3 On Your Side: Online Dating Do’s & Dont’s

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By Jenn Bernstein

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – February 14th is national date night, otherwise known as Valentine’s Day. And if you’re still looking for that special someone, take heart. One Philadelphia woman turned romance into a science and found love.

All those chocolate candies, cards and flowers on Valentine’s Day can be depressing if you’re single. Dating websites could be the answer but that’s not always easy. Just ask Amy Webb.

“These dates were all over the map and they weren’t all catastrophically bad, but a lot of them were really terrible,” said Webb, who owns a data consulting company.

Eventually, Amy was able to find better dates and turned the experience into a book called Data, A Love Story.

“I used math and spread sheets and logic to find true love rather than waiting on hope and happenstance,” she explained.

And there was some interesting data in those dates.

“Scotch drinkers uniformly talked about kinky sex within the first 5 minutes of conversation,” she said. “Lawyers were more than 60% likely to pick up their phone in the middle of a sentence, maybe theirs, maybe mine and start talking on their mobile phones.”

And the bad dates got worse. Amy wasn’t attracting the type of men she wanted and she blamed her online profile.

“My description about myself was all about work and it was like 900 words long, it included bullet points, I talked about java script,” said Amy. “I wouldn’t have gone out with me,” she concluded.

So Amy went undercover online and posed as a man to find out what the popular women had in their profiles. Once she did, she changed her profile.

“I used different language,” she said. “Suddenly I had all kinds of guys who wanted to date me.”

From her experience she advises people to keep profiles short, lead with hobbies and interests and use optimistic language. Online profiles should only have three to five recent photos. Women shouldn’t talk about work since it can be intimidating and men should talk about their career since women are interested in what they do for a living.

In the end, all of Amy’s data analysis helped her find Brian Woolf.

“We met up in person at the Franklin Institute and started the beginning of what would be a 14 hour-long amazing date,” Amy recalled.

She likes to call it her last first date.

“I’m very lucky her formula worked and I got found,” said Brian.

He ended up on one knee and now they’re married and they have a little girl.

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