Many of us have ventured into the world of online dating for a variety of reasons. In this day and age, many folks are pursuing online dating because of lack of time to get out and socialize in the real world, or because they enjoy the comfort and ‘safety’ of meeting people online and getting to know them better before pursuing something stronger. We’ve covered in the past how you can decode some of those puzzling online profiles in order to increase your message count, and today we are going to look at how to handle it when those messages do come trickling in. Remember here, the way you respond (or don’t) to that first online message may well just make or break anything you want to see come out of it. Use the three gold standards, yes, no, and maybe, to figure out how to respond, and how to ensure even more messages come back to you.
1. The NO response. The no response is for those messages that accompany the profiles that just don’t do anything for you. You aren’t attracted to them by any stretch, or you’ve seen a few red flags in their profiles that don’t really gel with your needs and wants. Do not feel obligated to respond out of courtesy, as online dating is a weeding pool in itself. That’s why we like it. Not responding is enough of a sign that you aren’t interested, and deleting is even more a response. Many online dating sites now offer features where if you check sent messages, you can tell when a message has been read, and even if it has been read and deleted. Anyone that has their eye on you will certainly be checking their sent mail for these signs. If you want to send the message to someone that you aren’t interested, a simple read and delete is the only sign that you need to send without saying a word.
2. The MAYBE response. This one gets trickier depending on how much of a maybe it is. If it is a maybe leaning towards no, just read and don’t do much else with it. If they are checking to see if you’ve read their mail, they will know when it has been read. If you haven’t deleted it, again, you are sending a subtle message of interest by keeping the message, and they may make another move. If they do, use this as your next step to decide NO, or YES. If the message is from someone that is a maybe leaning towards yes, feel free to respond but be light and casual. Ask no questions, but answer any that may come up. Be brief, don’t use smilies or affectionate terms, but say enough to keep their interest and guage their next move. If you hear from them again, take it from there, if you don’t, no love lost. Literally.
3. The YES response. We’ve all seen a profile or a message come across that inspires us to begin firing away our entire life story. This is not the time for a first message, that is what the actual dating part of your story is for. Use the first message to show off a little bit more of your own personality, and use what they have said in their first message to amplify that. If they’ve complimented you on your smile, flirt back but compliment a different feature of theirs. If this is a definite YES for you, a great way to ensure more mail is to leave your messages asking a question or two that will require a response. Not too many though, you don’t want to look as needy. A simple question about their life or likes is all you need to get some excellent conversation going.