what features their potential dates are attracted to.

Finding a date, let alone love, just isn’t easy—even though there are plenty of apps for that.

Users skim profiles looking for a reason to send a message or dismiss (hint: do not mention your mom or exes).

We couldn’t have done any of this without the help of the data maestros at Match and Ok Cupid: Christian Rudder, cofounder and president of Ok Cupid, and Jim Talbott, director of consumer insights at

These guys and their data teams ran queries of all kinds and pulled spreadsheet after spreadsheet of information to try and answer our strange questions.

She doesn’t want to read a boring list of adjectives.

So don’t tell her that you’re adventurous, loyal, fun, and curious about the world.

A woman I know snagged a boyfriend when she described her ideal job as a combination of circus performer and archaeologist. Unless you know for sure that you only want to meet, say, a nonsmoking Portuguese-speaking dentist, go easy on the list of qualities he must have.

Don't "like fine dining" when you can be passionate about Memphis barbecue, don't "enjoy movies" when you can declare your enthusiasm for Mel Brooks. Include the basics: your age and occupation, whether or not you have children, whether you're looking for a date or a life partner. "Mid-30s" or "early 40s" is fine, but assume he'll round up.8.

We also needed Ok Cupid to get permission from their users to enable us to publish those popular profile pics.

In short, we couldn’t have scraped all this data and derived this advice without the help of these talented data crunchers who are as dedicated to data analysis as we are.

Twelve years ago, I took a chance and wrote a personal ad.