Online Dating: How to Write the First Message or Email

online dating first message tips
How important is it to write a good online dating first email? The answer to that may seem obvious, but just in case it isn’t let me say: writing a great first message in online dating is critical to success or failure in your dating life. As I discuss in my free online dating guide, successful online dating relies in part on making great first impressions. Whether the first impression is in the photos you select for your profile, how you describe yourself, or the first email you write, taking time to make the best first impression is important.

For this discussion email refers to your first message in online dating. This will include whatever method the service you are using allows you to write a message to another member. It is also worth noting that most often discuss this from the point of view of a man contacting a woman, since that was my experience, but my hope is that the thoughts here are helpful to anyone.

This discussion is primarily for sites such as where you write the online dating first message yourself (see more on how works if you’re not familiar with what I’m referring to). This advice may still be helpful for sites such as eHarmony or, however these services guide the communication and there is less “emailing” early on.

Writing the online dating first email is the area where I made the biggest mistakes for the longest period of time when I was dating online. I would write overly long and, in my head, witty emails that very rarely received responses. Once, I wrote no less than two pages based on a girl’s heading to her profile. The HEADING! I thought I was making conversation but all I was making was a girl scared. I really did mean well. I just didn’t know what I was doing.

Writing a Better First Email

My rule here is very simple: keep your first email very short. Give anything longer than three sentences a good, hard look before sending. There are several reasons I’m for short first emails.

  • Your profile is what you use to sell yourself, not your first email. While I feel that your profile should be a constant battle between brevity and substance, it should definitely hold enough for someone to make a decision about communicating with you. If it doesn’t, don’t try and fix it in your emails: go back to your profile and improve that first. The email should be the bait to get someone to view your profile.

  • If they don’t like your profile, long-winded emails are wasting your time.

  • You have to keep your weird factor low. Never forget that you are working against the bad impressions created by every weird person who has come before you (or even the good intentioned people who just come off odd like I used to!).

  • Short emails can come off as confident. Worded wrongly they can come off as cocky but even that is more acceptable than crazy/weird.

reading that first message

With online dating, the first message can make or break your chances of a successful first date. Based on my experience, I think the above are good guidelines to improve your odds of getting the conversation going.

Okay…So What Should I Include?

So what do you include in this short, introductory email? As I’ve said, in online dating a first message can have a huge affect, but what helps the most? Here’s my short 4-point list of easy to follow ideas:

  1. First, try to include something in your first email to prove you read their profile. Many guys out there spam the same email to every girl they find attractive; most girls catch on to this and then look for it in other emails. Obviously, women can be initiating emails too, so this rule applies to them as well…but I’ve never heard of women who spam like this.

  2. Second, if you find something in a profile that you have in common or there is something you like about the profile, mention that area in your email (if there are multiple things you really like, just mention one).

  3. Finally, I’d recommend that you ask a question in your first email. That might seem obvious but I’ve been surprised at how many people don’t do this. Often this question can be about a common interest you mention but any question is better than none. If you can’t think of any questions, why not ask them out on a date? As I’ve discussed in my thoughts on the first date, better to ask too soon than waiting too long.

  4. Never, ever, ever title the subject of your email as “Hi” or “Hello” or whatever. A large majority of emails sent are titled this way and if you contact a woman who received 15 email contacts since the last time she logged on, your email is going to get lost in the mix. Sure, she might review it and respond but why not try to stand out even before she opens your email?

Exaggerating Your Thoughts on Shared Interests

One optional approach to emailing that I recommend is something I learned worked well: if I had something in common with the profile I was reading, I would sometimes express more excitement about the similarity than truly existed. I wouldn’t flat-out lie but I would go out of my way to emphasize the shared interest.

For example, I enjoy an occasional day walking around a big city. If a woman mentioned this interest in her profile I wouldn’t say “I like going to big cities, too.” I would say “I love walking through the city too…although some days I think I must be the only one!”. Saying that I love walking through the city is a stretch but I would want to add some strength to my statement.

Why? Most emotion is lost in online communication (and anyone who has used a :) in emails agrees with me). To avoid this, I would try to show my true level of interest by exaggerating it. Also, I felt that making someone feel “liked” early on would help them feel more comfortable and more likely to respond. Even though sometimes I felt like I was going over the top, I still saw a lot of success going with this type of emphasis.

Example Online Dating First Emails

Giving advice on writing a better first message in online dating is good, but I think examples make it better. Let’s look at a few real profiles, although I am shortening them, that I’m pulling from a popular dating site. I’ll write a first email that I would send if I were interested in meeting the woman. The first profile is what I would consider a “normal” email where contact is made but not much else. The next two are special cases where asking the girl out occurs in the first email.

In my experience with online dating, first messages where I asked the girl out were uncommon for me but I felt that in both the second and third first email example, it was the best option based off of the profile. So don’t see this as a suggestion that you should be asking women out more often than not in a first email; that’s not my point. These are just examples and ideas on writing a first email and you should go with what your comfortable with.

I’ll be changing some profile details to avoid intruding on someone’s life, but I will keep the general ideas expressed in these profiles the same.

Profile 1:

I am a XX year old looking for a nice guy to get to know and have a wonderful time together. I am a very outgoing person and enjoy all types of activities. My friends say I’m very outgoing but I think I’m shy when first meeting people. I work full-time as a real estate agent. I am very sociable and enjoy being around people. If you would like to get to know me, just send me a message.

This young lady devoted half of her profile to talking, in some fashion, about being social. This seems like one of the better points of focus when writing the email:

Response 1:

Subject: Just sending that message!

Hi – I’d like to get to know you so here’s your message! I love being sociable too and liked what I was seeing in your profile. Have you ever gone swing dancing?

My approach here is to be positive but brief. I make it clear I read her profile (even in my subject) and let her know that I’m interested in who she is. I don’t ask her out but the swing dancing reference is there to say “If you write back, I just might”. I chose swing dancing because I’ve done it a few times and by mentioning it I’m backing up the statement that I enjoy social activity. The goal here is to get her interest, have her look at my profile and if she likes what she sees, move forward.

find love

Profile 2:

I am crazy, unique and creative. Everyday boring life turns into an adventure along with me! Born and raised in the [a city] looking for someone to curl up watch a movie with or football or just hang out. A little facial hair is a plus and someone with an awesome personality is key! I’m cute but of course not looking for a stalker so I choose to remain a mystery until you contact me! Hope to hear from you soon.

Now this is someone I would not likely contact but I’m trying to be fair by grabbing profiles at random, not just those I can write an email to easiest. She openly admits concern over stalkers (enough concern that she’s included no photo of herself) so not coming off as weird is very important. However, something about her profile makes me feel like she may not respond to many emails, perhaps due to her confidence in what she wants, so I’m more willing to take a risk. The important parts again are: don’t appear like a stalker and to be brief. In this case I’m going to play off her professed “likes” by attempting to be unique and creative when I write my email:

Reponse 2:

Subject: Mirror, Mirror

dna evitaerc…gab dnuop evif a ni nuf fo sdnuop net ekil dnuos uoY. ereht yeH
eeffoc fo puc a gninrut tuoba leef uoy dluow woH !ecap fo egnahc taerg a si euqinu
?keew siht retal erutnevda na otni

Hopefully right now you’re saying, “Ah, I see what you did there”. Would this work? Maybe yes, maybe no. Chances are it would be the most unique email she’ll get that day and I bet she’d really enjoy it. Even in the case where she decides it is horribly corny, she might appreciate the unique quality it had. I still keep the email short and include information that proves I’ve actually read her profile. I also ask her out in the first email because:

  • someone adventurous doesn’t want to email for long, they want to meet people
  • I’m asking before I’ve seen a picture which may improve my odds of not being stalker material.

Profile 3:

Hi! I am XX years old I love living life to its fullest. I travel every chance I can and love being around those I share things in common with.

This is an example of how sometimes profiles are too short and give you no clues to who the person is. With this type of profile, I always felt like simply asking them out on safe date in the first email is fine. There’s not too much to work with here aside from asking travel questions which, by looking at her profile, probably already happens in every email she receives. In this case, I’d just flat out ask her out. I know this looks like nothing but I’ve had success with these types of emails (my wife being the best example…although her profile was actually good!):

Response 3:

Hello! I liked your profile – would you be interested in having lunch at [someplace safe like a local diner/bookstore/coffee shop]?

For all these examples, I’ve intentionally chosen profiles that were very short to keep the examples to a reasonable size. Most profiles should have much more information for you to work with but you can apply the exact same ideas:

Keep your emails short and positive

Also, regardless what any book or person tells you (including this guy), you need to be making decisions for yourself. I spent too much time blindly follow good-intentioned advice and not thinking for myself early on when dating online. So better to listen to your gut and break any “rules” (such as keeping the email short) when you think it would work to your favor. For example, in the Profile 3, creating an invitation to have a drink that looked like a travel itinerary might work well if she had mentioned enjoying creativity or if her profile was very creative. Sometimes we can get so caught up in following “rules” that our online dating first messages don’t end up reflecting us very well and…

Everything else aside, just coming off normal and interested goes a long way.

[Read more: Read more first email examples from my working with a reader of this site]

What If I’m Still Struggling with My Online Dating First Emails?

I hope my advice here is helpful for you however I also realize success is also often easier said than done.

My advice in this article is based mostly on sites like where we find ourselves having to initiate contact all on our own. If you continue to struggle writing your first emails or struggle with getting responses with a service like this, trying a service like eHarmony might be helpful.

Why This Service?
eHarmony operates in a different way where they control much of the early communication for you. I have discussed the features of this service a lot on my site so I don’t want to cover all of that again here but I will point out that:

  • eHarmony is very friendly to those new to online dating as it helps guide you through the process.
  • The service makes the first contact easy for both men and women since it’s more of a process than a traditional first contact.
  • Because communication is controlled, making mistakes (like writing a 5 page first email!) are much harder or impossible.

Now it’s not all rainbows and butterflies: eHarmony does tend to aim for what they measure as quality over quantity, which at times can limit the opportunities you have on occasion. However, while I met my wife using I felt that it was eHarmony that really helped me become more comfortable with online dating.

If you read my online dating guide you’ll know that my first 6 months or so I had very little success. However, during this “bad” phase of my dating life eHarmony was the service where I was having some success (even if limited). You can learn more details on my thoughts on this service in my article on How eHarmony Works.

No matter what service you choose, I hope my advice here will help you with your first messages. Online dating can be unforgiving and for many of us it is easy to make mistakes without even realizing it. I hope the steps included here are helpful for you in avoiding problems in this area!


Learn more in my free online dating ebook…


  1. Will  December 8, 2011

    So I came across an OKcupid profile that was very long like this:
    I think you will find me pleasantly, refreshingly different than most women you’ve met. At least that is what men always tell me. I am multifaceted and a confident woman. Classy and fun. A good sense of humor is a must. I am respectful, playful and adventurous. Love to banter about life experiences, people watching, long walks on the beach, swimming, deep conversations about ones life, traveling to beautiful sandy beaches. I enjoy to listen about your life. Some of my favorite activities are kayaking, tennis, hockey, jogging, fishing, traveling, reading, wine tasting, theater, bubble baths, and romance. I’m a happy, sensual, sophisticated yet down-to-earth woman. I love music, engaging conversation, dancing, fine dining, travel (spa vacations are my favorite), shopping, beauty of all kinds and learning new things . I am very much an independent, very spirited woman. I welcome a real man. An unselfish, kind man who truly cares about others, as I do I am looking for a gentleman who is kind, thoughtful, generous, funny and intelligence is a huge turn on. A man who has class, knows how to relax and enjoy life.

    **Look at all that stuff in there!! So where do I start with a first reponse?? Where does it end? :)

  2. Brad  December 19, 2011

    Haha…you’re right Will! There’s a lot to work with in here. But that’s okay…better to have too many options than too few! I would argue that her profile could be improved with a little depth…but saying that does NOT make for a good first email :)

    First, when looking at a profile like this keep in mind that you don’t have to address everything she talks about. We just need to start a conversation with one thing she talks about and, again, try to keep it short. So here’s one attempt:

    I was just thinking to myself the other night, it’s really time to find a pleasantly, refreshingly different woman and here I’ve found your profile! Do you ever mix you favorite activities? Because if you do I’ll make it my mission to find a place that serves fine wine and plays the Penguins at the same time!

    So I’ve shown that I’ve read the profile and I’m attempting to be playful. Nothing here is going to make her fall out of her seat laughing but hopeful she smiles. I took what was difficult about this profile (a long list of items) and tried to make it something I could work with. Also, for those unfamiliar with hockey, the Penguins are Pittsburgh’s team and I’m assuming she’s a fan.

    I know a profile that lists all these items can be intimidating or confusing, but don’t try to address everything in an email. Let your profile fill in these gaps and allow your email to be the bait so she’ll look at it. I’m not going to argue that my example email is the best that could ever be written but I do suspect she’d at least look at my profile after receiving it and that’s my goal.

    P.S. Sorry it took so long to respond – this comment got lost in the mix somehow!

  3. Eckehart  February 5, 2012

    I’ve tried everything you listed here and have gone to many sites places for advice, read books and even had female friends give me critique on my profile. Yet I haven’t gotten one single girl to talk to me past the first message… I just don’t understand what I’m doing wrong. It’s making me doubt my physical appearance and I’m big guy so it’s not hard to be judgmental on first looks with me.

    I don’t want to give up but what do you think?..

  4. Brad  February 6, 2012

    Eckehart – are you having women look at your profile after you contact them but then not respond? If that’s the case, have you ever had your friends also review your photos and profile text? A solid first email is a very important first step but the contents of your profile are going to be equally as important. If you can have some honest friends (and honest is the key) to give you feedback on your photos/profile, then at the very least you can have more confidence on where you stand as far as your physical appearance goes.

  5. Kevin  February 29, 2012

    I’ve about had it with the whole online dating thing. Over the course of the last 3 months, I have sent over 100 messages. (104 to be exact) I have NOT GOTTEN A SINGLE RESPONSE. I always say something different in every message and try to sound interesting and unique. I’m tall (6’3) and I never thought of myself as unattractive. But apparently I am. Oh well, more time to focus on school I guess.

    • Michelle  April 9, 2012

      Hey @Kevin,

      Which websites have you tried? I have found some are better then others. Where abouts are ya located?

  6. Brian  April 4, 2012

    hey can you help me with this profile like you helped Will.. Although this profile is a lot shorter… Also I am 18, and the girl I want message is 19 and also Japanese american (not sure that matters but just giving you detail):

    “I’m a shy, yet fun person :) I love to talk to people all over the world and I love to learn about different cultures :) I want to travel to Japan and learn all about the Japanese culture :) I also want to learn how to speak Japanese ^_^ I originally got on this sight to simply find some Japanese friends and maybe have them teach me more about Japan’s culture, but now I also want to find a partner ^_^ Message me whenever you want :) I’ll reply as soon as I receive it :)”

    What should I say? she is very interesting to me…

  7. Brad  April 11, 2012

    Hey Brian – I feel like the first email you write could be pretty straight forward to this woman. Something short where you talk about your cultural background and if you speak any Japanese I’d definitely bring that up as well!

    Also, if you could have a little fun with Google Translate if you don’t currently speak/write Japanese. So maybe something like this:

    Hi! I’m Japanese American as well and I love learning about our culture. I can speak some Japanese but I don’t use it as often as I’d like. What is your favorite thing that you’ve learned about the Japanese culture so far?


    You would obviously change this to be accurate to who you are but I’d suspect something like this would catch her interest. Just being who you are makes me think you’d catch her interest with her emphasis on all things Japanese!

  8. Brian  April 13, 2012

    Hey, thank you so much for taking your time to answer.

    And i have to say that this is the Best dating advice website that I have found, I may only be 18 but I have been searching advice for dating since I was like 14 and this is the only one where the owner of the website ever actually messaged me back. and I like how you don’t make us pay for your ebook like the other thousands of websites…

    Thanks a bunch

  9. Brian  April 14, 2012

    Holy Crap dude, She Answered me Back!… you are the Best in the World! she is the first person I messaged out of like 20 and she answered back… dude I have never had luck with women… dude I love you (no homo)… This is just a big boost to my ego

  10. Brad  April 15, 2012

    Haha…that’s great Brian. I’m glad I’ve been able to help!

    • Lorrie  February 20, 2015

      I know, for me..that if they don’t have a picture int heir profile, I’m not looking at it..period. So, maybe you could include that in your excellent advice ;)

  11. Anthony  April 29, 2012

    please help me with this letter. Is my approach correct?

    I liked you profile. You said you are a 3rd year in med school, looks like you have one year to go, wish you the best of luck. At one point I also thought of going to a med school and took organic chemistry 1, 2. I liked that material but don’t like to memorizing things so I changed my mind and decided to continue an engineering degree. I had hard time pronouncing some of the organic terms, but I liked the lab. By the way I know few people who went to med school in San Antonio and some still doing there masters there. Anyway, I liked to have small conversation with you when you have a free time, I can come to San Antonio on week end and we can get lunch or drink something cold since its summer.
    You have a very beautiful smile, keep it up.

    Thank you for your time,


  12. Jennifer  May 8, 2012

    Hi. I’ve incorporated your first email advise and it’s worked well. However, what ends up happening is that I get email responses from the men that don’t include an opening that keeps the conversation flowing. It’s really hard (impossible?) to get to know someone who doesn’t engage in an actual conversation. Any advice for how to tell if the reason is that they’re just really self-absorbed or conversationally challenged?

  13. Blake  May 18, 2012

    If I’m going to pay a bunch of money for these sites, I really wouldn’t mind paying you to actually make them work! I think you are on to something here.

  14. Wayne  May 19, 2012

    I’ve been doing this online thing on Match off and on for several months. I’ve noticed that women have a “shopping list.” If you don’t meet their criteria 100%, you can forget a reply. Without lying, what’s a good way to overcome that?

    Thanks for this site.

  15. Brad  May 19, 2012

    Hey Wayne – I’m not sure I agree that if you don’t meet the criteria 100% that you can forget about a reply. I’m sure that’s true sometimes but I don’t think in most cases the women are dead-set on every item they listed. However, I would agree that for many people there are areas where they won’t budge.

    As for advice, I’d try to contact women where if I didn’t meet their requirement that I was at least close. Women do have to deal with a lot of guys who totally ignore their requirements. This creates a lot of “spam” for them and can cause them to ignore other men who appear to be ignoring what they want. I think if you’re close to what they are looking for, many women will be accepting.

    I’d also avoid pointing out that you don’t match exactly what they are looking. I’ve seen quite a few guys take this approach and I’m not sure why it’s such an attractive approach to take because I don’t think it works very well. Instead, just give it your best shot without bringing up and negatives or differences.

    Finally, if you’re contacting a woman when you don’t match what she’s looking for exactly, I’d put extra effort into showing that you read her profile. In this article I argue for keeping the email short but this is a case where I think having a bit longer email proving that you really are reading her profile can help.

  16. RC  July 4, 2012


    It sounds like you have experience with eHarmony! As you know, you very often go through “Guided” Communication before the first e-mail contact.

    Given that, do you still recommend the same terseness in the first e-mail exchange? Or would you recommend telling a bit more about yourself after there have already been three rounds of questions and answers?

    Thanks in advance! I look forward to hearing your response!


    P.S. Another (unrelated) question: as you may have noticed from how I wrote this comment, I generally write messages with the person’s name in the heading and my name in the closing. For dating messages, would you advise against this practice? I notice that you don’t sign your example messages in the blog post, nor do you address their recipients by name. Thanks in advance for your advice!

  17. Brad  July 4, 2012

    Hey RC – with eHarmony, if you’ve gone through the entire communication process then, no, I don’t think you have to be as short as my examples here. I think eHarmony gives you a process that replaces the need to do what I suggest above.

    As for including their name, I think that’s fine. In my examples I don’t do so because often with services like Match, you don’t know what their first name is. All you see is there User ID…so in those cases I just leave off the name. If they mention what their first name is in their profile somewhere then, sure, I think it’s fine to include it.

  18. Tom  July 13, 2012

    Hey Brad, would would you recommend on saying if the girl is my type, but doesn’t have a personal ad? (im on

    • Brad  July 14, 2012

      Hey Tom – I’m not sure I’m following your example. Do you mean a friend who’s not using an online dating service that you’d like to ask out?

    • Tom  July 15, 2012

      no what im saying is that there is a girl on said dating site, but she hasnt written a personal ad, im just unsure as to what i should say to her first.

    • Brad  July 15, 2012

      So…she created a profile but put no text IN the profile? I assume she has a photo attached…otherwise the profile would be totally empty, right?

      If all that is in her profile is her photos, I think it’s safe for everyone to assume that she’ll only be contacted over her looks (and she should realize that). Considering she’s providing nothing else to work with, I guess I’d compliment her attractiveness. That can work…definitely not my preferred method but if it’s all we have to work with, I guess that’s what I’d do.

  19. Tony  July 23, 2012

    Hi there, I have sent more than 15 messages to other member but only got 2 or 3 replied back, not sure what I’m doing wrong, but there is ..could you please let me know how I could improve my skill, I”m not trying to lie or make a wrong impression to other, I would like them to get to know me the way I am, most people around me say I’m a good guy, so help me out here please,

    Thank you in advance for your consideration,

    • Brad  July 28, 2012

      Hey Tony – it would probably be best for you to send me the details via my Contact page…the details of your approach would help me better provide some opinions.

  20. Andy  September 9, 2012

    I’m having problems getting response from ladies I have message about 50 times but only 2 to 3 response. I would really need help from you to improve my skills.. I’m an African descent, and I’m into all kinds of girls.
    Here is my message format..

    Hello, how are you doing ? I came across your profile, and I couldn’t help but find you very interesting and fun!
    How was your day ? Hope it was awesome!
    I’d like to know more about you and see what happens.. I’m pretty cool, easygoing and fun..

    Anyways if you’d like to chat, give me a chat.


    I don’t know if it’s my message or my appearance. But I’d appreciate if you get back to me soon.. Thanks bro.

  21. D  September 12, 2012

    So I was on for 4 months and sent out approximately 75 to 100 emails. In all, I got 1 response. Yes only 1. I later switched to a free site because I felt like I was getting nowhere. Prior to joining I had read your guide and tried to follow your suggestions, but no mater what I do no one will respond. What is a realistic response rate? Does age play a factor? I am a 25 year old male looking for women 21 to 26 years old. Here are some examples of emails I would send out:

    To a girl who expressed interest in finding someone who does not drink:

    “Here’s to the teetotalers!

    So do you ever get teased by your friends when you go out and refuse to drink. I do all the time and it’s really starting to get old…

    Anyway, that is one of the things I liked about your profile. Come check mine out. ”

    To a girl who talked in depth about being an animal lover:

    “So you like animals,

    Would you believe that when I was growing up my family had 4 cats, 3 guinea pigs, 2 hamsters, 1 bird, and 1 rabbit. Fortunately not all at once.

    I saw in one of your photos you have a dog, is he your only pet?”

    On a side note, while I was on I had a total of 204 views in 4 months. Is this high, low or about average?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Brad  September 15, 2012

      Hi D – I think your examples show that you did well following the formula I suggested, however, I’m not sure that the questions you’re asking are going to give them the motivation to write back.

      For example, in writing to the animal lover you might talk about a specific event that was funny with your pets growing up and ask her if her animals have ever done anything crazy. If you ask someone “Is this your only pet”, she could reply “Yes” and then not know what else to say. If you ask something a bit more open-ended, she might feel it easier to respond.

      I’d also want to concentrate on things she views positively. While she may want to date someone who doesn’t drink, I’m not sure how positively she’d view your email. She might view it as fine but I’d worry she might want to be contacted for some other reason than because she’s the girl that doesn’t drink. In that email, I’d also leave out the “come check my profile out”. People know to do that and I’d rather use that email space for more questions.

      All that said, I don’t think your emails are horrible and your response rate sounds really low to me. I think a really good response rate is 1 out of 5 but honestly even 1 out of 10 is something you can work with, as long as you contact people with some regularity. I think since your rate is so low, you would want to expand your considerations beyond just your first emails. I’d put a lot of emphasis on reviewing your profile and your photos and if you can, get a friend to review them as well to make sure you’re presenting yourself as well as possible.

      I can’t speak to what a good number of views is because I really just can’t remember. I wouldn’t concentrate too much on views personally…although they might be a good measurement of how effective your primary photo is.

    • D  September 21, 2012

      Thanks for the suggestions,

      Taking a close look at my profile and photos was one of the first things I did when I realized no one was responding. I guess I will keep working on it. After switching services I have sent out 20 messages and have yet to receive a reply. I did however get one unsolicited message which did result in a date. After being online for 6 months, I have met 2 people.

      I still have a question about age and online dating. I am 25, and looking to meet women in their early twenties. Sometimes I get the impression that women in this age group are either not seriously interested in meeting people, or receive so many emails that they become exceedingly picky in what they are looking for. It is even more discouraging when you run across profiles that start like this one:

      “I have returned to be entertained! I am not against meeting someone from here but you really have to WOW me….”

      Or this one,

      “You should message me if:

      are ALL of the following:
      you’re actually good looking and fit and tall.
      intelligent, graduated college and have a good career.
      you can make me laugh

      I’m 110% absolutely not interested if you are:
      1. looking for a random hook up
      2. overweight
      3. have kids
      4. didn’t graduate college
      5. You’re over 30

      I realize this is online dating so I don’t have my expectations set too high on actually finding someone with all these qualities but I guess there’s just always that 0.001% chance.”

      Yes, both of these are 100% real quotes from profiles I have found online.

      Do men who are slightly older, say late 20’s to early 30’s have more success?

      I ask this, because a colleague at work was dating online for about two years, and said in that time frame he met nearly 70 women before finding the one he was looking for. He was in his early thirties at the time.

      I have gone over my profile with a fine tooth comb, and have tried to apply many of your suggestions. The only real shortcoming I can see is that the age group I am looking for tend to be less mature. The women who are more mature tend to be older than me, and are not interested in dating a man younger than they are. Can I expect to get better results in the future?

      Any thoughts?

    • Brad  September 22, 2012

      Hey D – well, I was in my mid-20s and had a lot of success. I think what you describe does exist but I wouldn’t assume it’s the majority of women. I think the majority of women probably feel similar to you a lot of the time: hopeful to find a good relationship but often frustrated by online dating itself. Or at least a lot of the women who contact me feel that way. So I think you can have success at any age although I’m sure there are different challenges at different ages.

      I do think your “110% not interested if” list has some truth to it…but guys tend to have a similar list a lot of the time.

  22. Thomas  September 26, 2012


    I am struggling to get responses from women that I email. Whenever I meet people in person they can’t believe it when I tell them that…I was wondering if you could help. I send short messages. Here is one…I know a place that puts up some good old school tracks…you’ve gone to many places I would like to visit. I’ve been to a pretty good share of places myself but I’m a bit jealous :). I would love to get to know , more about you and see if we could fit. Let me know if you would like to meet for a drink or talk online… Great smile, by the way! Thomas

    • Brad  September 30, 2012

      Hey Thomas – overall, it’s not a bad first email. I think I’d either ask her out or not ask her out though. I wouldn’t go out of my way to give her multiple options. Also, I think asking someone out in a first email can work, but make sure you feel like there’s a good chance for a strong connection just from her reading your profile (since that’s what she’ll be deciding off of). Some women may feel that getting asked out in a first email is coming on too strong and without a good connection they might not respond. I’d also recommend making sure you are doing a spell check on your emails. Just a few minor issues that won’t matter much once you move past the first few emails but in the beginning every little detail can matter. I’d write your email like this:

      You’ve gone too many places I would like to visit! I’ve been to a good number of places myself but I must admit I’m still a bit jealous :) What’s the top place you’d like to go that you haven’t been to yet? I’d love to go to because . Well, I really enjoyed reading your profile and I’d love to learn more about you. Oh, and great smile by the way!

      It’s basically the same thing, I just rearrange things a tad and concentrate more on getting her to respond to a question rather than asking her out. Now if I saw your profile and her profile, I might very well agree with you making the suggestion to meet in the first email but since I can’t see that, I’m going to err on the side of caution and I wrote the email without suggesting meeting. Again, I think suggesting to meet can be the right move but I wouldn’t see it as the default approach.

  23. ana  September 29, 2012

    iI send a guy a card with my feelings on it saying that my crush on him didnt mean anything compare to our friensdhip and too keep smiling more for me since that makes me happy and to keep threating me the same way amd his respond was Thanks for that letter. I’ll keep smiling to you and our friendship is better and will be great forever. Thanks Ana. I think that our friendship is good stilll ? is that a rejection?

    • Brad  September 30, 2012

      Ana – I think I might need more context around what’s happening here to help you. Were you headed toward dating then became friends again? Was that what you wanted? It might be better to email the details of what’s going on here.

  24. Nash  October 22, 2012

    Hi Brad,

    What if there is a profile listing physical attributes (such as height, weight and etc…) and a picture only but no other profile text about personality, likes, dislikes, and what they are looking for.
    In a case like this if I find the person very attractive and eager to send the first message to engage; how do I or should I go about it.
    Kindly please give me some pointers or something to start with or whatever you can to this hopeless solul here.

    Best Regards,


    • Brad  October 28, 2012

      Hey Al – if they don’t give you anything to work with, I’d just introduce my and ask for more info. Something like: “Hi – I really liked your photos in your profile and would love to learn more about you. How did you end up trying online dating?”

      It’s really tough because normally I don’t jump to physical compliments in a first email (not that you should never do that). However, in a case like this, it’s going to be pretty obvious to both of you that the only motivation to contact someone with a profile like this is her photos. Unless you’re just really desperate to date someone who’s 5’6″ I guess :)

      At any rate, in these cases, I’d pay a compliment and then see if you can start a conversation. Keep in mind though that someone who only puts a photo up very well may not be a subscriber. I’d think when most people pay for a service they’d want to fill as much out of their profile as possible. Just keep in mind no response doesn’t mean rejection: she may just not be a subscriber.

  25. Al  October 28, 2012

    Greetings Brad,

    Thanks ever so much for responding to my query and help me develop some context on how to approach.
    I have been planning to visit England this fall and while planning I have been trying to get acquainted and make friends before my visit. These visits will be frequent from this point on due to business. Having said that, she is in England and little older than me.

    This is what I came up with and I hope it makes sense and if it does, it might help others as well.

    “How do you do.

    ………….Intrduced my self in few sentences…………………..

    I have been planning to visit UK in November and December time frame. It has been my wish to get acquainted and befriend with someone who is local before travelling to an unfamiliar place for the very first time.

    I have read a lot about UK and it’s culture in books and online, but nothing can match what one can learn and experience through someone who lives there.
    It would be fun to know and possibly hang out with someone in an unfamiliar place and explore and experience it’s culture, arts, architecture, music, conversations over a meal together, and other aspects of day to day life. And if nothing else a little guidance in traveler’s aid could be very comforting and helpful; Wouldn’t you agree?

    While searching for friendly and amiable faces on this site, I came across your profile with picture and decided to write and introduce myself.

    Can I pique your interest in further communication as Pen Pals and possible friendship with a total stranger from far away land?”

    Just wanted to share and hope I have learned something from your blog and readers.

    Best Regards,


  26. Philip moi  October 28, 2012

    I have sent several messages to women on Tagged and i have not received even one reply.

  27. Joshua Pompey  October 29, 2012

    Great and well-articulated article. I think you nailed when you tell the readers to prove they read the profile above all. Too many men disregard this fact and that is a huge mistake. Women will never respond to spam.

    I also applaud you for informing people not to tell their whole life story in one email. People are busy these days and have even shorter attention span. There are a million one things that go into creating emails that receive responses. The more people learn, the better!

  28. Graeme  December 12, 2012

    Hiya Brad, could you advise on the first emal to a lady whose profile is very limited as i@ve attached below:

    About Me
    l like keepng fit,go to gym 3 times a week at least,that makes me feel good about myself.
    not an out going but maybe with the right person l would.
    love my tv soapies and my music, not a great dancer though but not
    l love doing what l do my job.

    • Brad  December 15, 2012

      Hi Graeme,

      There’s really not much to work with here. I’d probably try something like:

      So what is it that you “do best” that you love so much? Apparently it’s not dancing, lol! Seriously, though, I’d love to learn more about you. What do you do at your job?

      The talk of not being outgoing makes me think that asking her out too quickly could be a bad idea. So instead I’d concentrate on trying to learn more in general. She talk about things she does best and loving her job, so I started there, although the gym, tv or music are also openings she’s given.

      Also, I personally never had much success with profiles like this where the person includes very few details. I think for me it was a warning sign that they might not really be committed to trying online dating. So I’d still contact these people, but I’d be sure to not put too much time into writing an email. Keep it simple and fun and if you never hear back, not big loss.

  29. Hubert  December 12, 2012

    Here an example of a profile on POF that i came across

    Hi,I’m giving this site another chance because in the past I have met some really great people on here. Basically, I just havent found the “chemistry” or spark needed to make something work longterm.
    I’m very easy going and always try to keep an open mind but really I am looking for a confident, athletic, outgoing, guy who isnt scared of meeting a nice girl. Obviously, Attraction matters too..

    What should I send her as a message?

    • Brad  December 15, 2012

      I’d probably try something like:

      “Scared of meeting? Who would be scared of meeting you?! I really liked your profile – would you like to grab a coffee Tuesday evening?”

      So I kind of feel like this profile is saying “Meeting is really really important”. She says she doesn’t want people who are afraid of meeting. She highlights she’s not found “chemistry” and she states that attraction matters. This sounds like a woman who is interested in meeting people to see what type of connection there is as opposed to talking for weeks on end. Because of that, I’d just ask her out in the first email. Saying that “I really liked your profile” might be a stretch since there’s not a ton to her profile, but I’d throw it in there anyway!

  30. brendan  December 16, 2012

    Hi there brad, I have sent more messages than i can count and i was wondering if you could help me to rite a first msg, ive tried to make all my messages unique in the past but i dont think its working

    Im a happy go lucky, no fuss girl who is easy going. Love the outdoors…..going to the beach, watching movies, cooking up a storm in the kitchen. I don’t enjoy clubbing much anymore, way over it, so looking for someone who wants to do adventurous things together and enjoy my company. I don’t mind playing the odd ps3 game here and there and happy to take on any pointers any guys would like to pass on. Love music and always playing triple j, lush fm and any alternative rock, electro stuff.
    I would like some honesty and trust in a man, seems to be non existent these days.

    Send me a message with something unique, not just how u doin!!! LOL!!

    What should I send her as a message?

    • Brad  December 29, 2012

      I think there are some good openings here and that’s generally what I think you should look for. When you read this profile, what openings do you see? When I look it over, here’s what I see unique about the profile that could give some good openings:

      cooking, adventurous things, ps3, music, desire for unique messages

      Generally my rule is keep it short but her request for “unique messages” makes me think something different would be worth using. Something like this could be fun:

      Subject: You’re Invited!

      Congratulations! You’re invited to meet Brendan for a quick coffee at a location of your choosing. This event will include:

      – Discussing the types of adventurous things you enjoy doing
      – Determining which of us is the worst at PS3 games
      – Other get-to-know-you conversations
      – You trying to subtly determine if I’m an honest man or no (I am!)

      Looking forward to receiving your RSVP.

      P.S. Does this qualify as a unique message? I hope so because I really liked your profile!

      Would this work? I think it might. It’s definitely unique and will probably catch her attention. And I’m sure many other approaches could work. The point here is to identify the areas she’s lists as important and then work with that. If you’re already doing that, your emails might be fine and you might want to review your profile instead.

  31. Jimmy  December 23, 2012

    Hi Brad, I’ve recently started online dating at PoF and I’ve had absolutely no luck. I’ve sent out about 16 or 17 messages now and I’ve gotten one response which never went anywhere. I just don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Is it my profile? Headline? Am I taking the wrong approach in my emails? I don’t talk about appearance, I use good grammar, and I always read their profiles and comment on something I like. Here’s an example of the kinds of messages I’ve been sending. This girl seemed sweet, enjoyed working with disabled children and has similar interests (outdoors stuff):

    “Howdy [username]. I noticed that you have dogs; I love animals myself, and I have a cat who is completely spoiled. I’ve always wanted to travel, whether it be across the country or halfway ’round the world. Working with disabled children must be a very rewarding thing to do, and you sound like a very caring person. Any wild plans this week?”

    And here’s another one:

    “Hey [first name], noticed that you enjoy singing in your car – me too! AFAIK, I’m the best singer in my car. There’s nothing like speeding down the highway singing along to Bohemian Rhapsody. Maybe we could sing a duet together sometime?”

    This girl seemed playful, so I made an attempt at a joke (hint: I’m not a bodybuilder)

    And finally, here’s another:

    “Howdy [username], that’s a mighty tall glass of water!

    I agree with you on bugs – they’re like little… aliens plotting against us all, intent on taking over the world. Especially the creepy-crawly ones. I should probably mention it now that I’m not a dragonfly (ha).

    I love animals too, and I have a cat named [name] who is spoiled. What are the names of your cat and dog?”

    She had a huge glass of water in her hands, and she expressed a fear of bugs and that they’re planning something… so I played off of that.

    Are these all bad messages?

    • Brad  December 29, 2012

      I actually like your emails. I might not suggest singing a duet personally…but then I’m a bad singer! Have you tried OKCupid? As far as free dating services go, that’s the one I prefer. I ask because I’ve had many people complain to me about the difficulties of communicating on POF. I think the women there are bombarded with emails (many of them not good) so not getting a reply may not be solely due to your emails.

  32. Jimmy  December 30, 2012

    Hi Brad! I was feeling a little unsure about online dating there, but I have a short story to share…

    A few days ago (on Christmas, actually), a girl contacted ME. We chatted back and forth a bit, and on my third message I asked her out, just for coffee. She agreed, and we met yesterday. The date went surprisingly well, although I was quite nervous at the start. I was only planning for 30 minutes; we talked for 3 hours until we were kicked out of the cafe. We had so much to talk about and share! We exchanged numbers and she gave me a hug (which I was not prepared for at all). I texted her a few hours later saying it was great meeting her and I’d can’t wait to do it again. I also asked if she got home safely because it snowed that afternoon.

    So at this point, should I give her a call and set up another date? I hate to just call for the main purpose of setting up a date, though… Any suggestions?

    Thank you again for writing this awesome blog – it’s given clueless guys like me a better chance at meeting women online and getting to the point where we can be successful at meeting in real life.

    • Brad  December 31, 2012

      Jimmy – if things are going that well I definitely think you should call her!

      If you feel nervous about calling just to ask her out, determine one topic you’ll start out with. Preferably something you two got on well talking about on your date. Or go out of your way to find something funny in the news you think she’d enjoy. Start with that conversation and talk for a minute or two and then ask her out again.

      I think this is probably overkill if the first date went for 3 hours, but it’s an approach you can use!

  33. Jimmy  December 31, 2012

    Well, I did as you suggested and came up with a couple of topics to talk about with her. I called her up this afternoon but she didn’t pick up. I didn’t leave a message because I felt like it would be impersonal talking to her VM and I hung up. I had second thoughts though, so I sent her a text saying that I called to say hi and wish her a happy new year, and to give me a call back when she has a chance. **BUT** apparently my phone has been acting up and it apparently sent a garbled text message to her (I found out from a friend and a family member that texts to them were messed up too) — spaces were replaced with ‘@’ symbols, capital letters were replaced by odd symbols, and I’m sure other weirdness — not good! I mean, my message was in there, but it’d be very difficult to read, and she probably thinks I’m crazy now!

    Am I worrying about nothing here? Should I just give her some time before I try calling again (if she doesn’t call me)?

    • Brad  January 1, 2013

      Yeah…if you’re texting is messing up I’d just give her another call. Based on your description of the first date, I suspect you’re worrying about nothing!

  34. MyDatingMails  January 11, 2013

    A very interesting post! Thanks for all this examples.

    For reasons beyond my comprehension, short emails can come off as confident. Worded wrongly they can come off as cocky but even that is more acceptable than psycho.
    => I always thought short emails (one liner) looks like people who didn’t want to put too much effort in contacting the person.

    • Brad  January 13, 2013

      To your point regarding short emails, I think this is why it’s important to show that you read the profile and have specific interests questions. Most often a short email lacking that or a one-liner does give the impression of not wanting to put much effort in.

  35. Zack  January 12, 2013

    I just started online dating and don’t know what to do. What does it mean when someone sends me a wink, show interest, etc? Does it mean she wants to go on a date or does she just want to chat? I’m on a site that lets subscribers email nonsubscribers and i’m a subscriber. Does constantly editing your profile make you look fishy? All I’m doing is making some tweaks, not changing what kind of a guy I appear to be though.

    • Brad  January 13, 2013

      Zack, I’d take a wink as a sign they’d like to chat/email. I don’t think constantly editing your profile looks too fishy – most people wouldn’t be looking at your profile every day so I don’t think it would be overly apparent to them how often you were updating your profile.

  36. john  March 20, 2013

    Hey! I’m 21, a single momma with a Daughter who will be two in April. I work two jobs as a server and go to school to be a nurse. I’m a busy woman but can make time for that special someone. I love to hang out and watch movies, go out to the bars on occasion and take little adventures and drive until I end up somewhere. I love going to the gym and just signed up for my first 5k. Basically I am looking for someone I consider my best friend and my boyfriend someone I can goof off with and be silly but most of all someone who is real and honest :)…

    As i go to send her a message i find my self re-reading it and correcting it and its beginning to drive me nuts…
    I have read over some examples above and it sounds as if you are the “hitch” of the cyber dating world, can you help a brotha out?

    • Brad  March 23, 2013

      Hey John – I definitely don’t feel like the “Hitch” of online dating…maybe just a bit better at stumbling through it :)

      So to me, this lady sounds like a super-woman. I’d hit on that when I contact her. Also, John, I think you need to consider her schedule as well: two jobs, training for a 5k, going to nursing school and raising a little girl. As a new dad myself, I can’t imagine how she’s doing all that and she may not have much time for dating. I’m not trying to talk you out of contacting her but just be sure you’re okay with her schedule! I guess I would write something like this:

      Subject: Wow…super-mom!

      Considering all you’re tackling, you sound like an amazing woman to me! How do you handle such a full schedule? I think it’s great and love to see people who have drive like you. So what inspired you to sign up for your first 5k?

      I think something like that could get a response. Hope it helps!

  37. Tony  March 23, 2013

    Iv been online dating for a bit now with no success but there’s a girl I like and we’ve got some things in common but not sure if am even in her league. Iv viewed her profile she’s not viewed my profile. Just like to know how to make first contact or even if I should.

    • Brad  March 23, 2013

      Hi Tony – I think it’s always worth trying. It’s just one email after all. And if she doesn’t get back, I’m sure there will be more women you can find who have things in common with. But I’m definitely one who would rather see you try and not get a response than not try because you think you’re not in her league.

  38. Brandon  March 28, 2013

    Hey! Love all your advice. I’m currently trying to send out a first email to someone I’m interested in but unfortunately her profile doesn’t have much to work with.

    “Family and friends are important in my life. I’m also laid-back, kind, caring and respectful. I am looking for someone who can make me laugh, have a sense of humor and isn’t afraid to show their feelings.”

    Any suggestions? Thanks for your time

    • Brad  March 30, 2013

      Hey Brandon – these types of profiles are pretty tough to work with. Generally, if you’re contacting a woman like this I assume it’s because you find her attractive? I guess I’d just start with that and then ask a question off of something else in the profile. I’m not a real big fan of starting off with compliments, but if the profile is basically empty I have no issue with it. I guess I’d try something like:

      I really like you’re photos…you’re very photogenic! I love to laugh and make people laugh too…what type of sense of humor would you say you have? Mine is {talk about your sense of humor}.

      Or you could go with the family part I guess. Just be aware this is something of a shot in the dark and often (but not always) really short profiles can be an indicator that someone created an account to check the site out but never took it seriously enough to subscribe and then improve their profile.

  39. Alex  June 13, 2013

    Hi Brad, Like most of the guys here, I’m confused and need advice. I’ve been on a dating site, made contact with a woman and actually got a response to my first message. However, my second message had no response. She cites action sports as one of her main likes and I focused on that in my initial contact. She also mentioned not being good at cooking. Here is a transcript of our correspondence:
    I am sorry to say that I don’t get the chance to play very much sport but perhaps this is where we could join forces: I the strange but fascinating novice and you the experienced, glamourous instructor coaching me in the ways of snow boarding or walking in the woods. If you’re not a great cook thats fine as I can cook either an amazing beans on toast or a delicious bean casserole. Game?
    nice photo.. Tell me abit about yourself
    Despite being 6ft of raw, rugged masculinity I must say that art is very important to me. I exhibit my work whenever I can though, alas, no Turner Prize nominations…yet. Whilst I’m always ready for an adventure I’m not sure if thats always a good thing. Probably shouldn’t tell you this but I once tried to set some chickens free at a farm…well I was only 19. So I bat the conversational ball back to you – any escapades you’d like to share?

    Did I go too far? Was I not open enough? Was my reply too long? Did I take too long to respond (it was a week before I responded)?

    Any advice would be very welcome. Thanks in advance.

    • Brad  June 25, 2013

      Hey Alex – I think your emails were actually a lot of fun. If this is how you write your first emails, I think you’re going to do very well.

      However, I think I’d bring it back down to earth all little in the communication once you get her attention. I think the playfulness you have is going to really help you gain a woman’s attention but if that playfulness never ends, I worry she might wonder “who is this guy?”

      Basically I think your first email is great and for your second email, write more like you wrote in this comment. Just be yourself. Adding some playfulness is good but I wouldn’t have it all be playful. Of course, maybe I’m wrong as I never tried that approach. But if you find 100% playfulness isn’t getting you past the second email, I’d try switching it up.

      And yeah, waiting a week to respond is a pretty long time. Did you like her profile? If you did, was there any reason you waited that long? I’d encourage you to be more prompt if it’s possible.

  40. Krista  June 29, 2013

    I could use some advice on getting men to initiate contact and respond to my contact. I don’t mean to sound cocky or full of myself but I’m a pretty attractive female and I know I’m pretty funny and well liked. I am a single mom (divorced 4 years ago) which means I don’t have a lot of free time to go out and meet people. I also moved to a new city a year ago and still trying to connect with other singles but I feel like I just keep connecting with other parents!!! When I first moved I had some luck with plenty of fish but I found it was kind of slim pickings for guys who, lets just say were wholesome individuals you’d take home to meet your retired missionary grandma! I know some people who have had a lot of luck with so I decided to try it out. I have had my profile viewed over 260 times and have not had any of the men I’ve found attractive initiate or respond to contact with me. I feel like I’m doing things correctly, mentioning things in the message that were in their bios and saying I can’t wait to hear from them rather than hope to hear from them but I still have only received 5 emails to the 13 I’ve sent, and only 1 was a response to something I wrote. WHAT AM I DOING WRONG???

    • Brad  July 4, 2013

      Krista – it’s really hard to say based on this comment. I’ll email you and we can talk that way…seeing your profile could help my opinion.

      I will say that some statistics from OKCupid showed that the most attractive women (let’s call them 10s) did less well than very attractive women (let’s say 8s). Sometimes a woman would have a profile so together with such nice photos that the guys would all skip contacting her for other women they thought they had a better chance with. I can’t say that’s what is happening here but it is something I found very interesting.

  41. BK  July 21, 2013

    This profile is pretty basic, what would be a good message for this?

    “I enjoy being active, going out for dinner, volunteering, church, Netflix, wine, cooking, community events, being spontaneous, deep conversations and I can always find something fun to go do. Spring and Fall are my favorite seasons, I have a 20 month old girl who is my world.
    I am looking for someone who is also spiritual, I am deeply devoted and will only have a faith based relationship, someone who wants to have their own family in the future, motivated, happy, good father figure, active, hard worker, independent.”

    • Brad  July 25, 2013

      Hi BK – honestly with a profile like this and the fact that she states likes being spontaneous, this seems like a good candidate to ask her out to coffee in the first email. She concentrated a lot of her faith so if you share those feelings you could try something like:

      Hi so-and-so. I really liked your profile and couldn’t agree more about the value of spirituality and faith helping shape a relationship. It’s really hard to even describe in an email…so maybe you’d like to grab a coffee next week and I can give you all the details then?

      If she’s really spontaneous, I think this could get her attention in a good way.

  42. Neil  August 25, 2013

    Hi Brad, great advice btw. I was just wondering will distance affect email responses. There is this one profile that has me interested, but we live a good 6 hours apart. What would be good first message for this –
    “I love summer and enjoying spending time enjoying the sunshine. I like going on holidays and short breaks away. I think romance is important although this should be a two way thing! I consider myself to be a thoughtful girl who is looking for someone that reciprocates this.
    I am hard working and my career is important to me. However, enjoying spending time with friends and doing different things.
    I’m looking for a genuine, romantic, exciting guy who will sweep me off my feet to enjoy my time with.”

    Thanks in advance

    • Brad  September 2, 2013

      Hey Neil – yeah, I do think distance can make things more challenging. If she didn’t list a preferred distance in her profile, I still think it’s worth a try. Just keep in mind that this add extra challenge.

      As for a message, I guess I might go with:

      I love summer too…and I really liked your profile as well! Would you like to get together for some coffee and maybe a walk before our favorite season has passed us by?

      Nothing really earth-shaking here but I think this is one of those cases where I would want to ask the woman out early. I’d rather not put off meeting (which can happen when there’s distance) and then find out we don’t have chemistry. You could also ask about her career/talk about yours if you’d rather not ask her out quickly since it’s one of the areas she talks about that might provide a good opening for conversation.

  43. Ros  January 13, 2014

    Thanks for this post! So helpful. I’m not hearing back from most of the men I’m writing, and I’m seeing a lot of views, winks, and likes but then no initial email. I’m trying not to take it personally, but…?!

  44. Mike  June 12, 2014

    What if you met at college while you were dating a “friend” of hers? I would call it more of an acquaintance type friendship that they had. The two times I met the girl she was nice and similar to me. Should I point out that we met 8 years ago as an ice breaker? Should I not even mention it? My ex has kind of wild and out type A personality, would she consider me to be the same through association?

    • Brad  June 15, 2014

      Yeah, I think I’d mention it. I think you might run the risk of looking not-so-great if she remembers you but you act like you don’t.

      I’d go with something like:
      Subject: Ten years later…
      Text: Hi – I really like your profile! I keep coming back to it because something about you feels so familiar…that and it’s a pleasant profile to revisit! Anyway, I think I finally put it together. I’m pretty sure we met years and years ago college at (go Panthers!) So, assuming I’m right, how have you been?

      Or something along those lines, and obviously you’d pick your mascot!

      And no, I don’t think she’d think you’re crazy just because you dated someone who was.

  45. Thierry  June 28, 2014

    Hey Brad,

    I need some hints about a (dead end ?) scenario I’m getting right now :

    I have been contacted (email on Match) by a girl (after only few days of subscription, lucky I’m, thx to..I don’t, chance probably :). We exchanged emails during several days (common interests, music, movie, etc…classical kind of stuff to know a little bit before an eventual future date) and then, suddenly, no echo anymore. The emails were getting longer and longer, maybe she got bored (?).
    Any way, after about 2 weeks, I stroke back by sending a (short) email and she finally came back to me (pretexting she was busy, blablabla). I asked her for a date, we exchanged cells/emails and finally met !
    The date went well. I mean, I guess. It lasted 2h30, a drink, solid with no blank. I ended the date (she was very tired that night and I wanted to be a gentleman and also preferred to finish it before reaching the “boring zone”).
    The first contact was “hands check”, final contact was a “hug and cheek kiss from her”.
    We decided to see each other back “soon”, she said “no problem, it’s up to us”.
    When I came back home, I sent her a text (“nice to meet you…blabla…I should be free this WE..blabla”, she answered me quickly to say the same thing and added “I’ll tell about this WE”.

    And, here comes the crap :
    We met on Tuesday. I sent her a text on Friday (the famous 3 days rule, ah ah) to ask if she was still “interested” to do something during this WE. No answer. I also sent her an email (different topic about a common interest), same thing, no answer.
    I know that she got the text and email, she has been connected on the site.

    What should I try now ? Wait a little bit more and strike one more time ?
    Or in woman (hieroglyphic) langage it means “depends of the forecast but it might be dead for you little man” ?

    Thx for your help bro !

    • Brad  June 29, 2014

      Hi Thierry – if I’m 100% honest then I’ll say that getting no response after a first date is normally a bad thing. At this point, the other person is either excited about communicating…or they’re not.

      However, since she has already had a problem with “being busy” in the past, you might want to give it another shot in a week. Maybe another text would be good but don’t start asking her what went wrong or anything like that. Stay positive and ask her something along the lines of “Hey, how are you? Are you free this Friday night? It would be great to get together again.” No negative vibes…that is a killer. But if you try something like this, it might work. And if it does, I’d say you’re dating a girl who has a real hard time managing her schedule/communications and you might have to decide if you’re open to dealing with that.

  46. Thierry  July 3, 2014

    Thx for your answer !
    Hum, I think I got the explanation. She hide her profile recently, after few days of inactivity.
    Here we go, I think there’s a lucky guy somewhere (who was probably already running for the top seat before I arrived in the equation), lucky bastard :)
    The journey continues ^–^

  47. Steven  July 5, 2014

    Hey Brad,

    Here is my situation: I’m on OkCupid and I messaged a girl about a week ago. She read it a few days later (hadn’t been on), viewed my profile, and didn’t respond. I’ll admit, I am one of those people that checks it a lot/leaves the page open, so if she ever looked at my message again, it’s possible I showed up as being online. I’ve been trying to come up with a good second email (I know there are differing opinions out there as to whether sending a second email, with no response to the first, is worth it). I know it’s only a profile and questions (we match 99% on OkCupid’s questions; not sure how much stock to put into the percentages, if any; I just don’t see 99% with 0% enemy a lot), but we have a good amount in common and I think we would at least have something to talk about. My profile pictures may not be exactly top-notch (that could just be my opinion, though I’ve had family tell me that as well). Also prior to her viewing my profile, I changed a lot, because I rarely get responses and I tailored it a bit to her, for instance she likes theater, so I mentioned a play in my profile that I like, so I don’t know if she figured that out. Anyway, back to my reason for posting here, I’ve read a lot of stuff about composing the first message and some about the second message with no response. One article on OkCupid has the results of an experiment that talks about what words to use and what words not to use in a first message, and which have the highest response rates if used. My first message to her may have been a bit long, four 1-3 line paragraphs plus a closing, “Anyway, hope to hear from you”, but I mentioned, what I think were, the big points of her profile (maybe bad was to comment on what she wouldn’t do for a guy (making a sandwich for him, but would make him a steak if things went well) by saying I didn’t “expect it, but the steak sounds appealing. :)”) If you could help, that would be great, I tried to give you all the details so hopefully this is enough for you to give me some advice. Thanks in advance!

    • Steven  July 5, 2014

      Oh, my thinking on the second message was something to the effect of:

      Based on your profile and questions, you seem awesome. I’ve been trying to get my profile “right” and I pretty much have it. Feel free to take another look and get back to me. I didn’t want to pass you by because we have a lot in common and I think we could really hit it off. :)

  48. Joe  July 17, 2014

    Here is a profile I found interesting.
    Looking for someone fun with a good sense of humor that loves to go out doors and travel as much as I do but also enjoys just laying around and watching movies occasionally. My favorite things to do is going to concerts, sitting by a fire with good friends, fairs, and driving arond with no set destination. Im a very spontanious and impulisive person. if u like going dancing and going to clubs Im definitely not who your seeking. I am a very simple person not into big fancy things or whats hip or in id love to get to know you if we have similar intrest. Please im not looking for a sugar daddy im looking for a long term partner.

    I am new to online dating and I want to send a message but unsure of what to say. Any advice would be very appreciated.

    • Brad  July 25, 2014

      Hi Joe – For you (and anyone else new to online dating), I really do think that the following steps that I listed in the article above are a good start:

      1. Unique subject to your email
      2. Prove your read the profile / Mention an area of similarity
      3. Ask a question

      So how would we do this with the profile you’ve given? Honestly, there’s not a lot that jumps out in this profile as unique…however, this person already stated that she is “simple” so you probably don’t need to get “fancy” as she puts it. So I’d go with something simple like:

      Subject: Co-pilot for driving with no destination
      Body: Hi, I really liked your profile and relate to a lot of the things you listed as having an interest in. I’m curious: what is the most interesting place you’ve ever ended up at when you drive somewhere without a destination? I love taking long drives, particularly [list somewhere that you like traveling to].

      So that’s a very simple email, but she claims to be a simple person. I also think the question is one that she would like to answer so I’d hope it would encourage a response. Finally, she comments that she is very spontaneous, so you could even ask her out in the first email. Since you say you’re new to online dating, I’ve left that off but I think it’s reasonable to do here.

  49. Robert  August 10, 2014

    i really like this article. the knowledge i gained from here has a helped me a little bit. but this one profile of this girl has a self summary short and not much to it. so what should I put in my email to her.

    “I’m a fun loving, ambitious, straight shooter type of person with a magnetic personality. Always looking for a good time whether it be sitting around with friends or going out and about. Looking for someone who can not only match my personality but challenge my ideas.”
    any help for this would be appreciated thank you

    • Brad  August 15, 2014

      There’s not much here in this profile so I’d keep things simple. Maybe something like:

      Subject: North meet South!
      Text: Hi So-and-so! I like your profile but I’m curious about your desire to have someone challenge your ideas. How do you see that as beneficial for a relationship?

      The subject is a play on magnetism…it’s not very creative but it will stand out from other email subjects that just say “Hi”. As for the text itself, I tried to challenge an idea she has out of the gate since she says that’s what she’s looking for.

  50. Robin  August 14, 2014

    I am a woman, but contrary to the stereotype of female online daters, I get very few emails and people often don’t write back to me. I’m wondering if you think men look for different things than women in initial emails, and what kind of email would make you feel like writing back.

    This is my profile. If you felt like providing feedback, I’d be interested. What do you think guys are attracted to in a woman’s profile?

    I tend to be more interested in older guys because they tend to be more mature, interesting, and accepting, so they are my target audience. I’m 28, and I’m looking for someone between the ages of 35 and 45.

    “I’m quiet and thoughtful with an unexpected spontaneous and adventurous streak and, once I get to know someone, a good sense of humor. I’m responsible, fairly stable, and a good listener. I’m very accepting and open-minded. Emotional connection, trust, mutual respect, and empathy are very important to me. I also value directness and honesty. I don’t play emotional games with people. I don’t want to be too specific about the sort of person I’m looking for because people are all so different and it’s hard to say ahead of time who I would connect with well. Some general things I’m looking for are open-mindedness, kindness, and patience. It’s hard for me to be in loud, chaotic places like night clubs, so I would hope to find someone who likes to be in quiet, peaceful places too. While appearance and age aren’t important to me in themselves, I try to exercise and eat healthily (most of the time) and I think that, if you also like to do those things, we will have more in common. I’m curious and enjoy intellectual conversations; I like talking about interesting ideas and being challenged every now and then. In my ideal relationship, we would be very good friends with compatible goals who help, support, and love each other as equal partners. I have a good job and I don’t need someone to support me financially. I enjoy gardening, hiking, reading, writing, knitting, spinning yarn, cooking, exercising, and weight lifting. I like learning and being interested in things. One of the most meaningful things in my life is being outside and experiencing nature in wild, beautiful places. I love to cook, and I especially like to cook for other people. If you are interested by any of this, send me a message and we can chat! :)”

    I appreciate any advice :)


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