The Psychology Of First Contact: Dating Advice 101Nov 20, 2023
The Psychology Of First Contact
In this chapter, I want to stay with Mark's "the first message" subject and add my take to it. This is an important area to get right because you can destroy all the progress you have made with a winning profile and photographs with one clumsy opening contact.
The biggest mistake most people (mainly men) make is the scattergun approach. Let me give you an example… our overzealous dating site, newbie Dave, logs into his new profile and types in his search criteria. Initially as broad as 'female', 'alive' (I am not sure they really allow you to specify this), and 'lives within a 300 mile radius', and is delighted to see thousands of potential dates appear.
He tightens the search criteria and includes an age range and a few other core principles such as 'do they smoke' and 'what are their views on children' etc. The search is re-run, and thousands have become hundreds.
As excited as a dog with a bone, he decides to email as many ladies as he can in one night. He writes a generic 'Hi, how's it going' message to the first woman he sees, and copies this short but boring text to the clipboard, ready to be pasted into the email body of the next fifty messages he sends. He tries to remember to customize each message with a Hi First Name but occasionally the repetitive nature of his email blast means he forgets and Linda gets a 'Hi Susan' or Julia gets a 'Hi Kelly'.
Because there are significantly more men on dating sites than women, and due to the predatory nature of some men, hundreds of thousands of generic emails are being sent every night. Female members of dating sites can sometimes be shocked at the sheer volume of email that they get from men online. Some of them not as good a catch as you, and others a lot more attractive than you, but at least 80% of them send the generic, uninspired, scattergun email that we just referred to. For women, sometimes going through their dating messages is about as much fun as reviewing the email spam bin.
The poor quality of the approaches from men puts off a lot of women. As a result, more female daters are now setting little tests for men in their descriptions. They might specifically say in their profile description, "if you email me and only put Hi in the subject field I will assume you haven't read my profile". It doesn't matter what you look like or what a nice guy you are – your email will be deleted without being opened.
Start your email with the person's name if you have it, or even a take on their user name, and tailor it to the profile you have just read. If your prospective date refers to her hobby of hill walking, and that is an interest you share, then make a short witty observation relating to it.
Don't contact people who state you do not meet their criteria. For example, there would be no point in a smoker emailing me; I don't care what you look like or how compatible you might be. For me, smoking is a deal breaker. Look out for the parameters they have set, and save your (or their) time if you don't meet them. A good example of this is the shorter guys who pester the women who state 'must be over 5' 10" tall'. Some even take the deception to first date level having lied on their own profile about their height. This is a complete waste of everybody's time!
Seriously, take the chip off your shoulder and stop seeing it as a threat or a challenge to win her over with your stellar personality. Often women state a height requirement because they are themselves quite tall and don't want to date a man who renders their ability to wear heels obsolete. To men, a reduced number of shoe options doesn't seem like a big deal, but trust me, to women, it is just as much a deal breaker as smoking is to me.
Other women go for taller men simply because they like to feel protected and more feminine. There is nothing the shorter guys can do about this point of view. The chances of changing someone's genetic preference by telling them they are wrong are as near to none as you will get.
If you come across a dating website match so beautiful that their images almost leaps off the screen and grabs you by the chops, pause before you hit send. Whatever you do, do not compliment attractive people on their looks. Yes, your intentions are good, and you want to compliment the person. Understandably, most people would not see this action as a mistake, but trust me, a mistake it is! When we see a man or a woman that we are attracted to, the thing that is causing the excitement is his or her physical beauty (aka lust) and not their extraordinary personality. Which will lead many to blurt out something trite like "Can I just tell you how beautiful you look, seriously you are really stunning".
DO NOT do this! A beautiful woman or a handsome man (unless they are emotionally unstable) knows that they are attractive. They have lived in that body all their life, they are used to being told they are attractive and getting what they want as a result of that. They are indifferent about their looks, and your compliment is just going to sound like white noise. You don't need to tell them that right off the bat because it is not going to have the effect you hope. Yes, people do like you to verify qualities about themselves that they think you think are important, and you should do that, but never with a date you've just met, or someone on a dating website who you are attempting to persuade to reply.
Remember, people want to be with someone they perceive as higher on the social ladder. Let me ask you a question… Are all those guys who ogle over her beauty seen by her as higher or lower on the totem pole? Think about it: if you got an email from somebody going crazy about how good-looking you are, wouldn't you start thinking that you could do better?
Before you answer that, I'll walk you through it. If you just seem so dumbfounded by how gorgeous this man or woman is, even if they are stunning, what does that convey to them? It shows them that you do not have an abundance of beautiful people in your life. Maybe that's true, but you don't need to advertise it.
Imagine for a moment that you do hang out with really hot women or men all the time. How impressed will you be with beauty in general? Not very!
Because you are around it all the time, that's why!
Are you impressed when you flick the light switch and the light comes on? Are you impressed when an elevator stops at the correct floor?
Yes, in the right context, those things are impressive in their own right. The whole world was wowed when Thomas Edison first demonstrated the electric light bulb. But only because it had never been seen before, it was a break in the routine. In the modern day, electric light and elevators are a part of the general background noise of life and so are rendered unremarkable.
This is how you should imagine beauty: as something that is an ordinary part of your life. Incorporating this attitude into your life will drastically improve your relationship with the attractive opposite sex. Beautiful women can smell a guy with no game from a mile away. They know when they are being drooled over, and they don't think drool is attractive, so don't do it. With attractive men it is different, but the same – have you ever noticed that guys don't want the girl they can have, they want the one that appears slightly out of reach.
But enough philosophy, let's get back to that question I asked before. Does a beautiful man or woman see the people who ogle over their beauty higher or lower on the totem pole than they are? Of course they are lower, you can only 'look up' to someone who is higher than you!
Here is a simple piece of advice: don't compliment a person's physical beauty if they are actually beautiful and if you don't know them very well. If you do, they will just toss you into the category of 'people who will do anything because I am hot', even if you planned on doing nothing for them, and even if you are actually a really great date.
To them, those two things, ogling over their beauty and bending over backwards for them go hand in hand.
You will get thrown instantaneously into the 'rejected' pile.
People who compliment on beauty fit into the category of 'routine'. Routine is always bad. Don't do anything that will throw you into that category, because once you're in, it's tough to climb out. If you must compliment your date, compliment their personality, their energy, whatever. If you compliment an article of clothing, make sure that it is NOT in relation to how it looks on them, but rather what qualities it has that are objectively cool.
And be honest! Find something about your date that you actually find cool or interesting, whether it be their funky hairdo, their accent, or their cheeky grin. Like I said before, human beings love it when you are 'real', so be real!
Something other than this girl's breasts or guy's biceps must have drawn you to them. There is plenty of that if you are at a club or bar. What is so special about this particular person?
This one takes a bit of delicacy in explaining because it can be easy to do this incorrectly.
With that said, here it is…. be sure to tease your date. It seems counter-intuitive, but women, especially those who are normally showered with compliments, absolutely love it as long as you do it in a fun way and with a smile.
There is a routine that you are breaking and that you should be aware of. Do you think any of the loser guys that approach this beautiful woman repeatedly tease her?
No way! They have put her up on a pedestal – they treat her like a goddess. They shower her in compliments and buy her drinks.
Don't do that.
Teasing is really fun for a couple of reasons:
1) It builds rapport in a roundabout way, and
2) It shows him/her that you aren't a loser.
Let's talk about rapport. A person will feel more comfortable around you if you do things that you do with your friends, and not complete strangers. You tease your friends, and your friends tease you. It's friendly, and it excites the opposite sex.
Just doing this one tiny thing has already increased your date's attraction to you, simply in virtue of the fact that you aren't being a loser.
CAUTION: DO NOT DO THIS WITH PEOPLE THAT ARE NOT ATTRACTIVE OR WHO ARE EXTREMELY INSECURE. IT DOESN'T WORK.
Why? Well, they just don't get the same treatment that attractive people do. The truth hurts. Certainly in the case of women, less attractive ladies just aren't attended to by guys all day - they don't get the constant attention, so teasing them just comes off as mean, and less playful.
And remember this: you can say almost anything if you do it with a cheeky, happy smile! :)
Are You Ready?
So many people get worn out by the nonsense of internet dating, complaining that "all the men on dating sites are only after one thing" or "women don't give nice guys a chance." Unbeknownst to them, their approach is unwittingly crafting the outcomes they so vehemently despise. RightSwiper teaches you to change that for good.