Sunlit Water

June 28, 2007

Advice Needed

Filed under: Dating — by teofilo @ 3:06 pm

Anyone have any pointers on writing a message to someone on an online dating site?  It’s at least as hard as writing a profile.



  1. i would suggest that you be as open and honest as you can be
    be descriptive with a little imagination
    try to find common ground and that means finding out about the other persons interests and lettting them know yours
    i have a site called it has some advice on it hope this helps

    Comment by stewart — June 28, 2007 @ 4:38 pm |Reply

  2. Respond to one or two specific items in their profile. Share one or two pieces of your own interests (hopefully something overlaps). Be succinct.

    The hardest thing for me is when people send generic messages. You don’t know whether they’re just cutting and pasting the same thing to hundreds of people or if writing is just not their strong point.

    Comment by Witt — June 28, 2007 @ 5:23 pm |Reply

  3. Hey hon. I find I can usually tell the form letters.

    For ME (and I know that I am both idiosyncratic and unsuccessful, so take my advice for the little it is worth), all I want out of an intro letter is: is there enough here for me to meet the person.

    I’ve done SO MUCH of this that the last thing I want is a correspondence. I want exactly this:

    No spelling or grammar errors
    One or maybe two responses to something I wrote (and there are PLENTY of hooks in my ad), implying attentiveness and a commonality.
    A friendly request to meet.
    A couple of suggestions of things to do (and for my tastes, coffee is boring. I wish someone would suggest an ice cream parlor.)

    IF someone is exceptionally skilled, they will call out a joke I made and twist it. That is incredibly advanced and I don’t expect it. I love it when I get it, but even so, that means the person gets an opportunity to meet, exactly like everyone who sends a passable response.

    This letter is not to sell yourself; this letter is to get a chance to meet. You will find out then if the person is someone you even want to sell yourself to. How about:

    Hey Username:

    That’s a nice profile you got there. It isn’t everyday I see someone else who is a devoted birder. I don’t like to brag, but I did just see a roadrunner the other day.

    We could talk more about birds by email, but it would be easier to chat in person. Would you be up for going to the cool plaza-fountain/getting an ice cream cone/meeting to do something small and non-committal? Or since I’ve been at school for the past few years and just got home from the summer, maybe you have some better ideas for fun things to do in Homecity.

    Enjoying the summer!


    Comment by Megan — June 28, 2007 @ 6:21 pm |Reply

  4. Thanks for the tips. The problem is that, unlike profiles, I don’t have a sense of how other people do these things because I haven’t seen any. These comments are helpful in just giving me a sense of that.

    Comment by teofilo — June 28, 2007 @ 6:47 pm |Reply

  5. Oh Teo. How “other people do these things” is INCREDIBLY BADLY. A good ad’ll get me about 40 responses, and — I exaggerate not at all — thirty-five of them will be incoherent, poorly spelled and unoriginal. Five of them will be decent, two of those will be compliments from bystanders, and I’ll go out with the other three. If you are minimally coherent and pleasant, you will stand out. Do NOT compare yourself to Unfogged or the blogs you read or your buddies at school. Your regular standards will be comparatively sky-high.

    Comment by Megan — June 28, 2007 @ 8:43 pm |Reply

  6. Okay, but I mean more in the sense of what sorts of things a response should include. Also, even if almost everyone is terrible at this, there’s no way I would have known that if you hadn’t just told me; I know that there are lots of awful profiles out there because I can see them, but I just don’t have any way of directly assessing the quality of most messages.

    Comment by teofilo — June 28, 2007 @ 9:27 pm |Reply

  7. Slightly higher than the percent of awful profiles, because you also get responses from the people who didn’t even manage to put up a profile.

    Telling you you are overthinking this is saying the obvious, isn’t it. Hon, you’re already VASTLY ahead. Look, pretend that you were showing up in Sacramento tomorrow and wanted to know if I wanted to meet. Jot off a quick and friendly email to me, based on our level of acquaintance But do that in five minutes, because you’re running late. That’ll be your second paragraph. Add ONE flattering observation about her profile. Mention why you noticed it. That is paragraph one. Put them in order, take out my name and the part about Sacramento, and post it here. Quick! Go!

    Comment by Megan — June 28, 2007 @ 10:28 pm |Reply

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