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what features their potential dates are attracted to.We even scoured the top 400 most popular Ok Cupid profiles—the hottest people on the site in ten US cities—to see what their profile pics could tell the rest of us about attracting a date.

In a recent poll, we found that 96 per cent of people would rather see a big, happy grin in a profile photo than a sexy pout. One of the most frequent complaints about online dating profiles is “they may have looked like that once but they certainly don’t look like that now”.Looking better in the flesh is better than the reverse.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.Enroll in a yoga class and learn to surf—they’re the most popular activities for men and women alike, so either desirable singles are super mellow or it’s aspirational, and everyone to be mellow.

Mentioning cats is fine, but mention “my cats” and you’re a weirdo.Avoid negative tones and always be positive about yourself. You wouldn’t want a future employer to read anything negative, so why would you want a potential partner to read anything that isn’t positive?Lying doesn’t get you anywhere in the dating world. Talk in specifics to give a full flavour of who you are.But not everyone can pull off a selfie, and those who do should probably take them sparingly, if academic research is to be believed.For men, professional head shots and photos with facial hair were rated the highest and, for women, photos showing the person singing or playing an instrument, playing a sport or wearing a bikini were rated the highest, according to a survey of 2,000 profiles by The Grade dating app.‘People have to imagine how they’ll fit into your life, so describing yourself as a “bookworm and internet addict” makes them feel they’d never see you,’ explains match.com’s relationship expert Kate Taylor.