Dating Message Examples: 6 Different Tactics and Tips

A woman laughing after a guy sent her an online dating message using these dating message examples.

Writing a message, whether you’re kicking off the conversation or continuing an exchange, is easily the most intimidating part of online dating. But here’s a secret: It gets infinitely easier once you write that first message. There is no perfect opener, but there are ways to make it easier for someone to send you a response. We talked to a few experts and came up with X tactics and dating message examples to help you kick things off right.

1. Tailor your message to your recipient.
“People almost always see themselves as unique,” researchers Khalid Khan and Sameer Chaudhry (Barts and the London School of Medicine) note in their 2015 online dating study published in Evidence-Based Medicine. By that reasoning, the most effective messages are those that highlight details in the other person’s profile: a shared interest in favorite movies or books, or somewhere you both want to travel; asking the person to expound on an anecdote he or she mentions; creating an inside joke between the two of you based on a point in their profile.

Dating Message Examples:
– Happy we can agree that Wes Anderson always gets it right, but Life Aquatic is the clear winner, right?
– That picture you have at the top of a summit is amazing. What trail was that? I’m always interested in finding new hikes.

2. Keep things upbeat and funny. Similar to the above points, you want to keep the conversation breezy and enjoyable. You don’t have to banter like a movie character, but you want to write something that makes the person on the other end smile.

Dating Message Examples:
– I don’t know who’d be more excited about us going on a date, me or my mom.
– You had me at burrito.
– Please tell me that’s a photo of your dressed as Bart Simpson for Halloween. 

3. Don’t make it too superficial.
Women are not fans of messages telling them how beautiful or sexy they are; as Khan and Chaudhry observe, “We routinely reject unrealistically positive views of ourselves, because this raises suspicion about about the motives of the complimenter.” No doubt men are similarly wary. You’re messaging someone because you’re at least somewhat physically attracted to them; no more needs to be said on the subject.

Dating Message Examples:
– That Netflix queue of yours is quite impressive, but we’ll need to discuss why you’ve listed ‘The Rock’ as your favorite actor over drinks.
– You said you read a lot so what are you into now? I love a good book recommendation.
– You have a ton of travel photos. Where’s your next adventure going to be? 

4. But flirting is more than fine.
Just because you’re not going over-the-top on compliments doesn’t mean you can’t still make the other person’s heart skip a beat.  Zoosk created a data-backed infographic on writing good messages that suggests you use flirty words like “crush” and “trouble”—there’s nothing wrong with showing that this person has an effect on you.

Dating Message Examples:
– I’m starting to have a little crush on you. Very small. Tiny crush. Almost negligible.
– I might have just done a happy dance after seeing your message pop up.

5. Suggest date ideas.
As witty as your online rapport can be, no one signs up on a dating site just for a pen pal. The goal is to translate your chemistry from messages into a real-life meeting; what better way than to start thinking about the first date?

Now, you don’t want to do this on the very first message, as that can be as impersonal as copy-and-pasting a generic message; you need a little bit of a back-and-forth to know what would be ideal for you two. Maybe there’s a movie you’d both be interested in, or an outdoor event in the local park? Regardless, this is the perfect way to transition the conversation from messages to a shared event.

Dating Message Examples:
– You say Tony’s pizza, I vote Sal’s. Obviously, we should settle this at once. I’ve got Thursday open.
– Do you like beer, wine, or cocktails? Whatever your choice, the drink is on me.
– Have a favorite after-work spot you enjoy? We should meet up. 

6. Mirror the other person.
This is a difficult one to remember: Your messages should match the other person’s in terms of length and tone. You wouldn’t want to dominate a conversation in real life, right? Keep room for a back-and-forth; ask questions that require more than a yes or no answer to extend the conversation.

Dating Message Examples:
– What inspired you to visit Paris?
– What’s the best part of your job?

Remember, there will always be inexplicable reasons why someone might not write you back, but with millions of profiles at your fingertips there’s no sense worrying about a one person’s lack of response. Dating, whether it be online or traditional, is a numbers game. The more people you message, the higher the likelihood you find what, or who, you’re looking for.

 

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