If you’re single in 2016, you try online dating. If you try online dating, you likely have questions:
How do I write a successful message?
Why aren’t people replying to my messages?
Why is my inbox full of messages that have nothing to say?
How do I attract people I actually want to date?
The cliché is that women get a ton of messages. From my personal experience, that is true. I get a lot of messages, but I have no interest in 90% of them. The majority are boring, clearly copy/pasted, and do absolutely nothing to start a conversation. In the online world “You’re so beautiful” makes me roll my eyes and assume you type the same thing into every message box. Sad, isn’t it? I only respond to messages that show the person read my profile. It seems simple but so few people actually do it!
Want to know why I don’t reply to 90% of messages I receive? I won’t just tell you, I’ll show you, with examples from my very own inbox:
The following are all actual messages from my OKCupid inbox. User names and photos have been edited out
to protect the innocent because I’m not a total bitch.
1. Your message is my first impression of you.
That impression is that you’re cripplingly boring and unimaginative.
2. The double whammy of boring AND partial to inappropriate pet names!
3. If you don’t have the time to type out 3-letter words, you certainly don’t have the time to date me.
4. Small Talk. I hate small talk but I understand it’s a necessity of modern interaction. Fine. Cliché small talk? I’m sorry. I can’t. I’m too bored.
The same cliché small talk once every four months? Instead of bored I’m laughing. At you.
5. You talk about the weather.
6. Sense of humor is very important to me and OMFG I HATE yours.
Not only am I not laughing but you bum me out. Ugh.
7. You objectify the shit out of me.
Worse than the time I worked at a biker convention.
I want to reply to this message. “Fuck you. I hope you never get laid again.” I resist the urge.
8. You wear your male privilege on your sleeve.
Seriously, if you put anything sexual in an introductory message, I think you’re an assholE.
9. It sounds like you copy/pasted your message off a site, “Online Dating Messages That Really Get Results!“
10. I’m never falling for a cheap trick again.
I ADMIT, I FELL FOR IT THE FIRST TIME I GOT A MESSAGE LIKE THIS.
Me: Whoa! Really? Who’s your roommate?
Him: No I’m kidding.
Me: You lied to me.
Him: Hey, it got you to respond, right?
I never responded again but was thankful this dude revealed himself as a liar and manipulator so quickly!
11. You live in New Jersey.
It’s hard enough to date someone who lives in a different borough of NYC! Someone out-of-state? Maybe if you’re hilarious, gorgeous, AND bake macarons.
12. My CREEP METER is set off.
Creepily noticing what time I’m online and asking me about it…
If I don’t reply to your message once, it is possible it just got lost in the shuffle. So trying one more time won’t automatically get you a CREEP label. But trying THREE times with no response? And targeting me when I’m online? YUCK.
13. You’re obviously a devout hipster.
I rarely get along with people who take themselves too seriously.
Also, negative energy bums me out and I have no use for it in my love life, thanks.
14. If I can tell you only looked at my pictures.
But “hotspot” is my new favorite pet name, so thanks for that!
15. If you’re not smiling in any of your pictures I assume you take yourself too seriously.
And never have any fun. And probably have IBS (something I mention in my profile).
16. You’re a completely inappropriate age for me.
Now if you demonstrate a great sense of humor and that we have things in common, I might entertain the “age is only a number” cliché. Otherwise NEXT.
17. Also this cliché: I’M NOT HERE TO MAKE FRIENDS.
18. As I read your message, Shania Twain’s “That Don’t Impress Me Much” grows louder and louder in my head.
19. I’m an only child. I’ll never be okay with a poem you copy and paste to me and hundreds of other girls because I’M SPECIAL, DAMN IT.
If you want responses to messages REFRAIN FROM ALL OF THE ABOVE. Should be easy! There’s also not so secret Reason #20: I’m just not attracted to you. Not much you can do about that. BUT a good message can make a person so much more attractive, I’m not kidding!
So what messages do I respond to?
Ones that have a personal touch. Ones that are too specific to be copy/pasted to the entirety of the online world. They mention something from the profile I took the time to create: a favorite movie (so easy!), or that I like making pizza from scratch, or that “I’m very expensive” (you gotta read the post all about that one). It’s also great to ask a question at the end of your message- this starts a conversation and gives something to respond to.
I dream of a world free of generic messages. This is me doing my part to make that world a reality.
You might think I’m too picky, that I put too much emphasis on a first message. Maybe you love Tinder and I hate it. I find generic, copy/pasted messages to be the epitome of DULL. To be dramatic: I would sooner die alone than be boring (#actress). While I’d like the person I date to perhaps be less dramatic than I, I think they need to be similarly minded on this.
Is that stupid? Is it too much to ask? Would you reply to any of the messages above? What do you think a first message should say? Why don’t YOU respond to online dating messages? I’d love to hear your thoughts!