Online conversation slipups


Online conversation slip ups

First impressions are all important. In the world of online dating you are relying on the written word to hit the mark and capture a match’s interest. First messages sometimes put people off, not because you have said anything wrong but simply because they don’t contain the vital ingredients to make someone see you as a good prospect.

Playing the field

Sending a standard message to every match that lands in your inbox may seem like a way of casting your net wide, but it’s a strategy that’s more likely to leave you without a good catch. It’s usually obvious when a message is generic, and it gives the impression that you couldn’t be bothered to spend a few minutes reading someone’s profile and writing something to them personally.

After guided communication, use each message you send to show you are particularly interested in them, and the unique things about them that you’ve picked up from their profile.

Too much too soon

Very long emails are unlikely to get read. Sharing your entire life story with someone before you meet them could put them off, rather than persuade them that you are a match worth pursuing. The aim of early online communication is to lay foundations which will lead to a meeting in person. Keep your messages light, fun and informative. Answer any questions they have but avoid going into too much detail online, especially about past relationships.

When you meet in person you will discover whether there is that vital spark between you. Once that is established, the sharing of deeper, more personal, information is how intimacy will develop. Over-sharing with someone and then discovering there is no spark can leave you feeling venerable and exposed.

Personal information such as your surname, phone number, social media, home or workplace addresses should also be held back until you are sure that this is a relationship you would like to pursue. In the early stages of communication it is better to be safe than sorry.

Coming on too strong

Messages that are overtly sexual are likely to put many people off. Gentle flirting and banter is perfectly acceptable once a rapport has developed, but coming on strong too soon can make it seem like you are only interested in a quick fling rather than developing a serious relationship.

It is important to remember that the people you are communicating with online have real emotions and while it may be exciting to engage in risqué talk online, it is potentially dangerous. What you write online, stays online. Keep it clean and treat people as you would like to be treated, with respect.

Out of tune

When people are looking for a match, they are looking for someone who is in tune with them. One way of discerning this at the beginning is the length and tone of messages. If someone writes you a short and witty email and you write back a long prose piece, they may conclude that you aren’t a good match. Take note of the tone they set, answer any questions, and ask open questions (ones that require more than a yes or no answer) to encourage them to reply.

Check your English

In a recent poll, the majority of members said that the first things that put them off a match are bad spelling, poor grammar and text speak e.g. ‘gr8 2 read ur profile’.

If you can’t be bothered to write a well formed email, it suggests that you are not prepared to make a sincere effort. The few minutes it takes to construct a few well formed sentences, check your spelling and grammar, and write whole words rather than shortcuts could make the difference between your email being read or instantly discarded. If you would like a reply, write a message worth replying to.


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