19 Oct 2016

How to send an awesome first message online

Category: Advice
Author: Karen
We'd like to introduce you to the wonderful Katy Red, a dating, sex and relationship expert who recently won awards for her work from the UK Dating Awards and the UK Blog Awards. Katy's blog is called All Sweetness and Life, and is a treasure trove of information and tips for people navigating the unpredictable waters of dating in the 21st century, but she's popped over to the MSF blog to share her thoughts on sending a killer first message that will grab someone's attention...

So, you’ve seen someone you like online and want to send a message, and you  know that getting it right could mean sealing the deal for that ever important first date. The pressure's on and there are plenty of ways to miss that golden window of opportunity. However, with a little bit of thought and forward planning, the first message you send really can turn a virtual crush into a dating reality. 
So if you’re hovering over the send button, read this first - here are 10 tips for messaging first, and guaranteeing a reply. 
1. The opening line 
‘Hey gorgeous’ is far too smooth, ’You look HOT’ is far too keen and ‘Hi’ is far too boring. Your opening sentence could mean the difference between the recipient reading the message or not. Consider something that’s not too generic (or creepy) - a question for example, or an opening line that will intrigue them into wanting to read on.    
2. Copy and paste at your peril 
Because we can spot them a mile off and there is nothing more of a turn off than somebody who hasn’t even bothered to read your profile but still thinks you’d have ‘so much in common’ and an ‘amazing connection’. 
Sending the same copied message to a person twice? The mother of all online dating errors. 
3. Relax  
An online dating message isn’t a matter of life and death, and although you may really want a response, coming across as nervous and unsure of yourself in a message doesn’t bode well for an actual date. 

4. A touch of humour 
If you can make your potential date smile you are winning at dating. Which doesn’t mean bombarding them with a list of one liners, but just being witty and fun will score you no end of dating points. Because who can resist an awesome sense of humour. 
5. It’s not a game show
Sun or snow? 
Wine or beer? 
City break or beach holiday? 
Bike or car? 
Sure, some people see reeling off a list of questions as a fun ice-breaker, others (read: 90% of the population) see it as a lazy way to make contact when you don’t have too much else to say for yourself. 
6. Mention something from their profile 
Paying attention to a person’s profile is really important when you’re messaging them. And asking them a question shows that you’ve not only read it properly, but that you’re genuinely interesting in finding out more about them, both of which are super attractive. 
7. Easy on the ogling
As amazing as her legs might be in that photo, introducing yourself by telling her you think they’re awesome will come across as creepy, and suggests it might not be her personality you’re interested in getting to know better. This is fine if you’re not interested in actually interested in meeting someone and are happy to be blocked by the majority of people you send messages to, not so fine if you’re looking for something more meaningful. 
8. End with a question 
Ending with a question is a great way of ensuring a reply. Dialogue is founded on an exchange of questions and answers, and instigating this is a good way to start getting to know a person! Simple, yet highly effective. 
9. Don’t include your contact information 
Or suggest going over to Whatsapp after one message. 
All in good time, my friends. 
10. Accept defeat graciously 
Because, despite you being totally awesome, sometimes a person just ain’t feeling it. Sending one tongue-in-cheek prompt after not receiving a reply to a message is fair game - anything over that and it all becomes a bit stalker-y. 
And there really are plenty more fish in the sea. 

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