One of the hardest parts about online dating is the opening message. It is your pitch, the way you get a potential partner to notice you and want to start a conversation. And because you are essentially competing against thousands of singles you want it to stand out. In my experience this can be tricky. Men, wanting to be clever or creative, sometimes cross the line into creepy territory. And women, wanting to be flirty and fun, sometimes don’t convey the the type of person they really are.
To help us all write the perfect pick-up lines, I reached out to a dozen single friends in New York City, all between the ages of 25 to 35, to find out what kind of messages work for them and which ones don’t. For some professional advice, I also spoke to Rachel Seliger and Ashley Reccord, Community Managers at Spark Networks, the company that owns JDate and ChristianMingle.
Here is the breakdown of what you should and should not do while messaging someone for the first time online. We’ll start with the latter.
DON’T USE: The Corny Message
Reccord warns that using a superficial or cheesy message can backfire, coming off as “insincere and overrated.” She’s seen people write, “Do you have a sunburn, or are you always this hot?” And “If I were a stop light, I’d turn red every time you passed by, just so I could stare at you a bit longer.”
My single friends agree. Here are some of the cheesy messages they’ve received that they would never respond to:
- “Happy Mother’s Day to One Hot Mama”
- “I’m usually a gold medalist, but I’ll make sure you come first tonight.”
- “Why did the cookie go to the hospital?? Message me back for the answer!”