You matched online! What do you say now?

Becky Roehrs

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Eight easy tips: Let's say something other than "Hi" when you match online!

I've decided to make a public service announcement and help men (and women) on online dating sites, so they actually get a date versus irritating the heck out of each other!

There's plenty of advice on what you should and should not put on your Online Dating profile, but who is telling men and women what to say when they do get a match?

What in the HECK are these people thinking!

I've been dating on and off the last year and have perused hundreds of male profiles. (I've looked at female profiles too, you know, to check out what they are doing).

  • Yep, I have way too much time on my hands…
  • And I've initiated my share of conversations. And yes, I've gone on dates.

When I get a match, I wonder what goes through some people's minds…

Tip #1 Look at their profile! READ it!

Remember at least one thing you like from their profile that you can ask them about.

If they sound awful, you can swipe out of there.

  • If nothing is there, or you can't find anything you like, why waste your time?
  • I skip tons of profiles because they are empty or might as well be.

But thanks for letting us know you like to go out to eat... as we all do.

Tip #2 Contact someone who lives near you

Scroll immediately to the area that lists where they live.

If they live less than an hour away (or whatever your energy level can handle), go for it!

Most folks don't want a long-distance romance.

  • If you are open to long-distance relationships, put it in your profile.
  • We all have limited time.

And no, we don't all love to commute.

Tip #3 Use their NAME

Maybe some women (and men) like to be called "beautiful, honey, sugar, sweetheart," but plenty think you're a fake or worse.

  • Quite a few people HATE being referred to with a strange moniker.
  • I certainly do.

You can use cute pet names once you're a couple!

Tip #4 Don't ask: 'How was your day, or how is it going?"

If you want a conversation with someone, will this really elicit more than "Fine or ok?".

  • Worse, what if they launch into everything that has gone wrong?
  • How is this helping you get to know the other person?

Don't be one of those people that says "Hi!" and asks simple questions that are right there for you to see in their profile!

  • Instead, you can ask, "what are you looking forward to this week, or what is something fun you like to do?"
  • Hopefully, you'll find out about your match's job, interests or activities.

Tip #5 What do you want: LTR*, dating, hookup?

If you don't know what you want, why are you on a dating site?

  • Think about what you need, put it in your profile and repeat it when you chat with someone you've matched with.
  • It's not a secret. You do want to be on the same page as your match, correct?

No one likes a bait and switch.

Do NOT tell someone you want an LTR when you don't. It's mean.

And don't assume a hookup will become a great romance either. Believe them!

*LTR = Long Term Relationship

Tip #6 Don't ask how long they've been on the site!

What kind of answer are you looking for?

  • "I've been on here ten years, and I'm jaded and depressed?"
  • "I've been here a day and just broke up with my male/female "friend" for the third time?"

I assume you're trying to find out if you both want the same things and if you both are ready to date.

  • Instead, ask, "what are you looking for?" and a bit later, "when did your last relationship end"?
  • It may sound blunt, but isn't this one of the most important things you need to know?

Tip #7 Ask about kids

Some people are crazy about kids, but others never had them or are done raising their children.

I've met many people in their 40s and 50s who have school-age children. I was shocked when this info was "revealed."

  • Want to have children? It's a big deal! This is a dealbreaker for many people. Not everyone wants kids, so you'd better find out as soon as you.
  • Do you have partial custody? They're going to find out. Find out if your potential date likes kids. It will give them an idea of how available you are.
  • Are your kids' adults? Have they left the nest? Share the news. This means you probably have a lot more free time to spend with a partner. Advertise your status!

Tip #8 Don't immediately ask for a phone number

I know you want to contact your match anytime, but women (and yes, men) have to be wary of who they share their info with.

The same can apply if you want your match to "move off the site" to another app...

  • There are stalkers, love-bombers, and catfishers, all trying to annoy, rip-off, and scare folks.

Why are you rushing? Try to make the woman or man feel comfortable.

Otherwise, it comes off as demanding, insensitive or desperate.

Make sure you have enough in common to have an interesting phone conversation!

  • Great! They want to talk on the phone or meet.
  • I know it's hard to keep the discussion going, but you have to talk if you want to date!

You don't necessarily want to get into a political or religious discussion, but if it's crucial to you, you may want to test the waters:

I hope you match, chat, meet and get the relationship you both want!

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I write about local events, politics, education, relationships, online dating, and humor. Sarcastic and silly. Loves coffee and canoeing. I've been a computer programmer, outdoor guide, and taught programming at Fortune 500s and community colleges. Now, I help folks teach online.

Cary, NC
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