Finally someone has put math where there mouth is. What am I talking about? OkCupid, the online dating site, did some number crunching on first contacts made through the site in order to see what works and what doesn’t work when introducing yourself to a potential significant other or hook-up.
The site crunched over 500,000 first contacts. Here’s what they found out.
Netspeak = Fail
Turns out that using words like ur, ya, cant, wat, and luv, in your first message doesn’t really do it for the person the other side of the connection. But proper spelling and punctuation does. I guess there is a limit to how much the English language can acceptably be dumbed down. With all that said, typing words that convey amusement, like haha and lol, worked in the completely opposite way. So being funny may be the way to go when introducing yourself online.
Avoid physical compliments
It seems like a no-brainer but maybe it isn’t. Do not start the conversation off by talking about how someone looks. The OkCupid site says when words like gorgeous, beautiful, and sexy are used in first contacts, before you ever met the person, it tends to make the other person feel “ew.” General compliments seem to work well though, like awesome and fascinating. So perhaps compliment something other than their picture. “You’re profile is awesome, what you said about so and so is fascinating.”
Use an unusual greeting
That doesn’t mean use “Hey, wassup fckface” though. What it does mean is that using hi, hello, and hey, may not work as well as using howdy, what’s up (proper spelling, remember netspeak = fail), and how’s it going. Don’t be plain in your greetings.
Don’t try to take it outside
An offer to take the meeting off the site and into something like chat or email is a surefire way of scaring off the other person. People are anonymous for a reason.
Bring up specifics
Like in offline dating, knowing what interest the person who you’re seeing is a benefit to you. So reference specific things that interest you or that you might have in common with someone to make a connection.