In yesterday’s post on online dating first message myths, I explained why you should never ask a girl to write back, and why you should ask her out as quickly as possible.
In part 3 today, I’ll explode another two online dating message myths.
Online Dating First Message Myth 4 – Spend Ages Writing Your Messages
This is another myth that derives from thinking about online dating from a top-down perspective.
Yes, from a woman’s point of view, it’s great to get a long message that has taken ages to write. Yes short message are marginally less successful than long ones. And yes personalised online dating messages are, in a sense, more honest than generic ones.
But all this presupposes that the woman on the end of the message is:
1. A real person (not a fake profile).
2. Active on the site (not a lapsed or “free” profile).
3. Going to open your message.
4. Going to fancy you.
5. Going to be bothered to reply.
If ANY of these five conditions are not met, you aren’t going to get a reply from her. And if you’re not going to get a reply from her, then there is NO point in taking ages over your online dating first message.
When I was online dating, only 69% of my first messages were even OPENED. Online dating sites are full of profiles that can’t open messages, girls that can’t be bothered to reply, girls who have found a boyfriend but are left their profiles on the site.
So yes, if you could be assured that it was a real woman on the end of your online dating message, who could open her messages, then you would take some time over it. But you can’t and you shouldn’t. The best thing to do is to fire off a load of messages, see what hooks and then put some effort into the follow up.
Online Dating First Message Myth 5 – Try to Prove You Have a Lot in Common
This is a particularly dangerous online dating message myth. It not only wastes your time if you spend too long worrying about it; it can actually harm your prospects with women.
The myth says that you should make sure that your online dating first message plays up everything you have in common with the girl. One website put it this way:
Make sure you point out all the ways you are in common. Use phrases like this to make it clear: “We share a lot of interests. I also like… I was reading over your profile and found that we seem to have a lot in common. For instance, we both enjoy…”
No no no! Writing stuff like this is ignoring a few key online dating message principles:
1. Commonalities are not the same as rapport. Having things in common is not the same as having rapport with a girl. Having rapport depends on abstract ideas like attraction, comfort and empathy; it has nothing to do with liking the same music. You can have no rapport with someone who likes all the same stuff as you. Conversely, you can have an amazing connection with someone with whom you share nothing.
2. Forcing rapport is unattractive. Trying to play up the things you have in common looks desperate, weak and sycophantic. It tells the girl that you are looking to impress her, that her values and interests are the “right” ones and you are trying to live up to them. Bear in mind that, at the time of your online dating first message, you really know nothing about her – forcing rapport is even more desperate in this context.
3. Opposites attract. So don’t make a point of your commonalties! Women are romantic creatures and they love the idea of dating guys who are different and exotic and interesting. If you love rock music and she loves pop, play it up! She’ll love the idea of dating a guy with long hair and skinny black jeans; it will shock her parents and impress her friends.