Our advice for successful dating

Article 5

Getting started with online dating - How to create a good impression from your very first email

If you’re new to online dating, or are simply looking for ways to improve your chances of finding lasting love, then don’t worry, you’re not alone and you’ve taken that all important first step by visiting matchaffinity.com. Online dating is a great way to dip your toes into the world of dating again at a pace that’s right for you. Of course it’s daunting to think about dating again, particularly if you’ve just come out of a long relationship, you think that so much has changed since you last went on a date and are naturally going to be worried about where to start! Just remember there are lots of people in exactly the same situation as you are, many of them on matchaffinity.com looking to start a new chapter in their lives.

For many members, writing the first email to somebody can be the most nerve-wracking part of looking for a lasting relationship online. It seems so vital that you get everything right, from the tone of voice, to the length, right through to the spelling. Luckily, there are many simple ways to create the perfect first email easily.

The first step is realising that there is no such thing as the “perfect” first email! Don’t spend hours trying to draft a wonderful missive worthy of a Booker Prize; all the first email has to do is sound friendly and warm and show that you find the other person interesting. That’s it. There are several ways to achieve this:

1. Firstly start with their name. Begin your email, “Hello [username].” And make sure you spell it correctly. Opening like this is easy and warm.

2. Try to comment on something specific about their profile. Find a small detail – like the name of a film they mention, or somewhere they like to go – and say something positive about it. Positivity is so important in the first stages of communication. It’s important to sound approachable if you’d like to receive a reply.

3. Asking a direct question is often the best way to ensure you get a reply. Ask a question that the other person will enjoy answering, for example: “I notice you say you love treating yourself to a meal at Gordon Ramsay restaurants. What is the nicest meal you’ve ever had in one?”

4. Try to find things you have in common. This is very attractive. People love to know that someone would be easy to spend time with, and a shared interest is very appealing. The more obscure, the better! If you also collect American comic-books or commemorative tea-spoons, let them know. People you write to will almost definitely head over to your profile to check you out, but don’t rely on this.

5. Keep your initial communications fairly brief. Two or three paragraphs is fine for the first message. But don’t be tempted to make it too short – our research has found, unsurprisingly, that very short emails like, “Hi, I’m Dave, you look great in your picture, fancy a chat?” receive very few replies. The main reason is that they seem very generic. Nobody is going to be flattered or impressed with an email that looks like a mass mailshot.

Finally, remember to be honest and true to yourself in what you say. Don’t feel you have to cough up your life story in the first email, but be honest about your age, whether you have been married before, whether you have children - the fundamental things.

Make sure you take things at your own pace when it comes to corresponding with a new potential partner. Let them get to know you as you are NOW. The past is over, the future is where you are both heading.

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