Your username in an online dating profile matters more than you might realize.I know, I know; none of the sites make it clear enough. Don’t create a totally random one that you gave a mere second’s thought!

An analysis about online dating published in the journal Evidence Based Medicine suggests that men are drawn to online profiles in which a user name signifies physical fitness, while women prefer user names indicating risk-taking. The joint data analysis, by researchers with Queen Mary University of London and the University of Texas, found that choosing internet dating handles that begin with a letter in the first half of the alphabet is as important as uploading a flattering profile pic or crafting the perfect introductory headline.

"Initial interest was best captured through: a desirable screen name starting with a letter in the top half of the alphabet; an attractive still picture; and a fluent headline message," the paper says.

Screen names beginning in the top half of the alphabet may spell success in dating, according to the researchers. researchers have previously described this phenomenon as "alphabetical discrimination," and note that lists are often in alphabetical order.

That’s because high achievers with names nearer to the beginning of the alphabet have been linked to educational attainment and higher incomes. "Those in the lower quarter of the alphabet will be lost in the bottom of the pile if you start at the top," the Queen Mary and University of Texas team wrote. Negative associations from words such as "Little" or “Bugg" should be avoided in screen names, the British and American researchers said, though they said playful-sounding names such as "Fun2bwith" appeared to be effective.

I’ve had ever so many users come to me with usernames that either convey something totally off (wrong gender, for example) or just failed to help them stand out and shine.

Your username, coupled with your profile picture, is the MOST visible thing in search results.

It’s the first thing potential dates see, and as this humorous article indicates, it makes a big impression (sometimes unintentionally).

There are other considerations to take into account in choosing the right name.

The researchers said men are more drawn to names indicating physical attractiveness, such as "Blondie" or "Cutie," whereas women prefer to chase would-be dates that have names denoting intelligence, such as "Cultured." The British researchers outlined a few other considerations and suggestions to maximize dating success online: How should online daters employ the British team's findings?