I get far too many messages about the way I look. The same way that getting a “Hey, what’s up?” message can be frustrating in that the conversation fire hasn’t been lit, it’s hard to continue a conversation when someone messages, “You are so pretty!” Once you acknowledge the compliment (or not), you still have to make a fast u-turn to get into good conversational territory.
Let’s look at some ways to respond to a looks-based message:
1) The good old fashioned thank you
Initial message: “You are gorgeous, wow!”
Response: “Thank you very much!”
Where did that really get you? Maybe you brightened up the recipient’s day, but now you have to start a conversation from scratch.
2) The thank you/ u-turn
Initial message: “You look like a real life Disney princess!”
Response: “Thanks. I love Disney movies. My favorite is _______. How about you?”
At least the compliment helped a little in this instance. Sometimes it’s more like this:
“You’re cute. I’m _________. I look forward to hearing back.”
“Hey, thanks! What do you like to do for fun, _________?
3) The bratty response
Initial message: “You are stunning. I would love to get coffee.”
Response: “Yeah. You and every other Jew in New York.”
Not only do I have trouble responding to these looks-based messages, but I also feel like my better personal qualities aren’t being valued. For me, one-line, looks-based messages don’t stand out among the pack. I don’t typically reply, even if I am interested in the guy, because I am looking for someone who appreciates more than being easy on the eyes.
Next time, try a messaging someone with NO looks-based compliments. See where it gets you. Here’s a start:
“Hey. I noticed you like _________. I’ve wanted to try _________ and was wondering how you got into it…”
This is not the most creative. Some people are super creative and comic. If that’s not your thing, don’t try to be something you’re not. Be yourself, but don’t be obsequious. Leading with looks makes me wary that the sender may be a panting puppy when it comes to approaching a potential date. Coming on strong is called coming on strong for a reason. It’s too strong for many people. If you come on too strong, someone may be offended. I’ve yet to be offended by someone not hitting on me enough. Maybe you’re not exactly mysterious or aloof. I’m not either, but it’s typically better to tread lightly. Once you’re in back-pedaling territory, you’ve likely lost the battle.