A Style Guide for Your First OKCupid Message

You feel like you’ve read her profile three entire times—because you have. You’re a 94% match, and she’s out of your league. In short, she’s perfect for you. But wait. Before you can date her, love her, wed her and make babies with her, you have to send an opening message. You only get one shot, and the bloodline of your future children depends on this moment. Follow these simple guidelines, and success is guaranteed.*

Keep it short. Five paragraph openers that delve into your love of fixies come off as desperate or try-hard, while short phrases like, “hey, how are you?” make you seem generic or dull. The ideal opening message is only two to three sentences long.

Positivity is contagious. Negativity and bitterness are some of the biggest turn offs for women.  There are plenty of guys out there with chips on their shoulders about women—don’t be one of them. Don’t ever be self-deprecating (this applies to the entirety of your life). Ideally, you want her to be smiling when she clicks to see your profile, but don’t go overboard. You want to convey a solid, positive energy that suggests both confidence and fun.

Only losers brag. So you spent all of last summer traveling through South America, and you are that guy who roasts his own coffee beans. Those are great things, really, but the opening message isn’t the place to brag about personal achievements. In fact, it’s best to mention yourself as little as possible (which means not at all).

Only fools compliment her looks. Do not tell her you think she’s attractive, cute, sexy or any other thing about the way she looks. Do not mention her tattoos, her haircut or—god forbid—her rack. She knows you’re attracted to her, or else you wouldn’t be messaging her. Leading off by mentioning a girl’s looks is low class. You don’t want to be low class.

The first message is not a proving ground for compatibility. Do not write her a message about how much you have in common, and certainly don’t list specific things from her profile that you enjoy. This is all try-hard and boring. Don’t try to force a connection by explaining how much you have in common—instead, let her connect the dots.

Remember your goal. The goal of your opening message is not make her have your babies. It’s not to marry her, fall in love with her, date her, or even convince her to meet you.  It’s much simpler than all of that. The goal of the opening message is to get her to look at your profile and send you a favorable or semi-favorable response.  Keep that in mind while drafting your message. The rest is up to you.
*Success not guaranteed. TC Mark

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