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cropped-wordpress.jpgOnce you have found a website you are comfortable with and have your profile set up it’s time to start chatting with potential matches. The first thing to remember in this stage is that online dating is not a numbers game. Nothing is worse than getting a mass email from someone; it makes it so obvious they are just blasting out to a bunch of people—and what’s attractive about that? The goal is not to see how many people you can talk to; the point is to find people you are truly compatible with. It could be one person, it could be 15.

Before you message anyone make sure to read their entire bio. Only message a person if there is something in their bio that you liked and stood out to you… and mention that in your message! Another rule (which is generally more aimed at the guys) is don’t be gross or too forward. Starting off messages with “I’d hit that” or anything even in the same ballpark is grounds for immediate rejection, at least in my book.

Make it clear you actually read their profile and found something you have in common. If you want to initiate conversation but are nervous and don’t know where to start, try asking them about their job. People love talking about themselves, and this is probably a great gateway to making them feel comfortable conversing with you.

As with your bio, be conscious of your tone/verbiage. It can sometimes be difficult to pick up on someone’s tone online and it can easily get misinterpreted.

If you are anywhere near decent looking, chances are you are going to be flooded with emails on a daily basis. Set aside certain times throughout the day to check your inbox—no more than 3 times a day. When weeding people out, keep your non-negotiables in mind. If you notice this person has a quality you know you can absolutely not live with (for example, their religion, if that is important to you), delete them and move on. On the contrary, if you are impressed by someone’s email, check out their profile. Read their bio. Does everything they say seem to match with your non-negotiables? Send them a message back.

Remember, you should be taking time to get to know people and talk to people, even if they don’t seem like your type. Try new things! But don’t bother responding to people you know you have no long term interest in. You will only be wasting both of your time.

Download the entire chapter on Rule #4 on Kindle here

Tara Richter

Tara Richter is a Dating Coach in Tampa Bay. She is the author of “The Dating Jungle Series” and an Show Host.