Dating trends, like all trends, happen in waves. The advent of online dating with sites like Match has shifted these trends in numerous new directions. While it is definitely no longer taboo, online dating still comes with its own set of challenges.
For instance, many online daters are just there for entertainment. They only want a glorified pen pal. Others are “cheating lite” and enjoy the possibility but not the reality of meeting. And of course you have to watch out for the ever-present catfishing scam, in which someone grossly misrepresents themselves or pretends to be someone else entirely. So your job is to have the greatest cost-benefit analysis for your time and move the online interaction into real life in a timely manner.
Discuss Commonalities Right Off the Bat
If you are interested in someone, you want to establish a bond quickly. Remember, you are competing against many others, so it’s important to stand out. Read their profile in its entirety and make sure to mention something specific that you found interesting.
“I saw the picture of you skiing and read that you had visited Switzerland. Is that where the picture was taken? I was lucky enough to get to ski in the Alps also at Chamonix. When did you go?”
Don’t Waste Your Messages
Ideally, there should only be two to three back-and-forth messages (four to six total messages) before you try and connect via telephone or in person. Don’t waste these valuable messages with brief, closed-ended responses.
Here’s a true-life example of what not to do:
Recipient: “Trying to figure out why and what you are looking for. I match everything you are looking for except for height, even though I am within your height range.”
Sender: “Hello there! Well, I checked out your profile and you didn’t have a lot of things there. Let’s get to know each other. So let’s start with, what would be a great weekend here in the city? And what would be a great weekend out of the city?”
Recipient: “I’m sure that this is not the answer you would expect or want, but a great weekend for me is a weekend in which I don’t have to work.”
Sender: “I think that fits with everyone. Are you more of a chill at home watching movies or a hop around NYC hot spots guy?”
Recipient: “I’m a chill at home kind of guy watching a movie.”
This was the end of their discussion. Notice how the recipient is brief and often dismissive. When the sender asks enthusiastic questions, the recipient provides short responses but never asks his own follow-up questions to keep the interaction moving forward. He seems negative and indifferent, and at no point does he try to elevate the interaction by suggesting that he would love to chat on the phone or in person.
Use a High Point as a Time to Suggest Meeting
If the two of you are connecting, your correspondence should include some noticeable excitement and flirting. If the other person responds happily to something you wrote, use this as an opportunity to suggest that you meet or speak on the phone. It’s called social capital, and you want to capitalize on it!
“OMG! You also went to Beaver Camp as a kid!?! No way!”
“Haha, yes! That’s pretty amazing! Are you around this evening? I’d love to speak on the phone and discuss fun times at Beaver Camp!”