The First Message in Dating

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For those who are new to the world of online dating and dating websites, it can seem like a daunting project.  You sign up on dating site, do a search and find some singles who seem to fit what you’re looking for-but then what do you say to break the ice?

Making the initial contact with someone can be the most difficult part of online dating. Luckily, it’s almost always done by email, which gives you some time to think of what to say.

Here are some tips for writing a first message to someone you’re interested in:

Stay Calm!
It can be stressful to introduce yourself to a total stranger, and it can feel like you are writing your life story for their approval or dismissal.  It does not need to seem this way, and you needn’t be so stressed over that first message. You have nothing to lose, and no one will even know if it doesn’t work out. What is the worst thing that can happen?  You get a response of “thanks, but no thanks” or no response at all. It certainly is much better to find out right upfront if there doesn’t appear to be any chemistry than to meet face-to-face and get rejected.

Read all about them
Reading the person’s entire profile is important to give you something to talk about in your first message and tell you quite a bit about this person.  You will be able to see what they feel is important by the information their profile contains, and their personality usually will come through in their writing as well.  The other person will also be glad that you took the time to read their profile and find out a little about   them before responding.

Leave the Cheese
Don’t use pick-up lines!  They sound cheesy and insincere, and most people will simply hit “delete” without even considering meeting you.  Especially for men interested in meeting women, pick-up lines imply that you’re looking for a casual, sexual relationship, and most women won’t be impressed.

K.I.S.S.
This acronym stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid- and it makes a lot of sense with online dating.  Don’t tell them about your entire life since kindergarten! You want your message to be cheery and simple. Just say something along the lines of, “Hi, my name is TweetyBird.  I was looking at your profile and see that we seem to have quite a bit in common, as we both like to….”  If you have a common interest in hiking, tell them about the hiking trip you took through the Smokies last summer, or about an animal you met up with along the way.  Keep It Short and Sweet- no really long emails.  Making the connection through mutual interests will put you head and shoulders above most others.

Don’t try too hard, but do ask questions
You do not need to spend a lot of time talking about yourself and trying to impress someone on the very first contact.  If you overdo it, can you live up to the impression you give?  A little bit of mystery is good– leave some things to the imagination, or better yet, let the person reply with questions they might have.  What better way is there to get a conversation started?  People love to give advice about the things they’re passionate about.  If someone’s profile indicates they are an expert scuba diver, ask them how to get started yourself, or where to go for classes.

Exude confidence
One of the best things about online dating is the chance to get to know someone without the awkward face-to-face initial meeting.  Shy people will feel much more comfortable with a little cushion between themselves and the other person. Spend a little time getting to know each other, and if things don’t seem to be moving in the right direction, you can easily bail.  On the other hand, if things seem to be going very well, test the waters by suggesting a meeting.

Have Fun
Enjoy the process of first time messages, online dating as a whole, and meeting new people.  When you do meet in person, the conversation will come much easier.  Have fun and see the process for what it is- a way to meet new people that you might not have otherwise.  Don’t expect every person to be the love of your life, but instead think of it as making new friends.  Eventually, one of those friendships will blossom into much more!

Read more about online dating and getting to know people through Facebook.

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