Are you ready to make a good first impression? It’s online dating season, after all – time to give love a shot.
But a relationship must start somewhere. Whether online or in the traditional sense, initial contact may be the most nerve-racking part of dating. What you say can either make or break your chances of finding someone special.
Continuing our series this week of online dating tips for 2017, this post is all about messaging best practices.
Don’t say hey, hello or hi
Statistics show you can’t really have someone at hello.
Approaching someone with one of these boring, traditional salutations will get you a measly response rate of 27 percent.
Keep reading for what to say instead:
Talk about interests
Relating with someone because of similar interests is an effective way to make a connection. It also shows someone you actually read their profile.
In fact, “niche” words (such as zombie, band, tattoo, literature or vegetarian) are found to have a positive effect on messaging, based on OKCupid’s research.
Using phrases that engage someone’s interests were also more effective. You’ll have a higher chance of connecting with someone if you use phrase like, “curious what,” “your name,” “noticed that,” “good taste,” and “you mention.”
General, not physical, compliments are best
Mentioning or “complementing” someone’s looks is a big mistake. You might think it would be flattering for the other side, but by OKCupid’s analysis, it is actually unwanted.
Replace negative words like “hot,” “beautiful,” “sexy,” and “cutie,” with words that will raise your chances of getting a positive response; such as, “cool,” “it’s nice that,” “fascinating,” and “awesome.”
Women: Send the first message
Based on OKCupid’s research, if you’re “a straight woman, you’ll chat with more attractive men if you send the first message.”
They found that men tend to respond. If a woman sends the first message, she’s 2.5 times more likely to get a response.
Results also revealed that both men and women tend to reach put to those more attractive than themselves. As a woman, if you’re not sending the first message, more less-attractive men will be in your inbox.
“Twitter-like” messages – those that are 40 to 60 characters long – tend to have the highest response, with the average message being just over 100 characters.
Making a spelling or grammar error is an almost certain way to not get you a response.
Bad slang will give you a terrible first impression. OKCupid found the worst words you can use in a first message are: “ur,” “u,” “r,” “ya,” “cant,” “hit,” “realy,” “luv,” and “wat.”
The only exception comes with humor. Saying “haha” or “lol” had positive effects because it can display genuine laughter.
Everything else you write should be free of spelling or grammar mistakes.
The dangers: Look out for these red flag approaches from in messages you receive:
• An excuse for wanting to communicate outside the dating site right away.
• An uncomfortable amount of attention or flattery right off the bat.
• They mention they live overseas.
• They have an “emergency” and need your help.
All of the above scenarios are associated with common online dating scams that have swindled daters out of serious money—don’t think you won’t encounter these con artists at one stage or another.
When replying to a message, don’t forget to…
Ask questions. Showing someone you’re interested in what they do or what kind of person they are is not only more effective in establishing a connection with someone, but it also shows them you’re genuinely curious about them.
Respond during daylight hours. You wouldn’t want to ruin your chances of finding “the one” if they suspect you’re only interested in a booty call. It’s best to avoid late-night messaging.
Last, but not least – spell check.
Starting a conversation or responding to someone who checked you out doesn’t have to be as trying as you think. Follow these tips for more positive results in your online dating communications.