online dating that first message

Don’t Screw Up that First Message: 5 Tips To Make Sure You Get A Date!

We’ve talked a lot about dating on this site, but something we haven’t talked about is how to get that date to begin with.

This week we’re going to delve a bit deep into the psychology of online dating, and more importantly, what kind of messages you should be sending in order to get a woman’s interest and get that first date.

1. Bring Up Specific Interests

This may seem pretty simple, but too many guys ignore the basics. If you’re on Tinder, you can get away with simpler messages since there is only so much info you get on a person. But on something like OkCupid, where people give you far more information don’t open with something like:

“Hey Cutie, what’re you up to?”

Ugh. Just reading that makes me depressed. Not only does it show you not trying, but you sound like every other guy who thinks his J-Smooth on the internet. Bring up at least one interest of hers in the first message, preferably one that you share.

“Hey, you hike too? What’s the last place you went hiking?”

Far from great, but at least it’s an honest first attempt. Psychologically, it looks like you’re at least trying to get to know her. But let’s see if we can’t make this better.

2. Don’t be too formal

This doesn’t mean go crazy with bad grammar and misspellings (the other end of the spectrum), but too many people write messages as if they’re writing a cover letter for a job.

“Hi, my name is James Smith, and I see we both enjoy hiking. Would you like to go hiking with me?”

What are you, a robot? Stop it. Too many men open with something bland and stilted that immediately kills any chance of a follow-up. Your message should be fun, and help to open up a conversation.

Let’s restructure that into something with more pizzazz:

“Last year I hiked the Appalachian Trail with three sweaty, stinky men, who had to huddle together for warmth at night. I decided I’d like to do my next hike with a woman instead lol. What’s the hardest hike you’ve ever been on?

I’m James, by the way. :-)”

Is it going to win an Oscar? No. But you’ve already told a piece of information about yourself in a cute way, kept it lighthearted, fun, and opened the door for more conversation. This is a good opening.

3. Don’t Use Text Speak

Psychologically, using text speaks says that you don’t care, either about how you present yourself, or about the person you’re trying to get a date with, neither of which will help you out in the long run. Have the decency to use a spell check and not use the acronym of every other word.

“Last yr I hiked the App trail with 3 sweaty, stinky men. FML, right? What’s the hrdst trail you ever been on?”

Straight up, you sound dumb, and unless you look like George Clooney, no woman will want to start up a conversation with someone who sounds like that.

4. Avoid Physical Compliments

Some of you might be surprised by this—after all, how many guys start talking to a girl with some line about how beautiful she is? But starting from here can make getting your date an uphill battle.

There are two reasons for this: 1. It can set a bad precedent where they only think you’re into them because of how they look and 2. It makes you seem like all the others guys. Think about it—a lot of guys do start off by commenting on a woman’s looks, and a HELL of a lot more do that online. So if she got 20 messages today and 19/20 guys open with a compliment and you don’t, you instantly stand out from the pack.

5. Keep it Short and Sweet

online dating beautiful woman
Image courtesy of nenetus at

Do not write a book report with your first message. It comes across as desperate. None of the examples on this page—even the bad ones—are above 3-5 sentences, and that’s all you need. The goal is to peak her interest enough to get a message back, not tell her about all your hopes and dreams, or ask her about everyone of hers. Save that for the date.

Take these tips, and use them to craft your first messages. Keep it light, funny, quick, and make run that shit through spellcheck. If you get any more success, let us know in the comments below.

by Nick Masercola

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

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