Few clicks for single Kevins or Chantals

By Abby Gillies

Kevin Costner, American actor, musician, producer, and director. Photo / AP
Kevin Costner, American actor, musician, producer, and director. Photo / AP

If you're unlucky in love, it may be your name that's the problem.

Researchers have found that your first name could have an effect on your love life and have come up with a list of unlucky and lucky names.

But local experts are sceptical about the accuracy of the research, which found that singles called Kevin had the toughest time.

The research found that those on dating websites were also less likely to pursue a relationship with someone called Mandy, Justin or Chantal, "because the names are all associated with trouble-making", the Daily Mail reported.

Daters named Jacob, Alexander, Charlotte, Emma, Hannah or Max were much more likely to have good luck, the researchers found.

The results came from a study by psychologists at Berlin's Humboldt University who tested how often 47,000 dating site members opened messages from other singles.

The messages included only names, ages and postcodes and did not have a photo.

They found those from people with first names considered "less attractive" received significantly fewer clicks.

"Single people would seem to prefer to remain alone than meet up with someone called Kevin or Chantal," lead researcher Jochen Gebauer is reported as saying.

Emails sent from an Alexander were clicked on 102 per cent more times than those from a Kevin, he said.

But twice-married Waiheke real estate agent Kevin Martin said the findings were "rubbish".

The 69-year-old says he has had a successful love life and said being called Kevin had only helped him.

"We're named after Saint Kevin - he's a travelling saint. I wouldn't say I've been unlucky at all."

Mr Martin was married to his first wife for 35 years and has been married to his second wife for 15 years. Neither woman was deterred by his name, he said.

Speed Date director Verity Molloy said some names could work against people because of personal connections or if they were considered old-fashioned.

"For example, 'I dated a Kevin and he was an idiot' - they would categorise someone like that, or 'Doris, that's a bit of a grandmother's name'."

Those with unusual names were often considered more interesting, a category she put the name Chantal into.

"It's an interesting, sexy name," she said.

But dating success did not hinge on a name - it was more about having a positive attitude.

The Company Company director Alan Reeves agreed.

"I find it difficult to believe that the name has any connection with how successful you are at dating."

More than 200 people attended its New Year Eve event and those with a good attitude fared best, he said: "There was a lot of love in the room and it was nothing to do with what their parents christened them."

Mr Reeves confessed he had never dated anyone with a name from the "worst" list.

Denise Corlett, founder of Dating Advice, helps singles wanting to find long-term partners.

For those creating an online account using a profile name, she advised steering away from online names that could have negative connotations.

"What you're trying to do is make that profile the best you can have and to attract the kind of person you want to be with. If you're not wanting sexual connotations stay away from names including 'sexy' or 'hot'," she said.

Two years ago, researchers at the University of Oldenburg conducted a study showing teachers showed prejudice against children with "lower class" names such as Kevin or Mandy, the Daily Mail said.

- APNZ

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