5 Tips For Sending a Dating Site Message

By: Elizabeth Marie |


So you’ve decided to take the leap into online dating. You’ve picked an online dating site, spent some time getting your profile up to scratch, had a peek around. It seems nice. The atmosphere of the website makes you feel comfortable and the concept – finding dates online – is something that you’re on board with. If that all applies to you then I think you and I both would agree that you’re ready for the next step – actually utilizing the online dating website. To put it simply – you’re ready for an actual date now. You’ve probably been looking around at the dating profiles of people you’d like to date, but what’s the best way to approach it from there?

The jump onto online dating may have been a bit of a tough or unusual one for you, but there’s still that hurdle of contacting people on the online dating site. The best and most usual way is usually to just go ahead and send them a message. It’s amazing how many people can actually get something like sending a message to someone else so wrong! Here are a few tips to help you get a message to someone together, and hopefully secure a date without sounding like some sort of weirdo.

1. Grammar and Spelling

I feel like I should get this out of the way early. I really hate to be a nagging teacher about this, I really do, but when there is statistical proof that bad grammar and spelling is unattractive on online dating profiles and messages (http://www.smartdatinguk.com/blog/dating-tips-and-advice/want-a-g8-d8-then-spell-correctly/) then it really should be made clear to you. “Text speak” is probably the worst thing you could do – so cut that out. It’s really not a difficult thing to do when composing a message to someone. All it should really take is just a quick read-through of your message before you send it, just to check you haven’t made any silly mistakes. Hopefully you know the difference between you’re/your, their/there/they’re, its/it’s etc. But if you’re not amazing at it, it’s not that big a deal. Just making a courteous check of your message for any stupid mistakes should be enough to get it into presentable order, and a little effort like that is better than no effort – and that’s a good way to come across to someone via an online dating message.

2. Send a Message That’s Personal

The worst sort of message to receive on an online dating site is almost undoubtedly the one that seems to paint you as a fish, and the message as a fishing hook. And that isn’t the impresion you want to give your intended recipient, is it? Generic messages that are super short are just flat-out no good. It makes it seem like you have zero interest in them, and are maybe only reaching out due to their profile picture or just desperation. Neither of those things are how you want to be viewed. You might just think you’re being tentative, not wanting to get the ball rolling unsolicited – but that’s just a good way to get ignored and come across badly. Take the time to read the recipient’s dating profile. Take a look at things you may have in common to talk about, or maybe even things you disagree on. Then include things in your message about the things you just read. Did she say that The Dark Knight Rises was one her favourite films? Maybe you loved it too, or maybe you preferred The Prestige, and could include in your message that you think it’s a better example of Christopher Nolan’s work. A personalised message like this is always a sign of engagement – and being engaging is exactly what you need to strike up that rapport that could lead to a date.

Of course, this point does potentially carry a pitfall too, and that’s sending a message that’s too personal. A personalised message that makes it clear that you’ve read their profile and have a feel for what they’re like is great – but going through it point-by-point might come across as a bit much. Take a few things you want to talk about in your message, and then maybe save overs for later.

3. Don’t Be Creepy

This point kind of connects into the end of the last point in regards to the “getting too personal” thing. Often the way with people being “creepy” is that it isn’t usually intentional. Malicious creepiness is usually reserved for Nosferatu type characters. It usually pays to just question yourself about what you’re writing. Is it necessary to ask this person I have never spoken to before, but hope to go on a date with soon, about their first sexual experience? No, it isn’t necessary, so don’t do that. It’s easy sometimes to get carried away with things you want to talk to them about, but too much can be creepy. A joke or two related to their dating profile is fine and dandy, but don’t make lots of weird jokes. Nobody wants that.

Also, don’t be one of those creepy people that just hits the “way too sexual” button right off the bat. Chances are you’re not using one of those “hook up” dating sites, otherwise you wouldn’t be worried about approaching someone for a proper date. If you’re asking women to jump on your penis in the first – well, any – sentence of your message, then you’re a moron and should be shot. That’s just creepy.

4. Me, Me, Me

While it’s a great thing to make sure your message is personalised to the recipient of the message, the same does not apply to you in your message. Don’t get me wrong, as I mentioned earlier it’s totally cool to bounce some of your own thoughts and opinions off of theirs. The Christopher Nolan thing is a great example of that. But what you don’t want to be doing is taking every opportunity to immediately talk about yourself and going off on tangents. You have a dating profile too don’t forget, they can just look at that. It might be good to just preface the message a little bit with who you are and maybe what it is that you’re doing at the moment, but it’s not necessary to be going off on paragraphs about what you’re studying at school, about your kids, or why you think Woody Allen’s movies are overrated with no launching pad. It just screams self-centred, even though you’re probably just doing it because you’re nervous and not sure what to talk about. Dial that back, and make sure the focus of the message is more about you being interested in what makes them tick, not showing your ticks off to them.

5. Just Be Yourself

Sometimes when writing it can feel like it’s easier to create this disconnect between the actual author and the writing on the page – to make the writing come not straight from yourself, but come via a sort of imagined character. It’s easy to get caught up in “this is what a romance king would say”, when really that doesn’t matter. What really matter is “this is what I would say”. Your message shouldn’t be in character – it’s not some story, it’s your own dating life. Don’t be afraid to take that life by the reigns, look it in the eye, give it a sugar cube and say “this is who I am”. Ultimately you only want to be with someone who wants to be with you, right? So just relax, and write like you, converse like you, joke like you, and just be you. There are some great tips in this article but they’re not meant to rile you up and make you feel like you have to follow any sort of step-by-step. They’re just tips. Read them and absorb them, and then move on. The ultimate tip to writing the best online dating message you possibly can is just relax and write like you. It will really come across in your message – a mixture of confidence and self-ease, and who could say no to that?