Uptown Bourgeois is an arts, news, and culture blog created by New York-based freelance writer Jefferey Spivey. UB explores universal themes through a black, queer lens. 

Hello Their: Why Proper Grammar Matters In Online Dating

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We all want to put our best digital foot forward when it comes to online dating, but could it be poor grammar skills (and not your lame blurry profile photo) that’s holding you back from great potential matches?

Well, there’s a strong chance the answer is yes.  From social media interaction to text message exchanges, we’ve all become accustomed to informal communication.  When a friend texts that they’ll brb, it’s not a big deal.  But when a potential love match doesn’t know the difference between their, they’re, and there, it’s a deal breaker.  A study by Grammarly in late 2015 revealed that an online dating profile with two or more grammatical errors was 14% less likely to receive a positive response.

Online dating is all about how well you can package and present yourself as a great choice for a possible partner.  A huge part of that package is the information you write about yourself, how you write it, and how grammatically correct it is.  For someone who may be interested in you, poor grammar may indicate a lesser level of intelligence than what they’re searching for in their next date.  Even if you just made a simple mistake, it could still send the wrong message.

"A study by Grammarly in late 2015 revealed that an online dating profile with two or more grammatical errors was 14% less likely to receive a positive response."

Grammar errors in online dating can also send the message that you’re not exerting any effort.  In the beginning of a courtship, thorough dialogue is important as the two of you are getting to know each other.  You’re starting from scratch.  ‘Wassup’ just doesn’t pack the same romantic punch as ‘Hey beautiful/handsome, how’s your day going?’.

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Some online daters are taking grammar so seriously, there’s even an app available to help them comb out the bad spellers.  The Grade, a female-friendly dating app, rates online dating users based on their grammar and response time and assigns an actual grade on a scale of A+ to F.  While there doesn’t seem to be a male equivalent of this yet, The Grade’s simple existence indicates that our messages are being judged.

I can remember the importance of grammar back in my online dating days.  As a writer, some indication of intellectual intelligence was necessary to gain my interest.  I’m not saying I would ignore a guy if he misspelled a word or two.  But if there was another guy messaging me that dotted all his I’s and crossed all his T’s, well…

So, if you’re not Shakespeare, how do you ensure your profile text is error-free? Get a trusted friend to proofread your work.  We all have that friend that’s brutally honest and more than willing to point out what sentences are spot on and which ones need major improvement.  Or if you don’t want to involve your bestie, you can use a third party service like eFlirt.  eFlirt is a digital dating concierge service that can handle all of your romantic online needs from profile creation to daily interaction with potential matches.

‘Wassup’ just doesn’t pack the same romantic punch as ‘Hey beautiful/handsome, how’s your day going?’.

However, it’s also fair to note that if you’re on apps geared more toward hookups like Grindr or Tinder, grammar may not come into play.  These services give priority to photos, geographical location, and physical stats.  Your message is nowhere near as important as your pic.  It’s doubtful that users are really taking the time to read your story when they’ve got immediate sex on the brain.

But if you’re looking to settle down, taking a few extra steps to edit your profile could make the difference between a lonely Friday night with Netflix and a hot date.

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