As scary as it may seem, many young people are venturing into the world of online dating. Research shows that online dating is most common with millennials who are anywhere between 18 and 34 in age. The Pew Research Center explains that in this age range, the percentage of online daters is much higher than the overall population, which makes sense because it’s more or less prime marrying age. Among 25- to 34-year-olds, a total of 22% partake in online dating, whereas for 25- to 44-year-olds, it’s 17%.
The new norm for many millennials is to begin relationships through a phone or computer screen. This is a generation that is missing out on face-to-face communication, especially when it comes to dating. Many millennials are constantly waiting to receive and respond to texts and emails.
If you are one of the many people hoping to find love online, it’s important to learn how to communicate properly. The message you send could determine whether the person you are interested in responds or agrees to go on a date with you. There are certain ways to message someone that will increase your chances of hearing back, but there are also many things that could sabotage your online dating experience.
We’ve broken down five things you should never include in a message to someone. Avoid them, and you’ll be one step closer to finding love online.
1. Disguising an insult with a compliment
Simply put, don’t be mean. Be courteous, and give compliments that are kind and sincere. This is not the time to try out sarcasm — it won’t come across well in a message — and it’s not the time to try to be overly funny. Be yourself, and know that being mean will get you nowhere.
2. The viral response
Do you have a copy and paste response you use for everyone? The person you’re messaging may not know for sure that you’re sending the same message to multiple people, but it’s likely that he or she will have a pretty good idea. If your message sound generic, you’re instantly going to decrease your chances of hearing back. Although it’s not easy to write a message to someone you’re interested in, at least try to customize it to whomever you’re chatting with. Being genuine is always the way to go.
3. Writing a novel
You wouldn’t walk up to someone and recite a prepared monologue of your life story, would you? Probably not. Apply that same thought process to the messages you send. Writing a ton of personal information is too much too soon, and it may make you look desperate. That doesn’t mean you should just say “hi,” though. Rather, write a witty intro, but don’t let it run longer than three sentences.
Avoid this at all costs. If you come off as self-centered right away, you’re sure to not get a response. Talking only about yourself is not the most thoughtful way to get to know someone. Yes, you should give a little information about yourself in your first message, but you do want some of the focus to be about the other person.
5. The mediocre message
Although every message can’t be amazingly fantastic, a message that is mediocre and doesn’t even acknowledge that you looked at the other person’s profile is just boring. To make your message stand out, try referencing something he or she likes, or ask questions about one of the person’s interests.
To get a little more specific, New York Magazine compiled a precise list of things not to say to a love interest when communicating online.