The Dos And Don’ts of Online Dating: Communication

You’re success in the world of online dating depends not only on your profile picture, or profile information, but largely on how you communicate with those interested in you (similar to real-life relationships, surprise surprise). Once you’ve found a likeable someone, it’s time to initiate contact. Most dating websites recommend to send some sort of wink along with a message (chances of a response increase if you also write to them as opposed to just sending a wink). Here are a few other notes on communication… and feel free to communicate back to me on whether you agree/ disagree/ or have other dos and don’ts.


DON’T: Dismiss somebody because their favorite things are not your favorite things.

DO: Remember variety is the spice of life. If we were all exactly the same, we’d all be awesome, but possibly a little bored. In conversation, ask them about what they like, and hopefully they’ll do the same.

DON’T: Copy and paste a “Hi, I liked your profile. Hope to hear from you!” message then send it to 5 different people.

DO: Use the option to wink (or whatever the site offers for this type of notification) at people you think are interesting. In other words, don’t wait for people to wink first. Take initiative and yes, this is for the men and the women. Women, I know it’s not “traditional” to initiate contact, but think about it this way: you don’t join a site (and pay for it) to sit and wait. Heck, you can sit and wait for free and you probably already do. So get your money’s worth. For interests you like more than just a little, write them a quick note along with the wink.

DON’T: Expect replies or winks back the same day you wink or write. This will require patience, as it will also require patience to not respond immediately to messages you’ve received. Dating is a stupid game, but unfortunately there are rules. The more you follow the rules to the game, the higher chances you have of winning. The rule that applies here: whether you’re always busy or always bored, a little mystery goes a long way. So by giving a message a few hours/days to sit, at least the other person will think you have a life.

DON’T: Get upset if a few days go by and you haven’t heard from someone you wrote or winked at.

DO: Talk to more than one potential date at a time. It’s ok to have a few irons in the fire. If you only have one in the fire, you risk hyping up the first date and nerves may get the best of you. If/when the fire burns out, all you’re left with is one dull sword. Something about having other options relieves nerves and actually improves each date, because you don’t have to be there, you can just enjoy wanting to be there.

DON’T: Have too many irons in the fire. Then you’ll dial up Judy and say, “Hey Barbara!”

DON’T: Expect a date with Judy after you called her Barbara.

DO: If you need to, re-read some messages between you and the person your conversing with. Remember a few topics you’ve already discussed so you don’t make the mistake mentioned below.

DON’T: Mention that you also love “Wicked” when, oops, that was a different person that told you they loved “Wicked.”

DO: Write original messages tailored to the recipient. What do you like about their profile information? Tell them about it.

DON’T: Guys, don’t make your first message about how pretty she is. Mention something you like about her profile information as opposed to her pictures. This shows you are paying attention to the details and not just scanning pictures for hot girls. My guess is a girl would rather hear you like that she volunteers at an orphanage first, then later you can tell her how beautiful you think her green eyes are.

DO: Keep the first message short. No reason to write a novel to someone who hasn’t signed on in over 3 weeks.

DON’T: In your first few messages, don’t be careless when you attempt humor. Making someone laugh is usually about the delivery, and when a person is reading a message, they most likely won’t read it the same way you typed it. What you write is funny to you, but may seem odd or weird to the reader and they will think twice about continuing in communication.

DO: In your messages, it’s ok to talk about yourself. But remember to ask questions as well. This invites a response and keeps the conversation going.

DON’T: Respond to anyone who winks or messages you without checking their “about my date” section. If over half of it has “no answer” listed, move on. Especially if it has “no answer” for more critical relationship information like faith, smoke, drink, and have/want kids. Most likely this profile is some kind of fraud. I’ve actually come across profiles that fit this description, and a few days later the profile was removed, confirming my suspicions.

Hopefully you’ve been able to establish a real relationship with a few matches through interesting communication. Don’t be afraid to throw in an offer to meet up either. Once you do that, and they accept, it’s time to go out on the town for your first date. Check back Monday, September 27 for more about the first encounter with your match. Thanks for reading!


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