4 essential tips to get your online dating messages read

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High-volume first dater “CTS” gave us a great write up of the four things you absolutely must do to get your opening message on an online dating site read. It’s advice tailored to men, but the basic tenet applies to women, too: basically, don’t be a jerk.

Personalize it.

Copying-and-pasting an introduction to dozens of women may make you feel like you’re optimizing your time, but a generic message is much more likely to be immediately deleted by the recipient. However, if you take the time to reference one or two elements of someone’s profile – in a complimentary way, of course – your chances of getting a response increase dramatically.

It’s not an autobiography.

You wouldn’t spend the majority of a first date soliloquizing about yourself, so don’t monopolize an introductory message with your life story. Give enough interesting personal details to spark your recipient’s interest in your profile.

No dirty laundry.

Don’t talk about previous relationships, especially in a negative light. If your first impression is slagging off your ex, you’ll come off bitter and obsessed. No one wants to think that the next person you’ll be savaging in an email is them.

Write like a respectful adult.

Don’t call a woman “honey” or “babe” in your first message. It’s too familiar and make it seem like you’re just copying and pasting. Textspeak like “lol” and its ilk sounds like you don’t care enough to write in complete sentences – or that you’re a kid!

What’s the worst first message you’ve gotten on an online dating site? Mine involved speculation on the chemical composition of my breasts.

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