The Message Is the Medium, Baby
I sometimes hear from my friends who have been in long term relationships since high school and college how jealous they are of all the options available to today’s single girl. Swipe left! Send a wink! Message with a handsome stranger!
Online dating forces you to unlearn the number one of rule of your childhood: Don’t talk to strangers. You’re actually encouraged to reach out to people you’ve never met before and ask how their day went.
One of the things that really surprised me the first week I was officially live on Match and Zoosk was how popular I was. I guess algorithmically since I was the new girl on the block I probably showed up higher on many searches, but seriously – if you ever want to feel good about yourself, sign up for an online dating profile because you will get so many messages.
Here are a few of my favorites, try and guess which sites they came from (answers below):
“Yes or no: Do you like to dance?”
“You have the nicest eyes and smile!! Are those two moons or those are your eyes? I think if the moon needs a break we shouldn’t be worried because we have a really pretty backup (:”
“Hi there, I like your profile, we have similar interests. so let’s share some laughs over a drink and have fun, and just see where it goes from there. Hope to hear from you [Sic. Sic. Sic]”
“What are you most likely to stay up all night talking about?”
“I hope all is well. I really liked what you wrote on your profile, and wanted to take the liberty to say hello. Wondering what all recipies [sic] you have in your cookbook:) Any favorite on the cakes?”
“Hi your [sic] very cute”
“What do you like the most about living in New York?”
“You look very beautiful I would like to get to know you can you tell me a little bit about yourself”
“Nice pics! Please next time invite me for a cup of tea ;)”
“Hey gorgeous, what’s up?”
”I think we realize more about ourselves when we mix and learn with the different people and cultures. What countries have you been to recently and which was your favorite among them?”
“Cool profile…Let me guess, I`ll bet you a donut you have a bunch of dudes blasting your inbox? You seem like a cool, fun-loving gal! You also have a very endearing smile.”
Answers: Zoosk = a, b, d,f, I, j Match = c, e, g, h, k, l
What Makes a Good First Online Dating Message?
Some of the messages definitely felt like the digital version of a catcall while crossing the street, but some were flattering and/or great conversation openers. So, potential daters, what makes a great online dating first message to me? Well, you’ll notice above I got a number of emoticons and so many spelling errors, so just writing in a full sentence like a grown up will definitely set you apart from the pack.
“How’s it going” is safe but basic, but doesn’t really lead anywhere. “What did you do this week?” is decent, if generic. A message that specifically calls back to something you read in my profile is definitely appreciated – shows you did research and leaves us on a comfortable playing field.
But the best kind of message, in my opinion, references something you read in my profile while including something about yourself. So “You like to cook?” is nice, but “You like to cook? I love watching the Food Network, I’m addicted to Chopped,” is golden. I actually had someone reference the Food Network in his message to me, and his profile went to the top of my list.
Setting Up Dating Boundaries
When I signed up for this foray in the Wild Wild West I also set for myself a few non-negotiables for guys I talked to online: 1. The guys had to be Jewish 2. They had to live in the tri-state area (ie New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) and 3. No one under 24 or older that 35. So I did get some really great messages from interesting guys who seemed intelligent and funny and cute, but most of the time, they just didn’t meet non-negotiable #1.
I’m aware I’m probably limiting myself to a smaller dating pool, namely single Jews in New York City, but everyone has that thing that’s important to them, and this is mine. Apologies to all the very handsome and/or articulate Southeast Asian and Catholic men who messaged me this week. It’s not you, it’s me.