Common Online Dating First Message Mistakes

First Date Message

“Sup girl…”

“You come here often?”

“Nice butt. Wanna go out?”

If there is a part of online dating that we love ragging on the most, it’s the absurdity of the messages that people send. With some of the first messages we’ve seen, we wonder if people are trying to convince the person NOT to go out with them. We’ve seen absurd, vulgar, boring…pretty much any negative adjective you can think of, we’ve seen.

It does not have to be this way! When you’re sending the first message to a potential date online, it’s your first chance to make a good impression. If you blow it, you’re not going to get a response, and you’ll probably never get to go out with them. If you knock it out of the park, your chances of getting a date and things progressing go through the roof.

What we’d like to talk about today are some of the biggest online dating first message mistakes and how you can go about avoiding them. Using these tips and learning how to send the perfect first message, you should be able to greatly increase your success rate and start getting many more high-quality dates.

Boring, Boring Boring

You know what the most popular first message we see and hear about is (mainly from you gentleman)?

“Hi” or “Sup?”

Wow…way to show effort and knock it out of the park. How can you expect someone to take you seriously or see that you’re genuinely interested if all you send them is one or two words? You don’t have to send the most creative and exciting messages on the planet, but you at least need to show a conscious effort not to be boring.

Send a sentence or two and ask them a question. It shows that you took some time to send them a message and that you care about what they are about and what they have to say. Something like…”Hey! I noticed you had a bunch of dogs in your pictures. I love dogs. Do you have several of your own?” will go a lot longer than “sup?” We can guarantee this.

Cookie Cutter Messages

“Hi, I love your eyes. What color do you consider those?”

“Hi, I love your eyes. What color do you consider those?”

“Hi, I love your eyes. What color do you consider those?”

While this is not a bad message, it can create an issue if you’re sending the exact same message to every single guy or girl you talk to online. First, a lot of friends date online together. If two girls get the same message from you, they’re going to talk, and your game is going to be toast. Second, you could strike out if your message doesn’t make sense for the girl or guy you’re sending it to. What happens if you use the above message, but the girl has sunglasses on in every picture? You’re going to look silly, and like you don’t care.

When you send your first message, you have an opportunity to make a great first impression. The best thing that you can do is show that you took the time to read their profile and pick out something interesting to talk about. See that he or she has dogs in every profile picture? Ask them about them! They have a picture up of them running a Tough Mudder? Ask them about it! You’ll be shocked how far showing that you’re paying attention to their profile will go. Conveniently, this leads us to our last big mistake to watch out for.

Not Reading Their Dating Profile

We mentioned in the above section that you can get extra brownie points with a potential date by mentioning something out of their photos or their profile. What we didn’t mention, though, is how you can end your chances right away by not reading their profile. For example, let’s say you see that a girl has a dog in her dating profile picture. You think you’re smart and you send her a message and ask her if she takes her dog to the dog park often?

Not a bad opener; you’re learning! But…you didn’t read her profile where she talks about how her dog died a few weeks ago, and it’s been hard on her. How do you think your first message is going to go over with her? Do you think you’re going to be getting that date?

You need to take the time to read their profile for two reasons. First, it’s going to help you with your first message and first impression. Second, don’t you want to be going after people that are a good fit for you? How are you going to know if someone is a good fit for you or not if you don’t take the time to get to know them? How silly are you going to look if you start chatting and you keep asking about things that are clearly written in their dating profile?

Don’t shoot yourself in the foot. Take some time and read through someone’s profile before you send them a message. You may realize that they aren’t right for you and you don’t want to message them which would save you both a lot of time. Or, you may realize something awesome you both have in common that helps to make your first message and first impression stand out.

The Bottom Line

You don’t have to be Bill Shakespeare with your first messages or Jerry Seinfeld. All you have to do is make a good first impression and not blow it. Men and women get a lot of messages every day online. You need to do your best to show that you’re different from the rest of the singles and are someone that they’re going to want to get back to. If you follow these few simple tips, your online dating experience is going to be a lot better.

Also, we didn’t add this above, but don’t be vulgar. We can assure you that it’s not going to get you anywhere. Be a gentleman or a lady. Be polite, respectful, and show your potential date that you respect and care that they’re enjoying themselves dating online. In turn, they’ll assume that probably means they’ll enjoy their time with you.



Written By: Jason Lee

Jason Lee is a journalist with a passion for writing about online dating, relationships, personal growth, healthcare, and finance. In 2008, Jason earned a Bachelors of Science from the University of Florida, where he studied business and finance and taught interpersonal communication. His work has been featured in the likes of The USA Today, MSN, The Motley Fool, NetHealth, and The Simple Dollar. As a business owner, relationship strategist, dating coach, and officer in the U.S. military, Jason enjoys sharing his unique knowledge base with the rest of the world. Follow Jason on Facebook here