So, you’re online dating. You’ve found someone you like the sound of – that’s great! It’s now time to message them… The fun starts here!
I know how you’re feeling. Perhaps you’re a bit scared to take the plunge? You’re nervous about putting yourself out there – maybe worried that the person you like won’t message you back. Perhaps you’re a confident communicator and you are already a pro at messaging singles online, but looking for some sure-fire tips to stay ahead of the game?
A handcrafted, well-thought-out message is hands down the best way to get someone’s attention online. Yes, it takes time, yes, it takes a bit of brain power, perhaps it may not work out and you might not get a reply.
Well, think of it like a job interview. How many times have you applied for a job that you haven’t been offered, or even had a reply about? Online dating has often been likened to this process, and can be as cumbersome, so make it fun!
Before you press send on the message you’ve lovingly created, be sure to check out these 7 rules so you give yourself the very best chance at getting a reply… and to find what you’re looking for!
Crafting the perfect first message – the 7 simple rules
Rule 1: Address the Person by Their Name
This might sound like an obvious statement to make, but this is a common mistake people make. Don’t just say “hi” because your message will look impersonal, and like one of those annoying ‘icebreakers’ that are mass mailed to potential suitors.
Top tip: Don’t say “Hey”, it’s too informal.
Rule 2: Write Personalized Messages
The first step to achieve this is to quote something from their profile. Have they expressed that they like to drink fine wine or perhaps they like vintage cars? Ask them to elaborate on this in your message – this will show that you have been reading their profile and that you are interested in what they have to say.
Top tip: Don’t copy and paste your messages.
Rule 3: Ask Questions
Asking someone a question in a message not only makes you sound interested in them, but it also prompts a reply – especially if your questions are a little quirky, and make the person smile.
Ask open questions such as the following:
- Tell me something about you that’s not on your profile
- Who will win in a one-on-one battle? Batman or Superman?
- What makes you laugh?
- What are you most excited about in your life right now?
- Would you like to chat online this Saturday at 5pm, or a time to suit you?
Rule 4: Let Your Personality Shine Through
Are you funny? Down to earth? Friendly?
Perfect! The key to online dating, is just to be you. There is no point putting on a show or lying about who you are, because that will all come out in the wash later down the line. Your words are selling you right now, so make sure you’re being your lovely self.
Top tip: Don’t mention sex – it’s a total turn off for both sexes, unless you’re on an adult dating site of course, in which case, crack on!
Rule 5: Keep It Short
It’s best to keep your message short. The recommended amount of text is about 5 sentences. This is just enough to pique someone’s interest, as well as show you’ve put some effort into writing to them.
Top tip: Surveys say that one of the biggest turn offs is receiving messages with glaring errors. It makes you look sloppy and uncaring about how you come across, so spell check your message before you hit send.
Rule 6: Leave the Drama Behind
Being positive and upbeat is the aim of game here, no matter what your past or background. Telling someone your life story in a message, especially if it’s negative is not recommended, and mentioning the Ex is a definite no-no.
Top tip: Don’t get too deep – keep it light.
Rule 7: Keep Your Personal Details, Personal!
It’s tempting to mention your exact location if you see that someone lives really near you. Or perhaps you think telling them your surname because you recognize them as a friend of a friend is ok? It’s best at this stage to keep your personal details just that, personal.
Top tip: Don’t give out any details that personally identify you, as unfortunately, not everyone online can be trusted.
These 7 simple rules of messaging might seem like a lot to take in right now, but you’ll soon get the hang of it. When it comes to online dating, whatever you do, don’t just ‘wink’, ‘like’ or ‘favourite’ someone. This won’t get your eyes on the prize. This is taking a passive approach that won’t land you many dates.
Take the plunge, be brave, and give it a go. You’ll be glad you did.