Secure Your Online Dating Match | Carphone Warehouse

Secure Your Match


Secure Your Match

What is love? Baby, it’s online dating. So you’ll need to make sure your profile ticks all the right boxes. To help you do that, we surveyed 1,000 Brits who use dating apps and sites and asked them: what turns you on and what turns you off when it comes to dating profiles? Take notes from their answers and secure your match.

Introducing Britain’s Best Dating Profile

When we date, it’s only natural that we present the best parts of ourselves. We try to switch out parts of our personality to present ourselves in a way that we think our date (or potential match) will find attractive. But, it’s often just guesswork. What if there was a way to know for sure what parts to switch out and what parts to keep in? That’s where our research comes in.

A lot of Brits who date online are fairly easy going when it comes to what turns them on – and turns them off – about a potential match. So, we’ve filtered out all respondents who didn’t have a preference for each of the factors we asked about (more specifically, we filtered out anyone who said ‘I don’t care either way’ as well as the coy ones who said they ‘prefer not to say’).

Fortunately, of those that do have an opinion, they’re pretty decided. Here’s what Britain’s online dating public want to see on an ideal dating profile:

How to write a great dating bio

When you’re penning your dating bio, think of it as your chance to market yourself, says dating expert James Preece.

Humour also goes a long way. Over half (51%) of Brits on dating apps say it’s a turn on to see people making a joke or being sarcastic in their bio. “Brits love self-deprecating humour,” says James, “so don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself. Nobody is perfect after all.” In fact, our fondness for a good rib-tickler is the only factor that is enjoyed by people of all ages. In contrast, while over 3 in 5 (63%)* 16-24-year olds consider seeing sarcasm on profile bios a turn on, only one in ten (10%)* people 55 or over feel the same.

To cover all bases, James recommends keeping the vibe upbeat and positive to make your potential match feel at ease. “End your bio”, says James, “with a call to action. Invite them to get in touch and tell them what they need to do to make a meeting happen.”

A picture’s worth a thousand matches

“Nobody is ever going to match with you if you have a bad photo,” warns James.

But what do Britain’s dating app users want to see? Both men (86%)* and women (86%)* would love to eye up their potential match from head to toe – so a full-length photo is a must. The same goes for photos with pets (77%) and travel or holiday photos (80%). You can’t beat that holiday glow!

3 in 5 (62%)* male daters say a revealing photo (within reason, we hope!) will catch their eye. Gay, lesbian and bisexual daters agree – more so than other sexualities – with over half (55%)* of them citing this type of photo as a turn on.

Children are important to female daters, with over 3 in 10 (34%)* saying they’d like to see a photo of you with your kids. “If you have children, embrace it,” advises James, “and mention them in your profile. Not everyone will want to date a single parent so save time by filtering them out early. Just hide [your children’s] faces to protect their privacy.”

In the eye of the beholder?

“We ultimately chase the best-looking matches possible,” says James, but what is beauty?

Britain’s dating app users say height is an important factor (27%* of all respondents say mentioning it is a turn on), so include it in your bio to keep daters in the know. Another top vote goes to being clean-shaven (yup, beards are officially out!). Interestingly, Brits on dating apps are equally as enamoured by a curvy figure as they are by a slender one, with both getting around 70% of votes.*

Drill down into individual age groups and you’ll discover younger daters are often more turned on by aspects of a person’s body while older daters feel more strongly about hair. (Neither the oldest nor the youngest generation are partial to a bit of grey hair, though)*. To top it off, almost all daters prefer their potential match to be wearing no makeup than lots of it (72% and 12%, respectively). Au naturel it is, then!

* All asterisked statistics exclude respondents who answered ‘I don’t care either way’ or ‘prefer not to say’. Percentages are calculated based on the respondents who answered either ‘it’s a turn on’ or ‘it’s a turn off’ for each option.

You got a match! Now what?

Congratulations! You followed the advice in our findings and got yourself a match (and another, and another, and another… you’re welcome).

But, how do you set up a face-to-face meet? Slide into their DMs with a short and friendly message, says James. “Don’t just say ‘hi’ or ask how they are. Popular daters will be so inundated with low-effort openers that this’ll be almost invisible to them.” So, how can you knock their socks off? James recommends:

  1. Ask a question about their profile to show you’ve read it.
  2. Ask about something interesting in their photos.
  3. Remember that the most beautiful word of all is their name; use that to make a deep connection.
  4. It’s fine to be a bit cheeky and show your sense of humour – but don’t be rude!

Whatever you do, don’t do this:

Introducing Britain’s Worst Dating Profile

Introducing the Casanovas – the veritable Femme Fatales – of the online dating world. Except, these daters aren’t half as successful as they wish they could be, and it’s all because they’re making some cardinal sins when it comes to their dating profiles.

We asked Britain’s online daters what turns them off when scrolling through potential matches. Again, we filtered out anyone who said they ‘don’t care either way’ or ‘prefer not to say’. Here’s everything you need to avoid if you want online dating success:

Dating Brits are seriously turned off by…

Let your moves speak for themselves, say dating Brits, with over 7 in 10 (74%)* citing “mentions of sexual prowess” as a turn off on a person’s bio. Smut is generally discouraged with almost 7 in 10 (68%) also saying they’re turned off by dirty jokes and innuendos. That said, other factors are even more off-putting, with using too many emojis (80%) and using foreign quotes (73%) also getting top votes. Brexiteers don’t fare well either, with over 7 in 10 (73%) dating Brits citing “voting Leave” as a turn off.

Don’t make these photo faux pas

Please include a photo!” say over 90% of dating Brits (93%, to be precise)*. But pick your pics carefully. As James points out, “You could have 99 amazing photos, but if there’s a red flag in number 100, it’ll put people off.”

So, what do Brits not want to see? Photos where the dater’s face is hidden is the top don’t for over 9 in 10 Brits (93%)*. When you do show your face, though, don’t use an obvious filter (like the dog tongue or flower crown) and don’t pout (87% find both factors a turn off).

You might not want to have an attractive member of the same sex in your photo either – 85% of online daters say they’d find it a turn off (possibly because they can’t work out which one is you!). That could also be why a photo with another person (78%) and a group photo (68%) are unpopular choices too.

Some life choices are less attractive than others

We also asked Britain’s online daters how they feel about some common lifestyle choices. Coming up as the most unattractive quality in a prospective date was smoking, with over 2 in 5 (43%) Brits voting it as a top no-go. Other undesirable qualities include drinking more than the average person (38%), being obsessed with the gym (38%) and being prudish (33%). Edging into the 30 percents is being vegan, with 3 in 10 dating Brits citing it is an unattractive quality in a prospective date.

* All asterisked statistics exclude respondents who answered ‘I don’t care either way’ or ‘prefer not to say’. Percentages are calculated based on the respondents who answered either ‘it’s a turn on’ or ‘it’s a turn off’ for each option.

How to spot a dating app dud

Okay, so you’ve made the effort to create a great dating profile showcasing all of your best features, and none of your worst. But those swiping fingers sometimes slip up, and you might accidentally match with a dating dud.

“Dating apps and sites definitely attract strange people,” says James, “but these people can be found anywhere you go anyway. It’s just easier for scammers and creeps to make contact.”

Still, it can be helpful to know what to look out for so you can avoid someone potentially unsavoury. James’ top tips are:

  1. Fake profiles tend to have only one or two photos so it’s harder to identify them.
  2. They’ll say anything they can to get you onside.
  3. They may ask for money.
  4. They may get angry if they don’t get what they want quickly.

“Ask a friend to read over your messages,” says James. “They won’t be blinded by romantic thoughts and will see through any lies. My biggest tip to weed out the losers is to speak on the phone before you meet. You’ll learn very quickly if they’re the type of person you’re really interested in meeting.”

The research was conducted by Censuswide between 20.05.2019 - 24.05.2019, with 1,001 general respondents in UK who have ever been on a dating app. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles. For the turn on/off questions, many of our survey respondents said they didn’t care either way or ‘prefer not to say’. Those participants have been excluded from our statistics. If our survey results have helped you find renewed online dating success, you’re probably on your phone more than usual. Ensure you’re always on a great mobile phone deal – including lots of data to chat to your online matches – by switching mobile phone providers today.

James Preece is one of the UK’s leading dating experts and dating coaches. Having worked in the industry for 15 years, James has helped tens of thousands of men and women find love, build confidence and improve their relationships. He is regularly featured on top UK and international media including The Independent, Cosmopolitan, OK! Magazine, Men’s Health, The Sun and Universal Pictures. He has clients all over the world and is the author of 15 best-selling dating books including Amazon bestseller “I Will Make You Click: Online Dating Secrets Revealed.”