You filled out your online dating profile. You took the perfect profile pictures. You searched for potential matches and even found some that caught your eye. But that was just the beginning, the question remains… What should you say to them?
Composing an online dating message is one of the hardest parts of online dating. Should you pay them a compliment, or is that too forward? Should you use a pick-up line, or keep it simple? You want to catch their eye and stand out, but you don’t want it to seem like you’re trying too hard. Well, fear not, because we can help. Here are some online dating message tips to help you write something that has a high chance of getting a response.
1. Start with “hi,” but give it a spin.
When you meet somebody in real life, chances are you do two things: say hello and tell them your name. So why not employ the same greeting tactic online? Saying hi and introducing yourself is polite, easy, and effective—and you’d be surprised by how few people actually do it in their online dating messages. But instead of just saying “hi,” “hey,” or “hello” like everybody else does, make things interesting.
-How’s it going? I’m Elizabeth.
-Fancy meeting you here. I’m Elizabeth.
-Hola, bonjour, ciao, guten tag, hello. I’m Elizabeth.
-Come here often? I’m Elizabeth.
-Oh, hey, I didn’t see you there. I’m Elizabeth.
2. Comment on their profile.
Commenting on someone’s online dating profile shows that you actually read it and that you’re a good listener. When you meet a new person online, it can be tempting to compliment their looks. And while physical compliments are nice, they can sometimes be, well, empty. Most people would rather receive a compliment about something they wrote in their profile. Bonus points if you add a little information about yourself. It keeps the conversation going and gives them something to respond to.
-I see that you like to cook. I’m trying to be better at cooking myself. I made a great vegetarian lasagna a few nights ago.
-I like that you’re into sports. My favorite is baseball. I’m a lifelong Yankees fan.
-Your dog is very cute. I’m a dog person too. I have an Australian Cattle Dog named River.
-I have some friends who went to Cornell. I wonder if we have any friends in common.
-I enjoy going to museums too. I enjoyed the Stephen Shore exhibit at the MoMA.
3. Ask a question.
One of the best ways to start a conversation is by asking a question. Again, it gives them something to respond to. Even better if this can also relate to something they wrote in their profile.
-What’s your favorite dish to cook?
-Where were your profile pictures taken?
-What’s it like being a surgeon?
-Have you read any good books lately?
-What’s your favorite hidden gem in your neighborhood?
4. Cut to the chase.
Be honest and say what you feel. That doesn’t mean you have to be overly forward or aggressive; it means that if you’re interested in somebody, it’s ok to be clear about it. After all, isn’t that what you signed up for when you joined an online dating site?
-Your profile made me smile.
-I’d like to get to know you better.
-Based on your profile, I think we’d hit it off.
-I’m interested in learning more about you.
-I think we make a great pair.
5. Suggest meeting for a date.
Is it bold? Yes. Is it risky? Maybe. Is it effective? You bet. One of the biggest complaints about online dating is that people spend too much time messaging and not enough time actually dating. It’s gutsy to ask someone out right away, but it sends the message that you’re serious about your level of interest. Be bold! And have a plan. Are you free? doesn’t give someone much to respond to. But Are you free for coffee on Thursday? does.
-I’d like to meet for a drink sometime if you’re interested.
-Are you free for a date soon?
-Let’s grab coffee sometime next week.
-Want to have dinner on Tuesday?
-Let me know if you want to go for a walk in Central Park.
There you have it: Some examples for constructing the perfect online dating message. Keep it short, simple, and polite, and you’ll be getting replies in no time.