Originally Answered: How to keep up a conversation through online dating?
How can men succeed on dating sites?
Copyright (c) 2007 Drew Mcpherson
First you have to have a reasonable profile. Profiles are only of moderate importance, but they must be truthful. No uploading phony pictures, and no filling out fake personal details, like height, marital status, etc. Try to put something funny into you profile. People love to laugh, and if they are laughing at you, they might be loving you in the near future. Maybe tell a funny story about dating, or about a hobby or interest of yours. Avoid the tired old stereotypes of putting things like "not into head games", or "looking for someone honest". 75% of all profiles on the internet have these phrases in them and it becomes very booooring very fast. Make up something creative and unique that inspires an emotional reaction, like laughter, and it will stand out amongst the crowd. If you succeed in triggering someone's emotions right off the bat, you will get noticed.
Perhaps the most difficult part is getting that initial response. It is important to hedge your bet by sending out plenty of messages, but don't spread yourself too thin. It is important to put something meaningful and personal in the message you are sending. Form letters are a big turn-off. Try saying something in response to one of the comments in her profile, but don't waste too much time writing long winded messages on first contact. Also, don't waste your time reading her whole profile. Skim it quickly, in just a few seconds, and pick out anything that obviously stands out to work with in your initial message. Ideally, the shorter the initial message the better, but make sure whatever you write is intriguing enough that she will want to hear more. Messages like "hi, how's it going?" sometimes work, but if you say something more to the effect of "your picture reminds me of olden days, do you like dancing by any chance?" is way better. The best initial message is one which refers to something she specifically mentions in her profile. For instance, if she talks about liking dogs, ask her what her favourite kind of dog is. Or if she says she likes camping, say something like "you should hear about this one time I was camping and I forgot the tent!" If you put in a reference that alludes to a longer, more interesting story that will get her interested and wanting to read more. This is much like how newspaper journalists write a "hook" in the first couple sentences of a story. Make sure that whatever you write is truthful. Liars are always found out sooner or later and that will be the end of you right then and there. Also, if you can throw in a question, which will give her an obvious starting point for a reply, so much the better. Some women are stupid and uncreative and can't figure out how to respond to open-ended messages. Always provide some direction for a response. Sending messages without a leading question will definitely lower your conversion rate.
The next step is to get a witty banter going. After her first reply you should read her profile more thoroughly. Based upon what she wrote in her profile and her initial response, you should pick up on what some of her interests are and ask about those. It is important for her to think you respect her on an intellectual and emotional level as a person, so at no point should you talk openly about anything sexual at this point. Here is where you can write a more lengthy response because you have captured her interest enough for her to make that initial connection with you. The same principles apply as with the first message. Humour is good, sex talk bad. Follow these guidelines, have a little patience, and online dating success will be yours. A good rule of thumb is, don't say anything to a person online that you wouldn't say in person, or that might get you slapped. Just because you're sitting in front of a computer screen does not mean there is not a real person out there who you are communicating with. It is just as real as if you were sitting in the room together talking.
After about half a dozen or so fairly lengthy messages back and forth, she should be feeling comfortable enough to make the next step with you. This is usually talking on the phone. Try to make a set day and time when one of you will call the other so that you will both be expecting it. Talk to her on the phone for a little while first to get comfortable at this next level. Again - ABSOLUTELY NO SEX TALK!!! I cannot stress this enough guys. Don't even hint at it as most of you aren't near clever enough to be able to pull it off and you will just end up creeping her out and lose any chance for a date. Oh and for crying out loud, PLEASE, do not EVER send pictures of your wang!
Talk to her like she's a long lost friend who you are catching up with after several years. Women like to be treated as if they are your friend, and will feel that it shows respect towards them and will respect you for it in return. During the conversation, test her resolve by hinting at that you might like to go out sometime. Say something like "so what are you up to later this week?". If she hesitates or says something to shut you down like "oh I'm busy", you've probably blown it, so give up while you are ahead. Tell her that you should probably be going now and to have a nice day. If she isn't totally creeped out by you yet, this will at least demonstrate to her that you aren't a crazy stalker freak, and it will give her time to calm down and think that maybe she overreacted and should give you a second chance. Wait for a few days and if she doesn't send you a message, test the waters by sending her an email asking how it's going. If she doesn't respond, then scratch her off the list of potentials. If she does, then you can try again starting from that point forward and trying again on the phone, but ask first before calling her again. It is always important to keep messaging several different women at once so that when one flakes out on you like this, you have several alternatives and don't have to become desperate or weird and stalker-like. Women like a guy who is aloof enough to not talk to them for a few days and then sends them a message indicating that she hasn't been forgotten.
When you finally do go out, keep it simple. Go out for coffee, a drink, dinner maybe. If you aren't much of a conversationalist try a movie or mini-putt or something distracting so that you won't feel the pressure to keep talking all the time. Once you've been out once or twice, you can step up the romance a notch by going for a walk in the park, or to a scenic spot in the area. It is at this point that you may find my next advice column to be helpful - "How to seduce a woman".
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