Writing a message online dating

Whether you’re hankering after a pistol grip for that vintage Hasselblad single reflex camera, or want to learn all the lyrics to R. M.’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know it,” the World Wide Web has made tracking down and securing even the most obscure objects your heart desires a lot easier.

Yet, when it comes to online matters of the heart, finding “the one” often remains elusive.

We’ve tapped Nerve.com’s dating columnist Caitlin Robinson, AKA Miss Information, to offer some tips and tricks to those of you prepping to post your profile.

Stick to neutral hours, like lunchtimes and early evening.

“‘I’m a laid-back, easygoing guy…’ Such terms are practically meaningless.

Even high-strung people often think they’re ‘laid-back.’ Find something more descriptive.” Other common terms to be avoided: “cool,” “awesome,” “funny.” “Nearly everyone ‘loves to laugh’ and ‘enjoys fun.’ None of that sets you apart. “Put yourself into a potential date's shoes on this one. ’ Blech—that conversation is a total wipeout.” A better alternative, she explains, is telling stories.

So, “You looked like you were having a blast on your skiing holiday! Where would you most like to go skiing that you haven’t been yet? One hundred words is about right: long enough to include a compliment, to say what caught your eye about their advert, mention something you have in common, and to ask a leading question.

Don’t feel you have to sell yourself or introduce yourself too much – as we’ve said, they’ll definitely visit your profile and read about you there. Plus, the shorter your first email, the more intriguing you’ll be. You might say you’re busy and leading a fun, full life, but if you’re sending emails at 9.00 on a Saturday night, how busy can you be..?

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