Written by @Emily_Sixx
So you finally mustered up the courage to join an online dating site. You’ve uploaded a few photos, filled in your profile, took the ever so tedious free compatibility test, and after just a few minutes of becoming an active member, you notice you have a new message in your inbox. Now what?!
I have been meeting people online, on and off for the past nine years, and throughout all of my experiences, good and bad, I’ve become a pretty good judge of “online character.”
Below I have listed three requirements that will help you in the decision process as to whether or not that email warrants a response. If at any point a man does not meet a certain requirement, it’s best to just move along to the next email and start all over again. And if he doesn’t pass and you still insist on responding, well, don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Requirement #1: Tasteful Username
Their username doesn’t have to be anything out of this world, but if it’s something along the lines of “1HotNight,” chances are that’s all this man is willing to offer. Unless that is what you’re looking for, it would be in your best interest to click on DELETE!
Requirement #2: Decent Subject Line
This too does not have to be extremely complex, but it can most definitely showcase a man’s intentions.
A simple “Nice to meet you” is acceptable, but it doesn’t really show that they have an eagerness to stand out. Ideally you want to focus on the ones that subtly hint that they actually took the time to read your profile; i.e. “I love blogging too!” Now, I’m not saying ignore the ones that only say “Hi,” but consider giving the ones who put in the little extra effort some priority in order of response.
Now if what you find in your inbox is “U like em big Ma?” or “Daaaamn you sexy!” you know off the bat what will be waiting inside. Do not even open that email! You will only be wasting your time and allow your views of online dating to be tainted by a loser!
Requirement #3: An email with substance
Once they have passed requirements 1 and 2 it is safe to read the email, but please consider a few things while doing so: Length, grammar, tone and personalization.
You don’t want an initial email that’s way too short, and you don’t want one that’s excruciatingly long either. You also want to be sure that he can spell correctly and understand the proper placement of punctuation marks. This proves that they are educated and that they pay attention to detail which is a very admirable trait for a man to have.
Analyze their tone in the email. Are they coming off as insecure by saying “I’ve never really done this before..” or “I know I probably don’t have a chance with you, but..,” or are they coming off completely arrogant with something similar to “Write me back if you think you can handle it.” What you want is a happy medium; A man who displays confidence in himself, but is far from arrogant.
And lastly, there has to be at least some level of personalization. There’s nothing more annoying to me than wasting my time reading an email that is generic and has probably been sent out to a thousand other women. That email must include at least one sentence that specifically mentions something that was written on your profile.
Once a man has passed those three key requirements it is safe to respond to their email. At this point, how you choose to do so is completely up to you.
Make sure you don’t respond to anyone in an “interested” manner if you are not actually sure you’d be interested. Inspect their photos and their profile and see if they would be the type of person you’d consider getting to know. If they aren’t, you can at least thank them for reaching out to you, explain they aren’t what you’re looking for and that you wish them the best of luck on their search.
It may suck to receive a rejection email, but I believe it is much worse to be ignored when you know you sent out a perfectly good email.
For more on Emily, read her blog: www.emilysixxrants.wordpress.com