Guy walks up to me in a bar and says…
Hey, my name is John and I want to tell you my life story. I’m smart, funny, and really cute. I’ve been volunteering with orphans in Africa and just moved back in with my parents to help them out. I’m into sports, especially running and football. I really like everything about you, but especially your breasts. Can I have sex with you?
Ok you would never do this in real life. So why do you keep doing this in your OkCupid messages? Your first message is about starting a conversation, it isn’t about convincing them to sleep with you in four sentences. Avoid the mistakes below and give them something to start talking to you about.
Mistake #1: You’re Focusing On Her Body
Everyone likes compliments but when you start out by complimenting a girl on her looks, she assumes you’re only looking at her body. Yes this was his first message to me in its entirety.
Mistake #2: Ur Msg Suxxs
Using text speak, bad grammar, and bad spelling will lead women to assume your lazy, stupid, or both. Text speak was excusable when you had to use a phone key pad to type out messages but you’re a big boy with a big keyboard now, so learn how to use all the keys.
Mistake #3: You’re Making It All About You
Your profile is all about you. If she wants to know all about you, she’ll read it. It’s a good idea to mention one or two things you might have in common or something not on your profile that your potential date might find interesting. This is about starting a conversation, not a monologue. None of what this guy says is a bad thing, it’s just already on his profile so why copy it into here?
Mistake #4: Your Message Is Too Short or Too Long
A long message is a waste of your time writing it and a waste of their time to read it. I recommend 4-8 sentences.
Mistake #5: You’re Using the Same Line On Every Guy
It may seem like you can take copy & paste because you’re on a computer but you’re just wasting your time. People can tell when your message is generic and are less likely to respond. You’ll likely get better matches focusing better messages on few candidates than spewing crap to hundreds.
Mistake #6: You’re Trying to Close The Deal Too Early
Mistake #7: Not Even Putting A Deal Near The Table (Much Less On It)
Ok, I Get It! So What Actually Works?
OkCupid did a great data scrape of Exactly What To Say In A First Message. Besides adhering to my warnings above…
- Show that you actually read and understood her profile by mentioning something about it.
- Talk about what interests you about her personally from the profile (not her body!)
- Be humble, willing to make fun of yourself, and more importantly, willing to laugh at yourself. Cocky and overconfident guys come off as assholes.
- End with a question that she wants to answer, something within her expertise. Alternatively end with offering a mutual activity (not just drinking) that you think she’d like based on what you read on her profile.
Get it yet? You have to read the profile or you’re just shooting blanks in the dark.
I Followed All Your Advice And I Still Don’t Get Replies
Welcome to the world of online dating. You’re going to spend a lot of time getting rejected. The dirty little secret of dating sites is that most of them of four times the number as men as women. Most women (especially attractive young women) get multiple messages a day. It’s overwhelming and so they’re using (sometimes) arbitrary reasons to decide if to reply. If you’re following these steps and still not getting results it’s time to improve your profile with this advice:
- Online Dating Profiles Part 1: Pictures
- Online Dating Profiles Part 2: Usernames
- How Many Status Points Do You Have?
- Try Messaging Women Older Than You
I Still Need Help! (Or A Few Laughs)
If you’re still confused, there are entire blogs dedicated to crappy messages. Not only are they highly entertaining but also educational…
Photo by Mykl Roventine