So you’ve put in the hard work of creating a masterpiece profile (Part 1 - Getting started), every single photo is crafted with purpose and intent, each sentence is a witty stroke of genius and your answers reflect your true inner-self. You have two choices here, you can let your crafted profile do its work or you can be proactive and look for potential partners.
From experience, women usually get the upper-hand when it comes to selection; they are often so inundated with male attention that they have to raise their selection criteria bars to the roof! This of course is consistent with traditional ideals that the males are the ones that court the females however online dating has removed so much of the potential heart break (from rejection) that often ensues from conventional pick up methods. As a result, women are far more likely than before to initiate a conversation with a potential male partner (as is the case with men seeking out women).
Filter, Search, and Repeat
If you have the luxury of a search function then use it refine your search and save you from hours of inappropriate matches. That’s why it is important to know with some level of precision what you are looking for. Your search criterion doesn’t have to be extremely specific but it helps when sifting through potential matches. It’s far better to have 10 quality matches than 1000 random matches with the potential 10 hiding within. If you are quite chilled about the whole dating game then the 1000 matches might seem like an attractive approach when exploring options.
Tip: When looking through your matches, try to find out from their photos and descriptions what they are looking for, that is their subtext (I’ll cover the concept of subtext more thoroughly in the next article). The subtext, simply put is what they are really saying without saying it. For instance, if a person has a sexually appealing photo of themselves as a profile photo, then the subtext might possibly be ‘looking for flings’ – although the subtext might be obscured some times as the person might be sending contradicting signals. A lot of people go on online dating without a clear idea of what they want, or it could be a spur of the moment decision to hook up or try something new – whatever it is, it’s best to look for their subtext to get some idea of what they are looking for. It is usually clear when both you and your prospective match’s intention are similar, this is a good sign to go in and say hi!
Tip for guys especially: Be wary that if some profile/message seems too good to be true it might be. There are a lot of unscrupulous individuals who use these kinds of platforms to prey on unsuspecting and lonely individuals, such as in the case for prostitution, adult website subscriptions, phishing scams, con artists etc.
The Art of Opening
The opener (or opening line) is critical in setting the tone and momentum for the conversation and hopefully follow up conversations.
Unless you’ve got a killer photo or that the person is feeling especially under-appreciated, saying just ‘Hi’ won’t cut it. The reality is that it is boring and too mundane, it doesn’t mean that they won’t respond it might just give the impression you are boring and mundane. Think about it this way, if you were a particularly sought after individual and you had 50 people say ‘hello’, ‘hi’, ‘hey’, ‘what’s up?’ etc. which one would you reply to?
You have to be a bit more creative than that to get your potential partner’s attention. Even attaching a smiley face or wink emoticon to your ‘hi’ is better than a ‘hi’ by itself. I believe it comes down to online chemistry, after viewing their profile do the words just flow out or do you have to conjure up words from thin air to come up with something that will grab their attention?
Understand Before Being Understood
The key is to read and understand their profile, see what type of person they are and respond accordingly. Telling someone they’re so ‘pretty’ or ‘hot’, especially if they are accustomed to hearing it will just activate their involuntary ‘thank you’ response and leave the conversation in dead waters. What you want to do is to find something unique about them and add your flavor to it, it doesn’t have to be a compliment (despite the fact that everyone loves compliments especially if they are original and witty) it just has to get their attention. Find something about them that makes them ‘them’ and talk about it as an opener and you’ve greatly increased your chances in getting a response. Make it specific, genuine and lighthearted and you will have done something different to the 95% of the competition. Don’t go too crazy unless you think that person appreciates crazy, random messages. Just experiment and see what comes out natural, you will get better as you can gauge from your response rate!
As a guy I find that these kinds of openers are far more effective than your conventional ‘Hi’s especially when everyone else is saying the same thing.
A Word on Pickup Lines
Do they work? Yes and no! It really depends on how you do it and what type of person they are. A perfectly executed pickup line might do wonders sometimes, however it might earn you a ‘block’ from them . There is no real rule to what you can and can’t send out to people except being mindful of the other person. Not everyone appreciates the same kind of humor or attitudes that you do – everyone is just looking for someone that respects them for who they are at the end of the day. So take the time to understand the other person instead of treat them like a generic piece of meat, you will get so much further in dating and in life.
As always be yourself when you send out a message, if you are quirky and you want to attract someone who appreciates your quirkiness then send out a quirky message, being anything other than yourself will only slow your progress in most cases.
Just remember the whole point of the opener is to get their attention, that’s it! Nothing else! From there, if they reply then you can work from there, otherwise move on and keep searching.
In the next article I will cover deeper concepts and strategies that deal with building the relationship and making it run smoother.