The Complete Guide to Online Dating Messages

April 15, 2020 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Online Dating Service
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CONTENTS 3 ...... Message Mistakes 6 ...... What To Do If

10 ...... A Perfect First Message

14 ...... A Perfect First Message Subject Line 17 ...... Following Up Your First Message 24 ...... Message Tips

25 ...... Supercharge Your First Message

27 ...... Great Questions for Your First Message 29 ...... Personalise Your First Message 30 ...... Arranging the Date

32 ...... First Message Grammar for Dummies 36 ...... 5 First Message Myths 41 ...... High Status Messages

43 ...... Learn From A Gambler 45 ...... Don’t Pretend 46 ...... Don’t Copy

47 ...... A Sneaky Message Trick 48 ...... 5 Message Don’ts

49 ...... Radical Honesty 50 ...... How to Personalise LONDON SCHOOL OF ATTRACTION


Message Mistakes Mistake 1: Over-Investing By over-investing I mean seeming too keen, happy or emotional about anything that happens in the context of an online dating situation. For example: “Wow your profile is amazing. I can see we’re going to get along...” “I can’t wait to meet you – this date is going to be great...” “Really looking forward to seeing you tomorrow. Sweet dreams…” You look amazing in your photos, please reply…” You don’t know each other. You’re just names and pictures on a screen so keep your excitement to yourself. The examples above make you look like an utter loser.

Mistake 2: Over-Teasing It’s hard to get the tone right with any remote communication whether it be Facebook, e-mail, text, online dating or I.M. What you think sounds cheeky she might read as rude. So be careful when trying to tease a girl any time you’re not face-to-face.

“Who the f*** does this guy think he is...”

With online dating you’re especially likely to strike the wrong tone. Your status isn’t very high to start with; if you start to tease her before you’ve proved yourself, the girl is likely to think: “Who the f*** does this guy think he is…” Also, you haven’t met her yet. You haven’t really earned the right to start teasing her. So be very careful trying to tease girls online. It can be done but, if in doubt, stick to friendly banter until you’ve actually met her.

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Mistake 3: Coming Across As A Player If you seem too smooth in your message you might activate a girl’s “player radar”. Here’s an example from a girl I was messaging a while ago:

“I know this amazing little bar tucked away off Regent Street that does the best banana daiquiri you’ve ever had. Tell me your number and I’ll let you in on the details.”

“Mmm… I’m not sure. Sounds like you’ve done this before. Is this where you take all the girls?”

Alex Now a player vibe is not the worst thing to give off. It’s certainly better than its opposite – the guy who never has any success with women. But it can be a little incongruent with a guy who’s on an online dating site.

Girl So it’s hard to avoid if you’re any good at this stuff, and it’s no disaster if it happens. Just be aware of it and learn how to counter it. Don’t deny it and don’t look too pleased with yourself. Best to agree and exaggerate:

“Well I took the first 50 girls there and they seem to like it. But I run the risk of all my girlfriends finding out about each if I go there too often. Ah the dilemmas of a ladies’ man…”

Alex ...continued on next page LONDON SCHOOL OF ATTRACTION


Mistake 4: Being Too Sexual The issues with being too sexual are broadly the same as the issues with teasing a girl online. You don’t have any particular value in her eyes; you haven’t met each other; you are just a name on a computer screen. If you’re too sexual in your online dating messages, you also risk the “creep factor”. Being creepy is hard to define but it is pretty much every girl’s number one turn-off.


If you want to make your messages a bit more exciting, keep it flirtatious rather than sexual. Imagine she asks you: “So would you take me on a morning date or an evening date?” A bad (too sexual) answer would be: “Well that depends if get to wake up next to you!” Much better: “Evening. Game of pool- winner gets to choose the DVD”


What To Do If Online Dating Dilemmas It’s not that easy to find good online dating tips for men. People will tell you how to make good online dating profiles or send funny online dating messages, but they forget that online dating often throws up tricky situations. Girls on online dating sites will constantly test you, behave erratically and set up situations that are tricky to navigate. There’s no way that I can cover every eventuality, but here are some of the most common online dating dilemmas and how to best handle them. As always, all examples are from real messages from online dating conversations that Doug and I have had. Only the names have been changed.

Dilemma 1 – She Asks You Out Of the replies you get to your initial message, about one in ten will ask you out straight away or at least suggest meeting up. You’ll usually get something like: “when shall we meet up?” or “let’s meet for a drink”. Now this is great news. You will almost certainly be able to meet this girl if you play your cards right. BUT there is a strategy here that you need to follow. Don’t agree straight away. If you do, there’s every chance she’ll lose interest. She may have even been consciously testing you to see how keen you are. Remember that you are a busy guy with a lot of dating options- it’s not going to be that easy for her! So straight away you can adopt a tone of

mock-surprise: “Hang on hang on it seems you are trying to circumnavigate my carefully prepared vetting process.” Then tell her that she needs to do something else for you: “We shall meet up in the New Year pending the completion of one last check .” Now all you need to do is make her do one more thing for you before you’ll agree to the date. It can be anything you like. You can ask her a poser or get her to tell you her favourite book or film or bar. Whatever her answer, say she’s passed and move onto arranging the date.

Dilemma 2 – She Doesn’t Reply Most girls won’t reply to your first message. This isn’t me making a judgement about you. It’s just what the numbers tell us1. Also very common is that a girl will reply to your first message and

then not reply to your second. When Doug and I looked at the stats, we found that only 70% of the girls who replied to the first message ever replied to any subsequent messages. ...continued on next page


7 / WHAT TO DO IF I don’t recommend you chase her. There are some fun messages you can send if you don’t hear from her for ages2 but you’re probably going to sound whining and needy whichever way you come at it: “Hey. Haven’t heard back from you after my last message- how have you been?” If she suddenly stops replying, just abort. There are hundreds, thousands of attractive girls on the

site and in the rest of the world to go and flirt with. And, anyway, you have no idea why she’s stopped replying. Maybe she met another guy; maybe she left the site; maybe she died; maybe she got bored. Whatever the reason, it’s VERY unlikely that another message from you is going to change anything.

Dilemma 3 – She Replies After A Long Delay This is a tricky situation, because the two most natural responses will make you look like a jerk. If you ignore the fact that she’s kept you waiting for two weeks, you risk looking weak: You: …so anyway what are your favourite films? Chat soon. Bill x Girl: {3 weeks later} Probably Gone in 60 Seconds and Time Cop. You: {few hrs later) Wow- me too! Love action movies… If you criticise her for going missing for 3 weeks, you risk looking like a grouch who’s taking the whole online dating thing too seriously: You: …so anyway what are your favourite films? Chat soon. Bill x Girl: {3 weeks later} Probably Gone in 60 Seconds and Time Cop. You: {few hrs later) Hey that’s not on, making me wait 3 weeks for a reply. I’ve got better things to do than sit around for all that time…

The best thing to do is call her out on the big delay, but in a funny exaggerated way. How about: You: …so anyway what are your favourite films? Chat soon. Bill x Girl: {3 weeks later} Probably Gone in 60 Seconds and Time Cop. You: {few hrs later) Now look Tilly, as much as I love those kind of movies too, if we really are going to be soul mates and possible marriage material we need to keep our lines of communication open. I’ve been going crazy with worry over the last 3 weeks… You obviously can’t be taking it this seriously, so she’ll know you are joking. But it still gets your objection out there and doesn’t give her a free pass. Hopefully she’ll explain why it took her so long to reply (and if she apologises, even better). In Part 2 I’ll go through another three common online dating scenarios and explain the best way to deal with them.


Look for around 25% of all the messages you send to be replied to. This will be slightly higher on paid subscription sites; significantly lower on free sites.


One popular message from the PUA community runs something like this: “hey you must have been kidnapped! Don’t worry I’ll come and rescue you…” It’s good fun and, perhaps, worth a shot if you really like her.

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Dilemma 4 – She Asks You To Call Her Some girls won’t want to meet you until they’ve heard your voice on the phone. This is actually less common than you might think- only around one in ten girls that you actually date will need a phone conversation before they agree. Here’s an example from one of Doug’s conversations. He had asked the girl his standard “vetting” questions and then asked her out for a hot chocolate: Girl: If you’d like to give me a call I can vet you in return and, if you achieve more than a borderline pass, I may agree to this hot chocolate action. Here’s my number **** *** *** Now here you can do one of two things. You lose nothing by just giving her a call. Keep it short, don’t reference that you’re calling because she asked you to and don’t try to arrange the date on that call.

“if you achieve more than a borderline pass, I may agree to this hot chocolate action...”

Just have a quick chat, then say that you’ve got stuff to do and say goodbye. If you really don’t fancy giving her a call (maybe it feels like she’s been the one calling the shots) you can use a bit of humour: You: Your number has been saved. I would call you straight off the bat, but I get very nervous around girls and my throat goes all tight when I have to talk to them on the phone, so I think I’ll start off with a text. Doug sent a text about something unrelated to the phoning issue and was soon off and running: Girl: Ha ha. Anyway, how’s your throat coping with a text? Doug: Well my hands (thumbs?) are shaking a bit but I’m ok. What fun stuff are you up to this evening x ...continued on next page



Dilemma 5 – She Says You’re Good-Looking Sometimes girls will tell you that you are good-looking. Here’s what not to say. The first answer is too coy and the second is too cocky. Answer 1: Oh no not really! Oh you’ve made me embarrassed! Answer 2: Well thank you. That’s what most people say. The best thing to do is agree and exaggerate, so it’s obvious you’re not taking it too seriously: You: Yes I’m not surprised you say that. I was actually asked to be the face of Tommy Hilfiger but my internet dating commitments meant I had to say no to Tommy, thanks for thinking of me etc.

Dilemma 6 – She’s Non-Committal Sometimes girls will neither agree to your date suggestion nor turn it down. It’s really frustrating when this happens: You: Wonder Woman, let’s have cocktails Thursday evening. 7 or 8 good for you? Girl: Hmm. Not so sure about cocktails, might be playing netball that evening. Your only move here is to sit tight and wait. If you chase her, you’ll look needy: “Well look I need to know either way so are you coming or not?” This sort of message will have her running


a mile. Just wait. Ideally she’ll realise that you’re not going to chase her after such a half-hearted answer, and she’ll send another message saying that she can make it. Sometimes you might have to wait until the time of the date and beyond. Don’t crack. Don’t turn up. Just let the evening come and go. If she really can’t be bothered to confirm or not then she’s not worth pursuing anyway.


A Perfect First Message Online dating is a numbers game. To make it worth your while at all, you have to send out a high volume of messages. On the other hand, you must not compromise on quality. Girls on dating sites will be sceptical and most girls will receive a high volume of messages – yours must stand out.

“Peanut butter or strawberry jam?”

After thousands of messages and analysis, we believe the following to be a perfect online dating first message.

Message Example 1 Hi Laura. Cute picture!

6 Reasons It Works So Well

I would skip all the internet dating formalities and ask you out for a drink but, as you know, the internet can be a dangerous and murky place. So I have devised some carefully selected vetting questions to ensure my safety:


It qualifies her. The three questions immediately set the frame that the girl has to impress you to allow her to go on a date. This is streets ahead of most guys’ approach; they try to persuade the girl to go on a date.

Which is bluer the ocean or the sky?


It stands out. Most guys send generic getto-know-you messages. The example I’ve given will make her sit up in her seat, as it will be different and slightly shocking.


It’s self-aware. My message addresses and mocks the internet dating stigma. “…the internet is a dangerous and murky place” will make her feel comfortable and shows that you have a sense of humour about what is an atypical way of going about meeting a girl.


It shows interest. The flattery (“cute picture”) softens the qualification of the three vetting questions.

Peanut butter or strawberry jam? Early mornings or late nights? Doug x

It may look a bit strange on the page, but trust me- this sort of message is just what you’re looking for when it comes to your online dating first message.

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It gives her something to do. By giving her three questions to reply to, you make the message easier to reply to. It requires less thought and leads her in the conversation. As there is a clear structure she will be more inclined to take the time to answer.


It’s playful and cheeky. The message is very clearly tongue-in-cheek and demonstrates that you have a sense of humour. Irony is attractive to women.

There is no magic bullet with these opening salvos, but a good solid online dating first message which follows the above principles will give you a good chance of some replies. Another example below that also works well:

Message Example 2 Hi Julie. Cute picture! I would skip all the internet dating formalities and ask you out for a drink but, as you know the internet can be a dangerous and murky place. So I have posed a riddle which is used psychologists to assess soundness of mind: A woman is at a funeral and sees a man there that she has never seen before. She instantly falls head over heels in love with him. She leaves the funeral not knowing who he was, and she has no known way of contacting him. Two weeks later her sister was killed. Who was the murderer and why was the murder committed? Doug x


Decision: Template or Personalised Before you begin to craft your online dating first message, you need to decide just how personalised you’re going to make it. Online dating messages fall on a continuum: at one end of the extreme are totally personalised messages that you write from scratch for each girl; at the other end are templates that you can send out in bulk to as many girls as you like. Highly personalised online dating messages WILL get a better response rate. But they are very time-consuming and can lead to overinvestment. I make no secret in this book for my preference for largely non-personalised online dating first messages. With online dating the end game is to get on a date with a girl you find attractive. The key to making this happen is efficiency – how you can get as many of these dates with the minimum effort.


5 Principles for Great First Messages


Qualification. Create a message which asks the girl to prove herself to you; don’t try to persuade the girl that you would be a good date. She’ll have loads of messages in her inbox from guys all telling her what a great time she’d have with him. Make her sit up and take notice by flipping this dynamic. Instead of saying, “if we go out we’ll have a great time because I’m really funny” say, “I wonder if you’d be funny enough for me to take you out”.


Keep it short. Sending a girl a massive essay tells her that you place a very high importance on her reply. It also conveys that you have nothing better to do than sit at home constructing long e-mails to girls you’ve never met. A better approach is to keep the message very short. As a rule of thumb, think how a really busy and cool guy would approach online dating. He’d probably throw out a couple of messages to see if it was any good – he wouldn’t sit poring over the profiles of girl’s he’d never met.


Compliment her. Ideally you would compliment every girl about something specific on her profile. As I discussed before, though, it’s very difficult to personalise a high volume of messages. From my experience the extra effort required to include a personalised compliment is not worth the time – a generic “cute picture” gets very similar results.


Engage her. Ask the girl questions which she needs to answer correctly to get a date with you. This works because it gives her something to do, something to think about and allows for a creative reply. If you’re uncomfortable making her justify herself, you can still engage her by asking her opinion on something: “I have sponsored an elephant in India for my niece and I need to give it a name – what do you think?”


Tell her what is happening. However you decide to structure your message, make sure she knows what is happening. A message with no obvious goal can seem annoying and pointless for a girl when she is online dating. For example, if you want to take her out once you’ve asked a few questions then tell her. If you are giving her a little test to see whether she can “earn” a date, tell her this. Don’t just send a get-to-know-you message. Articulate an end game and a purpose to the message, even if it’s just that you liked her profile and wanted to get to know her better. ...continued on next page


13 / A PERFECT FIRST MESSAGE Here are three more examples of online dating first messages that work well.

Message Example 1

Message Example 2

Hey Laura you have a very cute picture and I’d like to find out a little more about you. I was thinking about us going straight for a date, but as a security measure I have compiled a list of carefully chosen vetting questions to ensure that you aren’t a dangerous character:

Hello Julie you look really cute on your profile. In this message I am first going to try to impress you; then I will give you a chance to impress me. If we are both suitably impressed I suggest we go for a drink.

1. What is your most prized possession? 2. Who is your best friend in the world and why are they your friend?

Ok me impressing you: 1. I send £3 a month to an elephant charity. 2. I don’t drink caffeine.

3. Do you prefer peanut butter or jam?

3. Everyone says they really like me although I’m not sure if they are telling the truth.

Right that about covers it. Good luck x

4. When my friends do well at stuff I’m genuinely happy. 5. I clean my apartment a lot. 6. I use snobby words when normal ones will do (see point 5)

Message Example 3

You impressing me (you may not use Google):

Wow Lucinda you are really cute. I think we should definitely go on a date!

1. Can you name seven countries in the world with 4 letters in their name (e.g Peru)?

I’m not a big fan of online dating trivialities, but I guess we should do some. You may ask me any three questions. I have also constructed a personality profile test for you which will allow me to decide how well we will get on. These are incredibly important questions which are used by security agencies all over the world so please treat them with the requisite respect:

2. True or false: traffic planners create mini models of prospective road layouts and put ants in them so that the ants work out the optimal traffic flow?

1. What colour is your favourite scarf? 2. What is your favourite country in the world? 3. If you could be anyone else in the world for a day who would it be? Right I think that covers the trivialities x


3. If you could, would you take a job you hate that pays £1 million per year – you have to do it for at least fifteen years? 4. What would be your perfect Saturday? Good luck and I look forward to hearing from you x


A Perfect First Message Subject Line Ever Made This Mistake… If you don’t get the subject line right, the girl is probably not even going to OPEN your messages in the first place. Hands up who has sent online dating messages with subject lines like “hello”, “hi” or “hey sexy”? Don’t be shy, we’ve all done it. But it’s time to stop. Writing online dating messages with bad subject lines is killing your chances of online dating success.

Why the Subject Line Matters Whenever we speak to girls about their online dating experiences, we’re always amazed at just how many online dating message they get. The average good-looking girl who tries online dating will get dozens of messages from guys every day. On most sites all she sees is the subject line. When I interviewed Connie for some online dating tips for men she showed me her online dating inbox. It was full of unopened messages from guys. Crucially – they all looked the same.

It doesn’t matter if your actual online dating first message follows all our advice. It doesn’t matter if it’s cheeky, funny, challenging and well-written. If it has the subject line “hello” it will simply be lost in the sea of all the other messages. In all likelihood, it won’t even be opened. So I will give you five DOs and five DON’Ts for your online dating subject line.

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Subject Line – 5 DOs Get her attention. By far the most important feature of your online dating subject line is that it stands out. It doesn’t matter at this stage if it stands out because it’s funny, clever or even rude. It simply must catch her eye among all those “hi” and “hello” subjects. Disqualify yourself. A great way to stand out from the other guys is to disqualify yourself in the subject line. Rather than saying, “we’d be great together” say “this is NOT going to work”. Disqualifying yourself shows that you’re not taking the online dating thing very seriously (always a good idea).

“Hey I wanted to tell you....”

Allow the subject line to flow into your message. Start a sentence in the subject line and then finish it in the first line of the message proper. We instinctively like to see things completed, so we are inclined to read on if we see something like “Hey I wanted to tell you…” Just write something random if you get stuck. If you’re stuck for what to write, just stick down the first thing that comes to mind. Look around you – what can you see? I know it sounds stupid, but whatever you just thought of is a million times better than “hello”. Even if it’s “a blue stapler that doesn’t really work”. Pose simple questions. However lame they are, it’s human nature to want to answer questions. If you can’t think of anything clever, as with D0 #4 just write whatever is on your mind. “The Wire or Sopranos?” is on my mind right now.

Subject Line – 5 DON’Ts

Say “Hello” or “Hi”. Seriously, please don’t. The latest data suggests that 65% of all online dating first messages have as their subject line a variation of “hello” or “hi”. Not only will you be marked down as a guy with no imagination, your message probably won’t be opened in the first place.

“Hey baby.... you’re gorgeous”

Agonise over it. As with most aspects of online dating, thinking for ages about what to write very rarely makes things better. Yes, it’s important to write a good subject line, but you’re not going to get there by agonising over it. If you get writers’ block, just chuck down anything – random is fine, boring is not.

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16 / A PERFECT FIRST MESSAGE SUBJECT LINE Be cheesy. Cheesy chat-up lines are usually a bad idea. When you approach a girl in person, you can at least smile and use your voice tone to show that you’re not taking things too seriously. But in an online dating first message, “hey baby” and “you’re gorgeous” sound extra lame. Be vulgar. Vulgarity is something you can get away with when the girl either A) knows you very well or B) thinks you’re very cool. In an online dating subject line, you’re a million miles away from both of these. Keep it clean guys.

Over-invest. You don’t know her. She’s a couple of thumbnail photos and a text profile. You can’t already really like her, fancy her or feel any sort of connection with her. Writing a subject line that overreaches emotionally will make you look creepy: “we’re going to get on so well”, “wow – you’re amazing”, “from your soul mate…”

10 Online Dating Subject Lines You Can Use I know I’ve said you can use these today, but the truth is that it’s really far better to think of your own online dating message subject lines. This list took me about thirty seconds to come up with, so it really shouldn’t be difficult to do your own. And we don’t want the same girl getting a bunch of messages with the same subject lines do we… 1. “Don’t click here”

6. “Have you ever wondered…”

2. “You’ll never guess what…”

7. “24 Inch Pythons”

3. “This is NOT going to work”

8. “Wanna get married tomorrow?”

4. “It’s come to my attention that…”

9. “Neighbours or Home and Away?”

5. “Pizza or sushi?”

10. “Mullets”



Following Up Your First Message To paraphrase Doug, in your first online dating message you give the girl a compliment and then ask her three “screening” questions. You should get around 25% of your messages replied to. Now the game begins!

What She Might Say Although it seems like there’s an infinite number of ways she can reply, there are really only three broad categories of reply you’re going to get back from your initial message. In all the time that Doug and I have trialled online dating, the replies have been a variation of one of the following: 1. She just sends you back her answers. 2. She answers your questions and asks three questions back. 3. She answers your questions and asks you if she’s passed. Over the next few pages, I’ll go though each possibility and explain a simple structure for how you want to reply. First I want to talk very briefly about some rules following up your first message.

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When To Write It doesn’t make a massive difference when you write your follow up message. I would say there are really only two times to AVOID: Friday and Saturday evenings. It looks a bit lame if you are replying to online dating messages at this time rather than out with your friends. Midweek evenings are fine and Sunday evenings are ideal. Any day after midnight. Sure, you might have come back in from a night out. Sure, you might work shifts. But you might be an unemployed bum who stays up all night on internet forums. If you’ve got something to say, and it’s after midnight, save it till the next morning.

How Long To Wait To Reply Again, no hard-and-fast rules here. I’ve found that the next day is best. The same day can look too keen; any longer than a day or two can risk losing momentum, especially if the girl is attractive and is probably getting loads of messages. As a rule of thumb, if she’s replied quickly to your message, then you have a bit more latitude to reply sooner. What you want to avoid is a situation where she makes you wait a couple of weeks and then gets a reply within a few hours.

How Much To Write As with online dating first messages, short subsequent messages are better than long ones - long messages can make you look a bit desperate. The more important rule, however, is to try to write shorter messages than her. This can be difficult if she’s not giving you much back, but resist the urge in that situation to try to bring her out with long rambling messages. Keep it short or it’ll look try-hard.

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Reply Style 1 – Answers Only Here’s an example to illustrate this type of reply. In my first message I asked Sarah1 my standard questions and she replied:

1. All the names have been changed, obviously, but these are real excerpts from real online dating conversations that Doug and I have had.

Alex: Sandy beaches or stony beaches? Peanut butter or blueberry jam? Are you a morning person or a night person? Sarah: Hey Alex, My answers would most definately (sic) be sandy beaches, peanut butter and a night person! Sarah x Now this sort of reply is the most challenging to deal with. To be honest, it’s unlikely that I’m ever going to meet a girl after a reply like that. That’s not me claiming to have any psychic powers; it’s simply what the numbers say. But let’s give it one more shot. First, the problems with her reply: she’s not really investing in the conversation; the answer has only taken her a few seconds to write; she hasn’t really given me an excuse to write again. My message is long and hers is short- so it immediately looks like I’m chasing a girl who isn’t that interested. Only the kiss at the end is giving me any sort of encouragement at all.

“my radar is saying danger danger danger !”

What To Write The only thing I can do her is to match her investment level (low) and send back a short cheeky message. It’s unlikely to work, but a long message is even less likely to work. So I replied: Alex: Sarah, my radar is saying danger danger danger! You need to convince me x I’m acknowledging that her first online dating message wasn’t very exciting. It shows that she needs to work harder to get me interested and that I’m not going to invest any more until I see some effort from her. Remember – there are plenty more girls out there whom I can have some banter with. This conversation didn’t turn into a date, but it only cost me a few seconds of thought and I was able to move on to the next message on my terms.

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Reply – Answers and Questions With this type of reply, she’ll either ask you the same three questions, or come up with three new ones. If it’s the same three questions, she can ask you in a variety of ways, from the dull to the flirtatious. Here are some I’ve received: And I’m obviously going to ask you to return the favour and give your answers too… Your turn, same questions… You? to all the above… How would you answer your own questions then… Right back at you… This is a very common way for her to reply to you. It’s a nice reply for her to send because it allows her to keep the banter going without having to think of anything new. And it forms a kind of intimacy, because you’re learning about each other in common areas. It’s also a nice reply to receive. Not only does it mean she’s showing some interest, it’s also an easy one to answer. You’ll have answered

your own questions already a few times and (hopefully) you’ll have chosen questions that you want to answer in the first place. It’s just as good if she asks you new questions. She’s showing interest by thinking up new stuff to talk about. And it means you can get off the subject of your original ideas and keep the conversation fresh. As far as your message is concerned, I like to think of it in four stages:

Stage 1: Tease It’s fun straight off the bat to tease her a little rather than going straight into answering her questions. This keeps your answer from sounding too eager and compliant and it introduces a flirtatious element right from the start. Here are a few ways to tease her if she asks you the same questions: My own questions turned back on me… I can see you’re going to be a handful… Same questions eh? I sense a lack of imagination, bit of luck you’re cute… If she asks you fresh questions, try something like:

How audacious of you to ask ME questions. I shall sportingly comply…. How audacious of you ask me some questions back – I can tell you were the girl in the class with her hand up all the time pointing out the teacher’s errors! Be careful with teasing. It’s a risky strategy at the best of times and it can be especially hard to pull off via online dating. Use her reply to gauge how far you can push it. For example, I’d only go with the “lack of imagination” tease if her message had been equally cheeky. If her message was simple and to the point then keep your teasing very mild and leave the more audacious stuff behind for the moment. ...continued on next page



Stage 2: Answer Keep your answers very simple. Tell the truth and don’t bother going into detail. The whole point of the three questions in the beginning was to have a bit of fun; if you start writing long paragraphs and taking it too seriously then you’ll undercut the banter of the first message. Don’t try to impress her and don’t try to look cool – with these messages you’re going to be doing all the work in the “tease” and “disqualify” sections anyway. All I would say is that, if you’re answering your original questions, make sure you don’t give exactly the same answers as she did (see below).

“it seems we may have severe compatibility issues, but let’s not write us off just yet...”

Stage 3: Disqualify At this stage, point out how INCOMPATIBLE you are. If you’ve both answered the same questions and you haven’t given the same answers, you have an easy lead in. If you have answered different questions, the technique works just as well. Here’s a nice way to phrase it: “It seems we may have severe compatibility issues, but let’s not write us off just yet…”

Every guy she meets on the site will be trying to force rapport with her, will be trying to play up how much he has in common with her. It’s very powerful to do the opposite here. You’ll sound like a challenge to her rather than someone who is desperate to meet up.

Stage 4: Finish You have two options here. If you sense that the conversation is going well and that she’s really into you, push for the date (see later in the book for the best way to get a date online). If you think you need a bit more work, ask her a final question. At this point you can make it something more mundane. You don’t want to

come across as the joker all the time, so ask her something that will make you sound like a real person. I like to root it in the time of the week/ year: “So Jill, what have you got planned for the weekend? What did you get in your stocking? Tell me about your bank holiday adventures Claire…”

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22 / FOLLOWING UP YOUR FIRST MESSAGE Earlier in this topic I gave you some tips on how best to follow up your first online dating messagethat is, what to say when she replies. I also outlined the three ways that she might reply to your initial message. Here, I’ll tell you how to handle it if she answers your questions and asks you if she’s passed.

Reply – Did I Pass? This type of reply won’t always be phrased as “did I pass?” and it might not even be phrased as a question. The clue is that, each time, the girl will be interested as to what her answers have said about her. When it comes to online dating, this is the best kind of reply to get. It shows that your initial message was successful in setting up that frame that the girl wants to “pass” your test. It shows that your approval is important to her. And it gives you a wealth of options for your reply: teasing, flirtation, connection, humour etc. So here are four of our favourite ways to follow up your online dating first message when you get this kind of

Option 1:

Option 2:

This is a really nice way of transitioning into a suggestion of a date. If the girl says something like: “so, do I win a prize?” or “what’s my reward”, you can make the date the reward. In this example we ended up on a lovely date within a few weeks:

If you feel like being nice to her, then tell her that her answers were good:

A Date is the Prize

Girl: Hopefully that doesn’t break my cover that i’m actually a 55 year old man! Do I get a prize? Alex: Yes you do- we shall be going for hot chocolate in the New Year.

Give Her A Good Mark

Girl: I hope that within those answers you are able to discern that I am not a middle-aged, psychotic internet predator. I do know a few perverts though who like eating jam in the mornings on a sandy beach, so I’m unsure as to how my answers may enlighten you. I look forward to hearing the verdict. Alex: Solid, with no outward signs of worrying behaviour or tendencies- you should be very pleased.

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Option 3:

Give Her A Bad/Average Mark It can be fun to give her a bad or average mark, or to suggest that you’re not convinced. This allows her, in her next message, to tease you a bit (and then you’re away): Girl: So now you know, I’m totally indecisive and like to have my cake, eat it, then take someone elses and have that too. Did I pass?

“I’m totally indecisive and like to have my cake and eat it...”

Alex: There seem to be some compatibility issues but let’s see if we can overcome them!

Option 4:

Try A Cold-Read You can even pretend to work out aspects of her personality from her answers. Don’t spend any time on this: just chuck out any old rubbish and see what she responds with: Girl: Let me know how I got on. I’m intrigued. Alex: Hmm… your answers tell me that you are someone who can be bossy at times but is very loyal and always plans ahead.

How To Finish Always ask her one final question, as if you need to make sure about her. She’s already invested quite heavily so don’t worry too much about asking too much of her. And I’d be tempted to soften it by promising a date if she gets it right: Alex: Ok final question, if you get this right we can go on a date: if you could wake up tomorrow anywhere in the world, where would it be?

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Message Tips Your online dating first message is a key moment in your online dating strategy. Get this bit right and you boost your response rate and ensure that subsequent conversations are productive. Get you first online dating message wrong and be prepared to face short replies or even an empty inbox. There are some key principles which will allow you to flourish is the strange world of online dating. I have narrowed these down to three areas to consider with some examples.

Tip 1 – Qualification

Tip 2 – Teasing

Qualifying a girl means getting the girl to prove herself worthy of a date. The wrong way to do it is to sound stroppy: “I’ll take you out if you tell me three reasons why I should.” To qualify properly, add a touch of humour:

This nicely leads onto the second area. The definition of teasing is “attempting to provoke in a playful way”. Not the easiest thing to do through a computer screen, but it can be done and is again better demonstrated by good and a bad example. The wrong way to do it is to be mean: “Did you get that dress from Primark?”

“Right then Anna, as you know the internet is a dark mysterious place so before I take a risk and ask you out I should check you are not a serial killer- if you could just answer the following riddle I may consider you a safe date. A woman is at a funeral and she meets a guy she really likes who is a mutual friend of her sister but, because of the sombre occasion, she never gets round to asking for his number. Determined to see the man again what action does she take?” About 10% of people answer that the girl kills her sister to see the man again. If she answers this you can tease for being a “danger”; if she gives any other answer tell he she is not insane and that she’s onto the next stage.

You have to ensure that what you’re saying is obviously not serious and dry. This is easy enough in person but over the internet make sure the banter is obvious. Much better, too, to be a little self-deprecating as you tease the girl: Hmm so you are a big drum and bass fan… Being a very refined lover of jazz I’m worried our date may be a little overly energetic for me. Do you promise to keep things at a reasonable pace?

Tip 3 – Make the Date Sound Fun When you invite the girl on a date make sure that the proposition sounds fun. Something like: “I know a great little coffee shop in Soho” or, “I heard this new bar was cool- come try it with me.” This sounds obvious but it’s amazing how many people ask for a date and make it sound uncompelling. So remember, when it comes to your online dating first message: qualify, tease and compel.



Supercharge Your First Message It’s crucial to give a good first impression when you send your online dating first message, but it can be difficult because you want to seem cool without sounding too eager. Girls receive loads of messages when they put a profile online and your message has to stand out from the crowd and get her interest. The trick is to send an first online dating message which doesn’t cede power to the girl but does intrigue her.

Set a Poser in Your Online Dating Message One component of a perfect online dating first message is that it gets the girl feeling like she has to win you over, rather than vice versa. A brilliant way to engage the girl and make her start justifying herself to you is by asking her what we call a “poser”. This is basically a fun test or riddle- if she passes then you will agree

to take her on a date. Set it up by saying something like: “I have been told to be wary of online dating sites and the dangerous people that you can meet on them. To protect myself from the potential axe murderers I have devised a riddle which will tell me if you are going to be dangerous.” Then either make one up, find one online or use ones of the ones we suggest:

“To protect myself from the potential axe murderers I have devised a riddle...”

“This is a story about a girl. While at the funeral of her own mother, she met a guy she’d never met before. She thought this guy was amazing, just the kind of dream guy that she was searching for, and she fell in love with him immediately. However, she never asked for his name or number and afterwards couldn’t find anyone who knew who he was. A few days later the girl killed her own sister. Question: Why did she kill her sister?”

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26 / SUPERCHARGE YOUR FIRST MESSAGE The answer is that the girl wanted to see the man again. She assumed that, if the guy had turned up at her mother’s funeral, then he might well appear at another family funeral. Apparently, only a psychopath would get this correct because

only a psychopath could conceive of acting so ruthlessly to get his own way. This was a test devised by a famous American psychologist and many convicted serial killers took part and answered “correctly”.

Why it Works This sort of thing works brilliantly when it comes to attracting women because you are making her prove herself to you but in a very fun and tongue-in-cheek way. You are also acknowledging that there are weirdos out there and showing that you aren’t one of them.


And it gives her something concrete to write about when she comes to write her own online dating first message back to you. Girls will sometimes like the look of you but not know exactly what to say- this sort of message give her an easy lead-in.


Great Questions for Your First Message It is essential to give a good first impression when you send an online dating first message, but it can be difficult because you want to seem cool without sounding too eager. Girls receive loads of messages when they put a profile online and your message has to stand out from the crowd and get her interest. When you make an approach to a girl in any circumstances you hand over a lot of power. It’s your job to get her to think about interesting things as soon as she gets your online dating first message.

Great Questions to Ask Her Online Attracting women is often about asking the right questions, because we all like to answer questions about ourselves- as long as they are interesting and make us examine our thoughts and feelings. Questions about our jobs, home towns and weekend plans are dull and should be avoided. In your online dating first message, ask questions which are more fun: If you had a million pounds but you had to spend it in a day what would you spend it on? If you could wake up anywhere in the world tomorrow where would it be? Would you rather do a job you hated for £1million a year or a job you loved for £15,000? Would you rather go on a walking tour or an adrenaline sports holiday? Even questions which seem mundane can be interesting to answer if you can engage her emotions: Do you prefer cats or dogs? What’s your biggest fear? Marmalade or peanut butter?

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An Online Dating First Message Example The trick is to fit these questions into a message which compels the girl to answer: I thought you looked really cute in your profile picture! I have heard the internet can be a dangerous place so I have devised three questions which will ascertain whether you are a serial killer or not. Think carefully: 1. If you had to spend a million pounds in a day what would you spend it on? 2. Do you prefer cats or dogs and why? 3. If you could wake up anywhere in the world tomorrow where would it be? I look forward to your answers. Doug x


This sort of online dating first message makes the girl want to reply to the questions and justify her answers. This is miles better than what most guys do which is to justify why the girl should agree to a date. So come up with some questions of your own when you get started with online dating and see the reply rate to your first message soar.


Personalise Your First Message All of the online dating research we have done tells us that personalising your first online dating message gets a better response than sending out a mailshot. If you’re extremely time-poor, your best strategy is still to fire off the same message to thirty girls. But if you have a little more time you can really increase the response rate to your online dating first message by making sure it’s personalised to the girl.

Message Compliments Having said that, you don’t need to write a totally different message to every girl. The best way to go about it is to write a standard online dating first message with maybe two or three areas which you can personalise to her profile. Here are some compliments which can be personalised: 1. You have such a wicked smile in that picture of you … 2. You seem to have a great sense of adventure; you are loving so much. I think you’d be a fun date… 3. You have a great sense of style; I particularly like your …


So it would read something like: 1. You have such a wicked smile in that picture of you dressed in a cat suit… 2. You seem to have a great sense of adventure; you are loving the Great Wall of China so much. I think you’d be a fun date… 3. You have a great sense of style; I particularly like your choice of hat on the pub golf crawl. This shouldn’t be too time-consuming and it shows the girl that you have bothered to look at her profile and that there is something specific about her you like. As a final note – don’t be too creepy with compliments. I know you want to get her attracted to you, but you’re still just an online dating username to her for the time being, so hold off mentioning her sexy legs or nice long silky hair until you know her a bit better.


Arranging the Date In this article I am going to give you some great online dating tips for how ask a girl out when you are online dating. We all want what we can’t have. There’s a Bentley showroom in Berkeley Square which I walk past most days. Knowing I can’t have one of those cars makes me want one so much more. Just seeing a queue outside a restaurant somehow makes me want to go in! I went to the new Westfield in Stratford the other week and the clothing brand Hollister had a very clever strategy for their store. They made it look like a club; they had an incredibly attractive woman standing outside with a clipboard, loud music and a queue. I mean this was a CLOTHES SHOP and people actually queueing and some were turned away. They were tricked into believing something inside was amazing because they couldn’t just have it.

Make Her Work for You You need to adopt a similar strategy when going for a date with a girl online – make her believe she has to work for it, that she can’t just click her fingers and have you. Instead of just asking her out (which gives her power) ask her out on the condition that she gets a certain question or vetting procedure right. I like to use riddles or personality tests: I would like to ask you out straight away but there are some pretty dangerous characters out there and I need to ask a few vetting questions first: If you had to save three things from your house as it was burning down what would they be? What is the most special thing about your best friend? If you could have dinner with one person in history, who would it be and why?

The questions should be interesting to answer and not serious or overtly personal. Once she has asked one series of questions you can be really cheeky in your second message and say: Ok almost there. You are doing well. You just need to answer one final question for you to be categorised as fully safe. If you absolutely had to choose, do you prefer Sunday mornings or Saturday nights?

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Arranging the Date Once she answers the second question you can then arrange the date. Keep the logistics simple and drop the banter: Ok congratulations you passed. I could do Tuesday at 1 or Friday at 5 in Soho. Let me know which works best for you. You have made her jump through some hoops in a jovial way, showing you aren’t some desperate guy gagging for date and also that you have good social awareness to bring some light banter to the dialogue. Some girls will tire of the game, but they are the ones who wouldn’t have agreed to the date had you just come out and asked them. So have some fun with it. She thank you, because the last thing she wants is some loser guy who’ll jump at the chance to date any girl who’ll have him.


“If you absolutely had to choose, do you prefer Sunday mornings or Saturday nights..”


First Message Grammar for Dummies Why Grammar is Important for Online Dating I know it sounds a bit dry, but making sure your online dating first message is properly-written is every bit as important as getting the content right. It was a conversation I had with one of our actresses that inspired me to write this chapter. She’d done some online dating in the past and, as a pretty girl, had obviously been inundated with messages. She said she’d been amazed at how badly-written most of the messages were: there were spelling mistakes and grammar mistakes all over the place. I asked her how she reacted to online dating messages like that: Alex: How many chances would you give a guy who sent a badly-written first message? Cooper: What do you mean? Alex: Well, how many messages like that would it take before you wrote him off. Cooper: He doesn’t get any chances! If his message is full of mistakes then it’s straight in the bin. Alex: That’s pretty harsh. Cooper: Not really. On any given day I’d have a dozen, maybe twenty messages to read through. I guess it might sound harsh, but there’s really no reason for me not to just move onto the next message. Alex: He might be “the one” though! Cooper: Or the next guy in the inbox might be “the one”. I’m never really going to know what these guys are like till I meet them; I can at least choose one who can string a sentence together. Now obviously it’s not just in your online dating first messages that grammar is important. Good grammar feeds into good online dating profiles, and it’s part of solid “text game”, social media dating and sending decent e-mails. But as your online dating first message is so important, we’re going to concentrate on that. ...continued on next page LONDON SCHOOL OF ATTRACTION


Text Speak You Can Get Away With Now before you call me an old fogey, let me make it clear: I am not averse to “text speak”. I know that abbreviations are useful when you’re sending online dating messages, texting girls or Skyping over details for a date. They can save space and lend an agreeable informality to your messages. Just make sure you’re using ones that don’t violate rules of grammar. The following abbreviations are all perfectly fine to use when you’re online dating. Don’t feel you have to use them; just be aware there’s no good reason to avoid them. U (you), 2 (to), r (are) n (and). These singleletter abbreviations are all compliant with standard grammar rules and, as such, are fine to use in your messages. I don’t use them myself: there’s too much of the teenage boy about them. But if they feel right to you then go for it. Tho. This is a handy phonetic shorthand for “though” and I see no reason not to use it. In fact, for text messages to girls, I’d prefer “tho” over the full word, which can look a little fussy when read on a phone.

LOL. This was one of the first ever text abbreviations and, for some reason, has stuck around. It means, of course, “laughing out loud” and is used to show a joke or diffuse a tease. Don’t worry that using it will make you look like a teenager; they have long since moved onto more exotic slang. TBH. Sometimes you want to say “to be honest” without actually writing it out. TBH is a great little abbreviation and I wouldn’t hesitate to use it in all but the most formal of contexts.

Ur. This shorthand for “your” and “you’re” is especially useful if you’re not sure of the difference between the two (see the next chapter for an explanation). It’s not as easy on the eye as “tho”, so it’s probably best to use the full form if you’re confident of getting it right.

FYI. This is another fun little space-saver, which means “for your information”. I love using this one if the tone of the online dating conversation is fun and playful. Maybe she’s just teased you about something on your profile or one of your pictures: “FYI young lady…”

Wanna gonna gotta. These are used in place of “want to”, “going to” and “got to”. Although you could argue they look a little childish, there’s nothing grammatically wrong with these abbreviations. I especially like “wanna”. It works nicely for casual date invitations: “Wanna grab some sushi after work?” sounds less stuffy than “Want to…” or “Would you like to…”

PBE. This was one my brother and I coined in our Skype chats. It means “play by ear”. The great thing about using PBE in a message to a girl is that she won’t know what you mean; she’ll have to ask you and you’ll have to tell her. Then the abbreviation can be “your” thing that the two of you use in subsequent messages.

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5 Apostrophe Mistakes For our purposes, apostrophes are used for two things. 1) They show possession: Mark’s hat means the hat that belongs to Mark. 2) They are used to indicate missing letters: Mark’s happy means Mark is happy. They are not needed to make plurals.

2. See you in a weeks time. You need an apostrophe here as a week is modifying time: “See you in a week’s time”.

Here are some common mistakes that have cropped up in online dating first messages using (or not using) apostrophes:

4. Who’s car is that? Who’s means who is. Here we need the possessive form of who, which is whose: “Whose car is that?”

1. Sunday lunch at it’s best. It is unusual in that it doesn’t need an apostrophe to form the possessive. The correct version is: “Sunday lunch at its best”.

3. You should have seen Marks hair. This is a possessive and needs an apostrophe: “You should have seen Mark’s hair”.

5. Check out these photo’s. Apostrophes are not used to form plurals. To form the plural of photo, simply add s: “Check out these photos”.

5 Homophones and Homonyms There are lots of words that look and/or sound similar that can easily be confused in your online dating first message: 1. You Are v You’re v Your. You’re is just the contracted version of you are: both can be used with adjectives (you’re cute / you are cute) or in verb constructions (you’re sitting next to me). Your is the possessive of you (your hat / your girlfriend). 2. They Are v They’re v Their v There. They’re is just the contracted version of they are and both are acceptable. Their is the possessive of they (their dog is black). There is used in sentences like: I’ve been there… there is no one home…

3. We are v We’re v Were v We re. We’re is just the contracted version of we are and both are acceptable. Were is the past tense of the verb to be (we were asleep at midnight / they were at the party). We re is incorrect. 4. Know v No v Now. Know means be aware of (I don’t know the answer). No is the opposite of yes. Now means at this moment (I can’t come to the phone now). 5. Text v Texted v Texed. Text is a noun (send her a text) and a verb (I’m going to text her tonight). Texted is the past tense of the verb text (I texted her yesterday). Texed is incorrect.

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5 Spelling Mistakes A quick spell-check (you do spell-check your online dating messages, right?) should see off most spelling mistakes, but there are always some that sneak through the net. This is sometimes because what you’ve typed is actually the correct spelling of the wrong word. Here are some examples: 1. Ben is such a looser. Looser means more loose (my trousers are looser than yours). You mean: “Ben is a loser”. 2. I think about you alot. The phrase is a lot. There is no need or justification for abbreviating it: “I think about you a lot”.

3. Ill get back to you. Ill means sick or unwell. You are using the contracted version of I will and so the correct form is: “I’ll get back to you”. 4. Were are my keys? Were is the past tense of the verb to be and is used in sentences like: We were asleep at midnight / were you at the party? In this sentence we need the word where: “Where are my keys?” 5. Dont tell me you’ve got a boyfriend! You are using a contracted version of do not and so you need an apostrophe to show the missing letter: “Don’t tell me you’ve got a boyfriend!”

5 Fundamental Grammar 1. Bob texted John and I. A generation of English speakers has grown up thinking that and is always followed by I rather than by me. It actually depends on the sentence. In this case, I am the object of the verb: Bob texted me. So here we use me even after and: “Bob texted John and me”. 2. We should of gone home at midnight. The correct usage is: “We should have gone home at midnight”.


3. The curry is to hot… I think so to… I want a beer to. In each case, we need the adverb too: “The curry is too hot… I think so too… I want a beer too”. 4. Let’s try and talk to ten women tonight. Try is followed by the infinitive of the verb: “Let’s try to talk to ten women tonight”. 5. Let’s get of at Waterloo. The opposite of on is off, not of: “Let’s get off at Waterloo”.


5 First Message Myths Online Dating First Messages Doug and I are very proud of our articles on online dating first messages. All the girls we interview love them and we’ve seen them get great results for our clients. The numbers don’t lie either. The stats we keep on our own online dating experiences suggest that we’re pretty close to the perfect online dating first message; the structure we currently recommend consistently gets more replies and dates than any other we’ve trialled. Having said that, every now and again I have a poke around online for what other websites recommend for guys writing their online dating first messages. If I find something I like, I’m more than happy to link to it – in fact, our assorted links posts are among the most popular blogs we write.

Bad Online Dating Advice Most of the time, though, I’m stunned by how bad most of the advice on online dating is. There really is a truck load of rubbish out there: not just meaningless or irrelevant advice but strategies that are really going to harm your online dating first messages. There’s no way that any of these sites can have done any online dating studies. They seem to be just pulling their advice out of nowhere or, even worse, making the mistake of asking

women what they would like to hear from an online dating first message. This sort of thing is well-intentioned, but has no relevance to what makes for a successful online dating first message strategy. So in this chapter I want to highlight the five biggest online dating first message myths. These are all pieces of advice that I’ve come across online from supposedly reputable sources. Caveat emptor…

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First Message Myth 1 – Try to Impress Her More than half of the tips I read about how to write a compelling online dating first message centre around trying to impress the girl: how to be funny, how to seem cool, how not to seem like a loser, how to show your exciting interests, how to demonstrate your great education or your great job. The truth is that trying to impress a girl in an online dating first message can’t work, won’t work and shouldn’t be your intention anyway.


Trying to impress her can’t work. No one can ever be impressed by a message. An online dating first message is just a string of words, which may or may not be true. In themselves, they won’t impress anyone. People are impressed by other people, not by e-mails. No girl is ever going to say to her friends, “I met this amazing guy” after reading an online dating message. Trying to impress her in an online dating message is a waste of time; she’s going to be impressed with you (or not) once you turn up on the date. The purpose of the online dating message is simply to get her there.

“people don’t want to be charmed; they want to be charming”



Trying to impress her won’t work. Look, you’re on an online dating site. This isn’t a knock on online dating: we recommend it and it’s fun and it works. But you’re immediately at a disadvantage: she knows you’re single, she knows you like her and she knows that you’re choosing to approach girls online rather than in person. Like it or not, it simply isn’t as cool a way to meet a girl as meeting her in the real world. In fact, this aspect of online dating presents a bit of a catch-22. The more you try to sound cool in your online dating first message, the more she’ll think: “What’s this guy doing on an online dating site?” Seeming too slick can actually count against you.

Trying to impress her shouldn’t be the goal. The wisest thing I ever heard about women was from the Australian comedian Clive James. He was asked if his being funny attracted women. “Not really,” he said, “on the whole, people don’t want to be charmed; they want to be charming”. The goal of your online dating first message isn’t to impress her, but to get her to impress you.

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First Message Myth 2 – Ask Her to Write Back Of all the pathetic, embarrassing advice I read about online dating messages, this was the most pathetic and embarrassing. I’ll paraphrase so as not to expose the author of this nonsense: Every time you finish off your online dating message, tell the girl to reply. If you don’t finish your messages like this, it’s easy for her not to reply. Try something like this: “Please send a quick note back” or “Would love to hear back from you”. This is really important! Ugh, even typing that out made me feel like a whiny little bitch. I can’t imagine the effect on a woman of reading such weasely, begging rubbish. Please reply! Please text me back! Please like me! This is the kind of stuff that girls show to their friends, so that they can have a laugh at the kind of losers sending them online dating messages.

I’m being slightly unfair on the guy, because he’s almost come up with something useful. The truth is that the best online dating message should always end with some call-to-action: you should always give the girl something to do or let her know the next step. Just don’t make that call-to-action be: “please send a quick note back”. Lead the conversation by asking her a question, finding out when she’s free or telling her to give you her number.

First Message Myth 3 – Don’t Ask Her Out Too Soon This is one of those pieces of advice that I’m sure has been derived from asking women what they want. Asking women what they want is a contentious strategy when trying to work out how to attract them. It can be very useful – in fact we have a whole series of interviews with girls on our blog. But it can also be very dangerous. What women think they want is not always what women actually want. And what women actually want is not always what is required to attract them. Women want, among other things, compliments and gifts and attention. Yet this is not always, or even often, the best way to get them attracted to you.

I’m sure women using online dating sites would love it if you spent hours building rapport with them online before asking them out. They’d love to have dozens of guys following this advice I read: Wait until you’ve had lots of messages back and forth before inviting her out. If the first message goes well, don’t rush things. Enjoy the process of getting to know someone, and let nature take its course. The better friends you become before moving to the next level, the more likely the relationship is to last.

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39 / FIRST MESSAGE MYTHS This fits into a woman’s perfect dating paradigm, is flattering for her and allows her to delay the moment when she has to agree to come out and meet you (or not). It’s perfect for her. The online dating advice here at The London School of Attraction, however, isn’t (directly) about how to make women feel better about themselves. It’s about how to make YOUR online dating more efficient and more successful. If you wait ages to asks girls out online, you’ll waste time and cost yourself dates. We’ve found that the best time to ask a girl out is after two or three messages. Sure, there’ll be

girls who won’t agree to come out with you. But, by and large, they are the same girls who won’t agree to meet you after twenty messages. Asking her out early is efficient, shows confidence and allows you to move on to the next girl if she isn’t interested. Remember, the purpose of an online dating message is not to “build rapport” or “get to know each other”. The time to do all that is on the date itself, in person. The purpose of the online dating message is to get her on the date in the first place.

First Message Myth 4 – Spend Ages Writing Your Messages This is another myth that derives from thinking about online dating from a top-down perspective. Yes, from a woman’s point of view, it’s great to get a long message that has taken ages to write. Yes short message are marginally less successful than long ones. And yes personalised online dating messages are, in a sense, more honest than generic ones. But all this presupposes that the woman on the end of the message is: 1. A real person (not a fake profile). 2. Active on the site (not a lapsed or “free” profile). 3. Going to open your message. 4. Going to fancy you.

If ANY of these five conditions are not met, you aren’t going to get a reply from her. And if you’re not going to get a reply from her, then there is NO point in taking ages over your online dating first message. When I was online dating, only 69% of my first messages were even OPENED. Online dating sites are full of profiles that can’t open messages, girls that can’t be bothered to reply, girls who have found a boyfriend but are left their profiles on the site. So yes, if you could be assured that it was a real woman on the end of your online dating message, who could open her messages, then you would take some time over it. But you can’t and you shouldn’t. The best thing to do is to fire off a load of messages, see what hooks and then put some effort into the follow up.

5. Going to be bothered to reply.

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First Message Myth 5 – Try to Prove You Have a Lot in Common This is a particularly dangerous online dating message myth. It not only wastes your time if you spend too long worrying about it; it can actually harm your prospects with women. The myth says that you should make sure that your online dating first message plays up everything you have in common with the girl. One website put it this way: Make sure you point out all the ways you are in common. Use phrases like this to make it clear: “We share a lot of interests. I also like… I was reading over your profile and found that we seem to have a lot in common. For instance, we both enjoy…” No no no! Writing stuff like this is ignoring a few key online dating message principles:

“We share a lot of interests. I also like....”


Commonalities are not the same as rapport. Having things in common is not the same as having rapport with a girl. Having rapport depends on abstract ideas like attraction, comfort and empathy; it has nothing to do with liking the same music. You can have no rapport with someone who likes all the same stuff as you. Conversely, you can have an amazing connection with someone with whom you share nothing. Forcing rapport is unattractive. Trying to play up the things you have in common looks desperate, weak and sycophantic. It tells the girl that you are looking to impress her, that her values and interests are the “right” ones and you are trying to live up to them. Bear in mind that, at the time of your online dating first message, you really know nothing about her – forcing rapport is even more desperate in this context. Opposites attract. So don’t make a point of your commonalties! Women are romantic creatures and they love the idea of dating guys who are different and exotic and interesting. If you love rock music and she loves pop, play it up! She’ll love the idea of dating a guy with long hair and skinny black jeans; it will shock her parents and impress her friends.


High Status Messages The Scientific Benefits of Online Dating Online dating allows us a fantastic opportunity to study the science of human attraction. Real-world interactions are basically impossible to model: there are too many variables to control for; it’s very difficult (and unethical) to record conversations; there’s an almost infinite number of scenarios. Trying to model person-to-person communication is like trying to model the game of chess: they’re both just too complex. But online dating is simple. A man writes a message to a woman. She then either replies or she doesn’t. If she does, the message exchange continues until either party stops replying or the couple meet on a date.

The data is there to see and analyse. As such, it’s an amazing proving ground for theories about dating, romance and attraction. For this reason (among others) it’s something we recommend every guy has a go at.

Online Dating and “Status” I talk a lot about “status” as it relates to online dating in this book. The problem with online dating is that, rightly or wrongly, men who approach women via online dating get less credit than those who approach in-person. Because online dating is easier than walking over to a girl in a bar, the average online dater starts from a weaker position than his real life counterpart. The problem with online dating is that you’re faced with a Catch-22. If you show yourself to be “low status” you’re going to struggle to get

girls interested in you. That’s not girls being mean – it’s just human nature. You’re attracted to pretty girls; she’s attracted to high status men. But if you visibly try to demonstrate your high status, you risk coming across as arrogant. Arrogance actually isn’t all that much of a problem when you approach girls in-person. You’ve already showed that you’re a cool guy, just by having the confidence to start a conversation with her. Arrogance when doing online dating, however, is a massive turnoff.

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Demonstrate High Status via Your Online Dating Messages So if you don’t want to look low status, but don’t want to look like you’re trying to be high status, what can you do? The answer lies in the way you write your online dating messages. Not in what you say – that leads to boasting. But in the way you write them. That’s right – the actual grammar and syntax of your online dating messages can mark you out as a high status man. The girl will find herself

attracted to you, and she won’t even know why. I did some research on high status online dating messages and found the results of a study in the Journal of Language and Social Psychology called Online Interactions Between Group Members Who Differ in Status. In the study, the psychologist examined messages between high and low status member on internet message boards.

What High Status Online Dating Messages Look Like The messages were rated for the following: degree of conformity, ingratiation, agreeing, requesting, and instructing. They were also examined for basic grammar constructions. This is what they found: Low status member messages were rated as more conforming, ingratiating, and agreeing than high status member messages. Low status members also used more first person singular voice, affective words, and exclamation marks. High status member messages were rated as more instructive than low status member messages. High status member messages contained more complex words, second person references, and welcoming language than did low status member messages.

For those of you without a linguistics degree, let me summarise. If you want to demonstrate high status in your online dating messages, make sure you: 1. Don’t try to ingratiate yourself. 2. Don’t agree too much. 3. Don’t use “I” too much. 4. Don’t get emotional. 5. Don’t use exclamation marks. 6. Give instruction. 7. Use complex language. 8. Use the word “you”. 9. Use welcoming language. So when you come to write your next online dating first message, bear in mind what high status communication looks like. It will be far more effective than telling her about your cool job and great sense of humour.



Learn from a Gambler Online Dating Messages and “Risk”

What can a professional gambler can teach us about online dating messages? In many ways, writing the perfect online dating first message is the easy bit. You don’t really know the girl and you haven’t had any banter yet – the key is to write something that gives you the best shot at getting a reply. Now the game begins! Once she’s replied to your online dating first message, you have to decide what to say in your reply – you have to decide if you’re going to go high risk or low risk. Here’s what I mean by risk in the context of sending an online dating message:

High risk. A high risk strategy is to ask her out straight away. It might not work but, if it does, you’ve skipped a lot of steps. High risk would also be writing a cheeky/cocky message, teasing her or being highly flirtatious.

Low risk. Low risk online dating messages simply aim to keep the conversation going. They don’t push for an exchange of numbers or a date. And they keep the tone friendly and benign – they don’t risk the upside or the downside of anything sexual or flirtatious. So what now? High risk or low risk? We can learn from professional gamblers here (it’s the opposite of what you’d expect).

“High risk or low risk? It’s the opposite of what you’d expect”

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When the Odds Are in Your Favour There’s a misconception in gambling that if you have a big edge, you should press it home. If the odds are in your favour, most people think you should have a big bet and try to make all your money at once. This is wrong. If you’re a pro gambler, if you have the edge over the bookies, then don’t take risks. Diversify your portfolio, manage your money, have lots and lots of small (low risk) bets. Over the long run you’ll win for sure. With online dating, the analogy of this situation is when you know she likes you. Her online dating message to you has been really positive: she’s written a lot, asked you questions, complimented you. In this case, don’t risk a cocky message and don’t steam straight into a date. Play it safe with a nice friendly message back and play the percentages.

“When you’re online dating, if you’re not sure if she likes you - go all in!


When the Odds Are Against You If you’re gambling when the percentages are against you (playing poker against a better player, playing a casino game like roulette) then the way to play is just to have a single large bet. If you have lots of little bets, the negative expectation will eat you up. The only way to win is to lump it all on in one go and hope to get lucky. When you’re online dating, if you’re not sure if she likes you – go all in! If she’s ambivalent, take some risks. Ask her out straight away; send something outrageously cocky; step up the flirting; give her a very direct compliment. There’s no point playing the long game here – she’ll just get bored after a few messages. You might as well risk an instant rejection for the chance of kicking the interaction into fifth gear.


Don’t Pretend Being Honest in Online Dating

When you come to write your online dating first message, there’s one rule to follow above all: be honest. Be honest about what you’re looking for from online dating. If you’re not looking for anything serious, then for goodness’ sake say that. Believe it or not, not all women on online dating sites are looking for the love of their lives. Yes most of them are (pulling a figure out of my a*** I’d say around 80%). But a lot of them just want to have a bit of fun, meet some new people and see what happens. Finding girls who are after something similar to you is just a matter of being honest. Don’t pretend to be after a wife or a long-term girlfriend if you’re just up for having a few dates (which is what a lot of guys do). That’s only going to encourage the girls who are incompatible with you (and lying is bad for you anyway).

Example First Message So here’s an example of how you could start off your online dating first message to make sure you’re clear about what you’re looking for:

“Hey Clair – you look fun. I’m not looking for anything serious but I like meeting new people and your picture caught my eye…” Then use some of the ideas we’ve already written about to make your online dating first message compelling and unique. The girls will admire your honesty (even if what you’re both looking for is different) and they’ll be grateful that you’ve put your cards on the table so early.



Don’t Copy Feedback from a Female Reader Inspired by a comment we received on one of our articles called a perfect online dating first message. The comment was left by a girl who’d received one of our template online dating first messages:

“haha, this is great, until the girl puts the questions into a google search and finds this website. (this is what just happened to me.) that said, it does show that the guy tried, so, if the girl was initially interested in his profile, she will write back either way.”

So the moral of the story is: don’t copy the online dating message templates exactly! Girls will google the stuff you write and they’ll end up reading one of our articles. As the girl says, this isn’t a deal-breaker; if she likes you she’ll write back either way. But it’s a shame not to take the opportunity to customise the questions – ideally to something you’re interested in (or at least to something that you find funny). The template structure is fine to use, but swap in your own questions so that eagle-eyed girls like our Julia won’t catch you out.



A Sneaky Message Trick “What’s this then Alex?” This is a sneaky little online dating message trick you can use the next time you have a message to reply to. So it’s not for my first message? Nope – you can’t use this trick in your online dating first message because it’s a response to something specific that the girl writes. Which is? Any time a girl sends you an online dating message that ends with more than one kiss. You mean an “x” at the end of the message? Yeah – as long as she leaves more than one “x” you’re good to go. Give me an example. Ok so she signs of her message with something like: Ok 7pm sounds great, see you then xxx And what do I have to do? Reply to the main bit of the message, and then sign off with this phrase: Cool, looking forward to it x just one for you Just one what? Just one kiss. She gave you three kisses; you’re giving her one. What’s so good about it? Well first of all you’re explicitly giving her fewer kisses than she’s given you. You’re setting the frame that she’s keener than you. Sneaky… but she probably didn’t mean it like that. Like what? Girls often just sign their message of with an “x” out of habit. That’s exactly the point. You’re making an innocent gesture into something sexual. That’s flirting 101. Won’t she be cross with you? Nah – remember you’re still giving her a kiss. You’re still being affectionate. It’s mixing teasing with kindness and humour – what the PUA guys call “push-pull”. What’s she likely to say next? Ideally she’ll play along, saying something like: Hey mister how come I only get one? xx only two for you! And what would I say then? At this point you’re good to go – she likes you. Keep it simple, get her on the date and take it from there.



Five Online Dating Message Don’ts What NOT to do when you come to write your online dating first message.


Don’t be too serious. Whatever you do, keep your online dating messages light in tone – nothing about meeting “the one” or how amazing she is. Whenever you’re about to hit send, stop and read it one more time. Do you sound like a man who’s taking the whole thing too seriously? If so, scrap it and start again.


Don’t force rapport. Don’t say things like “I think we’d really get on” or “it’s so cool we like the same stuff”. You don’t know each other at this stage and trying to force rapport like this ends up being creepy, not friendly.


Don’t be too clever. This is a pitfall with all sorts of remote communication, from text to I.M. to online dating. Without the benefit of a smile or a gesture, jokes can easily get lost in translation. Just because something is funny to you doesn’t mean she’ll get it. Keep it simple, especially for your first message.



Don’t oversell yourself. Your online dating first message is simply there to make contact with the girl, hook her attention and see if the two of you are going to get on. The moment you start to sell yourself you look like a loser who has to persuade girls to like him. So go easy on that long list of accomplishments and attributes.


Don’t joke about why you’re online dating. Look – you’re online dating. You want to meet a girl online. No it’s not the coolest thing in the world but no one’s holding a gun to your head. Just get on with getting to know her and don’t get dragged into justifying why you’re online in the first place – you’ll only draw attention to it.


Radical Honesty Online Dating Frustration Are you finding online dating a frustrating experience? Struggling to meet the right sort of girl? Dates not going anywhere? Beginning to get fed up with the whole thing? If so, it’s time to go back to basics. It’s time for a dash of radical honesty.

Online Dating Honesty Just as it is with meeting women in the real world, successful online dating requires a real dose of honesty. If you’re not looking for anything serious, just say so. This will definitely lower the response rate from your online dating first message. But it means you won’t be wasting your time messaging women who are in the market for a relationship. If you’re looking for a girlfriend, say so! There are plenty of women who would love to go out with you exclusively, so don’t pretend to be a player if you’re not. Radical honesty when online dating means the only women who reply to your messages are on the same page.

How to Phrase It Let’s assume you’re not looking for anything serious, because this often feels slightly more difficult to articulate. Here’s how you could sign off your online dating first message (remember, explicit is good): I’ll be honest – I’m not on here looking for the love of my life, although if I find it that would be great. I like meeting new people and having new experiences. It’s only fair to say that if you’re definitely looking for something serious I’m not your guy. If you’re just open to meeting new people, and perhaps seeing where it goes, then get in touch. Online dating can take up a lot of time and energy. Being honest with A yourself and with the women you message will only mean that better matches come up.



How to Personalise To Personalise or Not To Personalise…

Before I tell you the best way to personalise your online dating first message, some advice: don’t personalise your online dating first message! Writing a bespoke message to every girl who catches your eye on an online dating site is way too much investment for someone who: may not be online; may not be a paid member of the site; may not like your profile; may not be a real person; may have let their membership lapse; may not even be single since they last updated. However, if you insist (as many of our online dating clients do) on sending personalised messages, please don’t waste ages on each message. Come up with a basic structure and then spend five minutes or so personalising the message.

5 Steps to Personalise Your Message




Show interest.


Link to yourself.

Say hi and include a compliment-based nickname: pretty girl in beanie, cute horseriding girl…




Sign off.

You seem interesting because… add an observation or assumption about her: you love travelling, you seem like a real go-getter… Explain how what she’s said resonates with you. For example, if she loves travelling, why do you relate to that: Travelling makes me feel so free. I love the idea that time doesn’t matter when you’re away…


Ask her out, but make her jump through a hoop before you go through with it: I’d love to take you out for a glass of wine, but my friend told me to be careful who I met on the internet. So, some questions to ensure my safety: Who’s your favourite famous person and why? If you could live in any city apart from London for a year where would it be? Peanut butter or blueberry jam? No need to get creative, just your name and (if you feel like it) a kiss: John x

The London School of Attraction is a London-based training company which helps men and women develop the confidence to meet the opposite sex, both online and in the real world. We offer a number of online dating programs to help you create a fantastic profile, write the perfect first message and arrange great dates. For more information, please visit: To learn more about the London School of Attraction, please visit:

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