Online Dating is often cited as a great way for shy people to extend their social circle and find love, but lack of confidence can be just as bad on the Internet as it is offline. For many people, making contact online can be quite a daunting task and the fear of rejection can be just as strong. There are a few important things to keep in mind for when you’ve found someone you want to make contact with.
Traditional gender roles
Some people are still labouring under the belief that it’s always the man who should contact the woman. While this may be true for some men, especially in the traditional dating world, the online dating scene is quite different. With so many people using the various dating sites, a woman could be waiting a very long time if she didn’t make a move herself. Luckily, it seems most women are not afraid of contacting men online. Surveys have also revealed that the vast majority of men are not put off by women contacting them and in fact find it quite flattering. If the man is shy himself, this could be the best and maybe only way to make contact.
Cheats and helping hands
Many sites nowadays offer handy features to take the sting out of contacting someone for the first time. Features like “winks”, “kisses” etc. are basically a way to send someone a quick preset message with the click of a button to let them know you are interested. On some sites, you can send quick multi-user messages to anyone who fits your search criteria so you can contact a whole load of people at once.
What to send
This is not an exact science, seeing as dating is a personal thing. A message that leaves one person indifferent could be just the thing to interest another. As a rule though, try to keep things personal. Comment on the other person’s profile to make them know you took the time to read it. Compliment them by telling them why you chose to send a message to them rather than anyone else. Comments like “you have a nice smile” are good, but it’s probably best to avoid any comments about body parts, unless you are on a site that is advertised for people who are predominantly looking for sex.
When writing, include information about yourself but don’t write too long a message, most people wouldn’t bother reading that much and, after all, you are only trying to start a conversation. Asking the other person about him/herself is a good way to ensure they have something to talk about if they want to write back.
Not always a rejection
It’s easy to get discouraged if you’ve sent someone a message and did not receive a reply, but the truth is, there could be a lot of reasons why a person did not respond and most of them have nothing to do with you at all. This is more true online than anywhere else, because there are even more elements to consider. For example, the nature of online dating means people can be selective from the start about what they want in a way that is different from traditional dating. If you are insecure about your looks, it’s easy to assume it’s your picture that put people off, but in reality, it could be something completely unrelated that has made the other person think you are incompatible.
It’s worth making sure your profile is as good as it can be and includes a picture of you before you start contacting people. A lot of people won’t bother replying to people whose profiles do not have a picture and many won’t bother replying to people who’ve written nothing at all about themselves.