When I talk to women who are new to online dating, they frequently ask me if I ever initiated conversation with anyone on the site. It kind of goes back to that old fashioned sense that men are supposed to ask out women. But this isn’t the 1960’s. Women can just as equally ask someone out as men can.
Plus, there’s the anonymity of the internet. You don’t actually know this person. And you aren’t asking them out. You’re simply messaging them. Like saying hi to someone in a bar. Except, instead of using the classic “Do you like cheese?” line, you can check out their profile and go with something a little bit deeper like “So you like Christopher Moore? What’s your favorite of his books? Mine is You Suck.”
So when women ask me if I ever sent a message to a guy, I have to tell them the truth: I actually played a very passive role in online dating. I received so many messages from men, that I rarely felt the need to send out a message myself. In fact, I responded to less than a quarter of the messages that I received.
Now, I know that sounds pretty terrible. Like I’m overly full of myself, but I had my reasons. First of all, I didn’t respond to anyone who just said something simple like “Hi. How are you?” That’s way too easy. At least comment on something in my profile. Additionally, I didn’t respond to someone who wasn’t in the criteria I was looking for. If he lived too far away (I got a couple from Morocco), if he was too old or too young (remember the old guy with the butt? That’s where this rule came from), if he was in a relationship (you wouldn’t believe the requests for threesomes that I got). Those were all deal breakers.
The first was to a guy who was in living in Big City, USA from Ireland, via Small Town, USA. I messaged him because it was a coincidence to me that we both were in Big City by way of Small Town. He never responded to me.
The second initial message I sent was to a guy I had been “matched” with. He visited my profile. So I visited his. Then he visited mine. So I went back to check him out again. So he visited mine again. On and on it went.
He seemed to be your average nerdy IT guy and since we kept skirting around it, I hemmed and hawed for hours trying to figure out the perfect initial message to send. He clearly wasn’t ever going to message me. I was worried it meant he wasn’t interested, so it put extra pressure on the initial message I would send. But he kept visiting my profile! He must be somewhat interested, right? Finally, I gave in and sent him a less than stellar message:
Good morning! I think we’ve been playing profile tag, so I thought I’d start up a conversation and see where it goes. 🙂 My name is Deviant.
Wouldn’t you know, he messaged me back!
Good afternoon! Profile tag is definitely better than profile stalking, which sounds very very bad. Conversation starting is always a good thing. Only way to get to know somebody new after all… My name is The Beau.