Building an online rapport with a match

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Some people find conversation with people comes easily, for others it’s hard – their minds go blank and they worry that everything they say sounds forced or contrived. Here are our top tips to help you build a great online rapport.

1.      Use the guided communication – it is anonymous, safe and allows you to have your hand held every step of the way. It will also help you to learn a lot about your match before you meet them in person.

2.      Read what they have already told you – this is a vital part of the communication process – all the information they have provided on their profile are building blocks for great conversations especially if you share some of the same interests.

3.      Be yourself – if writing isn’t your thing you don’t need to pretend it is – you might be much better off communicating via a secure call. There is no need to write long, detailed emails at the early stages – good rapport is established through short exchanges much like in a face to face conversation.

4.      Reply quickly – if someone sends you an email it is good manners to reply within 24 hours if you are interested in pursuing the connection. This quick response will let them know you are interested just as much as anything you say.

5.      Keep it brief – 4 sentences or less is the perfect length email which someone can read quickly and respond to if they haven’t got much time to spare – any longer than that and you are in danger of them losing interest if there is too much to respond to.

6.      Mirroring – a useful tactic which business men or women use to good effect is mirroring. In this sense it would mean that you match the length, pace and tone of the emails/texts or instant messages you receive in your own replies – so if they wrote you a short, funny anecdote about their day at work you would respond back with something equally as light. It is a very effective strategy because it makes the person you are communicating with feel as though you are in harmony.

7.      Be honest – there really is no point exaggerating about the details of your life if you are genuinely interested in a match because they will find out the truth eventually if you do go on to develop a relationship. Honesty is not the same as complete transparency – there is no need to tell a match all about your bad habits or the long standing grudge you have against your boss – early communication should be light, fun and even a little flirty but most of all you are just trying to establish whether this is a person you would like to meet in person.

8.      Be consistent – the way you communicate in these early stages is setting the stage for how you will relate to each other if the relationship develops so you are giving a lot more information than you may be aware of. Be consistent in your responses and always treat people with the same respect and positive regard that you would like to be treated with.

9.      Meet first before getting closer online – even though it may be tempting to move your communication away from the eHarmony website quite quickly – so you don’t have to log on to read your responses – we recommend that you meet in person first before you give out any personal details including your email address, phone number or surname.

10.  Take your time – spend as long as you want getting to know someone online – the important thing is that you only meet in person when you feel completely ready. It is important to remember however, that sometimes if you spend too long communicating online it can make meeting in person harder because the rapport you have online will be different to how you communicate face to face. After you have met and been on a date or two your online communication will be much easier and smoother because you will be building on a real connection rather than just a virtual one.


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