The best tool you can use for getting great dates: spell check

Seriously, misplaced commas?
Seriously, misplaced commas?
Image: AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
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In the world of work, recruiters repeatedly say that incorrect spelling, grammar, and formatting are the fastest way to get your application ignored. But for online dating? Yes, says new research from dating company OKCupid: Sticklers for punctuation and the correct use of grammar are more likely to find love online.

The company analyzed the profiles of women who deleted their accounts because they met someone on the site. They found that “being someone who’s bothered by typos” increased the chances of a woman finding a relationship and leaving OKCupid by 36%.

It shouldn’t be so surprising that online dating is more like a job application process than meeting someone at a bar. Online dating relies much more than the offline variety on text. Photos, and increasingly videos, are often crucial too, but the written word is prominent, from the profiles in which a dater describes their character to the written messages that usually kick off communication. And those words expose how attuned the person is to the importance of correct capitalization, the use of abbreviations, and the placement of apostrophes.

OKCupid analyzed around 1.1 million profiles for its study, though didn’t say why it only looked at women. Overall, the company said, women with “liberal” values seemed to meet people more often. Those who believed a person’s education played a role in their attractiveness were over 30% more likely to leave the service because of a relationship. Supporters of same-sex marriage were 85% more likely to find “success,” and those who felt obliged to help their fellow humans were 72% more likely to meet someone and delete their profiles.

This story was updated with the number of profiles analyzed.