How to Write a Good First Message in Online Dating

March 27th, 2011 by Nick Notas 3 Comments

A fellow member of Reddit asked:

“I am seeing this recurring theme on OKCupid and other sites that every girl gets completely spammed all the time. How am I supposed to send a good first message and expect the girl to read it when she is getting 30+ a day? I understand there is a huge disparity in the gender ratio of online dating. However this is just ridiculous.

What have some of you guys done to increase your respond rate when using online sites? I really want to get out more and meet people in real life instead of online dating for this exact reason honestly.”


In online dating, you’re going to competing with a massive male population. Too many men bombard women with boring statements, lewd comments, and over-the-top sappiness. The best thing you can do is be interesting, intriguing, and please, show some class.

Make your subject line stand out.

These girls are flooded daily with messages that start with “Hey” or “What’s up?” Say something different or funny. Point out a detail from her profile. Maybe lead in with an attention-getting title like “I just wanted to tell you…” and continue your thought in the beginning of the message.

A meaningful and genuine compliment can do wonders.

Take a moment to read about her and get a feel for her personality. Be sure to put some weight behind your compliment. Instead of “You’re cute”, try “You have a cool indie style.” Things such as “I find your love of (an interest of hers) adorable” work great, too.

Tell her briefly about yourself.

Keep it short (1-2 sentences), unique, and add a dash of humor. Let her wonder about you and leave her wanting more. “My name’s Nick, I’m a brunch enthusiast and I like my eggs over-easy. I’m a urban explorer, adventurer at heart, and love playing drums on the side.”

Finish with an open-ended question.

This gives her something easy to reply to and encourages her to respond. “If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?”

What other things have worked for you in online dating?

  1. Ken on March 27, 2011

    I usually comment on a description in her profile that is more meaningful (e.g., life philosophy, career ambitions) than having a common interest or liking the same movie. This message implies that I’ve taken the time to read the profile, and found a deeper concept that we might connect on.

    • Nick on March 27, 2011

      I agree, exactly what I was going for :) When you really take the time to notice something unique and comment on it, you stand out from the pack.

  2. Mr. O on February 28, 2014

    I totally agree with the open ended question. Always got to leave it so she’s interacting with you.

    Great read and awesome tips.

    -Mr. O