Dating Advice: Sending The First Message

online dating Nov 03, 2023

Selecting Someone And Sending The First Message

So you're all set up on your dating app or online dating website. You've spent time over your photos, you've got feedback from your friends, you've been careful about your profile bio, and you've maximized the 'Activities' section.

The time has come to unleash your profile on the unsuspecting members of the opposite sex.
And, at the same time, of course, this is the point when YOU start looking for those potential Rightswipers.

This is a big job; you have a LOT of profiles to go through, and you will realize that much of what you will scan is junk mail. Junk profiles are scammers, liars, old picture or no picture profiles; you should be familiar with what to watch out for now.

Here is how you find the potential Rightswipers.
First, you look at the picture. A picture is worth a thousand words, and also remember that phrase about 'the impossibility of not communicating'.
I often hear online daters discussing being shallow because they're attracted to a certain type. That's nonsense. It's the opposite. Who or what we are attracted to is buried deep in our subconscious, and very often, we simply cannot change it.

Whatever you older guys think, there will always be women your own age who are simply not attracted to bald men. They can't help it. Many men describe themselves as a 'leg man', meaning they react very deeply to women with beautiful legs. Both of these things will be linked to something genetic. We can't help it.

So, flick through the pictures until one appeals to you. But don't swipe right straightaway, look at ALL of the other pictures. Quite often, you will change your mind.

Then, ALWAYS read the bio. Ensure you think the bio is written in a way that appeals to you. Read carefully what it says.

Don't think that you have to have a lot in common. A lady once said to me on a website that she didn't think it was a match because we didn't have much in common. She was wrong. She meant we didn't share hobbies like drinking in bars and motorbikes (her interests, not mine).

I pointed out that we had lots in common. We lived in the same city; we grew up at the same time, we used to listen to the same songs as youngsters. We had a similar education level and political views. We had kids of a similar age.

It didn't convince her but I think that was maybe because I was bald ;)

So don't focus on the number of common interests. Anyway, very often, opposites do attract.

But be realistic: if your potential Rightswiper likes climbing hills every weekend without fail, and insists that their partner joins them, and you don't want to, it's not worth wasting your time.

You really do have to be brutal when it comes to filtering down your Rightswipers. Otherwise, you're going to be there all day.
Decide what you are looking for. A partner? A friend? A one-night stand?

Be realistic.

If you're a 55-year-old man and you start swiping on 25-year-old women, most of them will ignore you, thinking you're a dirty old man. Some of them may be interested in your money, sure, but that's ALL they're interested in, and we all know where that will end.

It's slightly different for women, as nearly all women in their 40s and 50s will be propositioned by much younger men.

Ladies, I have bad news for you. I'm afraid they sent the message they sent to you to maybe a thousand other older women, thinking that it should be an easy deal to close as they're so handsome and young.
However, not all, but most women may be flattered momentarily by this but grown up women want grown up men, not boys.

If you went to a bar on a Friday night, nearly every woman in there would be able to get sex if she wanted it. Hardly any of the men could. The conclusion is that women want a little more. Craig talks about this in one of his chapters.

Think about time. Do you have enough time to date? Can you spare just one day a week? That's fine for some, but consider this when selecting someone to write to.

And distance!

Decide what is a realistic distance for you. Some will say that love knows no bounds, but let me give you a personal tale of warning.

I met a charming lady on Tinder in Cyprus. I was living in Manchester, England, and she was living in Moscow, Russia.

It seemed like an unlikely match at first, but we spent time together in Cyprus and decided to meet three weeks later in Berlin.

We hit it off. I didn't really expect to, but we did. And because we managed it well, it worked well. We managed our expectations, got on with our busy lives for a few weeks and then spent good quality time together.

We had plans, but what killed it in the end was...COVID! This was completely unexpected and unpredictable and it seemed that love could not conquer all. We spent 16 months Facetiming every day until the odds became too great. It would have then become even more difficult with the travel restrictions placed on Russians after the inception of the war with Ukraine. We remain friends but were beaten by circumstances.

So think it through, but if there's a large distance, be aware that there are more variables you cannot control.

On the other hand, if you were going to find someone on your doorstep, you would have already found them by now. Be prepared to travel at least further than round the corner.

If you're attracted strongly to an aspect of a person, don't think that everything has to be just right. Find something to hook on to, say hello, and see where it goes.

So what do you do after you say hello?

'What do you do after you say hello?' is actually the title of a book by the psychologist, Eric Berne but I thought the phrase to be particularly apt when it comes to online dating.

You have selected someone and either they have matched with you or you are on a website where you can make the approach without matching; the next phase is crucial. The first direct interaction.

How do you give yourself the best chance?

I've done a lot of research into this, and guess what? There is no definitive answer.

Let's talk about three different approaches.

Reference to the Rightswiper's bio or pictures.

Let's start with humor.

This is a pretty good bet for both the male and female approach, but remember, ladies, don't be TOO funny.

One line I found worked pretty well was when instead of LIKES, dating websites used to allow you to give WINKS, and you could see how many WINKS your Rightswiper had.

My line was; Hey, look at YOU! YOU have LOTS of winks! Mind you, there are a lot of winkers on this site.

If you're not familiar with the insult, the word WANKER is pretty damning, so the implication was that were lots of wankers on the site. Pretty much everyone would agree with this and raise a smile.

But this was also paying the other person a compliment, so BONUS!

You can google good first line gags for dating sites and choose the one you think is most appropriate.

Here's another:
What does a ten-tonne polar bear do? (I don't know)

Breaks the ice!

Remember, you're trying to start a conversation, so the initial message has to be easy to respond to.
You can combine humor with the other two approaches if you're clever. For example, you might be a male trying to compliment a woman on her gorgeous blue eyes. Instead of just saying; you have lovely blue eyes, say; you win the Tinder Award for the Most Gorgeous Blue Eyes in the Universe.

What lady could resist that?

Ladies, you can adapt this to whatever you notice about your target.

Or, option number 3 is to refer to something in the Rightswiper's bio. If you both play chess, or you both love dogs, or you both scuba dive, go for it!
But again, try and use humor. For example, a chess player might start off with a reference to being a black knight trying to rescue the white queen...or something similar. Adapt where applicable.

If you get a response, you have to keep going and keep asking questions.

Never start a conversation with an emoji hand wave or just 'Hi.'

It's lazy and boring. If anyone ever does that to me, I just send the same back to see if the Rightswiper can be bothered to make any more conversation. Usually they can't.

Think about the time you send your first message. Remember this is someone who has passed all your previous filters, why then message them at 3am?
Most dating site and apps tend to peak in activity around 8pm and up to 10pm.

An old friend of mine works for a famous app, and my research shows that these are the best times to start conversations because you are much more likely to get into a LIVE conversation, which is far more powerful than back-and-forth messaging over a long period of time.

Men, don't mention sex in the first conversation. If you start making oblique sexual references, the women will be turned off almost immediately.

Why? Women know they are attractive to men, and this enhances their perception of self-worth. So why are they going to respond to some average-looking guy who thinks he can just talk her into bed and then dump her?

Good luck with that, Romeo.

If the conversation flows and you want to take it a step further...what could that next step be?

That next step is always the phone number.
If they don't want to swap numbers before meeting, forget it. It's too big a risk for lots of reasons. You need to hear their voice. You need the mutual trust which comes from exchanging cell numbers.

When should you suggest this?

Not too soon. Wait until you feel the conversation is getting to a point where you feel you would both definitely like to move forward, then suggest an exchange.

If someone suggests this to you and you think it's too soon, say so, but keep your Rightswiper interested by saying you're definitely interested in talking more and would like to swap numbers in the future but not just yet.

If you simply don't want to make the exchange, and you don't want to go further, just delete. Don't mess around. No one likes to be told why someone isn't interested, and no one wants to be told that the other person wishes you all the best and good luck in your search.

It's horrible and patronizing.

If you don't want to take it further, just delete.

The pond is large and well-stocked.

If you do exchange numbers, it's then best to continue on an app like WhatsApp or Line. Here you can swap more pictures, send audio messages and much more.

Men, do NOT at any point send dick pics. Women don't like them and think they are intrusive. And don't ask for sexy pics. Women will send these when THEY feel like it.

The first date is the next big subject but before we get to that, Craig is going to dig down into the psychology behind your first contact with a potential RightSwiper.


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. 

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