Write That All-Important First Message

Starting a conversation with someone new can be scary, especially when it comes to the world of online dating. Whether you’re writing to a match or have received a message from a complete stranger, crafting that first message can often leave you staring at the blank screen, unsure of what to write.

Allow me to take you on a journey through the art of first messaging, exploring the reasons why we struggle to write those opening words and offering tips and suggestions on how to get the conversation flowing.

Firstly, it is important to understand why writing that first message can be so difficult. For many of us, the fear of rejection and the unknown can be overwhelming. Will they like me? Will they respond? What if I say the wrong thing? These are all common thoughts that run through our minds, but it is important to remember that everyone experiences these fears at some point.

This really is a stranger you are writing to and to make things harder it’s remotely. In person you would have eye contact, body language as well as other signals to help you converse. By message it’s an open book.  What do I write and what will they like to see in their inbox. You really have no idea.

Another factor that contributes to our hesitation is the pressure to make a good impression. We want to be seen as interesting, witty, and charming, and the fear of not living up to these expectations can be daunting. But it’s important to remember that online dating is a two-way street. The person on the other end of the screen is likely feeling just as nervous as you are, and they are likely more interested in getting to know the real you than in receiving a perfectly crafted message.

So, with these fears and pressures in mind, let’s dive into some tips and tricks for crafting that perfect first message.

  1. Keep it simple and light-hearted

When writing your first message, it’s important to remember that this is just the beginning of what could potentially be a long and exciting conversation. There’s no need to write a thesis or pour your heart and soul into this first message. Simply introduce yourself, ask a few questions about their profile, or make a light-hearted joke. The aim is to start a conversation and get to know each other a little better, not to impress them with your vast knowledge of Shakespearean sonnets. If in doubt, humour always wins.

  1. Be yourself

It’s important to be authentic and true to yourself in your first message. This means avoiding generic messages or copying and pasting the same message to multiple people. Doing so is not only impersonal, but it also gives the impression that you haven’t taken the time to get to know the person you’re messaging. Instead, read through their profile and find something that you can comment on or ask about. This shows that you’re interested in getting to know them and that you’ve taken the time to read through their profile. Some people are very popular and their inboxes can be stressful. Showing that you’ve taken the time to look at their profile will go a long way!

  1. Be curious

Asking questions is a great way to start a conversation and get to know someone better. However, it’s important to avoid asking questions that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” Instead, try asking open-ended questions that encourage them to share more about themselves. For example, if you see that someone is into traveling, ask about their favourite destination or the most interesting place they’ve ever visited. This not only shows that you’re interested in getting to know them, but it also provides them with the opportunity to share more about themselves. Asking questions shows interest. Just talking about yourself does the opposite.

  1. Show your personality

Your first message is an opportunity to show off your personality and give the person on the other end a glimpse of who you are. So don’t be afraid to be a little playful or use humour in your message. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should be crass or make inappropriate jokes, but a well-placed pun or light-hearted comment can go a long way in breaking the ice and making the person smile.

  1. Get creative

Finally, don’t be afraid to get creative with your first message. If you’re feeling especially confident, you could try writing a poem or composing a song to introduce yourself. It sounds cringe but you’d be surprised.  This not only shows that you’re creative, but it also sets you apart from all the other messages they’re likely receiving. Of course, this may not be for everyone, but it’s always worth taking a chance and trying something a little different.

6.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help

There’s no shame in asking for help when it comes to writing that first message. Whether it’s reaching out to a friend for advice, using a dating app that offers message suggestions, or even asking ChatGPT for some assistance, there are plenty of resources available to help you find your voice.

So, is it okay to use forums, friends, apps, or even a language model like ChatGPT to help with your first message? Absolutely! In fact, I would argue that it’s a wise decision. After all, the goal is to start a conversation, and if a little outside help can get you there, then why not use it?

Remember, the goal is to get to know each other and have a great conversation, so just be yourself and have fun with it!

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