When it comes to online dating, one of the most difficult things to do can be writing that first message to someone. Most often, this is done via email. This article is intended to offer you tips and advice on writing that first message to someone you’re interested in at an online dating service.
The stress of introducing yourself is enough pressure alone, but throwing in the aspect of writing a virtual essay into the equation only doubles the anxiety. It doesn’t have to be this way; which leads up to our first tip…
Don’t be so nervous about writing that first message. What do you have to lose? It’s not a face-to-face encounter with all of your friends in a corner somewhere watching to see if you get rejected or applauded. The worst thing that can happen is a response of “not interested”, or no response at all.
Read the Profile
Be sure to read the entire profile of the person you are writing to. This will give you a better idea of the person’s interests, which will in turn give you an idea of what to talk about in your first message. It will also tell the person that you took the time to read and appreciate their profile, which gets you points from the start.
Simplicity is Bliss
Don’t over-project yourself in the first online dating message. This is simply an introduction of yourself. Keep the message simple and light-hearted. Something like, “Hi, my name is ______. I was reading over your profile and found that we seem to have a lot in common. For instance, we both enjoy…” If you have a common interest in mountain biking, tell them about your favorite mountain biking experience, or something funny that happened during one of these trips. Don’t make it multi-paragraphs, but short and sweet. Actually making the effort to connect through mutual interests is a major plus.
No Pick-Up Lines
Don’t toss out cheesy pick-up lines, like “Hello, I’m a thief, and I’m here to steal your heart.” Pick-up lines always come off sounding insincere and may result in immediate rejection without a second thought. For men especially, they imply that you are after “one thing” only, which is usually an instant turn-off for women.
Don’t Overdo It
Don’t try too hard to impress someone on the first message. First impressions are very important, but if you overdo it, you may not be able to live up to the impression you are giving. Don’t spend a great deal of time talking about yourself either – allow the person a chance to reply and inquire more about you.
A great way to get a response is to ask questions. Don’t ask for an entire life story, but people love to give advice about their interests. Going back to the mountain biking example, you could try asking if they know of any good biking trails in the area, or what kind of mountain bike they ride.
The best part about online dating is the lack of a face-to-face confrontation to get things rolling. This is especially great for shy individuals who are trying to overcome their bashful nature. It also gives you the comfort of knowing that if things become more intense than you had anticipated, or if the person does not turn out to be what you had expected, you can back off just as easily.
Size Does Matter
I’m referring to the length of the email (get your mind out of the gutter!) Don’t make it too short, but don’t write a novel. “Hi, I’m ______. If you like my profile, please write back.” This is entirely too short and will get a pitiful response, if any at all. Follow the other tips above to make it interesting enough to warrant an attentive response.
Don’t Rush a Relationship
This is going one step further than the first online dating message, but it is very important if you wish to maintain a long-term relationship. If the first message goes well, don’t rush things. Enjoy the process of getting to know someone, and let nature take its course. The better friends you become before moving to the next level, the more likely the relationship is to last.
Have a Good Time
Last but not least, enjoy the process of online dating, first time messaging, and getting to know people. The nervousness and sweaty palms associated with introducing yourself in-person is not a factor, and you can’t expect the first person you meet to be the love of your life. Take the experience for what it is and have a good time with online dating.