A few tips to make the best impression possible and fan the flames of romance online.
How to message someone on a dating site:
Traditionalists and technophobes may claim that there’s nothing romantic about dating in the internet age, but that simply isn’t true. When you look for love online, you have to write love letters all the time. Admittedly they might not start off as gushing billet doux, but when you start communicating with possible partners, you have to remember that you could have each other at “Hello [smiley emoji]”. The first messages are packed with potential – it’s incredibly exciting, and slightly scary. So how do you make the best impression possible and fan the flames of romance in an era when most of us are more comfortable with a GIF keyboard than a calligrapher’s quill? Here are some tips…
Also Read: Seven tips for dating after divorce
Before you write anything down, make sure that you’re feeling cheerful and dating with a positive mental attitude. If you bring negativity to the table, you’ll never get a response. References to pet hates, bad experiences and evil exes are out. Smile, think of all the good reasons to share your life with someone and focus on fun.
Keep it brief
When you’re enthusiastic about a possible match, it can be too easy to write paragraphs on the potential you think your relationship has, the places you’d like to take them and the levels of passion you’re capable of bringing to a romance. In black and white, your excitement can seem a bit terrifying. If you’re nervous of going overboard, write a draft and get a close, caring friend to act as editor.
The only thing worse than a 5000 word message that mentions future grandchildren is a five word message that says “Hey there sexy, what’s up?” Anyone who has ever used a dating site will tell you that your inbox quickly fills up with these identical cut and paste messages from people who are sending the same words to everyone they vaguely like the look of. Nobody wants a spammer – steer clear of it.
Pay attention to detail
Your message needs to make it clear that you’ve read something in their profile that caught your eye. Focus on it. It shows that you’re thoughtful, and it’s a great way to create chemistry and make a meeting happen. Be genuine. If you share a passion for horror films, it’s worth mentioning your box set of rare seventies Hammer features. But don’t go on about how much you also love hiking if the last time you went on a long walk happened during a bus driver strike.
Joke with caution
Everyone thinks they’re looking for love with someone who can make them laugh, but the truth is that at first, humour is hard to get right – especially if you tend to be dry or sarcastic. Be warm, but be wary of being too weird with your jokes unless you’re absolutely certain that they’re on the same page as you. Also, remember that anyone who claims to love “funny” really just wants to be with someone who thinks they’re hilarious.
Ask an open ended question
Your message needs a hook that invites a response. It can’t just be about you. Ask them about something they’ve mentioned in their profile, ask them about the last film they saw, ask them if they’d rather fight one horse-sized duck or a load of duck-sized horses. In other words, give them something to think about, and you’ll probably get a reply.
Don’t demand to meet up straight away
Timing is difficult and delicate, and while you don’t want to be messaging forever, you need to allow each other a little time and space before you leap in. As you exchange messages, you’ll find yourselves getting to know each other better, and hopefully, like each other more. But if you’re immediately asking what they’re doing next Tuesday, you might find you’re scaring them off before you’ve had the chance to get started.