We like to feel anonymous behind the glare of our PC screens, but internet dating strives to bring us out of our shell. To make the leap from hesitant compliments to full on, I-need-to-see-you excitement. It can be hard, like any social situation, to know what to say to someone who’s open, attractive, and stuffed with interesting qualities.
That initial awkwardness will quickly fade if you follow our guide to starting a conversation with your potential date:
Use their profile photos as inspiration
Nothing is more attractive than photographs that show someone having fun, travelling, or taking part in an activity. So speak up when you notice a well-rounded profile. Mention their dog looks cute, or their hair looks great when it’s windswept, or you tried rock climbing once and had a near death experience in the process.
Remember – photos are the initial point of interest for internet daters, and selections are essentially a shop window into the singleton’s personality. They want to be flattered about their greatest moments, beyond attributes that are purely physical.
Start with your own life
Bad jokes have their moments, and some chat-up lines don’t come across as leery, yet both of these approaches are risky when it comes to internet dating. Gauge a sense of humour wrongly, and you’ll be in the doghouse with your opposite number before you’ve even asked how their weekend was.
Talking immediately about what you’ve just been doing, why you like their profile, and linking the two together with something gently amusing or insightful, is a much safer strategy. It’s also bolder, suggesting you aren’t really phased about initiating contact, and that you aren’t overthinking this whole internet dating experience.
Self-deprecate, but not too much
“Hi! I was browsing through your profile and saw you have a degree from Sheffield; that’s where I wish I’d gone! Can you tell me what I was missing? Be gentle – I’m still getting over it…”
The above message gets a few things across. You’re curious, you’ve paid attention to more than their face and, most importantly, you have a common connection or interest. As long as you’re genuine, those three hooks are bound to reel someone in, especially when it ends with a question.
Although it’s nice to make fun of yourself every now and then, be careful of sounding neurotic or desperate for positive reinforcement. Dismantling your ego from the off can set a good first impression, yet too many barbs will make you seem less confident than you are or, if you’re really like that, signal your accomplishments aren’t even worth talking about.
Hand-wringing does you no favours when internet dating is concerned. Deliberating extensively about what to say before you’ve even met your dream partner doesn’t bode well for times that’ll require spontaneous conversation. Be confident, be tactful, and be decent. You’ll be shocked just how many people respond well to questions that aren’t loaded with an agenda.
The first step is up to you though, so sign up to FreeAndSingle and put some of these points into practice!