This week, a girlfriend and I got a heartfelt, funny, sincere and personal message from the same guy, and we discovered it was the same message.
Sometimes my friends and readers ask me questions for Love.tv that they think I might have fun answering, or that, god forbid, they actually want my answers to, so many thanks to my anonymous friend Zeke Shandy for this excellent question:
“After ten years of internet dating, I’m still, I guess, awful at it. How do I break the ice with a woman online?”
There are as many different approaches to this as there are women in the world, but I’d like to offer some advice based on my own internet dating experiences. Not showing off, but I’ve been single a lot. Lots and lots.
OKCupid released a study last year claiming it’s a numbers game, and the best bet for men is to send as many messages as possible, and that blasting “Hey, how are you?” to five hundred women will get more first responses than spending the same time to actually try to connect with fifty women. I find this lazy and ineffectual: the message of a person who is putting forth the absolute minimum effort annoys me. This also includes “Hey.” “Howdy.” “What’s up.” “How’s your weekend.” This approach employs the math of internet dating: trying to attract as many potential mates as possible so that you can sort through them later, but I am a proponent of an old fashioned idea that you might like someone because you found their personality attractive, and you don’t wish to go on 500 dates with people who just ask how your weekend was.
I also don’t like when a message seems cut-and-pasted- although again, statistically, this is not supposed to matter. This week, a girlfriend and I got a heartfelt, funny, sincere and personal message from the same guy, and we discovered it was the same message. Guys, I know the internet makes it feel like there are infinite numbers of single women to talk to, but there aren’t, and we talk to each other. She called him on it and he said I’m sorry, I have to send too many messages to women, I can’t write them all individually. Well, perhaps our bots can date?
Check out these do’s and don’ts!
DO: Mention what made you smile in her profile.
This is lots easier on sites like OK Cupid and Match.com with its questions and essays than it is on Tinder or other visual-based apps- where it’s easy to make initial connections, but hard to maintain ‘em. After you’ve established that you’re both people who love standing in front of painted angel wings, where do you go from there? Get her talking about an interest you have in common!
DON’T: Write a five paragraph essay mentioning your thoughts on every single thing in her profile
– this feels slightly stalkery and also responding to it will feel like work. Keep in mind that we’re all probably tapping out responses on phones while waiting in line for coffee, so thoughtful brevity is good!
DO: Make it clear that you’d like to connect with her.
I get a lot of super non-committal messages. If you don’t want to talk to me, don’t. If asking me out feels like work, don’t do it. Easy!
DO: Ask her out if you enjoy talking to her, and feel like she is responsive to you.
After a couple of days of back-and-forth, I’ll stop responding just because I’m a person with a finite amount of time on this earth and I can’t spend it telling twenty people how my weekend was. Try and make an assessment in a day or two and ask if she’d like to meet.
DON’T: Get mad if she doesn’t want to give you her phone number.
I’ve had a ton of trouble with this, because I think guys think it protects them from being catfished- but if I haven’t met you, I don’t feel safe giving you my number. Please respect that and don’t #notallmen me. I know not all men will text with crazy abuse, but it only took one to change my policy.
DO: Be positive and fun.
If you’ve just started talking to someone, it might feel fun to immediately talk about the terrible experiences you’ve had on the dating scene, or how you specifically DON’T like something in her profile- but I don’t know where to go from there. There’s so many ways to make a conversation fun, so try one of them!
GIVE SOMETHING TO GET SOMETHING: Starting a conversation is awkward.
Try and ask a question that you’d be interested in hearing the answer to, and then write something back when she responds! If you just respond to her last message “GOOD”, or “OK” or “bathroom”, don’t be surprised when you don’t hear back.
DON’T mention her attractiveness:
I know you think you’re being flattering, but I assume if you’re writing me, you think I’m attractive. Having a stranger dwell on your looks is off-putting.
DON’T start with sexy talk:
Attention that’s very welcome from someone you’ve met and are interested in is not welcome from a stranger. I know my friend Zeke wouldn’t do it, and you shouldn’t either. I know it feels like a compliment to tell a lady you’re thinking about motorboating them tits, but it isn’t.
I know internet dating is hard. I know it can feel like work. I know it’s hard to appear interested and share a little of yourself with another person, but I think that’s the only way to get any good out of it- ultimately, we’re all here to connect and learn and have good experiences! Good luck, Zeke!
Anyone with a question can DM me on Facebook or Twitter, where I am @badiniadones!
– See more at: http://www.lovetv.co/how-do-i-talk-to-a-girl-in-2016-the-internet-edition/3/#sthash.ndChtkQI.dpuf