What You Say When You Respond To Someone at Dating Sites like Match.com
by Gene Griessman, Ph.D.
Words matter at dating sites.
Maybe not as much as photos, but almost. If you expect anything to happen, you must pay attention to what you write about yourself, and what you write when you decide to respond.
So, what do you say?
Here’s excellent advice that I abstracted from an article that that Brenna Ehrlich and Andrea Bartz wrote for CNN.com.
Indicate that you actually have read the profile
Do take time to read the profile carefully. All of it. Then use phrases such as, “I notice that…” or “you mentioned that…” and link that phrase to bits of information from the profile. “Pick out something intriguing from his/her written profile and mention it specifically.”
Everyone loves praise, especially if it sounds sincere. But be careful about what you compliment. “Limit the praise to something personality-related, and avoid physical compliments” advise Ehrlich and Bartz.
Mirror the other person’s language and style
“Research consistently shows that we like people who look, move and talk like us,” Ehrlich and Bartz observe. “So tailor your tone to match…. She’s wry and sarcastic? Turn on the drollery. He’s earnest and passionate? Amp up the sincerity.”
Limit your first message to three or four sentences, tops. “No need to waste all your witticisms in one shot.”
Make it easy for them to answer
“Generally, this means you should include a query, or at least a comment that obviously begs for a response,” Ehrlich and Bartz advise.
Remember that the main purpose of the first response is to get the ball rolling.
whatyousay.com comment: One of the best conversation starters, whether on a dating site or in person, is to ask a question that requires more than a yes-or-no answer.
For example, in a live situation, if you see someone reading a book, and you want to start a conversation, you have a chance if you say, “Pardon me but that book looks interesting. What’s it about?” There’s no guarantee that this question will work, because it is, after all, and interruption. But you have a better chance of success than if you simply ask if he/she likes the book. All you may get is “Yes.”
Same advice for a dating site. Ask an open-ended question.
Source: Brenna Ehrlich and Andrea Bartz, “Stuff Hipsters Hate.”)
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