Back in the day, when it was more standard to receive letters in the mail, I used to go bonkers at the site of an envelope addressed to me, decorated with carefully placed postage and saliva-sealed edges. Through the years, that excitement carried on through the finger-print stained notes I’d get passed during class, “You’ve got mail” notifications for new emails (minus, I will add, work emails), and now JDate messages.
The prospective “what-if” that dazzles my imagination when I see the flicker of having a new message lying idly in my JDate inbox is enough to make online dating become an obsession — or at least a mid-afternoon pick-me up!
But not all JDate messages are created equally. Some are laced with time consuming references that some charmer took from my profile in order to prove to me they took the time to “learn more about me” and to critique me, past my selection of selfie-posted pictures. And some, the ones I normally don’t reply to and instantly press delete on, are practically blank messages, one worded, or the absolute worst, contain a scrambled together use of punctuation resulting in a ; ) symbol.
Do: When you’ve landed on someone’s profile who makes you sneak a smile, and while dabbling through their “details” your heart flutters, and your mind travels to frank possibilities of a future with them, or more simply put, a first date—send them a message! Send them a message that has personality, one that uses a variety of punctuation, admiration, and thought. Tell them about something on their page that made you pause and become momentarily intrigued. (This “Do” is also for all my single ladies. It’s acceptable and impressive for you to send a guy that makes your heart wiggle a message. Don’t play hard to get, play go out and get them.)
Don’t: Don’t start and end a message with only three letters: “Hey.” If you’re going to take a humorous or cliché route, like a recent message I received that said the following, “Judging your book by its cover, I’d love to curl up and read the rest,” include more context and more details that begin a fluid conversation (including your name). I would like to be able to respond and not be utterly creeped out.