Making First Contact

Cyber Flirting

Contacting potential matches — Cyberflirting

Depending on the dating service you have chosen, there are various ways you can initiate contact or be contacted. Internet dating websites are constantly updating their look and adding new features. To let a person know you are interested in him or her you can select an option some sites calls a wink or a tease. While this allows you to be coy and indicate interest, it does not require you to put yourself on the line to reveal or say anything about yourself. This is not as effective as contacting people directly through the online dating service’s e-mail or instant message. Some people do not respond to winks or teases because it takes so little effort and reveals nothing about the sender. It is best to write an initial e-mail or instant message (if that option is available) that will arouse the respondent’s interest and make him or her want to contact you to learn more. Your first email serves as your pick-up line with the added benefit that you can design this e-mail based on information that is given to you in their profile. Ladies, do not just sit back and wait to be contacted. Let your fingers do the walking and when you spot persons of interest, do not hesitate to contact them.

Some online dating sites such as provide very structured initial contacts where you select questions for someone to answer and then he or she answers them and in turn sends you some questions. You progress from standard answers to questions and then to direct e-mails through website. Both of you can decide when to go offsite to y our personal e-mail or phone or in-person meeting. The matches they send you are based on the compatibility profiles completed to begin on the site. You can search outside your matches as well.

Some sites have a digital voice recorder that records a message up to thirty seconds and digital video recorder, which requires that you have a Web cam. Others  can also utilize your Cell phone and Link you anonymously with someone. This feature is not free, but it is truly anonymous.

Activity Logging
One thing that I have found especially useful is the feature that tells you how active the person has been online. Usually this is given in terms of how recently the person has been online. Someone who has not been online for several weeks may no longer be active and has possibly quit the service an will never receive your message. This person may also have never subscribed for the service and will never receive your e-mails or be able to respond to you, yet their profile is posted to entice you and add numbers to the website. Good for them bad for you. Another useful feature is the one that lets you know if the person is currently online and also whether you can instantly message them.

Initiating contact with someone you do not know can be intimidating, confusing, and scary at first. Remember though that both men and women like when someone contacts them first. So do not hesitate for these reasons; remember that people are online to meet other people. Be active and approach persons who sound interesting to you. One word of caution here is that you should only initiate contact with people who might be interested in you. Pay attention to the criteria that they specify. For example, if they want someone who is a nonsmoker and you smoke, this may eliminate you even if you plan to quit. The same goes for someone who wants to meet persons of their own religion and race. An exception can be made for age to a certain extent because many persons state a lower age range because they expect most people to lie about it. So if the age range they list is 40-45 and you are 46 or 47, you might try. If you are over 50, this might be too big of a stretch. Do not take the criteria personally and feel bruised if the person does not reply. Some women do not wish to date someone shorter than they are and others may not be interested in riding motorcycles. So be it. This is not your match and it does not mean you are anything less than the unique being you are.

Your skill at writing good initial responses will improve with practice. It takes trial and error and your skills will increase rapidly. It is much easier to cyber flirt than to flirt in person for many of us. The following section will help you to find the right words and tone for your messages.

 

What shall I say in my first e-mail or instant message?

Keep it relatively short; yet provide some information about yourself and something that piqued your interest about that person from his or her profile. You want to spark the person’s interest so he or she will view your profile and write back to you. You want to stand out from the pack. Take a risk and dare to be yourself: memorable and, if you can, witty. This is not the time to send an autobiography or the 10 things you have learned about life. Do NOT reveal a lot about yourself in your first e-mail, just write enough to get his or her attention and desire to write you back. Think carefully and honestly about why you want to write to this person. It might be her smile or his twinkling eyes that attracted you. If you use flattery, be sincere and specific. This by itself is a weak opener because it does not invite other conversation other than:

He: You have a great smile.

She: Thank you.

If his smile is great too, she might add the following, which will only lead to his thank you:

She: Your smile is great too

He: Thank you.

Wow, what a start, we have the possible beginning of a toothpaste ad. Seriously, compliments are nice and may indeed be very true, but where does it go from here? Oftentimes it just moves the ball into the other person’s court.

If the person posted some questions in his or her profile, this is an excellent opening for you. A good first e-mail or instant message picks up on something from a posted profile, states your response, and shows a little about you. Find something that stood out in the profile, which lets the other person know that you have taken the time to read what he or she wrote, and you both have something in common. For example,

I am impressed that the last book you read was I found this to be really informative and interesting, although I did not agree with everything the author said. What did you think about his viewpoint?

This example relates to something specific mentioned in his or her profile and also creates some intrigue, which invites the other party to find out what it was that you did not agree with and also to respond to your question. It is flexible enough that if the person agreed or disagreed with the book you have not made a judgment. It gives the person a conversation to follow up on with you. In this response you have focused on the reader, demonstrated interest in something about him or her, and initiated a conversation. You might find something jazzier such as:

Hi. I think it’s great that you fell in love with Paris during your visit there. It is one of my favorite cities, too. I love the museums and cafes in particular. What did you enjoy the most?”

Here is the headline and opening paragraph of someone’s profile and an initial contact:

 

Headline: Do you believe in magic?

Opening: Life is magical… looking for someone to join me on a magic carpet ride.
Email contact: May I ride on your magic carpet? I will bring the Pixie Dust and some magic of my own.

Be upbeat and enthusiastic in your message. Avoid being cutesy as this often backfires. Be confident. If you are playful with words, this is a great time to use humor and get a fun conversation going. It is a good idea also to counter questions with a question or two of your own. Show that you are taking the other person seriously. Do not bluff—in other words do not try to show you know something more about his or her interests or backgrounds than you do. This can often backfire and make you look fake, misinformed, or even worse, say something that gets interpreted the wrong way.

Here are some actual e-mails that my respondents or I have received. How would you respond to each of these? Which ones would you answer? Which ones turn you off? Which ones are more effective at starting a conversation?

Hi angel, how are you doing today? I read your profiles and i was really happy with it. Well i hope that we can meet online so that we can be able to have some conversation baby,and our conversation might be compartable and have a dream to share, what a nice picture of yours with good profiles , lets start and get to know one another, the journey of one thousand miles starts with a step, who knows may be we are really match.

This email demonstrates the importance of a basic command of English grammar and spelling if you wish to attract someone who is fairly educated. if you do not wish to immerse yourself in English grammar and spelling, have dyslexia, or English is not your first language; then let your fingers do the walking and first compose your message, profile or whatever, in a basic word document. If you use Microsoft Word for Windows, go into Tools and use spell check and grammar check. This may seem to be a lot of work, but it is an excellent compensatory strategy for those persons who may be writing impaired. I am math impaired, and only use a calculator if I need real numbers, like for my checkbook. If you are just lazy and rush through composing an e-mail, just be aware of how you present yourself through this carelessness. You do not have to be too smart to write better than that and recognize illiteracy.

I read your profile and liked what I read. It sounds as if you are spunky and I like that. I love to travel and want to meet a woman who likes the kind of active adventures you describe and who ha an upbeat attitude toward life. I am a lawyer, too. If you could change one thing in the world, what would that be?

Enjoyed reading about all the things you like to do. I have approximately the same list, but add: gardening and boating. I just moved to X, bought a house in Y. Boat is at my dock in the backyard. Based on what I read in your profile: I would appreciate an opportunity to get to know you. Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks for reading this.

 

Hello, hello are you there?

Now you have completed the hardest part and it is easy to just sit back and hope for the mail to pour in and your soul mate to find you. Instead, actively use the Internet as a dating tool to get the results you want, which does take time. What is important is that you go to the bus stop and sooner or later the right bus is likely to come along. This is why you cannot give up the search and allow yourself time and opportunity to meet the right one. It is easy to become frustrated and opt out. New singles are coming online all the time and while you are looking, you are improving your skills and becoming even clearer about what you want, as well as what you do not. Usually people remain active online until they meet someone and then cancel their subscription. If this relationship ends, they sign up again on the same or another site.

People who do not fall madly in love within a few months often become discouraged and quit as do people who have a bad experience. A rejection makes some people run for cover. It is more productive instead to take a good long look at yourself. There is always some way to improve your profile, your photographs, your e-mails or a whole approach that might be undermining your efforts. Do not take the easy way out and retreat or resign yourself to lurking around the website but not subscribing or not contacting others. Instead, examine yourself as objectively as you can. What is your pattern? What impression do you give? Ask others how they see your profile, what you write, what you say, and what you do. Women, times have changed and it is fine to contact men, in fact, they like it. This does not mean that you are desperate or aggressive; it simply indicates that you are interested, which is good. Men, just like women, like to have someone indicate an interest in them. Many men report that they receive lots of e-mails and just keeping up with these is enough and they do not search for additional women. Yes, all right so they may be popular and the competition is stiff; but if you do not play, how can you win? Your chances are markedly better than the lottery! Get your foot in the door.

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