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Your name may win you a date online

Do your initials have anything to do with the number of clicks your online dating profile gets? Yes, claims a new study.

London: Do your initials have anything to do with the number of clicks your online dating profile gets? Yes, claims a new study.

An online profile name beginning with letters A-M is as important as an attractive photo when it comes to being successful in the world of online dating, according to scientists.

The researchers at Queen Mary University of London found that a person's chosen online profile name is particularly important.

Men are more drawn to names that indicate physical attractiveness, such as 'Blondie' or 'Cutie' while women go for names that signal intelligence, such as 'Cultured'.

In addition, names with negative associations such as 'Little' or 'Bug' should be avoided in favour of something more playful such as 'Fun2bwith', as the latter is more universally attractive.

"Several factors make a difference when looking for love in a digital setting. Starting a screen name with a letter in the top half of the alphabet is surprisingly important - because several measures of success, such as educational attainment and income, are linked to names higher up the alphabet," said lead researcher Khalid Khan.

The study analysed published research on the art of attraction and persuasion - in the fields of psychology and sociology, as well as computer, behavioural, and neuro-cognitive science - in order to reveal the most effective approaches between men and women in converting online contact into a first date.

The researchers add that people setting up an online profile shouldn't limit themselves to selfies. 

Group photos showing other people having a good time in your company, preferably with you right in the middle of the action and touching someone else - but only on the upper arm - will help to convey your friendliness, importance, and status.

"People are also attracted to those similar to themselves. So before setting up your profile, look at the profiles of people you find attractive and choose a name with a likeness," Khan added.

Incidentally, women find a man more attractive when they see other women smiling at him.

The study found complex language in a headline message (perhaps included in the belief it makes a person look more intelligent) is a universal turn off.

People are naturally drawn to words that are easy to remember and pronounce, and ease of information processing increases likeability, the analysis showed.

"Steer clear of fiction in your profile: written information could come back to bite you. And provide a 70:30 mix of who you are, and what you are looking for. Bear in mind that likeability is more attractive than academic achievement," Khan advised.

What traits are most attractive? Men seeking women are drawn to physical fitness while women prefer bravery and risk-taking rather than kindness and altruism in men.

And finally, a wittily written profile is likely to be far more successful than just saying that you are funny.

The findings were published in the journal Evidence Based Medicine.

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