To be a successful online dater, you need to “optimize” your online profile. That’s the message from Amy Webb, a statistics expert who recently used science to wade through thousands of online profiles, to meet the man she’d eventually marry! How did she do it? She created a bunch of fake profiles, and tested nearly 100 different online dating theories, so see which approaches worked best. And here’s what she learned:

  • Don’t try to be funny unless you really ARE funny. In fact, when it comes to using humor, Webb recommends writing down whatever you’re planning to say, and then having a friend read it out loud - deadpan. She says when you hear your words come out of their mouth; you may realize that your attempt at humor falls flat.

  • Keep your descriptions short and sweet. Webb says the ideal profile is less than 100 words long, or about three sentences. The idea is to share just enough information to pique someone’s interest. That way, you’ll have plenty to talk about when they get in touch with you. Plus, we’ve all been Twitter-ized, and don’t have attention span for someone’s life story in a profile.

  • Skip listing your accomplishments. Imagine you’re meeting someone for the first time at a party. You’d never introduce yourself by saying: “Hi, I’m John, and I once climbed Mount Everest!” So, don’t share details like that online. Save your “wow” moments for your first date. Besides, Webb says most people don’t want to see a list of what you’ve done unless they’re hiring you.

  • Follow the “20-hour rule.” This is what do you do when someone does respond to your optimized dating profile. It means wait at least 20 hours before responding to an email or private message. Webb says that way, you’ll come across as eager, but not desperate!