“Hey, what are you up to tonight?”

Today’s Online Dating Tip: Send A Real Email.

“Hey, what are you up to tonight?”

“What’s up, beautiful? Any weekend plans?”

“Hey, you wanna chat?”

If you’re the proud owner of any of the above quotes, and you’ve been perplexed as to your vacant inbox after dozens of similarly heartfelt email outpourings, you may want to alter your approach. Because, as a woman, I see those one-liners in my inbox and I translate them thusly:

“I’m bored, and I’m hoping you’re desperate.”

Now to give you the benefit of the doubt, I realize you may simply be maximizing your efficiency via concise messages that convey your interest without belaboring it. I appreciate your succinct savvy and respect your valuable time as a fellow online dater. I congratulate your concise competence at circumventing the circumlocutionary correspondences that can make online dating feel like a full-time career. Nevertheless, I receive your message and all I see is this:

“I’m bored, and I’m hoping you’re desperate.”

To me, these one-liners are the online equivalent of a pick-up line (a pick-up online, if you will), and it’s no more kindly received via internet space than in person. Again, I’m speaking not to your intent, but to your recipient’s perception, which is rarely favorable. And quite frankly, if you luck out and your recipient responds favorably to your one-liner, indicating desperation, is that really the person on whom you want to be focusing your affections? Desperation is not typically a quality found on anybody’s top ten lists (“I’m looking for somebody intelligent, funny, attractive, oh and, desperate. Definitely desperate.” I bet you’ve never seen that in your online dating profile browsing.)

So please, give some indication in your message, however brief, that you’ve read the person’s profile and that you’d enjoy getting to know them better. At the very least, follow up your one-liner with another line to demonstrate that you’re literate, which is, at least, on my top ten list of desired characteristics in a potential partner. You’ll get many more online dates this way.


  1. Yeah, gotta agree almost entirely with Ben there.

    “Send a real e-mail…” not easy when you’re sending it to a stranger; if profiles tell you anything, it’s that 90% of people write exactly the same things, and 100% of them are lying. Try cracking a joke to a woman who wrote “GSOH” on her profile. And you just know that anyone who says they’re “honest & trustworthy” is lying (this is true in all situations, without exception). And bland? How many dating sites ask what superpower you’d have if you could choose? How many answers are there? Two; mind reading or invisibilty. Translation: devious control freak or neurotic non-entity. Yeah, I’m encouraged by that, ladies. And ambitions? Either “travel” or “win the lottery”; translation: “How deep is your wallet?”

    With most women’s profiles being either utterly bland or patently untrue (and I’m sure that’s also the case with most guys’ profiles too), sending a “real e-mail” isn’t really an option.

    So you’re back to the traditional approach for meeting women face-to-face; either the funny one-liner, or an outright proposition.

    To be honest, the only time I’ve had my inbox fill up was when I wrote something filthy on the top line of my profile. Otherwise, it’s all about preconceptions; women who date on-line are either desperate, or rampant sluts; men who date on-line the same. That’s the perception. Women who go for guys who post muscly pictures and claim a massive income are deluding themselves; wishful thinking, girls, if you imagine that you’ll find a wealthy playboy on-line.

    The only people who seem to have big success on-line, male or female, are the omni-sluts who’ll mount anything with a pulse, sorry to say.

  2. From one Ben to another, bravo. You def hit the nail on the head about how shallow the online dating scene can be. However, you say you had ‘success’ with online dating. What happened when you met these women in person? When they didn’t get the rich and buff dude?

  3. That’s the problem with women now-a-days: READING BETWEEN THE LINES!!!

    Don’t read into something that’s not there. “Hey, you wanna chat?” may mean exactly that. It may be a guy’s way of testing the waters, without the huge initial time investment, to see if a woman is serious about meeting potential dates. Maybe the guy just wants to chat first to see if the girl is worth his time as everyone’s time is valuable. Maybe the guys in interested and wanting to see if she in interested, too, before the time investment that comes with playing, “getting to know each other.”

    I speak from experience. When I first started dating online, my policy was to send emails that explained why I was interested in them as a potential date. These messages clearly described elements the woman writes about in her own profile in which I was attracted. After wasting hundreds of hours of writing emails and receiving little or no response (less than 1% of my emails were answered), I changed my tactics. After another year or so of limiting my emails to a single paragraph, I still had little or no response. Then, I decided that women don’t want a writer, so I limited my email to a single line, usually, “Hi, I read your profile, and I think we might be a good match. Please respond if you are interested. Thanks.” Still, little or no response.

    Then, I decided to put to use the scientific skills I have. I changed my profile pic to that of a very muscular man I found in a magazine with my face superimposed on his body. I also changed my income from “Perfer not to say” to “$250K+”, and the hits started pouring in my inbox almost instantly, even before I could even start browsing, winking, and emailing under my psudonym! It is especially noteworthy that NOTHING ELSE CHANGED in my profile text. Only my pic and income were changed, and my success with online dating soared through the roof. This same experiment was repeated on three other websites with similar results both before and after the change.

    So what does all of this mean? I interpret it as positive proof that women could care less what a guy says in their own profile. They are looking at braun and income, solely, in selecting a potential mate. Guys are guilty of it too, I suspect, especially with focusing on the pic and ignoring the rest of a woman’s profile. The fact remains that when a woman gets a wink, poke, or email from a guy, they usually look at the guy’s profile (at least). Most likely, women have too many emails in their inbox to read all of their profiles, so they just browse by looking at pic and income. If that’s not perfect, DELETE! I have seen my more than one of my girlfriends (plutonic) do exactly that. “Oh, he looks good, but he’s poor — DELETE!” The pic is usually inspected first followed by the income. If a woman likes both of those elements about a guy’s profile, they will read on.

    My advice to women: stop being so fickle. Stop focusing a man’s success with you by his bulges in his wallet, T-Shirt, and shorts. Brains are far more sustaining, and men with brains are usually smart enough to stay fit and healthy; they just don’t advertise it. Guys are, however, advertising their brain capacity (or lack thereof) even if they don’t know it; just read their profile — all of it — like you women expect us guys to do. Just think, if you stop being fickle and start being smart, guys won’t mistreat you and you might actually meet Mr. Right.

    My advice to men: until women stop being so fickle, lie, lie, lie like Bill Clinton did. You make $100K+/yr., you have a super-model’s body, and you are 28 years old reguardless of the actual truth. Do this, and I promise you a full inbox of women just dying to meet you. Have apprehensions about lying? Enjoy your empty inbox and your monthly bill for it, too. This article demonstrates that women are going to take away from your emails and profiles what they want, not what you want. They will change your words from., “Hi, you wanna chat?” to “I’m board, and I’m hoping you’re desperate,” at the drop of a hat, according to this article. Why not make those changes yourself and to your own advantage? It’s going to get done anyway weather you like it or not, so you might as well be in control of it. Right?

  4. The last thing you should imply on your first email is that your looking to hookup or meet. First email should be a simple hello how are you and tell me a little about yourself. Free online dating sites like YouDate.net make it a little easier with their video chat with voice or if you don’t have a webcam then you can use their instant messenger. If you show that your not in a hurry to meet you might just get lucky and them ask you what your doing tonight.

  5. Sadly, men get these too. I will take a moment to look at the profile and most often say to myself “SPAM.” When I find someone I’d like to talk to on a site (I use Match, OKCupid, and very nominally Craigslist….It used to be much better) I take the time to communicate with them. If I get no response, I remove/ignore that profile and move on.

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