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When it comes to online dating, red is the new black


Is red the new black? Where online dating is concerned, the answer is a resounding yes. Back in 2013, Slate published an article saying that you should wear a red shirt in your online dating profile to get more responses. For women, “Twenty-one per cent of their emails arrived when they wore red, whereas the other colours — black, white, yellow, green, and blue — attracted 14 to 17 per cent of the total.”

Why red? The study has two explanations.

1. Red is associated with love — plain and simple.

2. People flush red when they are sexually receptive, thus associating the colour with attraction for the other person.

They say the same is true for both men and women, so start stocking up on red clothes. But before you go on that red-shirt shopping spree, remember that simply posting a picture in your brand new red shirt is not the golden ticket to getting you a date every night of the week. The most important part of the picture is still you, and only you.

Don’t forget these five rules of thumb for your online dating profile pictures:

1. The main profile picture should be a clear headshot of yourself.

If you don’t have at least one clear headshot as your main picture (it’s either blurry or too far away), it will look like you’re hiding something. You don’t want someone to click right past you because he or she can’t see what you look like, automatically assuming the worst.

2. Less is more.

Believe it or not, Match.com allows a whopping 26 photos in your profile. That sounds more like a Facebook album. No doubt the pictures from your trip to Paris are amazing . . . just remember, there’s a time and a place for them, and that place is not an online dating site. People have a tendency to look though all of your photos and dismiss you simply because they see just one they don’t like.

3. Be by yourself in the shot.

4. Have one “interesting” picture.

It’s hard to know what to say to someone in that first email, isn’t it? This is why we need to provide some “email bait” — something to catch someone’s attention and generate questions. For example, if you have a picture of yourself with a gold medal around your neck, it automatically raises the question, “How did you get that?”

5. Be accurate.

The point of doing online dating is to get offline. Don’t lie about your looks — people will always find out the truth in the end.

Now, with these rules of thumb in mind, feel free to break out the red and post away. And then when you have too many dates to count, you can break out the red again . . . this time perhaps a nice bottle of Merlot.

Related:

55 years of dating advice from the Toronto Star

TORONTO STAR | LIFE | HEALTH_WELLNESS

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