4 Catchy Online Dating First Messages

How to send a good first message onlienIn almost every aspect of life, we go for the things we want.  Not happy with your job?  Put your resume and cover letter together and search for a new one.  Some weight gain getting you down?  Hit the gym a little harder this month.

Why is it then, that in dating, many of us think happiness will simply find us versus the other way around?  It’s as if we think we have a sign on our foreheads flashing, “I’m single!  Come talk to me!”

Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.  In online dating, writing a great profile is only half the battle.  To be successful, you have to be proactive and email people who interest you.

When searching for a potential partner online, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:

  1. Try not to be too picky upfront. 
    Just because the option of, say, eye color is there, that doesn’t mean you have to use it.
  2. Update your search criteria periodically.  
    Maybe Mr. or Ms. Right lives just five miles outside of your search radius.
  3. Change how you sort your matches.  
    Try sorting by newest members first, people last online, mutual match percentage, etc.

Now that you’ve found some potential matches, it’s time to send that email.  And women, it’s important for you to email potential matches, too.  Many women think that making the first move might make them lose the upper hand at the get-go or seem less feminine.  Not true.

Again, we need to go for what we want in life, and it starts here.  Also, many people don’t take point number 2 above to heart, and their search criteria may not catch you, so if you don’t send the first email, that perfect match you’ve noticed may never find you.  Plus, who wouldn’t be flattered by an email from an amazing woman like you?!

As for what to include in the email, it’s actually pretty simple:

  1. Something about his/her profile that caught your attention
    Personalize it!
  2. Something about you and how it relates to him/her
    This is your chance to demonstrate that you may be compatible. Look for shared or similar interests.
  3. A question (to end the email)
    They’ll be far more likely to answer if they feel they’re answering for a reason!

In terms of length, a few sentences will be enough to get the ball rolling.  No one wants to read your novel after a long day of work – and no form letters!  It’s very clear when people copy and paste the same email from person to person.  That’s a surefire way to keep your inbox empty.  Also, humor and proper grammar go further than you might think.

Now that we know the rules, let’s look at four sample emails:


That picture of you with your camera definitely caught my attention. Believe it or not, I think you’ve met your match – I also have an addiction to photography! (Could be worse things to be addicted to, right?) I generally do portraits, but I recently took some pictures in Thailand on my vacation, which was really fun. How long have you been doing photography?

On an unrelated note, how’s your quest for finding the best store-bought marinara sauce coming along? You must eat a lot of pasta!



I couldn’t resist writing to a woman who says she likes to drink Scotch. A rare and precious find.  haha

I also wanted to welcome you to DC!  What do you think so far? We may not have the architecture that Chicago does (or the shopping), but I do think it’s a pretty great place to live. I assume you’ve taken one of those architecture boat cruises, right? We have paddle boating in the Tidal Basin… just the same, right?



I have to ask about your line, “Love women who love words.” Are we talking women with a big vocabulary? Just curious. Regardless, I like words. In fact, I use them daily.

Since you seem to be into good food as much as I am (not a small feat), what are some of your favorite restaurants in the area?

~ Barb


How’s it going?

When I saw your first line, I knew I had to keep reading.  It’s one of my favorite quotes.  And I’m glad I did because I agree wholeheartedly that nothing beats spending time outdoors… except maybe a really good meal.

How did you get into psychology?  It must be nice to get to work with truly interesting people and make a difference in their lives.  I can’t say I get to meet many interesting people in my job (genetics research), but it is nice to feel like you might make a difference.

Enjoying the cold?


In the end, you can’t win the lottery unless you play, so you might as well try your hand at the lottery of love to see what it has in store.  Now, go forth and email!

Lavalife About Lavalife
Lavalife.com is one of the original players in the online dating game. Committed to helping its members find fun dates and relationships, Lavalife is a prime source for online dating, dating and relationship advice.

  • LeeLee

    I am not really a pelican.

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