Feb 212012

When your first line of communication is text-based, you  really should try to make a good first impression. I don’t mean that you need to hire Cyrano to ghost-write your profile, or be insincere or embellish anything. Be yourself. However, be yourself with decent spelling, grammar and punctuation. We’re not grading here (unless you message a teacher) but it speaks louder than your words: It says “I don’t care”.  For reference, Case File #267:

His first message:

Hey how are you
I am Shane I would like to talk and get to know you
I saw you and I have a bit in common and seem to be looking 1
for the same things let me know ifi ts possible

My response:

#1. I do not know what the hell this means: “you are defiantly raland honest then i look foward to getting to know you” 2

#2. You live more than an hour from me. Which means you didn’t read my profile. 3

#3. You would not consider having an open relationship – since I am married, that would make things impossible 4

#4. You seem to be a conservative Christian. We have very opposing views that I find important. 5

Are you just sending this same message out to everyone, hoping someone will take the bait? Seems like it.6

His “zinger”:

omg seriously no i am not sending same message
you way over analyze things and read to much into things that are not there
and i was simply trying to talk and get to know you
its your personality alone right there in this email that i a huge turn off
and that will keep u from getting a decent man if you do they will be nothing more then a door mat cause i am not one to sit by and talk to anyone who insults me when all i did was try and be nice and talk to them learn how to approach people you are shallow and close minded and personally it makes you insignificant take care dont bother replying im blocking you7

Other gems from his profile include:

“Looking for the right person to get to know see where it can lead and have turn to some thing long term and amazing. Hey wait lol a guy who is not afraid of commitment lol.”

“im not a bar or club person
not my style like going out butttttttt
would rather be with someone i am with at home”


I didn’t change a thing on those.

This says so many things to me. First, he’s 34. He’s way past the “text speak” generation (which is never any excuse, anyways). Unless the whole entire profile was written from his smartphone OkCupid App, then the lack of punctuation, capitalization, sentence structure and odd line spacing just scream “Lazy”. I really don’t know what else to think. Theory is, you’re trying to woo people, impress them, show your best side. If this is his best side then I’d hate to see the rest.

Make your first message count. Make it personal, but on the flip side don’t write 4 long paragraphs. If you have things in common, point them out. Ask a question other than “Hey what’s up / how are you / does this thing work for you”. *yawn* I actually say right off the bat in my profile to please not just message me with “Hey what’s up” or “Hi” or “Nice pics” because it’s lazy and I won’t respond. It’s the first sentence. So when I get message like that, and yeah of course I do, they immediately get trashed because it’s clear they didn’t read my profile. And if you’re on a site like OkCupid – why in the fuck wouldn’t you read someone’s profile before messaging them??

  1. Our match percentages: 62% match, 46% friend, 33% enemy. While I don’t rely on the OkCupid algorithm entirely, I’ve found that it’s often quite a good indicator since it’s based on our answers to questions. What part of this sounds like we have anything in common? I also state that I’m not looking for sex, or dating, just FRIENDS
  2. It’s in his “You should message me if..” section
  3. Stating a fact here! He lives 49 miles from me which is actually 1.5 hours driving time, and I state this twice in my profile that someone should be less than an hour from me
  4. This was one of the Questions answered. Ironically, his status is listed “Available” which in order to get that status, you have to tell OkC that you’re either married or in a relationship but yet still check off the “dating” options in what you’re looking for
  5. I couldn’t find anything at ALL that we had in common. Nothing. HE’s religious, Christian, is opposed to abortion no matter what, not even a little kinky, BUT YET answered that if he was seeing someone it would take 1-2 dates before he’d fuck them, whereas I put 3-5
  6. Well it DOES! It’s not personalized at all, he references nothing specific that we have in common and he ignored three really big things on my profile
  7. I don’t know what happens when you block someone….are they told that they’ve been blocked when they try to message you? If that’s true, then he didn’t block me. Either way, I sent him back a message finally that actually was insulting and called him out on the grammar and idiocy. Then I blocked him!

  4 Responses to “How (not) to Impress and Woo on Okcupid: Message Dos and Don’ts”

  1. On OKC myself and always amazed. Valid points made in your post. Maybe someone will read it and learn. :)

  2. This exactly is why I finally gave up on online dating. People with nothing in common with me messaging me with “hi. ur hot.” People who didn’t want the same things I did messaging me. People who were morons. I never found one decent person in my area from online dating. I did meet lovely girls that lived too far from me which mad me sad (even though my profile did say “don’t message if you live more than X miles away”).

    Sadly, OkCupid was the best one I used for lack of idiots. If you think that’s bad, try Adult Friend Finder of Plenty of Fish. *HEADDESK*

  3. I think straight women often make the mistake of writing their profiles to make themselves sound as attractive as possible. While that seems in principle like a good idea, in fact what you want to do is write your profile so that it will be a turnoff to the kind of guys that don’t interest you. (Not just an explicit statement about what you don’t want; the clueless ones won’t be thinking with the big head enough to notice that.) You have to actually list your less charming characteristics as well as the “hot” ones: if you’re argumentative, moody, a feminist, butch in demeanor, needy, or whatever, SAY SO. Any guy who has a problem with that characteristic won’t last long in your life anyway, right? And saying so up front will weed out a great many guys who are terrible fits for you.

    Of course, the clueless ye shall always have with ye. I had several rounds of rather creepy correspondence based on the fact that l list “Lolita” as my favorite novel – let’s just say that my correspondent did not appear to be a Nabokov fan :O But for the most part, this strategy minimizes that sort of thing by quite a bit.

    (Straight guys need to write their profiles using the opposite strategy, casting their net as widely as possible while still being truthful. Personal ad dating is a numbers game.)

  4. I am somewhere between hysterical laughter and tears for what had become the on line dating industry. I doubt many people read profiles too much (same for fetlife as well) and just send messages out as you said to see who bites the bait.

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