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Top Five Tips for Online Dating in the New Year

12/30/2013 09:00 am ET | Updated Mar 01, 2014

SF seeking SM for LTR.

Although common in personal advertisements seen in the 1980s, simple acronyms to describe an individual and the type of relationship they desire seem primitive in the age of online dating. Determining what type of and how much information to share with prospective romantic partners is now a more strategic endeavor. Fortunately, Zoosk, which applies a mutual attraction approach to match their users, recently conducted a study of 4,000 online daters to identify the best strategies for navigating the online dating scene. So follow these five tips to find love in the New Year.

Oh Pretty Woman...

Gentlemen, save your flattery. While compliments are welcome, references to physical beauty in messages are not effective for getting a date. Men who describe a woman as cute, hot, or sexy are 44 percent less likely to receive a response. Using physical references may not be an effective strategy because women find their comments to be too forward for an online interaction. Moreover, emphasis on physical qualities may signal purely physical interests.

Honesty: Always the Best Policy?

Research on online dating profiles suggests that individuals are most likely to lie about their height, weight, and age. Although your date will most likely not bring a scale, measuring tape, or proof you upon first meeting, all of these characteristics will be revealed shortly, if not immediately. Other characteristics, however, may be equally important to share. For example, men who discuss exes or divorce in their online dating profiles are 52 percent more likely to receive messages. Women, however, who mention exes, are four percent less likely to receive messages. While women obviously should not lie about their history or family situations, women may want to consider how and when they present personal information.

A Thousand Words

A bottom-up approach may not just be effective in government, but in online dating as well. Be sure that Mr. Demille's closeup is not just of your face but your whole body. Individuals who use full body shots as their primary shots are 203 percent more likely to receive unsolicited messages and 33 percent more likely to receive responses to sent messages. Although the word of the year in 2013, selfies should not be included in online dating profiles. Men who post a selfie receive eight percent fewer unsolicited messages and 6 percent fewer response messages.

Grammar School

With limited information provided in online dating profiles and messages, writing and syntax serve as a proxy for other characteristics, such as education and class background. Elementary school was called grammar school for a reason and if individuals are not using proper grammar, you may be begin to question whether they attended the fourth grade. Individuals who have basic spelling errors, such as teh, ur, dont, im, etc., in their messages receive 13 percent fewer responses. The solution is simple and fast: spell check.

Carpe Diem

The playing field for asking someone out on a first date online may not be even for men and women. Men who mention coffee, dinner, or lunch in their first message exchange are 35% less likely to receive a response. Although confidence is a very attractive quality for men in person, discussing first date activities may not be an effective strategy online because women may not been able to engage in a thorough vetting process. For women, vetting potential dates may be more critical due to safety concerns. Women who refer to coffee, dinner, or lunch in a first message, however, are four percent more likely to receive a response. While defying traditional dating scripts, women who refer to a first date in their initial message may be more effective because of the high non-response rates on online dating sites.

It's the most wonderful time of the year for online dating sites. With individuals resolving to find love in the new year, online dating sites will experience a major surge in users. Make sure to follow these tips from to find your special someone online.