Hopefully I don’t have to go any further with why this is the wrong approach because, damn, it’s REALLY the wrong approach. This is a rule that applies to interacting in person as well, but it’s especially important in the online dating scene because it can be hard to get people to reply to you (whether due to the massive amounts of mail they get everyday or simply because they don’t know how to respond to your list introduction [see Tip 6]).
The far better tactic is to take it slow, like you would meeting someone in real life (generally, at least..maybe the person above is used to doing the same thing in person? Introduce yourself in a way that is clear enough that the other person isn’t freaked out or caught off guard, but intriguing enough that they want to write you back, find out more, and strike up a conversation. Asking a few intelligent, well thought out questions, however, gives them a reason to respond, while at the same time showing something about yourself (‘if he knows enough to ask about that, he must be an MGMT fan, too! Asking good questions can help you steer the conversation while at the same time allowing you to be an active listener; that is, you are totally focused on what the other person is saying, and therefore finding out exactly what you want to know about them (which is one of the benefits of online dating…if you find out they are a Neo-Nazi or infrequent bather or something like that, you can ease your way out of the conversation by not asking any more questions).
It’s simply not cool, gives online dating a bad name, and will likely get you reported and booted from the site.
Secondly, most sites allow some kind of opt-in or opt-out functionality that allows people to see who has been viewing their profile.
It’s amazing how many people will complain that they’ve had no luck with online dating and then I’ll take a look at their profile and there won’t be any pictures and most of the fields aren’t filled out.
“I don’t want my picture up on a dating site,” they say. There’s no way you’re going to find great people to date online if you don’t have enough commitment to post at least one picture and fill out 90% of the fields on your profile page.
Point 3 would be why you wanted to contact them, point 4 might bring up a common interest. I walked away from my dating experiences with a lot of new friends, and though I got lucky and found an awesome chick to date longer-term, I just as likely might not have, and I would have had to be happy with a double-handful of new friends.
Point 5 would be your parting words, something about hoping to hear back from them, and point 6 would be your ‘Goodbye! And I would have been, too, because I told myself ahead of time that whatever came of it I would at least have met some new people outside of my usual social group, gained some new (and sometimes quite bizarre) stories to tell, and tried something new (which should never be discounted).
Would you go out on a blind date with someone from the Internet, sight unseen? So even if you want to come back to them later and put in something REALLY good (see Tip 3), fill out all of the fields, upload some of your Facebook photos and stop whining, because otherwise you’re standing in the doorway and complaining that you don’t like the house.
As with any social environment, the first thing someone notices about you is what you can display from across the room.
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If they took some time to form whole sentences and strike up a conversation with you, however, even if you’re not interested it’s polite to jot down a quick reply and either respond to them in a way that encourages more communication or in a way that cuts the convo off (nicely).