Dating data

I’m a proponent of online dating when it comes up around the office. It really helps those workaholics I know avoid dating within the workplace, which in my opinion is rarely a good idea. And meeting new people is fun.

A side benefit of online dating is all of the data that it gives to nerds like me. I found one piece on OKCupid’s blog oktrends that analyzed 500,000 first messages from men to women to determine which words had the highest statistically significant rates of responses. Since the average online woman responds to the average online male’s first message just 27% of the time, information like this can be helpful to people trying to get that initial face-to-face.

Some hints: don’t tell a girl she’s beautiful. “Hello” is bad, but “how’s it going” is good. The word “zombie” is almost as good as “how’s it going” but not quite as good as the word “sorry,” though it does beat the word “literature” by a mile.

I’m considering writing more on this topic. If you’re interested, feel free to let me know. As a sneak preview, here is my anecdotal assessment of the ideological demographics of the three top U.S. online dating sites for the Washington, D.C. area:

  1. Conservative, religious demographic.
  2. Centrist professional demographic.
  3. Liberal demographic.


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Ami Wazlawik

As a former psychology major who really enjoyed social psych, I find the data that OkTrends collects and reports on to be fascinating.