It’s not you, it’s your grammar: Poor grammar ranks as top dating turn off

Talk Nerdy to Me

Dating can be difficult, and while dressing nice and picking fun activities can help people get dates, there is one particular skill that can make or break your online dating life. This skill is so important that people might not even realize it’s why they aren’t getting dates or keeping a relationship. That skill is using proper grammar and spelling.

When people see poor grammar and spelling, whether in a text or on an online dating profile, it can make people seem less datable. How does lousy grammar and spelling affect dating? In a new study, Word Tips asked more than 1,000 people who had actively dated in the past year about the writing habits of prospective dates. Not only did they frequently find grammar and spelling errors, but they also saw other messaging mistakes that people may not have considered. Here are some of the results.

First Impressions
So, how important are grammar and spelling when dating? According to the study, 71% of people surveyed stated that a person’s spelling and grammar in texts directly correlated to their intelligence. Only 11% disagreed with this statement. Nearly 7 in 10 people (69%) judged romantic interests on their spelling and grammar in texts.

Women (78%) were sixteen percentage points more likely to judge people based on this skill than men (62%). When asked if poor spelling and grammar were a deal-breaker when dating, 68% of respondents said that it was not, compared to the nearly 1 in 3 that said it was. Women were two times more likely than men to call off a relationship if the person they were dating had poor spelling and grammar.

When someone is considered attractive, did it matter to survey participants if they had poor writing skills? Almost half (45%) of women said they wouldn’t be interested in someone with lacking skills, but only 24% of men said the same. More than 1 in 3 respondents admitted to cutting ties with a romantic interest because they continually made writing errors in their messages. Women were two times more likely to do this than men.

Spell and You Shall Receive
Almost half (47%) of people in the study revealed that proper spelling and grammar were more attractive than receiving gifts. Women were seven percentage points more likely to feel this way. More than 4 in 10 respondents (43%) said excellent writing skills were preferable to insisting on paying for a date. Men (47%) felt more strongly about this aspect than women (39%).

Nearly 3 in 10 daters said writing well was more attractive than receiving compliments. More than 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men felt this way.

But when people are looking at someone’s online dating profile, what are some of the biggest turnoffs? For men, the top three things that will make them swipe left on a profile are overly edited photos (51%), poor spelling and grammar (39%), and immaturity (39%). Poor spelling and grammar (51%), overconfidence or cockiness (45%), and immaturity (38%) were the biggest turnoffs for women.

Most Unattractive Mistakes
Many mistakes can occur when writing, but some were more off-putting than others to survey respondents. The study showed the most unattractive mistake a potential suitor could make was to consistently send messages too difficult to understand (74%). The next three unattractive categories consisted of people being frustrated with romantic partners misusing forms of words, such as to, two, and too. Half of the people surveyed were frustrated with misspelled words.

Women were more frustrated with grammatical and spelling errors than men in all categories, but the most significant difference was when the words there, their, and they’re were concerned. Female (70%) respondents were seventeen percentage points more likely to be frustrated by this error than their male counterparts (53%). The writing error that both genders felt the most similarly about was run-on sentences.

Intelligent Vocabulary Is Key
More than 3 in 4 people found a high-level vocabulary attractive. Women were, again, more likely to feel this way than men. Only 9% of respondents felt this was unattractive, and 15% felt indifferent about it.

Those using high-level vocabulary on their dating profiles were almost two times more likely to have gone on five or more dates in the past six months compared to those who did not. However, those who used advanced vocabulary when private messaging were ghosted more frequently.

The most significant takeaway from this study was that people with better spelling and grammar skills were more likely to go on dates more often. If someone is scrolling through dating profiles, errors could make an individual less apt to give someone a second thought. So it might be best to take a second look at your profile if you aren’t getting many dates. There could be an easy fix to your problem: editing.

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