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Online Dating: The Dos and Don’ts of Sending the Perfect First Message

Written by Jimmy Rustling

In the world of online dating, your first message can be the beginning of something wonderful. The perfect opener can pave the way to a great conversation and maybe even a lasting connection. In this guide, we’ll navigate the dos and don’ts to help you craft a first message that’s engaging, genuine, and most importantly, effective. So, take a deep breath, be yourself, and let’s make a memorable first impression together!

The Dos: Crafting a Message That Gets Noticed

When diving into the digital sea of online dating – whether you use apps or try – the way you cast your first message can really reel in a great catch! Here’s how to make sure your message stands out:

Personalize your greeting. Kick off with a splash by mentioning something from their profile that caught your eye. Did they mention a love for jazz music or Italian cooking? Use it as your hook! And if their name is in the profile, use it. It’s a personal touch that can make your message feel more like a handshake than a shout into the void.

Be positive and upbeat. Nobody wants to respond to a gloomy Gus. Keep your message light, breezy, and as sunny as a day at the beach. Start off with something cheerful like, “Your hiking photo makes me want to hit the trails!”

Show genuine interest. Ask about their interests in a way that shows you’re not just ticking boxes. Try “I see you love sci-fi! Got any favorite universes?” It shows you’re paying attention and eager to know more.

Keep it concise. Don’t let your message balloon into a novel. A couple of sentences are the sweet spot to invite a response without overwhelming them.

Use humor wisely A well-placed joke can be the perfect icebreaker, but tread lightly. If you’re going to make a joke, make sure it’s good-natured and something that can’t be taken the wrong way. After all, laughter can be the way to the heart!

The Don’ts: Common Pitfalls to Avoid

Navigating the online dating scene can feel like a walk through a minefield if you’re not sure where to step. Avoiding the common faux pas can make all the difference:

Don’t be too generic. A simple “Hi” might seem safe, but it’s also likely to get lost in the shuffle. You’re unique, so make sure your message reflects that!

Avoid overwhelming details. Sharing your life story right away can be too much, too soon. Keep some mystery alive – after all, dating is about gradual discovery.

Don’t comment on physical appearance. Compliments are nice, but focusing solely on looks can seem shallow. Compliment their interests or achievements instead.

Steer clear of negative language. Starting off on a negative note can be a real turn-off. Keep things optimistic and forward-looking!

Don’t copy and paste. Your potential match deserves more than a broadcast message. Tailor your words to them – it shows you’re genuinely interested and not just playing the numbers game.

Remember, a little effort goes a long way in making a great first impression online. Keep these don’ts in mind, and you’ll be on the right track to finding your match!

Crafting Your Own Voice

Finding your voice in a sea of singles is key. Your messages should sound like you, not a template. Embrace what makes you quirky, thoughtful, or downright funny. Authenticity resonates, and it’s your best bet for connecting with someone who appreciates the real you. Remember, it’s not just about being noticed – it’s about being remembered. Let your personality shine through in your messages and start making genuine connections!

Follow-Up Etiquette

If your first message didn’t get a bite, don’t worry! A gentle follow-up after a few days can show you’re truly interested. However, if the silence continues, respect their space and move on. Online dating is a two-way street, and the right match will appreciate your conversation as much as you do!


Sending the perfect first message in online dating is about balance: be personal, positive, and true to yourself while respecting the other person’s space. Use these tips as your compass, and you’ll navigate towards meaningful connections. Happy dating, and may your inbox be full of promise!

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About the author

Jimmy Rustling

Born at an early age, Jimmy Rustling has found solace and comfort knowing that his humble actions have made this multiverse a better place for every man, woman and child ever known to exist. Dr. Jimmy Rustling has won many awards for excellence in writing including fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes. When Jimmies are not being Rustled the kind Dr. enjoys being an amazing husband to his beautiful, soulmate; Anastasia, a Russian mail order bride of almost 2 months. Dr. Rustling also spends 12-15 hours each day teaching their adopted 8-year-old Syrian refugee daughter how to read and write.