Matt R’s Dating Tip: The Initial Message When Dating Online

Matt’s back with another dating tip!  If you missed his last tip, click here.  

So it has been about a week since the last dating tip, which means it is time to start on the next one! I thought it might be good to start at the beginning this week, at that all-important first message on the online dating site. This week’s tip comes straight from the heart. Well, it actually comes from my left eye, which twitches when I see messages like this come across a woman’s online dating inbox:

“Sup girl”
“U r hot”
“You are sexy, wanna chat”

A friend of mine recently received one of these poorly conceived, punctuation-free, pointless messages on a popular dating site and lamented the state of affairs of the online dating world. I took a minute and looked at her profile page on a well known social media site and composed this:

Hi Sally!* My name is Matt. I see that you are planning on going to the Tibetan Bowl Meditation. How did you become interested in that? I have been looking for a way to reduce stress in my life because I have kind of a stressful job, do you think that would work?

Since you are reading this, I am sure you noticed a huge difference in the two messages. Let me break down the second into it’s component parts.

First, I try to introduce myself. Since I talk basically how I write, this is easy. I say “Hi, I’m Matt”. It’s easy. Leading with a compliment about how sexy you find your potential partner comes off a little creepy, especially coming from a man to a woman.

Next, having read her profile, I mention something that she is interested in. This too is pretty easy, since most online profiles have a huge list of interests and activities that a potential partner takes part in.

The next step is a little more tricky. I did two things in a single sentence. I related to the recipient of the message, and I also threw out a little teaser. If you missed it, go back and read the message again.

Did you catch it on the second reading? I asked a question, and then I said that I have a really stressful job. This does two things, first it engages your reader with a question to answer directly, and then it gives them a little bit of information about you without seeming overbearing. So what you are doing is giving the recipient of your thoughtful message an easy response.

This message begs for this response: “I became interested in this because of this thing I did, and yes, it might work for you. What do you do for a living?”

At this point, I think you can understand the importance of a well thought out initial message, and also a little bit of the simple psychology behind one. If you are interested in someone, show them. Use punctuation and spelling correctly, be thoughtful and aware of their interests, and ask them about themselves. It’s not trickery, it’s just being human. Well, it is being an awesome human.

So go be awesome!

*Sally is not her real name, and yes, I did get consent to share the story.

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