Striking up a conversation online is supposed to be much easier than trying to introduce yourself to a complete stranger at bar, but staring at an inbox full of “hey” messages that haven’t been replied to musters up the same feelings of rejection that we all so badly want to avoid.
So what do you write before pressing send that’ll encourage your potential date to keep the conversation going? The key is to be personal. You can’t win ’em all, but a message showing genuine interest in a person is much more likely to be answered than a more general “what’s up?” If you’re not sure what to say, we have a few helpful tips for writing that ever so important first message.
1. Find a common interest.
There’s no better way to get the conversation going than to talk about something you both have in common. Do you like the same kind of music? Did you go to the same university? Start with a shared interest and build from there.
2. Ask a question.
Asking a question shows the other person you’re genuinely interested in what they have to say. While a “hi” is nice, a sincere question asks for much more in reply. Open ended questions leave much more room for discussion, so if you can, opt for them rather than yes-or-no questions.
3. Don’t comment on looks right away.
You might love his or her smile and mentioning that in the future is encouraged, but don’t start things off with a comment on looks. Show the person you took the time to read their profile and are curious to learn more about who they are.
4. Focus on quality, not quantity.
Don’t message every single person you’re interested in right away. You won’t be able to give each individual the time and attention they deserve. Instead, focus on a couple matches you want to get to know most. If those conversations don’t lead to the date you were hoping for, message someone else, but messaging everyone and hoping to hear back from anyone isn’t the best way to start things off.
5. Proofread before sending the your message.
AutoCorrect can be your best friend and your worst enemy. Double check to make sure each word appears as intended!