Dating is already hard enough. Worrying about saying the right thing or putting on the right clothes is stressful in its own right. Still, the added pressure of navigating single life in the age of social distancing and quarantine can be even more overwhelming.
To top things off, there’s another element of making the right impression that you may not have considered: your grammar. Whether you’re kicking things off with a dating app or casually texting after meeting in person, there’s almost no avoiding written communication – including spelling, grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary – with a romantic interest,.
Are you suddenly wondering if using shorthand texting vocabulary like “u” instead of “you” might get in the way of your dating opportunities? To find out, Word Tips surveyed over 1,000 people actively dating in the last year to find out which written mistakes stand out most and which are complete deal-breakers. And while women might be more judgmental about punctuation and spelling than men are, Word Tips found that an intelligent vocabulary is universally attractive.
Putting Your Best Words Forward
If you’re already raising an eyebrow at the importance of your texting capacity in the dating arena, consider this: 71% of people actively dating in the past year say a person’s spelling and grammar in their texts is a clear indication of their intelligence. Even more to the point, 69% of people judged a romantic interest in their spelling and grammar in text messages.
Women were more likely to apply this level of judgment to their dating lives, with 78% evaluating their dates for proper spelling and grammar, compared to 62% of men. And while 32% of people overall said spelling and grammar could be a deal-breaker when dating, women were twice as likely to apply this finite standard to their relationships.
Good looks won’t always make up for a litany of typos, either. Forty-five percent of women and 24% of men acknowledged they wouldn’t be interested in someone who was very attractive but had poor spelling and grammar habits.
One in three people admitted they stopped messaging someone they were interested in because they continued to send texts rife with spelling or grammar errors, a propensity twice as common among women as men.
Shower Them With Good Grammar
Thinking about how to impress your date between now and your next get-together? Forget flowers or chocolate; good grammar might be the way to go. Forty-seven people said that texting with proper spelling and grammar was more attractive to them than getting gifts, including 52% of women. Another 43% of people also said proper spelling and grammar was even more attractive than trying to pay for a first date, and 29% said it was more appealing than receiving compliments.
To put it another way, while overly edited photos were the biggest turnoff for men while looking at someone’s dating profile, women identified poor spelling and grammar as the most unattractive thing about another person. Poor writing skills were more unattractive to women than overconfidence, immaturity, or exhibiting a negative outlook on life.
Mistakes to Avoid
We can probably agree that having excellent grammar and an elevated vocabulary will only help strengthen your dating game, so which major mistakes do you want to avoid at all costs?
For both men and women, sending messages that were too difficult to understand (either as a result of literacy or brevity) was the biggest turnoff, followed by the wrong use of “there/their/they’re” and the improper use of “to/too/two.” If you’re not sure which is which, a quick internet search can usually help clear the air.
More than half of women also identified misspelled words and the incorrect use of words as major turnoffs.
You don’t have to be a walking thesaurus, but a high-level vocabulary can certainly take you places. More than 3 in 4 people said they consider it attractive when a romantic interest has a well-rounded vocabulary, and people who used a high-level vocabulary in their dating profiles were more than twice as likely to have gone on five or more dates in the last six months compared to those who hadn’t.
Ultimately, the way you write, either in text messages, private messaging, or your online dating profile, can be more important to someone thinking about dating you than the way you look or even how your personality comes off. When in doubt, spellcheck is your friend and could save you from making an embarrassing typo you can’t recover from.