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Writing the First Email – How To Meet Women On Online Dating Sites

How to write the first email to a girl on a dating site How to write the first email to a girl on a dating site

Note from Alex: Another guest post, this time from a good friend of mine – Sebastyne from Australia. She has a lot of experience when it comes to online dating, so take what she has to say seriously! Sebastyne, the word is all yours.

As Alex is concentrating on offline dating tips, I offered my help in the online dating arena, as that happens to be my specialty.

I joined a dating site the year 2000, met my husband online in 2004. It took me a good 4 years to find the man of my dreams. That is to say online dating is not a quick “place an order and wait for the door bell to ring” service. For a girl, it means a flood of absolutely ridiculous emails, and this is where I come in.

To start with, I want to set straight a common misconception about online dating. It is not JUST for losers. The great thing about online dating is that it gives you a lot more options.

It will bring you people who you would never meet in your normal life. That is one reason why it is a great extension of dating options for people who are quite picky – such as myself. I would have never met my husband “in the real life” even if we lived in the same city, as he would spend time in places I would probably not set a foot in.

Unfortunately, like someone said, to find your prince you have to kiss a lot of frogs. These following type of men never got as far as a hand shake, and I am here to make sure you are (no longer) one of them, and as for the rest of you I hope you get a good laugh:

3 type of men you DO NOT want to be

  • The too busy man This man uses an email template that he sends to all girls he finds attractive. He believes in advertising to wide range of potential buyers. The problem he will face is that the girls will instantly know if it is a mass email, and will be put off, his email will get deleted and she makes a mental note that this guy is a moron. Often this man makes the mistake of sending the SAME message many times to the same girl AND her friends as he can’t keep track of all the girls he has emailed. That will not make him look good.
  • The man with muscle This guy will tell the girl how he got his muscle mass by listing the sports he plays and then probably attach an image of himself showing his muscles with the head cut off the photo. This is intended to protect the identity of the sender, but really just makes him look very superficial and quite silly. He probably won’t get a reply.
  • The man who has balls This man is related to the muscle man, but instead of listing information about his sports, he lists details about the measurements of his private parts. He may add details of his annual income as if to make a point about why it would be wise to sleep with him. The most disturbing thing about this type is that he will attach a photo of his genitals for the mere joy he has them.

Those are the biggest and most common mistakes men make on dating sites. It is fairly easy to stand out from the crowd by putting a little more effort into the email.

To do it right: Read her profile. Every word of it!

Girls are excellent at writing dating profiles. They will give you a lot of information about what she is looking for and why, how she wants it to come along and so forth. Some sites allow linking to a website, if that is the case; check her website for even more information on how to approach her or what she is like. If you think it is cheating to find out what she likes before you email her, it’s really not. It shows that you are interested and most men skip this part, so you will come out ahead.

in love

Instead of introducing yourself, talk about her

A lot of people start an email by telling the reader who they are. That is fine and all, but don’t you find it hard to try to sell yourself to a total stranger? Instead, write about her, why exactly did you find her interesting, and why you wanted to contact her in the first place. That makes her feel like you actually do mean to contact her and not just any girl.

At the same time, as you are writing about her, you will probably find things you have in common, like: “I read in your profile that you like fast cars. I immediately thought I must write to you, as I recently bought a Ferrari.” (Yeah, keep on dreaming, but you get my point.) It might be animals, computers, philosophy or other topic that is common to you, bring that up. If there isn’t anything like that, but you still want to write to her, mention the reason why, but don’t just cop out by saying you really like her boobs, ass or figure in general.

Avoid clichés at all cost. Don’t use words like “sexy” “hot” or “pretty”. It may be a surprise to you, but even “beautiful” should be avoided, as the beautiful girls have heard it so many times it makes no impact anymore. My husband described me “sensual” in his first email in case you are curious. Be as sincere as you can, be happy to compliment her even if she wasn’t interested in you.

Tell her what you want

Be honest in your email. If you want a casual relationship, say so. If you are not sure what you want, tell her that. If you just expect someone to talk to or what ever you may be after, tell her. That will save both of you time and heart ache. Don’t assume that all girls want a serious relationship from the day one, so what ever it is you want might or might not be what she wants. Pretending is never good, as you will appear sleazy and that will not get you far with most girls.

in love

Include your photo – of your face

No matter what you look like, always include a photo of yourself to the email or on your dating profile. It is more important to show of your face than it is to show of any other part of your body or your motor bike, so make sure there is a good photo of your face in there. Do not use drunken party photos. As amusing as they may be to you, the girl will think that is when you are at your best – not a good sign! In addition, avoid too serious business type of photos; unless you are after women who will love you for your money – this is not a job interview.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT include a photo of you surrounded by women or a photo that you cropped an ex-girlfriend out off but still leaving her arm around your neck. Take a photo without any specific theme to it (white background and casual clothing) or doing something you love or with something you love, like your dog. (Girls love guys with dogs, but don’t make the mistake of borrowing one, as it will come up in the conversation!)

You might be apprehensive about adding your photo. I have a few reasons why you should have one up though.

First off, men who don’t have a photo up are normally either:

  • Married or in a serious relationship
  • Very seriously ugly
  • Insecure and secretive
  • Computer illiterate or
  • Wanted for murder

None of these reasons make you look good, and there is no other good reason not to put your picture up. Even if you weren’t the hunkiest guy on the planet, there will be girls who find you the cutest thing alive, especially the one you are looking for. If there is a valid reason why you can’t put a photo up, online dating is probably not for you.

sex question

Are girls different online than offline?

Talking to girls online isn’t much different than it is face to face. There are things you shouldn’t say, and the girls are no more after sex hookups online as they are offline. They are not in any way different online.

The only difference I would bring up is that online girls know what they want; all you have to do is to find out if you are what they want.

Let me just repeat that one important thing: Read the profile. It’s a bit like the manual for the latest Nokia phone, with the difference that you actually do need to read the profile!

Back to Alex: That was a long one! Hope you enjoyed it.

Lets start a discussion in the comments!

Do you have any experience when it comes to online dating? How do you approach women online? And if you’re woman, how do you like to be approached? Is online dating any good?

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Lovely images by Martin, Joeywan and Leslie Vega.

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54 thoughts on “Writing the First Email – How To Meet Women On Online Dating Sites

  1. Sebastyne

    First of, thank you Alex for posting that. :) So cool!

    @ Iván, what options DO they give? Winks? (Utterly useless function.) Chat? Same thing goes as in Email, but you just have to translate it into a chat form. If you are using a site that doesn’t allow contacting the other members, what on earth are you doing there?

  2. Sebastyne

    OK, Ivan, I checked those sites for you, and they are not dating sites. They are social networking sites, that have users who are not necessarily looking for dates. The rule of reading the profile is even more important on social networking sites for that very reason. Check what they’re after. If the profile is hidden or for friends only, it’s a good sign that they are not looking to meet new people, but are there to keep in contact with real life friends.

    That is not to say that you can’t find a date on a social networking site, but it is a tad harder as even single people are not necessarily there for dating.

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  4. Alex

    To Mafius:

    What is equally important on those social network sites is your own profile. Write about yourself, have cool photos, cool friends help, messages on “the wall” or what you use help, basically everything that shows you’re a real human being with friends and people who care for you.

    Lance, that’s great!

  5. Raymond Chua

    Hi Sebastyne,

    You have just laid out the step-by-step to start an online dating.

    Your information is worth its weight in gold.

    Thank you for sharing such a precious piece of information. :)

  6. Cilla

    Nice post. What I am really squeamish about is the ending of an email. Have you ever received a message from a strange man ending with xxx? I am sorry, I will never, ever reply to such a message. I don’t like being kissed by strangers, even if it is only virtual. Please men, don’t do it.

  7. Sebastyne

    I’ve been out of the reach of the Internet for a full day, and quite curious to see how the discussion is going. :)

    I’m glad to read you enjoyed it! Thank you all. :)

    @Cilla, oh I get you. xxx is really girly! I can’t remember getting an email ending with xxx, but then again I was mainly dating Finnish men, who are famous for not talking nor kissing, virtually or otherwise. ;) So to add to the advice: Don’t be TOO friendly and be sure you mean what all the net-jargon means before you use it.

  8. Jay

    Hi Sebastyne

    I am a little drunk (sorry for any spelling errors!)

    When i broke up with my EX i went onto some chat rooms to kill some time. i got talking to random girls and found that some people are just good to talk to never mind date. I was also ashamed to to admit that i went on chat rooms as i thought it was a loser. I guess you have put me right on that one.

    I have new girl friend now but i always come on here to read up on how to be a better person in general, not just in relationships.

    I foudn this a very good read and i think it’s great the way that you have met someone online as my friend done the same (he was with her for 3 years) but they split up.

    Alex i am impressed with your friends, I just hope you appreciate then and learn from them (Am sure you know alot but there is always room for improvement. i hope you dont take offence from this.)


  9. Sebastyne

    @ Jay: I think the reason why girls get so many idiotic emails on dating sites is that there is the attitude that it is for desperate people. You don’t need to put effort to meeting desperate women, and when some of these men learn that women are STILL not interested in them, they sometimes grow so bitter that it borders being hilarious if it wasn’t so very sad. It sounds like you still had good time, as it is as much as a serious dating channel, a fun way to kill some time. :)

    Thank you for all your kind words Jay. :)

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  11. Ed

    You have a lot of good points, however, I would have to disagree with you regarding your point that women are excellent profile writers. I think it’s just the opposite. The fact that they write A LOT about themselves doesn’t mean that it’s all good information. In fact, most say exactly the same: “I love to travel”, “I love to cook”, “I want a partner in crime”, ect, ect. And because most women who are on the Internet are in a white-collared profession, most are either in grad school, in some sort of an HR management position, in sales, or some other touchy-feely position. They will tell you everything and nothing in their profiles. In fact, it’s so hard to differentiate one woman from another (barring photographs), it’s difficult to write a unique introductory email to each woman. What’s worse is that it gets incredibly boring to sift through every profile that says the same thing looking for something to write them about. I guess my point is that photos are by far the most important quality of any profile, for both men and women. Make sure that is squared away before writing anyone!

  12. Ryan

    Hey all,
    I hoping someone will weigh in here….

    I joined a local dating site, recieved an email ask me if i would like to chat, weve exchanged a few emails..i asked for her number and she replied with ” my number?”

    Whats my next step-if there is one

    thanks, and great site Alex. Your a class act!

  13. Alex


    it’s simple. Reply: “Yes, your number. Like in telephone number?”

    Take it from there. If she says “why?” or something like that, tell her the truth – you would like to meet up with her and get to know her better.

    I guess that’s the truth?

    Let me know how it goes.

  14. lance

    hi ive joined this site plentyoffish.com i look at the profiles and there are nice women on there that are why outta my league but i know that soon as they see me they dont wanna know…how can i put my email to them so they take interest and gimme a chance??

  15. rob

    you wont get a chance, just remember online dating is just a way for people to build self esteem and make their heads bigger. their are a thousand guys all vying for their attention and you can be deleted for not being tall enough or not having the right star sign ! get off the internet dating sites and find a hobby in a group situation, maybe a gym or scuba diving club, you will have more hope of finding someone with something in common with you… i say this from experience as you could have been chatting to a girl for days and even called her and if a better looking guy pops up online you are gone in a matter of seconds, even if your profile has more in common with her than he does, get out into the world and dont rush it, it will happen when you least expect it, online dating is shit !

    rob from oz !

    1. ernie

      i agree with you. woman are so superficial they live in la la land. they only want prince charming and when they find him well he has 200 woman he sleeping with. face it guys if your short have no money and cant write your doomed online.

  16. Kader

    Statistics show that girls respond the most to guys posing with their six-pack and wealthy guys.
    That’s it.
    A good profile picture for a man is not to stare at the camera and not smiling. but rather looking at something else that looks interesting.

  17. Summer Camps

    Best you should make changes to the webpage name title Writing the First Email – How To Meet Women On Online Dating Sites » Just Keep The Change to more better for your subject you write. I liked the the writing even sononetheless.

  18. Mark

    I dont think it really matters anymore.
    I tried out soo many sites.. and did a few test just to see if i am waisting my time.. and at the end.. if the people like your pics.. email are worth about 10% at the end..
    I joined this site koopa.com and found that the girl that really liked my pic.. i ended up meeting them in real person.. did not matter what type of email i wrote..
    Also its the same for me.. if i am attacted to a girl but her email is so so.. i will still give her a chance because i like her pic..
    as long as you get a good picture up there.. i think thats what counts the most.


  19. nrepeb

    Nice, but do You still read this topic? If Yes – I think You are probably straight, but I always was interested in – how to date two girls at once? Is it possible for real man? If You can please answer, or just anyone please leave his/her/they experiences…

  20. that other guy

    Great read! My biggest concern is that regardless of how well you write an email it still requires a response. Dating websites say, “we encourage all our members to respond to emails” but they can’t and shouldn’t force people to reply to emails; yet I would say 80% of all women on dating sites do not reply whether it be because they are free members or that they just have no interest. That is the biggest problem with all dating websites that should be exposed, no looks, no creative writing skills, no reason; just plain do not respond. If you are a women reading who uses a dating website for gods sake go to your inbox and reply to every last one even if your reply is, sorry not interested… anything will do… Ignoring someone is 10x worse than yelling at them.


    Some random guy

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  26. Tommy

    What is wrong with telling a girl in your email to her that she is pretty? I started out with one buy writing “You are a very pretty girl and I see in your profile that…….”

    It’s a nice compliment without overdoing it, I think.

  27. samay.chauhan

    I have been chating on different websites from last two years but twomangoes.com is such a site where i m not getting a single reply when i approached through any type of contact or a chat window (even I hv sufficient mangoes to chat wid others) I am amazed that what girls are doing there by being online.

  28. Monchompa

    Im sorry but you can obviously tell this is written by a woman, I call B**lS#!t. ive been using dating sites for years. every girl on there is shallow as hell, if the think your hot they will respond. “The too busy man” is the best way, send a script and if they respond then read the profile. tjhis way you send out 40 emails instead of 4. as you waste your time read “every single word” of a profile of some shallow bitch that wont even respond.

  29. Joel

    Who better to give men advice than the gender we are trying to get with? Monchomoa, I’m guessing your utter lack of ability to structure a sentence, or even spell for that matter, is what’s keeping you single. Everything has spellcheck now, try it.

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