Here’s the scenario, you’ve given in to the phenomenon of online dating. Hours later, you eventually put together your profile with painstaking thought and precision, and now you’re trolling the match section hoping to find your next potential date. After thumbing through a seemingly endless bevy profiles, you finally find her. She’s gorgeous, smart, fun, and has some irresistible quality that most of these girls lack. After wiping the drool from your mouth, you decide to stop staring at her pictures and send her a message. Faced with a blank text area, you play through possible message ideas in your mind, guessing what her response will be with each one. For some reason, none of them sounds right in your mind, “she’ll probably think that’s cheesy”, “she’s heard that one a million times”, and eventually you psyche yourself out, accepting defeat before you’ve even tried. One of the most challenging tasks in online dating is figuring out the perfect words to say to someone when you send your first message. A question we’re often asked is for a foolproof method to get women to respond to your messages. Well, the best way to go about helping you write a great message is to tell you what sets off the red flags that cause women not to respond. The truth is, it’s fun and easy to get a response as long as you know what not to do. Here are a few mistakes to avoid that will drastically improve your response rates when online dating.
Your message was too boring or general
A typical boring message goes something like “Hi, what’s up?” These messages tend to have low response rates for a few reasons. For one, women receive these kinds of messages all the time, so it doesn’t do much to set you apart from most guys. Also, it leaves the ball in her court to get a real conversation initiated, which most women won’t want to do. For better success in this area, try asking a question in your initial message that personal to her or that piques interest. “What’s up” and “How are you” aren’t personal, nor do they pique interest. To get an idea of something that she may be interested in talking about, take a nice glance at her profile, which leads to the next issue to avoid.
You (obviously) didn’t read her profile
Many guys make the mistake of hitting on a hot girl without taking a moment to figure out anything about her. While this is more understandable in public, where you’re not psychic and can’t read her mind, it’s completely unacceptable in a place where she gives you nearly all the answers to how to make her like you, and nearly all the answers to why she won’t. Read through her profile to make sure there isn’t anything about you that she clearly won’t be attracted to, and make sure not to give off any of these qualities when you chat with her. For example, if she likes clean cut men, but you’re profile picture was taken during no-shave November, you’re unlikely to elicit a response. If you have a certain characteristic that’s a little harder to break (say, you are a smoker and she expresses that she won’t date a smoker), you can either make sure your profile doesn’t say that you smoke, or address the fact that you smoke in your initial message in a funny (but not self-deprecating) way. She may not instantly get over the fact that you smoke, but if you can make her laugh about it, it’s sure to increase your chances.
You’re trying too hard
This is the tragic downfall of most online dating newbies so I’ll dedicate a little more time to this. Usually, you’re falsely informed that in order to get women to respond, you need to vacuum all of the information from her profile into your personality and put all of it on display in your initial message. Tell her you’re into all of the same things and that you love the fact she wants kids because you’re looking for some yourself (you’ve even got names picked out), all the while praising her gratuitously, making sure she knows how beautiful she thinks she is, and how long you can see your fantasy relationship lasting because you’re not like other guys and can treat her right, blah blah blah. This is too much too soon. The girl will likely not read your entire message, being daunted by its unwieldy length and click away before giving any thought. These kinds of messages show that you’re either trying too hard, and/or are needy. Both of these are attraction killers. A general rule of thumb that I use is to keep initial messages no longer than a tweet’s length, and never to mention her looks in the first message. She’s heard how pretty or sexy she is from nearly every guy before you. Eventually, saying it loses its power. Instead of telling just telling her how compatible you are, you can try throwing her a curveball. For example, if she’s a Yankee fan and you’re a Red Sox fan, say something like “It’s a good thing your profile says you can cook, maybe I can forgive you for being a Yankee fan.” Add a smiley to the end instead of an “lol”. “lol” is the most painfully overused phrase on the internet. It’s also grammatically unappealing, which leads to the next issue to avoid.
Your message was lazy or ignorant.
Plz dnt tlk lik dis n ur first msg to a gurl! In fact, don’t speak like that ever, unless you’re in the 5th grade or below. It comes off as pre-pubescent, immature, and unintelligent. Simply having correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation puts you a solid percentage above many of the guys who send messages on dating websites. Also relating to your choice of words, another reason she probably didn’t respond is because…
You’re vulgar or obscene
“Hey sexy, can we f***?” works incredibly well in adult films. Unfortunately, like most of the awesome things we learn in that genre, the majority of women don’t go for it. That is unless the girl happens to be pretty loose and/or desperate, both cases of which usually result in the kind of girl that you don’t want anyway. Extremely rude or offensive messages will either bring about no response or a very harsh and unfavorable response in return. If you’ve got skills though, you can pull it off with the latter. In fact, I’d say don’t be afraid to push a slight button in your message. In our experience, the more attractive the woman, the more likely it’ll work. For example, rather than praise her looks like most guys, tell her she uses a little too much makeup, or that you’re aware she’s using the “skinny arm pose” to appear thinner . If you don’t know what that is, Google it and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Striking an emotional chord can gain a response, but you’ve got to know what to do with that kind of response which is slightly out of realm of this blog post, though we’d love to see some ideas in the comments. However, for the most part make sure that your first message is friendly and free of misogyny. If you decide to be experimental, never be outwardly cruel, overly sexual, or shamefully disrespectful and you’ll avoid the having a ticked off non-responder or an unkind rant in your inbox.
Your profile is weak.
There are two kinds of profiles that get few responses: Empty ones, and try-hard ones. Empty profiles are simply lazy, with no thought, and generally fall along the lines of the messages that don’t get responses. Try-hard profiles either come off as emotionally needy, or too-good-to-be-true. The best kinds of profiles are lighthearted, funny, intelligent, and congruent. By congruent we mean that things look the way you say they are. For example, if you claim you love to travel but all of your pictures are in your bedroom, a red flag goes off. If you claim you love to go out and have fun with your friends but all of your pictures are of you alone, that’s also a red flag. Work on making your profile words and pictures convey you as a guy who can provide a woman with laughs and a good time and you’ll never go wrong. And for heaven’s sake, do not put your personal “baggage” on your profile. There is nary a woman who is attracted to the broken-hearted guy, pouring his heart out on his dating profile.
We’ve covered the majority of the bases here, with only one exception. She just may not be into you. The reason can be something profound or something stupid, but for whatever it is, she just isn’t. This is the case in which it’s best to just move on. The good news is that if you follow the ideas found in the previous sections, the chances of that happening are considerably less than otherwise. Lastly, if you hate sending first and second and third messages to girls while online dating, we’ve come up with a pretty awesome away to avoid it. The way it works is that those seeking a date will post a date idea on their profile, and rather than searching people just by pictures and descriptions, you search by their date ideas. Then rather than sending a message, your ice-breaker is to tell them how you’ll make that date happen. Not only does it make the first encounter super-easy and free of pressure, but it gets you from in front of your computer screen to in front of your date faster than you can say “I hate sending first messages”. Try it out, and happy dating!