It’s no secret that we all look at the pictures first on JDate. As much as I’d love to say it’s not true, I’d be lying if I told you otherwise. So what’s the next thing people look at? It might be your age or the first line of your profile, but in reality, it’s probably your username. That’s why picking a great username is so important!

There are some usernames that are functional – Anna382 or JRS22203. There are some that are downright inappropriate – PoleDanceWMe or OneNiteStandHere. And some are just plain boring – 4729171 or laugh291. Given its prominence as one of the very first things people see about you, it’s important to think of your username as another way to make a first impression. So make sure it conveys the message you want it to! It’s amazing how much you can say with only a handful of letters, and just like with pictures, people use them to determine compatibility. Wouldn’t you be more inclined to talk to ScrabbleKingVA than 3876513094? Without looking any further into his profile, you already know about one of his favorite hobbies.

If nothing else, an interesting username shows that you actually put some thought and effort into your profile and that you aren’t just hitting the default button for every section. What I want to do now is show you how to come up with a creative, unique username in three easy steps:

Step 1: Think Of A Few Words That Truly Represent Who You Are Or Things You Like.

This step gives your username some personality right off the bat.

Examples: runner, happy, traveler, brunette, musician, blue eyed, beach lover, pun maker, tall, surfer, ice cream, chef, New Yorker, singer, comedian, lifelong learner, Scotch lover.

Step 2: String A Few Of Those Words Together.

You can use them in their original form or some variation.

Examples: TallTraveler, NYCblueyes, RunsOnTheBeach, ComicalChef  

You can also be more specific about any of these items or be creative about how you string them together.

Examples: MochaChipSurfer, SandInMyToes, 6Strings4Me, SassyScotchLover, 6FootClubinNY

Step 3: See If It’s Available.

If you’re not able to get the username you want, you can either go with your second choice or add numbers or letters to make it unique. For example, if TallTraveler is taken, then try ATallTraveler, 1TallTraveler, YourTallTraveler, etc.

Researchers from Queen Mary University of London were curious to put usernames to the test, so they combed through nearly 4,000 studies and decided to analyze 86 of them, with topics ranging from psychology and sociology to computer, behavioral and precognitive sciences. Their goal: to figure out the most effective approaches to online dating.  Here is what they found when it came to usernames:

Playful screen names (e.g. Fun2bwith) are universally attractive. Men are more attracted to screen names that indicate physical attractiveness (e.g. Blondie, Cutie), whereas women are more attracted to screen names that indicate intelligence (e.g.Cultured).

Interestingly, they also found there is a correlation between high levels of education and income with usernames starting higher up in the alphabet (A to M). So, maybe it’s time to change your username to AardvarkAdventurer … or something like that.

Regardless of what you select, make sure you feel proud and comfortable with what you choose. While you can certainly change it, give some thought to it now to make sure it represents the real you.

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