I’ve done my fair share of online dating over the past few years. While I’ve encountered a handful of genuinely nice guys, I’ve also run into a number of bad eggs that made me question why I chose to go to the Internet for love in the first place. Sometimes, you don’t know you’ve run into one of the crazies until you’re sitting on your coffee date listening to him rant about the end of the world. Other times, you can tell from the first message what kind of person is sitting on the other end of the conversation:
1) The “Heyyyyy”
Why bother reading through someone’s carefully crafted personal profile — where they describe their hopes and dreams and what they’re looking for in a relationship — when you can just message them a line from a middle-school girl’s cell phone history? If “heyyyyy” doesn’t immediately convince the other person that you’re interested, try commenting on how “fine” their profile picture is or just throw your number out and hope that they feel safe enough to exchange numbers with a stranger.
2) The Clever One-Liner
While a good first message is not always enough to warrant a response (if your interests include “Satanic worship,” I don’t care how funny your message is) and may not lead to a relationship, they’re enough to make an impression and metaphorically get your foot in the door. In reference to my love for Friends, one user opened with this marvelous one-liner: “I’m really glad your profile wasn’t six pages… front and back.” Short. Simple. Hilarious. Humor can go a long way if the joke is well-crafted.
3) The Message from the Guy That Actually Read Your Profile
“Hey there! I noticed you like *hipster indie band you thought no one had ever heard of* and I’m actually a big fan of theirs so I thought I would shoot you a message! How do you like *liberal arts college that you’re currently attending*? Do you like studying *your obscure major that he secretly thinks you will never use*? I’d love to hear back from you!” Sure, it’s formulaic, but these kinds of messages help the reader understand that you didn’t just flick through their photos and disregard their profile before chatting them up.
4) The Straight-Up Sex Question
Questions of these type can range from the outrageous and vulgar to the simple but direct. To anyone that actually uses these: do they ever work? I’m just curious. I can’t imagine anyone seeing “Honestly, do you just want to have casual sex?” pop up in their messages and go “I really admire your honesty. What’s your address? I’ll be over in a jiffy.” If you’re going to violate my inbox, you might as well try to add some humor in there. “Wanna go halfsies on a baby?” would turn me off just as much, but at least I would get a few laughs out of it.
5) The Copy-and-Paste Message
For those who don’t have time to construct personalized sexts for every girl, there’s the copy-and-paste message that lets you touch on every corner of your selected dating site in a matter of hours. “Hey! I’m Adam. We look like we have a lot in common so let me know if you want to chat! Thanks.” Boom. Bam. Huzzah. Look at that. No effort. Who said love was hard? With just a few clicks, you can charm every woman on the internet without them ever knowing that your generic message was not made with love specifically for them. They won’t have any idea at all. It’s not even a little bit obvious. At all. Really. We can’t tell.
6) The Cheesy Pick Up Line
“Are you a library book? Because I’m checking you out.” Call me old-fashioned, but I can appreciate a cheesy pick up line, as long as you don’t genuinely think it’s a good pick up line when it comes out of your mouth. Then we might have a problem.
7) The Question Bomb
“How are you? Where are you from? Where do you go to school? Do you like school? Are you in any clubs? What clubs? Is there a “club” club? Where you just talk about clubs? Would you like a club like that? What other things do you like? Do you like music? What kind of music?” I’m the biggest offender of the question bomb, I’ll admit, mostly because it gets small talk out of the way so you can start in on other, less uncomfortable conversation topics. However, you need to know where to draw the line. A conversation is not all questions. It requires, you know, listening too.
8) The How-Do-I-Use-A-Keyboard
These messages usually come from older users who are just starting to understand what a keyboard does. As thus, they usually keep to under a few characters. “U r cute” or “hi QT” are common responses.
9) The Drunk Message
You can be sure that any message sent after 1AM on a Saturday night was not written in any sober state. If you’re skeptical, try counting the number of letters that have dropped out of their confession of love or the number of times they tell you you’re beautiful. It’ll become clear.
10) The Obsessive One
Day 1: Hi. I’m Jim. What’s your name?
Day 2: Hello?
Day 3: ?
Day 5: ????
Day 8: Want my number?
Day 9: I know you haven’t answered any of these messages, but if you want, you can answer them on Facebook if that’s easier. Here’s my Facebook name.
Day 9, later in the day: And my number, in case you wanted it. Do you want it?
Day 22: Here’s my address.
Day 24: And my social security number. Just in case.
Day 112: How are you?