When it comes to finding a partner, some prefer to meet someone the old fashioned way. Through alcohol and poor judgement. For others, online dating sites are the way to go. But it turns out there are things way more unacceptable to potential mates than spurious claims of having actually enjoyed Eat, Pray, Love, declaring you’re a “glass half-full kinda guy” or employing the excessive use of LOL. And one of the biggest deal breakers of all? Poor spelling and grammar.
That’s right. Some 96% of more than 5000 single women surveyed last year by Match.com were adamant that a very good grasp of grammar and spelling was nothing short of vital if any budding romance was to have any hope at all of making it into full flower.
Just so you know, apparently the most heinous sin of all is to confuse “your” with “you’re”. This is closely followed by confusing “their” with “there”, “too” with “to”, and a flagrant disregard for the correct use of apostrophes.
But why does such sloppiness show would-be online Lotharios in such a bad light? Because it makes guys seem careless, lazy and stupid and it’s just a huge turn off. So says online dating guru, Em, of the popular MenAskEm website. And she ought to know. Em makes a living advising guys on how to improve their profiles and poor spelling and grammar are really distracting. “When mistakes keep jumping off the page, it makes it harder for girls to focus on what a guy is actually saying. When a guy can’t be bothered to spell or write correctly, the impression we get is that he doesn’t care about doing anything well.”
A 2012 research paper, Online Dating: A Critical Analysis From the Perspective of Psychological Science, found that 35% of relationships now start online. So, with that scary statistic in mind, here are five easy ways to help you improve your profile and hopefully find Ms Right.
Read over what you’ve written slowly. Very slowly. Pretend you’re reading it for the first time, saying each word out loud to catch any standout howlers.
Pay attention to the red squiggly lines under words. Every one of these is a warning that you’re making a mistake! If you’re not sure of the correct answer, right click on the word and choose the correct version from the spell check list.
Google it. These days there’s really no excuse not to confirm the correct spelling of a word or check for the right grammar. There just isn’t.
Look it up in the dictionary. Online or the handy old Oxford version, it doesn’t matter. You may know you’ve spelled a word correctly, but are you sure you’re using it in the right context? This one action alone could save you from a hot mess of embarrassment.
Get someone to read it over. An extra pair of eyes may save your bacon by picking up what you might have missed.
With a good photo and a well written, error-free profile, who knows? Love might just be in the air.