Online dating can be a minefield – which photos to choose, how to write your bio and who to match with can be overwhelming. But one of the most daunting aspects is starting a conversation with a potential match.
Online searches for ‘‘pick up lines for flirting” have increased 95% in the last year as people look for inspiration on how to grab the attention of those receiving messages. And with the number of online dating app users expected to amount to 438.0m by 2027, competition will only get more fierce.
New York-based sex educator and PracticalPie coach Niki Davis-Fainbloom shares her advice on what to avoid when sending those first messages, flirting online without appearing sleazy and securing that first date.
Check your spelling
Correct spelling is essential. It’s surprising how many people make the mistake of getting someone’s name wrong since it’s right there on the same page. Failing to get their name right shows a lack of effort, and it’s the best way to turn someone off.
Research by apps like OKCupid found certain words like “u,” “ur,” “luv,” and “wat” are less likely to lead to a response. If you can’t take the time to write out complete words and coherent sentences, it doesn’t bode well for showing that person you’d like to get to know them. I understand that writing coherently can be difficult for those learning English, but I suggest using Google Translate instead of trying to pick up English slang right away.
When it comes to that first message, you want to stick to medium length. Extremely short messages like “Hi” or “How’s it going?” can be dull and don’t open up the conversation. On the other hand, excessively long messages can be overwhelming, especially in an initial interaction. These lengthy messages may intimidate the other person and discourage them from responding.
A medium-length message balances showing your interest and offering something to engage within the conversation. A well-crafted, concise, yet thoughtful message can pique the other person’s interest and give them something to respond to. Remember, the goal is to establish a connection, whether for a casual encounter or something more, and a thoughtful approach goes a long way in achieving that.
Avoiding stereotypes in conversations, whether in person or through messages, is crucial. Making assumptions about someone based on their gender, age, or any other characteristic can be not only off-putting but also disrespectful and counterproductive in building meaningful connections. One common stereotype is assuming that all women are primarily interested in marriage and having children. This assumption oversimplifies the complexity of human desires and goals, which vary greatly from person to person.
Showing a sincere interest in understanding someone’s unique interests and goals can be incredibly attractive. People are drawn to those who take the time to listen and appreciate their individuality. You might discover common interests or learn something new that inspires you. This enriches your life and fosters a deeper connection with the person you communicate with.
Click send at the right time
Be mindful of the timing of your messages. Messaging someone at 3 a.m. can be a red flag, suggesting you’re only interested in a late-night rendezvous. Consider when you send your messages and only reach out once. Let it go if you message someone and don’t get a response. Do you want to bother someone uninterested in talking to you?
Moreover, the frequency of your messages plays a crucial role in how you are perceived. Bombarding someone with multiple messages in quick succession can come across as invasive or overly eager. It’s generally a good practice to reach out once and wait patiently for a response.
Respecting someone’s boundaries and right to respond on their terms is key to building healthy and mutually satisfying relationships. By showing consideration for their time and feelings, you demonstrate maturity and genuine interest in connecting with them, which can lead to more meaningful interactions in the long run.
Ask lots of questions
Initiating a meaningful conversation begins with a thoughtful approach that resonates with the other person’s interests and passions. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is by commenting on something intriguing from their profile. In the digital age, where profiles provide a window into an individual’s life, hobbies, and aspirations, this method can be a powerful way to establish a connection.
People often take the time to curate their profiles, highlighting the aspects of their lives that matter most to them. By acknowledging and engaging with these elements, you demonstrate attentiveness and increase the likelihood of sparking a genuine and engaging conversation. Profiles serve as virtual canvases where individuals paint a picture of themselves, sharing their interests, hobbies, and life experiences. This insight into their world offers a valuable opportunity to make your initial message personal and meaningful.
When you comment on something specific from their profile, whether it’s a shared hobby, a favourite book, or a recent travel destination, you signal that you’ve taken the time to understand them on a deeper level. This personalisation is key in standing out from generic or superficial messages that flood social media and dating platforms. As you delve deeper into shared interests, experiences, and opinions, you lay the foundation for a connection that transcends superficiality.