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Hello, I Love You, Won’t You Tell Me Your Name?

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Hello I Love You

You have taken the time to create an outstanding profile and have posted at least three photos, one of which is a close-up shot of your face and another is a body shot. The paragraphs you have written accurately describe your personality and the things you find important in your perfect match. You have set up your preferences for your search, examined many potential matches, and have decided to contact a few of them. It is now time to send a proper introduction letter.

The biggest mistake a guy can make when contacting a woman is writing something like, “You’re hot!” Girls hate this and most of the time will not respond. They might even block you. They already know you think they are hot otherwise you wouldn’t be contacting them in the first place. That type of introduction is rude and shallow, and shows that you really aren’t interested in dating her, just sleeping with her.

A proper introductory letter should somehow demonstrate that you have fully read their profile. Try to differentiate yourself. Tell them what caught your eye. Show them that you have similar interests. Mention that you might have visited the same places on vacations. Be creative, but always let them know that you have read their profile. Tell them why you enjoyed reading about them.

Keep all emails G-rated. Unless both parties are interested in random hookups, it is important to keep your correspondence clean. Should you get a favorable response back, make sure you respond within one day. Don’t take too much time or that person will not believe that you are truly interested in them.CR-1197_brad_berkowitz_deco

Never use form letters. I have heard too many stories from people on JDate claiming that they and their friends have gotten the same exact email from the same guy. For example, writing something like, “I enjoyed your profile and think you are very attractive. I would like to meet you,” is a bit contrived. Follow the above advice and tailor your emails to each specific person.

After you have corresponded back and forth a couple of times, feel free to request a phone conversation. You don’t want to email back and forth forever. After all, this site is all about meeting people, not emailing people.

I recommend using your Hot List to remember who you have contacted. You will also be able to see who has Hotlisted you. Should a person Hotlist you that has yet to contact you, feel free to reach out to them. Perhaps they are shy or just flirting with you.

Should you contact a person and they don’t respond, move on. They are not interested. There are so many people for you to meet so don’t get bogged down over that one person that refuses to respond. Don’t harass them because that will just make you look worse. If you really think you like that person, perhaps you can contact them again in about a month. Maybe they were dating somebody the previous month or skipped over your email for some reason. However, if they don’t respond after the second email, MOVE ON. Don’t be a stalker. It isn’t worth it and it makes you look bad. Remember, a lot of people know each other on this site. You don’t want that person to tell his/her friends to avoid you because you were harassing them.

By following the above advice, you will find that you enjoy the site much more. You will meet more people and find that more people will respond to your emails.

After being a bachelor for many years and counseling his friends about dating, Brad Berkowitz, who is now a JDate Success Story, decided to write the book, The 21st Century Guide to Bachelorhood: Lessons Learned Over 20 Years, to help other men navigate the dating scene. To purchase the book, click here! For more articles by Brad, click here.
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21 Comments »

  • Deb says:

    I like this article quite a bit. And I don’t think pointing out the obvious is a bad idea considering many of the men who have contacted me.

    I can’t tell you how many “Your Hot” flirts I have received! Not only do I not respond to these, I don’t even open them!

  • Marie says:

    I know this is very late to the conversation, but I just have to reply to Casey here. When I get a “form letter” like yours, I always cringe a little bit. Why are you giving me a bio when it’s right in your profile? Girls will look at your photo and immediately decide whether or not to click on you and read your profile. (If you’re sharing something about yourself in response to something I wrote in MY profile, that’s totally different – and then clearly not a form letter.) I fully agree with showing a sense of humor, and with Brad’s advice about putting a fact or two in that shows you’ve read my profile…but leave it at that. One or two sentences at the most. If the girl is interested, she’ll reply and THEN you can start the detailed conversations.

  • Brad Berkowitz says:

    Very good points above. In response to Casey, I have actually heard from over a dozen women who have received emails from guys that write, “You’re hot.” I will respectfully disagree with Casey about form letters. You will absolutely be called out. Girls always compare notes (as do guys) and if 2 friends get the same email, they will eliminate you. I totally agree with Casey about the humor aspect, girls love funny guys. You need to differentiate yourselves from “the competition”.

    Joyce has made some very good points about photos. In a previous article, I make the same points. No photos with sunglasses. No photos with past boy/girlfriends. At least one body photo, and not from a distance. And, make sure you update photos periodically and keep them current and accurate. No high school graduation photos.

    Katie, sounds like you have had some bad experiences. Keep your chin up. Not all guys will get cold feet. Take Arik’s advice and mine, “It only takes one.” You are weeding out the bad ones. You will eventually find the right one.

    Look forward to comments on my next article due out by Monday.

    Brad

  • Annette says:

    Brad,

    In advice for “susangange” and other people aound her age (67), please take into account:
    most Jdate speed dating events don’t include that age bracket,
    most of the Jdate trips are oriented towards a younger crowd,
    and even the Matzo Balls’ write-ups explicitly state that they are for “young” (21-50) singles.

    Remember, all of us will get to be older if we live long enough.

    Thanks.

  • Joyce says:

    A few suggestions.

    Men:

    You do yourself a disservice when all your photos are of you in sunglases, hats, or so small that I can’t tell if it’s you or your dog. If you’re bald, be honest about it and ditch the baseball hat.

    I really have no interest in a man who has his arms around a different woman in every shot. You look like a player — which is not a turn-on. If you’re with your daughter or sister, say so. If not, don’t use that photo.

    And limit the shots that are so obviously meant to impress — next to a yacht, airplane, sports car, or glamorous woman.

    Also, how about completing more of your profile. A profile with mostly blanks looks like you’re hiding key information.

    Finally, how about spell checking what you write. No one I know is paying J Date to find an illiterate man. Put a little effort into your profile and you’ll derive better results.

  • Arik says:

    And For Dating Guru (Mr. Berkowitz):

    The correct conclusion of “Never use form letters. I have heard too many stories from people on JDate claiming that they and their friends have gotten the same exact email from the same guy”- is this- you know what does it mean? There is nothing wrong with the guy, trying to fish for a date, a possible mate; BUT there is something wrong with the women (I presume here you were referring to women complaint, almost certain) who see it as a game, and sit and compare notes between them, like in the 5th grade…
    He may be looking and emailing many, but it will take only one to marry; and probably none of these complainers.

  • Katie says:

    There are several men I have dated…from one week to 6 weeks…who seem to get on a “dating high.” They are crazy about me…introduce me to family…say things like “this is it,” and “I can see us living together,” althou I am the one trying to keep things going slow…and then…things start changing. I ask, all to knowing, what has changed? Things seem different. I get the same answer each time…”I got scared. Things are going too fast.” I’ve heard that at least 3-4 times. I’m going at an even pace, just start to like them, and then…poof, it’s over. What’s happening? Can someone tell me? I never call them. I never take them out of their routine. I never ask them for anything. What’s up?

  • Arik says:

    Well, Ron
    Don’t analyze it too much or chew on that; after all- you are dealing here with women, mostly Jewish women, and I assume of the USA, so a lot of those will come for the entertainment, the dinner, the drinks, and that’s about it; (and just as Mr. Brad Berkowits sited “if you pick up the tab, your woman friend probably come to your aid”…)… So- Nothing is wrong with you; I had the same experience; they come for a good meal and continue. Just keep trying; you may (?) find one human.

  • Barbara says:

    Great ideas! How about a book for women?? I’ll write it if I can keep it short!!

  • Casey says:

    Brad,

    I don’t mean to be rude or patronizing, but c’mon. The tips you give in your column are as obvious as it gets. Either you think pointing out the obvious makes a good column or you really believe the collective male membership of jdate actually needs to know that saying “you’re hot” isn’t appropriate. Personally, I have slightly more faith in the membership. I could be wrong.

    Here are some tips that I, admittedly not an author of a book about dating, think might be a little more helpful:

    1. Don’t just write something to demonstrate you’ve read the girl’s profile by picking out a little tidbit here or there. Actually read the profile from start to finish, digest it, and then, get this, be sincere. Trying to do what Brad suggests will only get you so far. If you don’t believe what’s coming out of your mouth and are only writing what you think she wants to hear, you’re going to get nowhere.

    2. Don’t be afraid of form emails. I’m serious. Now, I’m not suggesting you copy and paste your email from girl to girl, but there are going to be portions of your emails that are exactly the same — namely, the portion where you talk about yourself a little bit. Why try to come up with ten different ways to make yourself sound interesting. Find one really good way and then ride that pony till she bucks you. For example, almost every one of my emails to jdate girls includes the following paragraph:

    I’m Casey, and most people tell me I actually look like a Casey, which I’m fine with. It’s better than being told you look like a Nancy or a Seymour. :) A little more about me…I like sweet potatoes a lot but those little purple ones at Central Market make me nervous, especially since they’re called “fingerling” potatoes…they sound like something out of a Shel Silverstein poem. I’m a Houston native but tell people I’m from Austin because it sounds a little cooler. I have an unhealthy fear of moths…more so than any stinging bug out there…oh, and clearly I overuse ellipses. Okay, I don’t want to give away too many interesting facts…just yet.

    That may sound silly or goofy or whatever, but it’s also unique and I use it every time…and you know what, it makes the ladies laugh, which brings me to point 3.

    3. Make. Her. Laugh. And a really good way to do that is throw a little self-deprecating humor out there. She’ll like it. It demonstrates you’re not a cocky schmuck. It says you’re laid back enough to poke fun at yourself, especially in the intimidating environment of online dating. If you don’t have a sense of humor then…well, hell, if you don’t have a sense of humor, you’re in trouble. Why? Look at 20 profiles of women on jdate and tell me how many of them don’t want a man who can make the woman laugh.

    4. Don’t worry about asking for a phone call. It’s 2009 (almost ’10). Ask to meet for a drink. You don’t know how your voice is going to sound to her on the phone and you don’t know how hers will sound to you. Plus, people just don’t like phone conversations much anymore. You have a much better chance hitting it out of the park by meeting in person. That’s where you plan to shine. The phone is risky, and if the ultimate goal is to meet the girl and convince her to see you more than once, skip the phone and suggest meeting for a cocktail or even a cup of coffee (or, heck, an ice cream cone! she’ll appreciate the sweetness and off-beat change of pace).

    5. Finally, Brad is right about one thing: if she doesn’t respond or responds and says no thanks, then move on. Seriously. I know there’s a temptation to tell her off because it will make you feel better about all the other girls that have rejected you online and in person, but resist the temptation. Otherwise, you’ll regret it when the word gets out that you’re a creepster.

    Those are my tips. I’m not saying Brad is completely wrong. I’m just saying he could’ve dug a little deeper.

    Casey

  • carole says:

    I have encountered a problem with men in emails saying they would like to meet- they ask for my contact number and also ask what would be a good time for us to meet.I answer and then get no response-is this a game to see if I will respond?
    also we have had a short conversation and both of us seem to be in that conversation- I say I am at a friends and cannot talk and will call them back-I call them back ,leave a message and they do not respond with a return call.
    what is with MEN!

  • Red Ree says:

    I hate inane chat requests with messages like “d u like dogs”. Especially from people 500 miles away. In fact, I’d be happy if I could disable JDate chat since all it does is fly across the screen when I’m trying to do something else.

    I also dislike getting angry emails from a guys who call me uptight because I won’t bear-hug them hello at our very first face-to-face meeting. Guys… if you want to move that fast, go on Craig’s List or go see a professional sex worker.

    Sunglass photos? Guilty. But I did post a variety of photos, some dressed up, some “normal”, and they’re recent.

    I personally like seeing photos of a man’s face and his expression, his eyes, something that animates him. A lot of male profiles on JDate are empty. What the heck are they thinking? And why were these airheads matched up with me? Hmm…

  • Joseph says:

    I would appreciate some suggestions on an email subject line that isn’t lame and will catch her attention. I’ve had so many strings of email with a subject that starts as “Hi” or “Hey” and just remains “Re: Hey” for the rest of the time we email. If we’re about to go out, sure, I can us “Coffee on Wednesday” or something but in that first email I hate to sound desperate and use the subject “Please (or ‘Hope You’) Write Back” and certainly want to avoid the “hey baby” or “you’re cute” subject lines. Any suggestions?

  • Brad Berkowitz says:

    Susan,

    In my article that will appear in January, I mention expanding your horizons. Perhaps doing searches for men that are living away from AZ. My next article will ask: are you getting everything possible out of Jdate? Go on Jdate trips? Do Jdate speed dating.

  • susangange says:

    Hi, I was reading your advice for men, what about advice for women.
    I am 67 and have dated a few men. Some I have liked that haven’t liked
    me and others have liked me and I have found them interesting. I live
    in scottsdale and I am widowed. I would like a long term relationship and I have lots of girlfriends that feel the same way. Is there a way
    to find someone nice, kind and caring. I am involved in a lot of activities, however I would like to be in a man’s company also. I miss
    being a couple. susan

  • Aimee, You are exactly right. In my previous month’s article, I talk about the importance of a good photo and mention the sunglasses situation. Why even post a photo in sunglasses, it doesn’t show anything.

    Brad

  • Aimee says:

    Great article. What do you think of people who post pictures with sunglasses on? I think that JDate should not allow pictures that are “only” in sunglasse. For example if you have two or three pictures posted, one must be without sunglasses. Interested in your viewpoint on this.

    Thanks

  • Sharon, Israel says:

    Hi Ron,

    I don’t think you are doing anything wrong. You sound like a true Gentelman. There are plenty of people out there who are a pet person but won’t get a pet.
    I’m not sure that as a single woman I’m even entitled to give you any advice, but there is something I would like to point out: maybe it’s best you call & inquier about date two after the first date, rather than at the end of it. Online dating, puts a lot of pressure on people, especially women, meeting a virtual stranger with no third party they know well, to set it up. When you meet a new person during a relationship search, it takes a while to process & absorb if you will, who they are and whether you would like to see them again. A bit of time afterwards, can really help get that notion. So I would suggest to wait & call a day later. It’s by the book, and the other party will then realize you are looking for something serious, since you also needed the time to think.

  • Brad Berkowitz says:

    I am a big fan of asking for your friends advice. Ron, if you are not getting second dates, perhaps you can take a girl “friend” out for dinner and act as if it is a date. Maybe she can point out some things you are doing right/wrong or neglecting to do. Dating coaches do that with their clients so feel free to call one of your girl “friends” and ask them to do the same thing for you. If you pick up the tab, I am sure they will gladly do it for you. But, take it seriously and act as if it is a date. Maybe she can even pick up a new name and career for herself just for the exercise.

  • Sharon, Israel says:

    Outstanding. I would like to point out another thing: asking for professional advice as part of a first introduction message (I.E. “Hey let’s talk! I’m in desperate need of an Attorney anyway!”), is a big no no.

    Also, cursing a woman & wishing her she’d stay single forever, just ’cause she made a mistake by politely declining a person’s inquiry, is probably not going to get her to reconsider.

  • Ron says:

    Brad, I wonder if any of your future JMag articles will touch upon issues which I have long wanted to the answers to:

    1) Although it’s certainly not easy to get a first date from a lady on Jdate, I have found it virtually impossible to get a second date from that same lady. On several occasions, when I have asked ladies at the end of the first date, whether I could see them again, they have smiled and said yes. However, when it comes to arranging a second date, they change their tune completely and I have heard every excuse in the book or sometimes no excuse at all why they won’t go on a second date. On each occasion, the first dates have gone well and I have been friendly and respectful to them when asking for a second date, having echanged friendly conversation with them beforehand. I haven’t waited too long or too short to ask them out the second time around. Therefore, what did you do when you when asking for the second date with your eventual wife or any other second dates with anyone else beforehand?

    2 Does it matter if your profile name on Jdate stands out or is non descript?

    3)If I am a non pet person and the ladies I am interested in have either a cat and/or dog, but I like everything else about them, are they worth pursuing? I definitely don’t bring up the subject on dates and they don’t either, but very few women on Jdate are not a pet person. I suppose it would also depend on whether they can live without without a cat and/or dog.

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