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Discussion Starter #1
Scenario: Online dating websites

So, after reading this on literally every woman's profile and talking to female friends, I know that you are not going a reply by just saying something like "hey how's it going", but I am getting equally abysmal results by writing original and personalized messages.

What is an appropriate length for a "carefully thought-out" first message? Too little and you risk blending in with their other 500 messages. Too long and you could bore them to death. I have a tendency to write to much, I think, so I'd like to hear what other people have to say. What is an appropriate length for a first message? 3 sentences? 10? 20?

Ladies, what would you look for in such a message? Humour, originality, evidence he actually read your profile and gets you?

Would you be intimidated/turned off if the guy's profile used a high vocabulary?

Or would you just look at the guy's picture first and then "NEXT" him without even considering those other points if you didn't like the pic?
 

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Scenario: Online dating websites

So, after reading this on literally every woman's profile and talking to female friends, I know that you are not going a reply by just saying something like "hey how's it going", but I am getting equally abysmal results by writing original and personalized messages.

What is an appropriate length for a "carefully thought-out" first message? Too little and you risk blending in with their other 500 messages. Too long and you could bore them to death. I have a tendency to write to much, I think, so I'd like to hear what other people have to say. What is an appropriate length for a first message? 3 sentences? 10? 20?
Speaking as someone who is eight months into a relationship that started on an online dating website, I'd say that... *checks* four sentences is darn near perfect. They were fairly long sentences, but they got the job done. Basically, his message was, "This is why I'm here, here's why I thought that you were worth sending a message to. Here's a cool fact from your profile that I responded to and would like to discuss with you further."

Ladies, what would you look for in such a message? Humour, originality, evidence he actually read your profile and gets you?
I responded to his message because it was original, it showed that he had read my profile, and because he left me with an open-ended question relating to my interests that I wanted to talk more about.

Would you be intimidated/turned off if the guy's profile used a high vocabulary?
Not at all. My boyfriend used inclinations, ruminating, ostensibly, and mercenary in a mere four sentences and used them in ways that seemed completely uncontrived and not at all like he was trying to impress me with his vocabulary. I was practically ready to throw my underwear at him after that alone.

Or would you just look at the guy's picture first and then "NEXT" him without even considering those other points if you didn't like the pic?
It would really depend on what the picture was. On the grounds of appearance alone, no, but if it were a sleazy/drunk/immature picture, I might be more tempted to dismiss him as a troll and move on with my life. I tried to respond to most message regardless, though, so long as it were clear that the person had made an effort to write it rather than hey-what's-up-ing me or sending me something impersonal that was clearly copy-pasted.

Can I ask which dating site you're using? I used OKCupid and I usually received a couple of messages a day, but I've heard anecdotally that some of the other ones (Plenty Of Fish comes to mind) attract a lot of casual/bored/etc. people and so women get spammed by literally tens to hundreds of messages a day. I think that the ones that actually match you to people based on compatibility are probably a better bet than the free-for-all ones.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the input! Everything you said makes sense and sounds like something I could read in a textbook, but doesn't seem to mesh with my real world experience.

I am using OK Cupid. I don't look immature/douchey in my photo and I tend to make a concerted effort to personalize every message and ask open-ended questions. There must be some big warning light I am giving off but am oblivious to. I just wish I knew what it was. I have much much better success when I meet people through friends or friends of friends, so I wonder if there is something intimidating/unapproachable that only goes away when a mutual friend introduces us in a social setting. I get that having mutual friends in general is a huge icebreaker, but other people such as yourself and your man are able to meet and make connections online so obviously there is a way to be approachable/interesting to strangers without the need for mutual friends.

Did you ever feel too intimidated to reply to a stranger online? Or was it always just that they were too dull/boring for you?
 

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What do you mean by "trying too hard"?
You can just tell when someone is trying far too hard to get your attention. Just a vibe. When someone messages me because they are actually interested in talking to me and not trying hard to impress me it just worked a lot better to get my attention. Genuine messages from men on dating sites are one in a million.
 

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Did you ever feel too intimidated to reply to a stranger online? Or was it always just that they were too dull/boring for you?
Intimidated in what way? I don't personally have a lot of experience with this, but I've heard from other women that they were sometimes intimidated to even send a "thanks, but I'm not interested" message to men because many of them would get very aggressive any say things like "well, I wasn't that interested in you anyway. Have a nice life, you ugly bitch." I don't think that most men on dating sites are like this, but it is unfortunate that they do exist and depending on how consistently nasty they were, I can understand finding something like that intimidating.

I was never intimidated in the sense that I thought that someone was too good for me or anything like that. Was that what you meant?

I have pretty high standards in terms of being intellectually satisfied by other people, so most of the time when I rejected people it was because we didn't have anything in common and I found their interests boring/shallow. But like I said, I only really made an effort with people who bothered to make an effort with me.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You can just tell when someone is trying far too hard to get your attention. Just a vibe. When someone messages me because they are actually interested in talking to me and not trying hard to impress me it just worked a lot better to get my attention. Genuine messages from men on dating sites are one in a million.
Could that be because women are so jaded/cynical and your guard is so far up that you aren't willing to truly see that some of the other messages are genuine too?

I mean, the filter through which you view the world can change a lot. And I totally get why women get cynical because there are probably so many guys who message "hey bb wana fuk?" or "hey hows it going?" or "you're hot" or "can i have ur digits?" or "look at me, i'm so awesome that i'm not even gonna ask anything about you", so it's understandable that you'd start to see real genuine messages are those same repulsive messages just repackaged a little differently. But how's a guy supposed to have a shot if you're not willing to accept him at face value? I think that's why guys get roped into trying to play "the game" in the first place.
 

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Could that be because women are so jaded/cynical and your guard is so far up that you aren't willing to truly see that some of the other messages are genuine too?
Assuming if a woman doesn't think you are genuine that she must be jaded is a little silly. Men sort of act like if they try hard enough to make their message the best ever that they are somehow entitled to something otherwise like you said the woman must just be "jaded." I'll always stand by being authentic and not trying too hard.
 

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You can just tell when someone is trying far too hard to get your attention. Just a vibe.
Well, it's really no surprise. Is it?

-Men outnumber women 3:1 on dating sites.
-Women get dozens of messages per day. Men get none.
-Women don't have time to respond to all the men. Not even "No thanks."

That's why the men get a little desperate.
 

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Well, it's really no surprise. Is it?

-Men outnumber women 3:1 on dating sites.
-Women get dozens of messages per day. Men get none.
-Women don't have time to respond to all the men. Not even "No thanks."

That's why the men get a little desperate.
You are really reaching with this post. It's probably not wise to speak for an entire gender like this. Not all women are the same, and if you're going to be desperate you probably will not get a response. I don't think desperation is a trait many people find attractive in a potential partner.
 

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I don't think desperation is a trait many people find attractive in a potential partner.
Of course not. And I wasn't saying anything negative toward you at all: I have seen your posts and I respect you.

But, especially with the mention of the 3:1 ratio, I was saying: just don't forget that these guys are in a highly competitive environment and some are going to be a little bit desperate for love.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Assuming if a woman doesn't think you are genuine that she must be jaded is a little silly. Men sort of act like if they try hard enough to make their message the best ever that they are somehow entitled to something otherwise like you said the woman must just be "jaded." I'll always stand by being authentic and not trying too hard.
That's not it at all. I am making no assumptions about what women think about me. I do not think that if try hard enough then I am entitled to a reply. I was actually talking about the guys that messaged you! Thinking that 99.9999% (the opposite of 1 in a million) of men online are not genuine is the only thing that is silly, because that kind of hyperbole is completely unrealistic. If that is really your perception, and that of other women, then I question whether you are just failing to notice when other guys are being genuine. There are phonies, but there are also a lot of real people out there.

BTW, do people realize that if someone who was naturally an overachiever in school/career/fitness/etc. came across as "trying hard", it would actually be 100% genuine and not at all desperate because that is WHO they are - somebody whose personality itself is based around doing everything 110%! And there are many people like that in the world. (there are also people who aren't like that at all but pretend to be something they're not just to look good online... and THAT is desperate. But that is an entirely different animal)
 

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You're doing it right. Maybe your pictures aren't good or there's something unappealing on your profile. Don't forget how much those matter. Also, don't give up. Maybe you're messaging the wrong kind of women. That's not too likely and not an excuse for anything, but you can't assume all women are having the same reaction.

Remember this: Your Looks and Your Inbox « OkTrends

Also, I find these to be very true. Hopefully you haven't made these mistakes. Exactly What To Say In A First Message « OkTrends
 

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I agree. It doesn't sound like you are doing anything wrong per se, but like you said, you aren't getting any results, so chances are that you have gotten a wire crossed somewhere. I understand not wanting to post your profile in public, but if you'd ever like to have someone read it over, feel free to PM me.
 
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@JohnGalt

You sound to be doing most things right. With message sizes; less is usually more, and limit the amount you talk about yourself. Whoever you're messaging, make it about them. It's easy to end up discussing your own interests and how she slots into them based on her profile, but that comes across as too familiar. When I've used online dating sites, my messages are usually some 3-5 sentences, including the salutation as a sentence.

The downside to crafting your original messages is that it can get lost in spam, as others have already said. But still, keep the originality flowing. The profile can often give you signals. If a woman says "I don't like men who take themselves too seriously" that's a sign to me to pull out the more wacky and random elements of my humour. I've suggested that a woman join me Sasquatch hunting, help me take over the world etc etc. Not all get responses, some lost in spam, and of course, they may not find me funny.

Be yourself. If you're naturally a bit verbose, be verbose. If you're trying to showcase your vocabulary though, you'll get busted. As a general rule, the more complex the word, the more subtle it's contextual meaning. Plus, some individuals respond well to it. I challenged an English teacher at the end of a message to guess my favourite Romance poet from the stanzas that appear in my current sig. She got it and on our date we wound up playing the geekiest game ever. Guess the poet/period. It was fun :laughing:.

With your profile. Don't be negative and don't try too hard. Don't say what you're not looking for, say who you are looking for. Give a brief overview of your interests and activities and above all: be honest. I don't know about the free dating sites, as I avoid them for myriad reasons; but a decent picture, plus maybe a picture doing one of your hobbies/activities. Oh, and lastly persevere. :)
 
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