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Can a few simple words turn you into a successful online dater?

by AirTalk

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Beijing office worker Jiang Hui surfs the internet looking for love at a cafe in Beijing on February 5, 2010. FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

If you’re trying to look attractive in your online dating profile, you may want to take up surfing.

According to WIRED’s analysis of “massive amounts of data” from popular dating sites OkCupid and, what people say in their profiles may play a role in how attractive other users find them to be.

A hard look at the 1000 most popular words on the site and how attractive the people who use them are rated shows that the “hottest” men talk about oceans, breakfast, and live music.

The women mention fitness, Radiohead, and fashion. Attractive people of both genders overwhelmingly mention surfing, yoga, and London. Another common theme for the most attractive online daters is some breaking of gender norms. Women interested in technology and men who mention crafting are rated very attractive.

Are we a culture of Radiohead-listening, surfing, Anglophiles? Is the dating pool on sites like OkCupid and Match self-selecting? Does online attractiveness translate to in-person chemistry?


Caitlin Roper, Senior Editor at WIRED

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