I guess I am lucky in the sense that I don’t have to be the first one to send messages on dating sites because I always have a few in my inbox. I will delete most of them without bothering to reply. Until I decided to send a message to that one guy who I thought had an interesting dating profile.
My first problem was, what do I say? Although I should not have a problem with it because after all it is part of my job to write, to be creative. But I got stuck for a while. I can’t remember what I ended up writing but I know I managed at least two sentences. To me it does not make sense to send just a “hello” or “hi”.
I never received a reply, which kind of sucked. And I am not sure which is better: to receive a message saying he/she is not interested or receive nothing. Either way, you’ve been rejected, move on! But I kind of felt sorry for all those guys who have made an effort to message me so I decided to reply to each one.
This is happening on Badoo as this is the only dating app I like and currently use.
Coming up with an answer to those messages is as hard as coming up with an idea to start a conversation in a first message.
Before answering, and even though I can tell by the profile pic if it is going to be a “no, maybe or yes,” I will check the profile. There are 100s posts out there telling you how to write your dating profile. Sadly, not many guys are following those tips. I was telling that to one of my male friends:
“Why can’t you ask your mates to check your profile?”
“Because guys don’t do that. It’s kind of lame I guess.”
“What about asking a female friend then?”
Okay. So men, or at least my friend do not want to talk about their profile. I have seen the dating profiles of all my female friends and gave feedback and they do the same with mine. What’s the big deal? (You can go on Reddit and ask for others to review your profile too…)
You don’t have to write a book. If you take Ian/Oliver’s profile (link to post when ready), it was brief. There might have been some lack of punctuation and a few grammar errors but it was still easy on the eye. Even if you are going to write just one sentence, can you please make sure you check your spelling and use proper punctuation and spell out the word instead of “u” or “ur” and what about the pictures, oh my gosh the pictures!
OKCupid says “that words in profiles mattered little next to pictures”. I think both matter but what is up with putting up pictures when you seemed so down or depressed about life? Where is that smile? And no I do not want to see your fish or whatever pet, well at least not on the main profile picture. The main profile picture is about you and only you so at least make it counts. It is like going to a job interview or even meeting up someone for the first time – the first few seconds counts. And if you have a sad face, (unless looking and being sad is an attractive feature in your world) you are going to miss your chances. And add to that a poorly written sentence. Well that’s it you are done. And we all have smartphones, so it is not hard to snap up a selfie or to ask anyone to take a few shots for you. No one has any excuse to not have a decent main dating profile picture.
Getting back to the messages, what do you answer to just a “Hello”? It is even harder when you know you have to reject that person. So I am going for something simple like this: “Hi, I hope you are having a great day and good luck with your search.” The same answer is used for when the message starts with “How is it going?” or “How are you?” My reply will be, “I’m great, thank you for asking.” If I want to know more, I will add: “and yourself?” if not, I will close it with “good luck with your search.”
This guy sent a message over month ago (which was before I decided to answer all messages).
I read his profile, had a look at his pictures: nothing made me tick. So I ignored it. A month later (which is today at the time of writing this) he sends a new message:
How is it going?
Open ended question, I can answer, even though I am not sure what to say. So I go for simple.
Hi, it’s going great. What’s up?
Open ended question to try to start a conversation.
This is not an answer! So I ignore the message. And he would know that I read it, because it says it on Badoo. So maybe 40 minutes later he sends a new message:
Looks like it’s going to be a gorgeous day (smiley face)
Close ended message. But I still manage a reply which is close ended too because I can’t be bothered, writing a message should not be that much work!
Yes, finally. I’m over this rain.
Being on dating sites is a job, but trying to have a conversation with someone is another type of job and making online dating such a chore! So I gave up answering all messages. I just cannot be bothered unless the message is of substance. What’s your take on the art of messaging on dating sites?