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Dos and don'ts of the first message through a dating site

The first message you send after hours, days or weeks of profiling for your perfect match, can make or break the response. What you include in this initial note needs to catch the eye while setting you apart from the plethora of emails he or she may receive everyday. Avoiding clichés is your first step. You don’t need to mention your body type and your love for walks on the beach. It’s all magically included on your profile, if you fill it out.

Do read their profile and understand why you are attracted to them. Pick out the things you found interesting and elaborate on them in the message. Prove to this person you have similar interests by exemplifying your own interests in the idea, book, band, movie or outlook you share.

Don’t focus on their appearance. You may have been drawn to their profile through their picture, but it’s not something to base a relationship on. If you want to express to them how attractive they are, wait until the end of the email after you’ve already expressed concrete reasons for messaging them. The most attractive person you’ve ever seen in your life may be on this site and you’ll automatically ask, “Why are you on a dating site?” A typical reason for this is because they want people to grow interested through their personality, not their appearance. Going to a bar and being told you’re hot all the time is not what everyone wants, so they turn to online dating to spill their personality onto a website and filter out the ones who pay no attention to what they’ve written.

Do keep your message condensed to a couple paragraphs. If you write a novel, the person may be too busy or uninterested in reading beyond the first few sentences and will never get back to you. You should, however, avoid typing as little as, “Hey, what’s up?” Make sure you type something that will ignite a conversation. Saying, “hi” only means you’ve noticed their picture and aren’t willing to take the time to say more. Include your similar interests and ask a few questions to get the ball rolling.

Don’t mention sex! This, of course, is directed toward those actually seeking a relationship. This is the quickest way to kill correspondence. You’ll just be viewed as a pig and will probably be blocked from their profile. 

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