Up Your Online Dating Game with Evidence-Based Strategies
So it's Valentine's Day. And you still haven't got a date. Well, if you happened to be combing through the scientific literature for inspiration, you might just find it—in the form of a, quote, "systematic review on converting online contact into a first date." In other words, scientific ways to up your online dating game. The review is in the journal Evidence-Based Medicine.
Some of these "evidence-based" tactics are obvious. Post an attractive profile pic. Be nice. Be funny. Others are less so. For example, pick a user name that starts with letters in the first half of the alphabet—A through M seem to up the odds. And when filling in your profile, keep in mind the golden 70/30 ratio: 70 percent stuff about you, 30 percent what you're looking for. A profile all about you might come across as self-absorbed.
As for photos, previous studies suggest a genuine smile and a slight head tilt will boost your appeal. And group photos that showcase the fact that other people have fun around you are a good thing—especially if you're in the center of the shot.
The researchers also write that women find men more attractive when they see other women smiling at him. Although my unscientific poll of a few female friends revealed that shots of other women smiling at you might be a no-no.
Last piece of advice—everyone thinks they're special. So don't just wink, or write "nice profile." Personalize your message. One of the more bizarre suggestions in that vein is to use rhyming in your note to a potential date. If her username is "fitandattractive," for example, the authors suggest writing that you're "very adaptive." Although that might seem a bit overactive.
Menopause Symptoms Have Unappreciated Staying Power
About 80 percent of women going through menopause have to endure night sweats and the dreaded hot flashes. Clinical guidelines have suggested that these discomforts will typically abate after just two years. But several studies have called that timeline into question. And now the largest such investigation to-date finds that these unpleasant features of menopause can endure for as long as 14 years. The study is in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Researchers surveyed almost 1,500 frequent symptom sufferers of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. The median time for the women to experience symptoms was 7.4 years. For African-American women, however, the median stretched out for 10.1 years, while women of Chinese ancestry only had to deal with the symptoms for about half as long. Women whose symptoms start out at the youngest age—including while still menstruating—tend to have to endure them the longest. The study did not address reasons for the racial differences, but did note that factors including smoking and higher perceived stress were associated with significantly longer symptoms.
The new info should enable healthcare providers to offer better guidance for women during this part of their lives. In light of how long some women may be affected, the researchers say that short-term hormone treatment may not be the best approach. They encourage the identification of safe, long-term therapies that women can use for what may be a decade or more.