One word that increases your success by 144%

Let me start with this: modern dating is like a Rubik’s cube puzzle to me. A confusing, colourful mess.

Because we millennials hate unnecessary human contact, we’ve moved away from real-life interactions and have shifted to a totally digital vetting process, instead.

Nowadays, the only people who will approach you in a bar are 45-year-old married men who think you won’t notice or care about the ring on their finger… Or some other less specific example of a person.

For the most part, this brave new dating world is fine – it means you’re considering a wider net of people, for example – but there’s no denying that making an impression through a screen can be tricky. Many dating app profiles just act as a gallery of the user’s most flattering photos, and personality is more of an afterthought. Which, if you’re looking for more than a Dorian Gray type, isn’t ideal.

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A lot of the time, exchanges go like this:

You swipe right. They swipe right. You match. Someone says, “Hey, how are you?”. The other person never replies. Your interaction dies there, along with a piece of your soul.

If you’re not well-versed in the world of online dating, this might sound rough. But it’s just the reality of it.

In a nutshell: if you’re not interesting, you won’t get anywhere.

For this reason, it’s not exactly surprising to hear that the words you include in your profile have a substantial influence over the number of people who speak to you.

Want to guess which words folks like the most?

Food words.

Dating website Zoosk completed a huge study in 2018, which measured the impact food references have on dating app success. According to the analysis, a mention of the word ‘guacamole’ increases your inbound messages by 144% (yes, one-hundred-and-forty-bloody-four).

When I asked dating expert Iona Yeung Arratia about this stat, she wasn’t shocked.

“I think [the word] ‘guacamole’ shows that you’re fun and that you have a sense of humour,” she told me.

“It also makes your profile stand out from the rest. There are a lot of generic profiles that don’t tell you a lot about a person. I see many profiles that have something along the lines of ‘just seeing if I can make new friends.'”

As a dating app user who has zero-to-no idea what she’s doing, I thought I’d implement this secret weapon and see how it affects my app chat.

The results were, well… they weren’t what I expected.

I added ‘guacamole’ to both my Bumble and Hinge dating accounts, attempting to inject a little charisma into both examples.

Does this say: “funny and chill chick”?

Look at how witty and original I can be, guys!

I sat back and just waited for the wave of attention to follow.

It never came.

How could this be?! Zoosk TOLD ME that I should expect an increase of 144 per cent! And 144 per cent of zero is… hold on.

Okay, I jest.

I did receive a *slight* increase in messages on Hinge, but definitely not to the expected degree and never explicitly linked to my guac reference.

If you’ve seen the Hinge app before, you’ll know that users can ‘like’ or comment on specific parts of your profile – be that a photo or an answer to a question.

Over the space of two weeks, I did not receive one like or comment on my guacamole reference.

And on Bumble, I got straight tumbleweeds.

I figured maybe I wasn’t going hard enough on the guacamole love, so started mentioning the dip variety in my opening lines to guys.

This drove most of them to unmatch me immediately.

I even went so far as to add a photo of a bowl of guacamole to my profile. Kind of a meta “you are what you eat; therefore, I am guacamole,” type-approach.

Obviously, that didn’t even have a slightly positive effect.

Feeling slightly dejected (my guac brought literally no boys to the yard), I went back to the drawing board (read: the dating study) to assess my options. Here, I noticed guacamole wasn’t the only attention-grabbing food.

Potatoes reportedly resulted in a 101 per cent increase in messages, and chocolate sat right behind spuds at 100 per cent.

“If you’re not getting many people approaching you, revisit your profile,” Yeung Arratia advised.

“Give them [other online daters] something to reach out to you about…

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“Think about the highlights in your life and showcase those in photos. Think of your dating profile as a movie trailer.”

So, back I went. I re-arranged my photos and added a reference to a snack I have stronger opinions on: chocolate.

Sure enough, my Hinge profile has seen a spike in interest since then (Bumble, not so much). And there’s an added bonus: I won’t end up dating some weirdo who rates white chocolate.

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