Online Dating Etiquette Part 4 of 5: What to Write in Your First Message

Meeting someone meaningful is the first, second, and third biggest reasons why people join online dating sites. People create profiles, view their matches, and then start sending messages to people they want to meet. Once two people reach a connection, they meet in person and then go from there. A new relationship forms.

I wrote last week about the importance of creating and completing a solid, well-written profile. Your profile and profile pictures themselves are your first feet forward. Knowing what to write in that first message to someone is the first time you are bringing your profile and profile picture to their doorstep. Until they receive that first message from you, members may or may not have even seen your face. Once they see your message in the inbox, the connection begins.

First they see the alert, “You have a new message waiting for you!” Then they see your username and picture. You’ve crossed the rubicon. So what should you include your first message? There’s no secret formula, but there are some basic guidelines for what to say and how to say it. There’s also some hazards to avoid. We’ll continue with our Do‘s and Don’t‘s. Let’s start with tone!

Do write with a cheery, happy, or upbeat tone. When your message is friendly in tone, whoever reads it will associate you with being cheerful.

Don’t be a Debbie Downer. Starting your message with, “You’ll probably not even return this, but…” That’s not a winner.

Do keep your first (and probably second) message short. Less is more. Try to keep your first message to 2-5 sentences.

Don’t write too much! Anything over one paragraph and you are already saying too much.

Do acknowledge something about his or her profile. Let him or her know that you took the time to look at their profile. This shows that you are interested in them enough to learn more about them!

Don’t be generic. “Hey,” is a terrible first message. That won’t play out in your favor.

Do sign off with a thank you for reading your message. You attract more bees with honey kind of thing.

Don’t write any kind of offensive message. If you’re asking “what’s offensive?” you’re missing the point.

Do say, “Great to hear from you!” or something like that once they return your message!

Good luck! Of course, you need to make sure that you have your own profile before you view your matches and find someone to message. If you already have an account, someone may be waiting to hear from you!


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