How to Get More Online Dating Matches
What’s your type?
You may have a list of qualifications in your head. For example, your type may include a certain hair color, profession, or even a certain height. Maybe you only give a chance to those who like your particular combination interests, like rock music, horror movies, Xbox games, and jogging.
If so, you’re not alone. The majority of daters are very specific about their preferences and often refuse to budge, especially when they first join online dating sites. After all, being able to filter your dating matches to find the “perfect” person who fits exactly what you’re looking for can be tempting.
The problem is, being this inflexible can seriously reduce your dating pool and chances of finding someone incredibly special who is just a little bit outside your criteria. By tweaking your dating matches even just a little, your chances of success will increase exponentially.
Would You Benefit from Different Online Dating Matches?
The world is a big place, so it’s easy to assume there’s someone out there for you regardless of your preferences. But when you use online dating sites, you typically focus on singletons who live in your city or town.
You’re not dealing with the world; you’re dealing with your city.
Let’s use Manchester as an example, as it sits halfway down a list of the country’s biggest cities. Around half a million people live in this city (excluding the greater urban area). If we assume you’re in your twenties or early thirties, around 30% of those will be within a dateable age range, which brings the total down to 15% if you’re only interested in one gender.
As a result, that 500,000 dating pool immediately drops to 75,000. But that’s not all, as not everyone uses online dating sites and some may be married or in a long-term relationship. When you consider the people who don’t have dating profiles on your chosen site and those who aren’t interested in you, that big pool of possible dates drops.
And what are the chances that amongst those dating profiles you’ll find someone who is your exact preferred height and weight with your same specific taste in music and matching political beliefs?
We can’t tell you for sure, but we’d guess that the chances are slim.
How to Expand Your Filters for More Dating Matches
All online dating websites have filters you can use to define what you’re looking for in a date. You can set everything from cultural tastes and political beliefs to education, height, weight, and more. The problem is that by going overboard with all of these filters, you may miss out on profiles of people who are also great dating matches for you — it just might be that their hair color is blond instead of brown, or their age is one year outside of the preferred range you’ve given.
One of the most important filters that you can change for big results is location. By tweaking your location before anything else, you will still have a chance of finding the perfect match. Try adding a few miles to your maximum radius and you’ll add thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of possibilities.
If we return to the previous example, you can expand the reach to include all of Greater Manchester. You’ll still be close enough to date them and, in many cases, they’ll want to meet in the city anyway. But this simple act will increase the pool from 500,000 to over 2.7 million.
If you have a car, consider adding the next city or cities over. For instance, if you were to add Liverpool and Chester to your search, your dating matches will increase substantially. For a lifetime of true love, temporarily driving to the next city for dates until you move in together is manageable.
Similarly, you can also expand your age range and avoid specifying things like hair color, eye color, and other qualities that are less important when it comes to finding long term love.
Expanding Dating Matches with Help from Dating Sites
Some dating sites, eHarmony included, understand that you’re not always going to find the absolute perfect match, but they also know how important it is to stay true to your preferences.
As a result, eHarmony lets you choose how important a specific filter is, which makes it easier to expand your matches without sacrificing the things that matter.
For example, you can set a high priority on things such as political beliefs and smoking status. At the same time, you can tell the site to pay less attention to their exact location, height, and weight.
This is important, because most couples, including those that remain together forever and love each other until their dying days, are not “perfect” matches. Your grandparents may have remained together until the end, but would they have chosen each other if they were picking preferences from a checklist?
A diehard conservative likely won’t get along with a hardcore liberal; someone whose priority in life is found in the church may not match well with an atheist, and a heavy smoker, drinker, and drug user won’t mix with a teetotaler.
But there’s no reason why someone who prefers rom-coms can’t get along with a horror fan; no reason why someone who prefers blondes can’t fall in love with a brunette or redhead.
Other sites get around the issue of closed-minded preferences by basing dating matches on a comprehensive questionnaire. Such is the case with Match.com, one of the oldest and most successful dating sites out there.
With Match as well as with eHarmony, the sites try to get to know you better than you know yourself. They both use this information in algorithms to find the perfect man or woman for you. You may occasionally get matches that fall slightly outside of your exact criteria. This is because they recognize that sometimes we can be a bit flexible and still find the ideal match.
Bottom Line: Open Up
Online dating, like any other form of dating, is about making sacrifices and allowances. It doesn’t matter how attractive you are and how good of a catch you think you are. If you fixed your location to a square mile and request very specific preferences, you’re not going to find the right person.
When you expand your online dating site filters, your chance of finding love with someone amazing will increase tenfold.
Start the path to online dating success today by expanding your dating matches.
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