When you finally take the chance and message that special someone you have noticed on one of the Free and Single sites, you want to leave an impression – a good one, favourably. So what to write? This is the internet equivalent of walking up to someone in the street and asking them their name and number after all.
It can be tricky to think of something, after all you want them to respond and not instantly hit delete or get the wrong impression about you and your purpose in messaging. Not only that, you want to appear witty, understanding, clever and fun. Maybe you want to add in some information you gleaned from their profile in order to show how well you paid attention…but not so much it looks like you creepily stalked them and memorised all their likes and dislikes.
It’s a minefield of misinterpretation and innuendo. What to say, what to do, not to mention how to keep up your chilled, confident and comedic genius should they actually reply – then you will have to write a second message. What if it goes on from there? You might find yourself desperately rehearsing lines the night before your first date, so as to appear the same nonchalantly witty person they glimpsed in the first message. Oh god. What if you get married and they finally work out that the smooth, hilarious, considerate you was all an elaborate ruse?!
Okay. Calm down. Breathe. It is the same advice you always hear from me – be yourself. The little bad dream scenario you just had? It wouldn’t occur if you just started out being yourself anyway. Sure, take a little time to think over a good opening message, but don’t have a panic attack about it – it won’t define your life, whether you get together or not.
Think about what you want to happen and engineer your message accordingly:
- Do you just want a reply?
- Do you want to work towards a skype or telephone conversation?
- Maybe you are really convinced this could be something and you want to try for a face to face first date straight away?
- Think through the ideal repercussions of your message and write.
- Keep it to the point, don’t start rambling.
- Say what you feel.
Unlike randomly asking someone out in the street, at least online if it all goes horribly wrong and they blank your message you can recover in your own time and move on, no hurt, no foul. It could be embarrassing, but at the end of the day – no-one else saw. You’re fine. You survive to write another message, another day.