The Good, The Bad & The WTF of Online Dating Messages

By: Simone Paget |


I’m now wrapping my second month of trying online dating and can say that one of the most interesting parts of the experience has been seeing the huge variety of messages people send you. I’ve had a few good messages, lots of bad messages and a few that are just totally WTF. Here’s a run-down of what makes a good, bad, and just straight up crazy online dating message:

1. Good – What constitutes a good online dating message is different for everyone. Good online dating messages generally meet the following criteria:

Proper grammar and syntax: This is HUGE. I list in my profile that I’m a writer. If you don’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re” it probably won’t work out between us.

Friendly: If a message is friendly, positive and non-threatening, I’m way more likely to respond than say to a message that isn’t – for example, the guy who repeatedly messaged me “You should reply to me. You might be happy you did” (because there’s nothing creepy and threatening about that!)

Makes reference to my profile:  I like messages that actually show that the person has read my profile and taken a few minutes to think about what kind of person I might be. Make a comment. Make a joke. Show some personality!

One to two paragraphs:  There’s probably mixed thoughts on this, however I personally don’t think a intro message needs to longer than one or two reasonably short paragraphs. Most people are probably reading through a lot of these messages (myself included) so I think it’s best to keep things short, sweet & hopefully packed full of personality.

In other words, the message should look something like this:

Hi Simone, I hope this message finds you well. <open with a friendly, grammatically correct statement>

<Insert: short paragraph that tells a bit about themselves – ie. something that you share in common. And/or makes a funny, witty comment on something I wrote in my profile. Bonus points if you can make me laugh and show a bit of your personality in the process. This is also a good opportunity to ask a question so I have something to respond to when I write back>

Anyway, please take a look at my profile, and if you like it, hopefully I’ll hear from you in the future. Nothing major, just so I would know it’s ok to send you another message. If not, best of luck in your search. <friendly, no-pressure statement to close>

Have a great night, and a happy new year!

Online Guy”

2. Bad – I feel like bad profile messages speak for themselves. Here’s a few examples:

“hi my name is _____ and i saw your profile and i like it but what i like was your lovly smaile so do you think we could get to know each other i think it would be nice to get to know you.” 

(Too bad – thanks to this message you’ll never see my LOVLY SMAILE)

“Hey your a wrighter. Cool! What do you wright?”

(Well, I won’t be “wrighting” a response to this message)

3. WTF – Ahhh, the online dating messages that defy logic or common sense – they are part of the reason online dating is so amusing.

I sent a message to a guy that said “Nice paintings! Did you make them yourself?” and got this in response.

“The inspiration for the paintings is absorbed into me from the universe, transcendentally reaching my fingers and out on to the canvas. Mesmerized by the distorted fragmented transparent patterns. Of a subjectively manifested objective reflection. Conceptualized and collectively agreed upon as relative existence. The schizophrenic parasite of the free Will. Infects the seed of infinite potentiality. With the limiting structured germ of repetition. We are all one.”

Gee, thanks! That explains everything! Um, not really.

In conclusion, my tips for writing a stellar message are as follows: Use proper grammar, be yourself and  try to avoid mentioning the “schizophrenic parasite of the free Will” and you should be fine. 

What are some of the best/worst messages you’ve received?