First Message Strategy #1: Go For Laughs
However, don't say that you're looking to settle down, or that you're eager to have kids, or anything that you wouldn't say to someone when you were first meeting them. I personally like meeting right away, but I understand that some women are turned off by that. After three emails, though, you should be safe -- if she doesn't want to meet then, she may never want to meet. Oh, and one more specific question - how much does timing matter?
In other words, how long can I wait to respond before it starts to look like I don't care? Likewise, if I respond too quickly, is that a sign of desperation? Some of my male friends routinely paste me their dating site messages to girls. These are the biggest and let me tell you- glaring mistakes along with the impression created: More than like 3 sentences unless girl in question herself wrote over a thousand words is way too long. Don't you have things to do with your time? How much have you invested in this email, etc.
Oh, my god, did you have two windows up when you did this? Don't you think being interested in every single thing I mentioned seems a bit disingenous? The best way to avoid this is to make one 1 joke based on something in her profile -- that's it. Your profile is the job application. The email is more of a "hey girl, what's up? Many do not care about capitals, but don't throw in errors to appear "casual". Your first email can suggest a meeting.
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Don't be shocked if she doesn't accept until you've chatted once or twice. People who want to talk forever probably aren't that interested in actually meeting up. Sometimes you will hit on someone cleverly and they will stop replying. Trying again in a week or two could work ; People are busy, etc. You are way overthinking this. I know it seems that from your experience, you are not giving this enough thought, but really, you are way overthinking this, and this amount of over-introspection will come off as phony and desperate.
If a guy has obviously put as much effort into writing an e-mail as he would a term paper, that's a red flag. It shouldn't be that much effort to ask her questions and talk about yourself a bit. Again, don't interrogate, and don't go on and on. Follow the middle path here.
Take cues from her; did she ask YOU a lot of questions? Three emails is a good point at which to ask her out see, I'm a grammatical moron. I personally never liked to drag it out past a couple of weeks, because at that point the time investment usually outweighed the possibility of us being a good match in person. You'll get people who DO want to drag it out. They're probably not interested in ever actually meeting you in person and are wasting your time.
If your profession involves sitting at a computer which, given this thread, it apparently does , then I think a speedy response less than 2 hours is fine. I wouldn't go under one hour unless it's obvious you're online i. Unless you're stranded in the jungle, don't wait more than 24 hours to respond. Like I said, she probably emailed other guys, and she could have moved on to the next one. Strike while the iron is hot, etc. Also, another clarification re: We've already made up our minds by the third e-mail. Anyone who still isn't sure she wants to go on a casual date read: Online dating can be such a crapshoot.
The signal-to-noise ratio isn't too favorable, if my experience is any indication and I'm female. That said, you might try focusing less on rules or techniques, and more on showing genuine interest in the specific woman you're corresponding with at the time.
For me, it's gotta be personal. If I get the sense that a man who writes me is more interested in "meeting someone" or "getting a date" in the generic sense than he is in getting to know me , I become hesitant about continuing the correspondence. It's hard to put my finger on exactly what it is that gives me this sense, but the idea that there is some trick or technique e. Some men come across as if they have a hidden, unexamined belief that women are some kind of alien species, rather than individuals with a full range of human traits.
Seven steps to write your perfect online dating message
That's a big turn-off for me. So one of the things I look for is an indication that my correspondent has read my profile carefully and thoughtfully, and has some compelling reason for writing to me in particular. There's no such thing as "too long" or "too many questions" in the abstract; no consensus is going to emerge here, because this varies greatly from woman to woman. There's only what matters for the particular woman with whom you want to correspond. This could indeed be a your-mileage-may-vary thing.
I've sent out initial emails to men who've responded by saying "hey, thanks for writing, here's my real email, can you write me there instead? I've also had guys do the same but offer their phone number. And once I had a guy respond by asking me out to a movie. In a half hour. The first two came across as "I've got so many irons in the fire that I need to have people come directly to me because I can only concentrate on what's directly in front of my face," which to me was off-putting. The third just was But I'm not mentioning it because I think there is one Gold Standard for internet dating activity she said, turning back to include Sloop John B in things , I'm mentioning it to say exactly the opposite.
SJB, you're asking for specifics in a field when there actually may BE no specifics. I personally like more distance right at first, other women like to cut straight to the real phone number. Some women like it when you're chatty, others think it looks like you're trying too hard -- there is no one hard-and-fast rule for how many questions to ask, how many emails should pass before you suggest a meeting, etc. The one thing we CAN help you with on a specific level is "how do I sound less formal", because that is more about your own personal style than it is "tailoring your style to guarantee a response".
The latter is about trying to predict others' behaviour, which is impossible; the former is about you, which you CAN control. And that, I think, is why some kind of a sample would be helpful, because we can break it down and go "ah-ha, see, HERE is a passage that sounds like you're writing a Master's thesis and here's why. Okay, I feel like this thread is starting to go off the rails a bit. Yes, I'm asking a lot of specific questions here. But the fact is this - as a guy in my situation, the only feedback that I ever get is an unanswered email.
This is unhelpful and tells me nothing. So I'm just trying to see this from all different angles, and figure out what I've been doing wrong. Obviously I'm doing something wrong. That's why I asked the question. I don't think there is any "trick" or "technique. Anyway, I'm starting to get some nasty vibes from this thread, maybe it's best to just ask one of the admins to close it up. Specific answers to your questions: Any more than three questions tops is probably coming on too strong. Keep it short and simple.
You should be able to manage both one or two profile references and your email responses in a single email. I'd aim for two short paragraphs, three max. Show you care, but no need to overwhelm. I'm not a woman, but I had decent luck when I was doing online dating. I think you try to match the tone and length of the email sent.
If she's earnest and thoughtful, respond in kind. If she sends you a flip one-liner, go with funny. In fact, in general, the funny wins so if you can find space for it, use it. I tended to suggest a meeting early, after two or three email roundtrips. But, you've got to do the request right. The two rules I followed was: It's a preference, not a an ultimatum. Provide the option for further email communication. That way if you get rejected you're not wondering if they're rejecting the specific option e. I'll open myself to almost certain internet ridicule by offering up something in my own personal style I'd use a real one but nerve.
While I love the messaging back and forths as much as the next guy -- Hey, pipe down, next guy! Of course, if you would like to do more online sussing out, suss away. Timing is a minor point, but I disagree with desjardins, I think two hours after the initial e-mail would be too soon. I hate to sound phony, but a big part of the reply seeming casual and not seeming desperate is acting as if you have other things going on in your life, and that getting an e-mail from an interested woman is no big deal, and doesn't warrant immediate attention.
Keep in mind that since she contacted you first, the potential for rejection will be going through her head as well. I think giving it anywhere between a day, to two days is ideal, any longer than that is entering rude territory. It may just be me, but being upset by someone taking a day or two to respond to an initial e-mail would indicate some very unattractive character traits anyways.
Oh, and make sure you are giving THEM enough time to respond, up to and including a week or two. After all, would you rather find yourself with the kind of person who was waiting at the computer hitting refresh on browser for new e-mails every hour, or someone who might only check a specific e-mail once a week because of all the incredibly interesting and time consuming things they have going on in their life?
I really like that message you wrote, funkiwan. I can see why it worked well. It's a clear expression of interest, with specific reference to something mentioned in the person's profile. It asks a question and invites the recipient to respond, without sounding overbearing or presumptuous. You come across as lighthearted and fun, and you make your interest in a face-to-face meeting clear, while still allowing ample room for the recipient to continue the correspondence via email if that is their preference. I like to think of online dating email as a special form of flirting.
And flirting follows many of the same rules as improv comedy: So answer questions, but you can leave parts of questions hanging in a way that invites more inquiry. It's like playing with a cat -- they're shy, so you don't want to scare them away, but you also want to draw them closer with their claws sheathed. If either party isn't enjoying the game, they'll give up. Here's a great guide on how to be a better improviser. The other thing is to listen to what they say, extremely closely.
Treat every statement as a clue to their interest and personality. See if you can follow up on unusual aspects of their profile. In flirting, the other person will almost always give you a subtle clue to their true desires. Sometimes it is left deliberately ambiguous, in order to leave an escape route. So your job is to tease them into more revelations, but not force them into the open before they are ready. At the very least, if you are attentive, clever, and really interested in what they have to say, they will be interested enough to want more interaction.
You can suggest getting together after 2 or 3 exchanges, depending on how much she's started warming up to you. I recommend avoiding a dinner date-- it can be intensely awkward if you discover you don't really like each other. Be sure to have an option for continuing the conversation if things are going well. Casual activities as simple as bowling are great. Both quick reads, with a bit of insight into basic social interactions.
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One other question — are the only women you're contacting the ones who contact you first? If that's the case, you're getting a very skewed sample. Muster your courage and start sending out unsolicited emails. At the very least, you'll get a broader sample size, and if your writing is as good as you say, you might be more successful than I was. What dating service are you using? I used to use that service and this used to happen to me. Then I would often see profiles from users that would say, "sent you an email in the last 3 days" or whatever the language is that they use.
However, the emails were never in my inbox. I tried to open this box but was denied by a message that said I had to contact customer support. I did, and of course they never responded. I never found out what the emails said, never heard back from customer support, and now refuse to give them anymore cash as they're friggin thieves in my book. Whatever service you use, see if there is some filtering going on. My advice from a female: Keep it short, i. One or two questions Suggestion of meeting IRL for a cup of coffee or a drink.
I don't want to get to know someone through email. Pushiness things like "I think we'd be a great match! I mean, you haven't even met yet. Same with "I'm looking for a partner and a best friend. I didn't read every response, so I apologize if I repeat something. Not everyone can list letter-writing as a talent, so not all of us can really "sell" ourselves in an online ad. Doing PR for yourself is a tough gig. But there are some things you can do: Don't say "I like to read.
Don't say "I like having a good meal with friends. Ask about her show that you read her profile but also thought beyond it so that she has a specific reason to write back. Thrown in a fun fact or two about yourself. And I really don't think it's wrong to ask for help. Run your answer by a female friend. Or, if writing really isn't your strong suit, you can even get some help from a service like http: Shakespeare himself said that brevity is the soul of wit, so remember that.
Answer her questions, maybe using an interesting anecdote if you have one to provide. And don't ask more then one question, just one that will leave it open and easy for her to respond. You want to seem interested in furthering the conversation but not too pressed for it. Also, I would wait a little bit, but I think a day or two is your max for response before it seems obvious.
Also is there a photo of you in your profile? Do they see that before they email you the first time? If not, are you ugly?? Anyways, good luck brother! I'm a bit late to the party, here, but I have some experience with online dating and thought I'd chip in.
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Regarding messages, the two factors that determine whether I reply are not are 1 your spelling and grammar, and b whether you have obviously read my profile. I get a lot of emails that are obviously sent to loads of women, and I never bother to reply. Don't pick apart every sentence in my profile, but I like messages that refer to several things in my profile.
More than just one. On the other hand, if messages are really long then I feel I have to send one of a similar length, and it seems a bit daunting so I never get round to it. A guy sent me a great message a few months ago - it was funny, and tailored to my profile, and was really interesting. But it was really, really long and I spent ages crafting a reply and wasn't satisfied and put it off and then it was too long after his original email and I felt silly replying. I really regret that now - it's still been the best message I've ever got on the site.
How soon you suggest a meeting should also depend on how near each other you live, and how complicated meeting would be. If meeting up requires a three-hour train ride, then suggesting meeting for coffee on email 2 is probably not going to get the best result. You could suggest phoning, though. Skype can be good if people feel weird about giving you their number.
Also - my exboyfriend suggested meeting up when we'd been emailing for two weeks. I balked a bit, but agreed, and he was a little pushy on the first date. Just because I've emailed someone a few times doesn't mean I want them to lunge at me the minute the lights go down in the cinema ten minutes after meeting them With timing, I generally reply to messages a couple of days after I get them.
This is mainly because I'm crap at replying to things in a timely message - I don't want to send instant replies because then I'll look pathetic, but then I forget and leave it much longer than I'd meant to. But I'd find it a bit odd if people sent replies within an hour.
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OK, once or twice would be fine but consistently would put me off. However, I get the feeling that other people in this thread have completely different opinions. Just because we're talking on the net instead of meeting in a bar, it doesn't mean that we've suddenly all become one person. The normal rules of human idiosyncrasies apply! That's the point I really want to stress: Sadly there are no easy rules.
Certain words are attention grabbing because they sound delicious. Notice how it starts off with a light compliment. Complimenting her will often give you points, but only if you focus on intangible qualities like intelligence or her accomplishments. Paying her a more meaningful compliment is a breath of fresh air for her.
Mentioning something yummy-sounding works just as well on dating apps.
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In fact, it literally stimulates your brain and makes you feel good. And the better she feels about talking to you, the more likely she is to share her number.
The example above is more suited for a dating site where longer messages are the norm, but you can get her talking about herself on a dating app with a short message like this:. Those three elements are crucial if you want to get a response to your online dating opener. Weekday evenings are generally best — many women unwind from a long day at work by firing up a dating app while catching up on Netflix. According to Nielsen , activity on both OkCupid and Tinder peaks at 9 pm, and usage starts to rapidly decline after 10 pm.
On Bumble, the real action starts a little earlier, with activity peaking at 6 pm. And if you happen to find yourself stuck inside due to inclement weather like a blizzard, hurricane or rainstorm, put these first message examples to good use. NBC News did a little investigating, and found that bad weather goes hand in hand with increased activity on dating sites and apps.
In many cases, the increase was pretty dramatic. Send her a light-hearted follow up message like this one:. The more messages you send, the more desperate you look. Women are too smart to fall for them. Not only do copy and paste messages work , but we get incredible results for our clients with them.
Other industry experts recognize the wisdom of the copy and paste method as well.