Computer Acronyms Turn Off Online Dating Users

Posted June 19, 2013 by

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Dating Study Shows Netspeak Turns Off Online Dating Users

Thanks to the good people over at OKTrends, we have this pretty graph that outlines some of the problems with using too many texting shortcuts when you’re chatting with people on dating sites. Although computer acronyms have in many ways taken over our grammar skills when texting, it’s not going to win over anyone on a dating site according to this classic dating study. if you’re trying to woo a potential date, you’ll more likely than not be doing yourself a disservice by using too many of these terms. The study suggests most users that using popular computer acronyms such as cant, luv, and fml ultimately make horrible first impressions when trying to attract someone on a dating site, simply by using these terms too often. Of course you can get away with them occasionally, especially when the conversation is happening quickly and you’re trying to get your thoughts out fast. Really what I’m saying is to try to use these types of terms as little as possible. This is really part of a broader trend in online dating in which it’s often one of your most valuable skills to make a good first impression to simply learn how to write, which I detailed in this recent blog post.

This study calculated the worst six words anyone could use in a first email message and they all involve computer acronyms. Unless you’re an amateur Assyriologist and you’re talking the Bronze Age Mesopotamian city of Ur, you’ll probably be better off never using “ur” in your texting conversations. Even if you find that using computer acronyms might be second nature to you, that’s not necessarily true of the person you’re chatting with and they’ll find themselves bombarded with obtuse abbreviations of things that they’ll either have to look up online, or if they’re feeling a little less interested, not bother and end the conversation. However, there are exceptions to the rule and there are some ‘netspeak’ phrases that can be a little more acceptable.

Saying ‘Luv Ya’ Will Not Make Online Dating Members Love You

Maybe it will make them “luv ya” though. Just kidding. It won’t work. When it comes to online dating sites, bad grammar, netspeak and horrible spelling are extreme turn-offs. The worst words anyone could use include luv, ya, wat, u and so forth. Using language like this is a deal breaker in many cases as the study proved that these words are met with below average response rate of under 30 percent. Basically it will make you sound a bit ditzy and illiterate. The last time I checked, there aren’t too many dating profiles with people stating that their preferred date should be ditzy or illiterate. I suppose that there are some people who are looking for that kind of thing, but usually just so that they can take advantage of you as dumb people are often easier to take advantage of. If you’re writing “wat”, you’re just as capable of adding in that extra “h” to make it spelled properly. Many linguists argue against language maven types like Lynne Truss and say that language is perpetually evolving and that eventually we probably will drop that “h” from “what” or start spelling “love” like “luv”, but so long as people are still getting an education in the English language that evolution is still moving pretty slowly. Until then, we should use standard spelling as much as possible while chatting with people online. It looks better and will only help you in your dating chances. Or you can site these linguists who argue language evolution and just call yourself a futurist.

Using ‘LOL’ is an Exception

imagesIt turns out that the biggest exception to this rule is when you’re trying to express laughter. Popular used terms such as haha and LOL surprisingly turned out to be quite good for the sender with a 45 percent response rate. It turns out that “lol” actually works even better than “haha” (I personally prefer “haha” since it feels like I’m literally saying “loll” when I’m typing L-O-L) maybe because “haha” sounds a little forced or maybe like you’re imitating Nelson from The Simpsons. Likewise, “hehe” ranks even lower in its success rate, maybe because it makes you sound a little like an evil mad scientist rubbing his hands together and scheming the destruction of the planet. So although it’s okay to laugh online, after all, you want to prove that profile point that you have a “good sense of humor” and not sound completely deadpan all of the time, you’ll still want to keep the rest of your email to a potential love interest free of typos as much as possible. And that includes deliberate typos. Remember, netspeak is still technically all typos.






About the Author

Paul Abbey
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Paul Abbey has a Masters Degree in Sexual Health from the University of Sydney in Australia. He has authored several self-help novels and has been a guest speaker in four Continents and many different cities from around the world. At, Abbey is the leading authority in human sexuality and he strives to help shape the dating community into a more relevant and understanding place for both men and women.