Making a connection when dating online all rides on that first online dating message, and that creates a sense of pressure – pressure that makes you question how to send that first message, what your interests are, what you want the tone to be, how much information you should give away, etc. Match is here to give you some online dating tips when it comes to setting up a comfortable conversation via that first message online to a girl or anyone else you’re interested in getting to know.
- Just send it!
The first piece of advice would be, well… to send a message! Don’t worry about whether the guy or the girl should send the first message, as these heteronormative boundaries are being broken down (thankfully) anyway these days. The time you spend worrying about why they haven’t messaged (“Are they at work?” “Do they even like me?” “Are they even interested?”) is time wasted without getting to know this interesting person.
- K.I.S.S. (keep it simple, stupid)
Secondly, don’t overcomplicate this first message. Try starting with a simple “how are you?” or “how was your day?”. You needn’t worry about the first message being boring or making you seem boring – you will add the spice later. Sending a message on its own proves that you’re interested, and, oftentimes, something ornate or abstract can be hard to read when you don’t know the person’s natural tone, humour or way of speaking.
Many people start a conversation by asking people what they do for work. We suggest saving that for a little later. Asking someone about their personal interests can be a great way to start and can lead to asking about whether these interests present in their work later. People spend a lot of time talking business while at work, so a date or romantic conversation can feel more personal and interesting when there is a boundary between work and play. Here are some of the best topics to ask about, and even better is that Match shows our singles’ interests on their profiles, giving you a great foundation to start with.
We all like music, or at least most of us do. Ask your date about their favourite artist, how old they were when they discovered them, if they’ve ever seen them live in concert and other similar questions. Also, it’s worth sharing your own opinion on that artist, and if you don’t have one, ask them for the top three songs they would recommend.
- TV shows
With streaming platforms becoming more and more popular, many people are saying that we are living in the golden era of television. Ask them what they are streaming on Netflix, and if your interests match up (no pun intended), then you’ll know that there is hope for watching some shows together in the future if things go well.
If you’re a fitness fanatic, it’s worth asking what the other person does to work out or get fresh air. The only caution with this one is to not be too flirtatious too early on, as it may come across that you are only interested in their figure. Establish that you are asking about if and why they enjoy exercising for their mental health and other benefits. A tiny bit of flirting might not go amiss, but just keep it subtle and minimal for the first few days of conversation.
Does the person seem to have a great style? If so, ask them where they shop or where they get their sense of style from, which movies and shows have inspired them, if they are into fashion photography, what they think is the most fashionable city, etc. Personal style says a lot about somebody, and it isn’t only skin deep. Perhaps they are a vintage aficionado or a sneakerhead. Music, film and fashion are often interlaced, so asking about personal style influences can lead to many other conversations.
Once you two have established a sense of each other’s interests, it’s a great time to talk about work. Ask them about their dream job and how that relates to what they are currently doing. This can give you a sense of their ambitions and where they see themselves going in the future. If you feel that you are on a similar track, then it’s definitely worth going on a date to talk about how you both manage your professional and social lives and how you plan for your goals. Ambition is a very attractive quality, and a shared goal or sense for goal-making can really bind two people together.
- Languages and nationality
Culture is so important and can play a crucial factor when it comes to how a person approaches romance. Respectfully ask your date where they grew up, where they have lived and what languages they speak. Travel broadens many horizons, so it is worth asking how their cultural experiences have influenced their outlook on lifestyle and relationships.
- Go get that drink
There is only so long you can talk online before the digital spark fizzles out and needs to become a real spark of chemistry if it is to live any longer. Some people wait a couple of hours after talking to ask if the person is free for a drink that week, and many appreciate this direct way of being. Others prefer to wait at least 24 hours, but we would suggest not leaving it any longer than a week. Don’t worry about coming across as too keen – if the conversation is exciting and flowing on both sides, then the desire to meet in person will be mutual. It can also be hard to determine how shy of asking the other person is, so bite the bullet and offer a meetup!