Messaging Tips for Online Dating

Dating online has become a very common way to meet people these days. Fifteen years ago there was a great stigma associated with those who did online dating. They were considered people who couldn't get dates in real life, socially strange and perhaps even loners. Fortunately, we've come a long way, dropped the judgement and moved into a time that online dating is acceptable and actually very common. In fact, 1 in 5 couples now meet online, which is great for those of us who are sick of the bar scene, are new to an area or just don't have the time to try to meet new people.

But as more and more people move online, it's important to know that there are certain dichotomies between online and offline dating etiquettes, techniques and tricks. The biggest component to online dating is the messaging aspect. Of course you can peep profiles all day, but you're not going to get a date until you start a conversation. In this case, the messaging is key. But something happens when people start messaging strangers. They forget all sense of pleasantries, of basic decency and sentence structure. Check out some of these dos and don'ts of messaging people online.

Don't send a message that sounds like a text message from the early 2000s.
People want to know if you're intelligent or not. It's a dead giveaway that you're not if you can't spell out words completely or with the correct letters. Use punctuation, correct grammar and full sentences. If you're unsure about something, google it or use spell check. No this isn't a formal letter, but it shouldn't be sloppy either. If you can't take the time to write a proper message, it will be assumed that you can't take the time to be a good date either.

Don't spell out your entire sexual history for someone you don't know.
Sure, maybe you love sex toys from Adam & Eve, maybe you work in the porn industry, maybe you've slept with an exorbitant amount of people. Whatever, these make you who you are but should still be saved for an in person date or in the cases of sexual partners, never brought up. People want mystery, they want to pretend that you haven't been with lots of other people. Keep that illusion up by not bringing it up. At least not right away.

Don't write a novel.
You have to imagine that your message is like a cover letter and the person you're sending it to receives a lot of them a day. You have less than 5 seconds to capture their attention. Keep it short, but powerful. Long messages don't get read and will appear to be a canned message that you're sending to everyone.

Don't get mad when they don't respond.
Do not take it personally if you don't hear back. That's just the nature of the game. Maybe they didn't like your message, maybe they weren't into your profile, or maybe they are just really busy and not checking their messages frequently. Whatever the case is, don't take it personally and don't message them asking why they haven't responded.

Do read their profile and pick a few things from it.
Write a message that lets the reader know you actually looked at more than their picture. Highlight something you have in common. Compliment them on their taste in movies or music. Personalize each message to the person you're sending it to.

Do compliment them.
Open up with something nice about the person, but don't make it about how you want to have sex with them or think they are really hot--that's way to generic and predictable. Compliment them on something within their profile (see above).

Do end with a question.
Talk about yourself for one or two sentences tops. Maybe the last trip you went on, your favorite restaurant or a hobby you really love and then ask them about theirs. Asking a question gives them a reason to respond. Don't just end it with a "hope to hear from you," give them a reason to want to get back to you.

Do take it offline after a few messages.
After you have both responded 3 or times, you should suggest an offline date. Going back and forth won't really get you anywhere and you're best served to see if its really going to work or not. If they aren't making the move, you should do so.

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