You’ve signed up to a dating site that seems full of promising people. You’ve filled in the personality test with care, you’ve created a bright and engaging dating profile, and you’ve even posed for some flattering profile photos to give yourself that extra boost. Now, there’s just one thing standing between you and finding your next first date: a great online dating message.
Luckily, it’s not hard to craft a winning first message and then keep that online dating conversation going. It’s not even that difficult to ask someone out online. All you need is a bit of confidence, a bit of common sense, and some examples to learn from. And, once you have the latter, the other two elements are sure to follow. That’s why we’ve created some examples of the kind of online dating messages that get responses.
A successful online hello doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, on SilverSingles, it can be as simple as sending your match a Smile to let them know you’re interested.
Of course, if you want to really stand out, it can be a good idea to craft a more original message – something that elevates you above all the people who just say ‘hi’ and leave it at that. The best way to rise above the rest? Tailor your message for the recipient.
Good: Find common ground
Want an easy way to write an online dating message that has a great chance of getting a reply? Identify the common ground between you and the recipient. On SilverSingles it’s simple to find something you have in common – after all, if you see a new profile, it’s likely that they were one of your matchmaking suggestions. So, why not bring that up?
First message example:
I’ve just seen that SilverSingles has matched us and I have to say – I’m really impressed with the algorithm! I wasn’t sure about this whole online dating malarkey, but after reading your profile I can already see that you and I think the same way on several subjects. How about you? Are you enjoying being on a dating site?
Better: Mention something in their profile that caught your eye
Finding common ground is great, but an even better approach is to identify something specific in their profile that you find interesting. That way you’ll avoid looking like you just copy-pasted your message! Again, this is an easy job on SilverSingles – when you click on someone’s profile you’ll see mentions of different interests and hobbies. Just hone in on one that you share (or would like to share!).
First message example:
From your profile I see that you’ve got a boat. So do I! There’s nothing better than a lazy summer afternoon on the water. Do you have any favorite spots? Personally, I’m a big fan of Lake Murray.
Best: Ask questions about their interests
The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed a common thread in these messages – they ask questions. Yes, your first online message is a chance to show your best side, but the way to do that is to flatter the recipient by asking them about their opinions and take on the world. After all, most people secretly love talking about themselves! For the best results, you can even combine all three tips – find common ground, personalize it, and make it a question. Boom, there’s your winning first message.
First message example:
SilverSingles matched us, and I have to say I’m really intrigued by your profile!
I see we have a shared love for Netflix documentaries, which is great as I’ve been looking for a new one to watch. Have you got any recommendations? What’s your all-time favorite/the best one you’ve seen lately?
Once you’ve sent that first hello – stop. The conversation ball is now in their court, and you want to wait for them to hit it back before you try and send another message. Once they do of course, game on! Try these tips to keep the online dating conversation going.
Good: Get really into a shared subject
So, they loved your opening line, and you two really do have a common interest. Great! Dive a little deeper and start building a bond based on that shared enthusiasm. Pro-tip: make sure to also bring in new subjects to avoid the conversation going stale.
I do love Netflix documentaries! My favorites are always the ones where they try and solve some sort of crime or mystery. Although the best I’ve seen lately was this little documentary called Somm, all about these people trying to pass this prestigious Sommelier exam. You’d never think something like that could be so fascinating! Have you seen it?
Sue, I haven’t seen it yet, but I think you’ve convinced me to!
My sister will be pleased someone has succeeded; she actually has a place up near Napa, so lives for stories about wine and keeps telling me to watch.
But enough about my family. How about you? Any Napa connection? Or have you always been based in this part of California?
Better: Crack a few jokes – or at least stay upbeat
It’s hard to be funny on demand, especially when you’re communicating via an online message and you can’t see the reaction of the other person. But, it’s worth a shot – a well-timed or self-deprecating joke can help alleviate some of the awkwardness of online chatting, and pave the way for some light flirtation. At the same time though, forced humor has all the fizz of a flat soda, so if you’re not feeling particularly witty, aim for upbeat instead. It’s the light-heartedness that really matters.
Malcolm, I can’t believe your sister lives there! Stunning part of the state, you must tell me more about it. I’ve only ever lived south of Orange County myself – I need that San Diego sunshine. Am I a Californian cliché?
Best: Be a little flirty – but keep it PG13
Once it’s clear that you’re getting on together, you might want to think about trying to flirt online. A word of caution though – the nature of online messaging means that things like tone and emphasis can be easily misconstrued, and what you intended as breezy can come across sleazy. For that reason, until you know the person better, it’s often better to stick to compliments about their personality, and avoid talking about anything physical.
Sue, all the best things in life are Californian clichés! The Beach Boys, those Napa Valley wines, and yes, the sunshine. You do seem to fit in that category – because, like them, you seem like you could spread happiness wherever you go. It’s something to be proud of!
Flirty back-and-forths are a great way to build rapport and write the kind of online dating messages that get responses. But, if you want more than just an online relationship, you’ll have to eventually take the online-offline. It’s best to do this sooner rather than later – in fact, a University of Florida study showed that it’s best to aim for a first date that’s no later than 17-23 days after your first message.¹ Any longer than that and you risk idealizing the fantasy you’ve built up to such an extent that a real-life meeting can’t match up. But just how do you go about asking someone out online? There’s really only one way forward:
Just do it!
Yes, if you want to make a date with someone you’ve met online, the best way to do it is to just ask. Try not to be nervous – remember that, like you, the person you’re asking is online because they want to meet someone. To make sure they meet you, start by proposing a simple meeting.
Malcolm, that’s incredibly sweet of you to say. You’ve really made my day! Now, I can’t contact the Beach Boys, and I (unfortunately) can’t guarantee sunshine, but I can buy you a glass of Napa Valley wine to say thank-you. How about it? I know this great little wine bar downtown.
Sue – you beat me to it. I’d love to meet you in person. The wine is just a bonus! Does Saturday work?
Writing online dating messages that get responses is easier than you think. All you need to do is find some common ground, tailor your message to the recipient, and ask questions that keep the online dating conversation flowing. So, what are you waiting for? Join SilverSingles today, and get writing your first message. It won’t be long until you’re asking someone out online.