assuring a second or third date.
In 1974, psychologists at the University of British Columbia found that men were more likely to call an attractive female researcher who met them and offered her number to them after they had crossed a swaying 137-metre long suspension bridge dangling 70 metres above a river. This was in contrast to male subjects who had walked across a sturdier bridge made out of heavy cedar and built just three or so metres above a shallow stream of water.
The researchers explained that the participants may have misunderstood their psychological state and increased heart rate to be feelings of attraction to the researcher who approached them rather than due to the thrilling walk they just took on the bridge.
It may seem deceptive to insist your date head to the amusement park with you just for the express purpose of inducing such a psychological state, but adventurous and novel activities are associated with the release of dopamine, known as the pleasure chemical, in the brain.
So think a little harder to plan an exciting activity than just a coffee session to make for a happy and memorable first date that might just pave the way for a second. The purchase of tickets for rides at a pasar malam carnival will be cheaper than two rounds of drinks on multiple failed first dates, too.
Suggested Reading: 14 Super Surprising Valentine’s Day Date Ideas
3. The choice of dinner venue matters
Post-dinner drinks are a great pretext to extend a date that seems to be going well, but dinner and drinks can be a deadly combo for your wallet when done in excess. With the help of Cornell University researchers, pick more favourable dining spots that may just help you save on a night’s expenditure.
The researchers from the university’s food psychology and consumer behaviour lab found that bright lights and yellow and red colours in a diner’s interior décor give off a hectic atmosphere, increasing the tendency of customers to eat and leave quickly. So go for a restaurant kinder to romancing, such as one that has soft lighting and a playlist dominated by soft jazz instrumental music.
The researchers gave part of a fast food restaurant a makeover into a fine dining environment with these aspects. Participants of the study in the fine-dining area stayed for meals longer and ate less food, even enjoyed their dishes more as compared to those seated in the other section.
Do a little research and recce to make the right choice of a bistro or cafe, you and your date may be more likely to save money on the post-main course extras, like dessert or pricey cocktails at another bar, and linger there longer to enjoy each other’s company.
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