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Making the First Move in Online Dating

April 24, 2008

You joined the dating site. You wrote an awesome profile about yourself. You’re browsing through your potential matches and you see someone who catches your eye…Now what?

Even though you’re online and on a computer, many people are nervous or experience writer’s block on what to say to someone for the first time. Here’s some tips for making the first move in the online dating world and breaking the ice with your potential matches:

Don’t be Shy. Sending a “wink” or “handshake” or “flirt” is one way of expressing your interest, but it doesn’t make as good of a first impression as a message would. Stay away from those and go straight for the “Contact” button instead.

Keep it Simple: Make your first email friendly and short. Something along the lines of “Hey, I noticed your profile and that we both like bowling and I’d like to get to know you better” works well.

Don’t ask for more pictures or for body measurements: Saying things like “Do you have more pics?” or “How much do you weigh?” are going to give the impression you only care about their physical attributes and not their personality.

Don’t ask for a phone number yet: Usually it’s best to wait 3-4 email exchanges before you ask for the phone. Some people are very shy on the phone and much more comfortable on the computer at first. It’s perfectly okay to give someone your instant messenger ID on the first email, but don’t beg for theirs.

Keep it upbeat: Saying negative things about dating online or that you’re nervous about ax murderers might not be the best approach.

Use proper spelling/grammer: Anytime I ever got a message from a guy that said “Hey grl u r cute, do u want 2 chat?” I immediately deleted it. This might not be the case for everybody, but show off how smart you are by using proper grammer/spelling instead of all those abreviations!

For more ideas on writing that first online message, I wrote an article about this for with a sample message to help get you started.

And if you haven’t taken the plunge yet to try online dating, what are you waiting for? I’ve got a long list of sites and reviews for you to read on my Online Dating Sites Page. The first two sites listed are 100% FREE – meaning you can contact members all you want without ever spending a dime!

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