Online Dating: First Message Tips

You sign up on a site or social media, create a profile, and now you are ready to write your first online dating message to someone who caught your eye, but you freeze when you try to type the words. Should you start off with a simple hello and see if you get a response? Should you wait until they take the dive first?

You may have tons of other questions running through your mind, but don’t let those doubts and worries stop you from reaching out to someone you are initially attracted to.

If you want online dating to be successful, the first message is crucial. Imagine being the home team at a baseball game and you are up to bat. The bases are loaded, it’s a full count, and your team is down by one run. Do you let your fear and nerves get to you? If you want to be successful, then of course you don’t! You wait for the right pitch, swing your bat, and hope for the best.

There is a lot of great advice on writing your online dating first message and it’s really simpler than you think. It’s easy to overcomplicate it and make too much of it but that’s a mistake! We’re going to show you how to write a simple and effective message that above all gets results. It might not be a homerun every time but it will definitely get you on base.

Alright, enough with the sports terms – let’s get you ready to send a well-devised message to someone!

first online dating message

The Title

When you are creating your first online dating message, don’t go overboard with the title. Keep it short and sweet and let the rest of your message do the talking for you. Here are some sample titles that you may want to use:

  • Hi There
  • I Really Enjoyed Reading Your Profile
  • It Looks Like We Have a Lot in Common
  • You Caught My Eye

Feel free to be creative but avoid saying “hey sexy” or “your body is so hot.”

The First Sentence

Getting your first online dating message started in the right way is extremely important. You want to sound friendly but not crazy. I would recommend starting out with a simple greeting telling the person hello, ask them how they are, and/or tell them your name. You may also want to say something that you found interesting about their profile. For example:

“Hi there, my name is Tori and I see that we have the same taste in music!”

Here is an example of what not to write:

“How u doin’ sweet thang, I’m just whatchu need.”

Here is another example of what not to write:
“You know I have a lot of money because of the watches I wear”

You’re probably laughing when you read that but it seriously happens. Not only do you sound like a selfish and conceited person, but you also seem illiterate because you are typing like it’s a text message. Do yourself a favor before writing anything – read the person’s profile and take the time to spell out words, even if you are using your phone.

Talking About Looks: Be Cautious

It’s okay if you want to tell a person that they look beautiful, handsome, or cute, but do so in a classy way. You don’t want this to be the focal point of your message, but if you word it the right way, then it could earn you some brownie points. Something as simple as “You look beautiful in your pictures” or “You look very handsome in that suit” is non-threatening and shows the person that you do have some physical attraction to them.

If you aren’t sure how you will come across through text, then it may be better to save those compliments for a phone conversation or a date rather than the first online dating message. Even if you are extremely attracted to the person’s photos, you need to balance your text so that you show interest in more than their looks. Here is something you would not want to write:

“My goodness, I just can’t get over how hot you look. You must have a rocking body. I have always wanted someone who looked as hot as you.”

The problem with these sentences is that you sound obsessed with physical traits and you only want someone for their hot body.

Find Some Common Ground

First online dating messages can be awkward, but finding some common ground can ease that tension and open the door for a great conversation to happen. Take the time to look through the person’s music interests, what books they like to read, what they went to school for, what they do for work, and any other information they chose to display. For example, let’s say you find someone you’re interested in messaging but you aren’t sure what to write to them. You browse through their profile and discover that they like Italian food. Use that information to create a connection and see if you get a response. For example:

“Hi there, my name is ­____ and I really enjoyed reading your profile. I see that you like Italian food… so do I! Do you have a favorite restaurant or dish that you like to order? I usually go to ____ at least once a month because they have delicious ravioli.”

This example is short, sweet, and to the point. In just four sentences, you have provided your name, told the person you like their profile, and made a connection. By asking a question, you open up the opportunity for a conversation to occur. You can easily alter this example to fit similar musical interests, sports, or anything else you found to be of interest.

Include a Little About You


Take the time to let the person know a little bit more about you than you may have included in your profile. For example, if you said that one of your favorite activities is hiking, talk about a place you really enjoyed hiking or a place that you would like to go in the future. Doing this makes you seem more personable and may spark the interest of the person you’re writing.

Let’s continue on the example above:

…”By the way, you look great in your pictures! It looks like you had a lot of fun at the lake. I haven’t been to a lake in a long time because I tend to spend my summers hiking, though I wouldn’t mind getting out on the water at some point this year. Unfortunately, there never seems to be enough time for activities since I work five days a week. Speaking of work, I see that you are a writer – that sounds awesome! Do you have any topics that you enjoy writing about most?”

Ending the First Online Dating Message

Now, it’s time to end the message and send it off. You will notice that the example provided above is not too long and not too short. The key is to balance the message with just enough information so that they want to write back. If you don’t write enough, you risk sounding like you didn’t read through their profile and have no communication skills, whereas writing too much may seem too overwhelming. Everyone has their different methods so feel free to tweak and type as you choose, but keep the previous tips for completing your first online dating message in mind!

Your message ending does not have to be anything elaborate. I wouldn’t simply say “goodbye” but I also wouldn’t type a sob story that says “if you don’t respond, I’m going to be really upset and think that you are shallow.” Here is an example of what you could write:

“I hope this message finds you well and I look forward to hearing from you soon. Have a great day!”

After that, I recommend typing your first name at the bottom of the message.

The Waiting Game

Now that you’ve sent your first online dating message, it’s time to wait and see if you get a reply. Depending on what online dating site you have chosen, maybe you picked DoULike or another popular site that you’ve heard of, you may be able to see if the person read your message or not. Keep in mind that people may not respond right away because they are at work or a meeting.

I would give the person at least a few days to respond. Online dating sites typically show you how long ago the person was logged in. If no response comes, don’t keep sending the person messages. This will not help your case and won’t make you feel any better, either. Instead, move on and find another great person to write to.

Still feel like you’re not being successful? Find out why online dating isn’t working for you or if you are using one of the online dating messages you should never send.

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14 thoughts on “Online Dating: First Message Tips

  1. I’ve been with my husband since I was 16 years old, so I’ve never experienced online dating. I don’t think I would have been very good at it. Haha! I can’t believe some of the things people have told me they’ve encountered via internet dating. I think it’s probably a great source of humor at the very least. =)

  2. Online dating first messages are so hard to write. I met my husband on and he actually had to send me 2 messages before I responded. The first one was just a copy and paste of his profile bio so I thought he was just sending out mass messages. Now I know he’s just a little awkward and didn’t know what to say haha. The second message was much different and clearly worked.

    1. I met my man on Match as well! I was the first to write him – a rare thing for me to do but I’m so glad I did!

  3. I tried the online dating things a few years ago in between relationships and I just didn’t like it! lol I much prefer just meeting someone and getting a vibe…online feels so forced to me, lol. But your tips are awesome! If I were to dive back into that world again, I’d definitely follow your advice :). Stopping in from the blog love project!

  4. Great advice! I’ve heard some crazy stories from my single friends of their experience with online dating messaging! Hopefully, this advice will get around! 🙂


  5. Thanks for these tips. My friends want me to date already. They told me to look up some dating blogs for tips. I am now looking up at some right now.

  6. this is some really good information about dating sites. I liked what you said about how you should include a little more about you in your message to them. That does seem to help make the conversation a little easier.

  7. Thanks for explaining about writing the first message. I will keep this in mind as I put myself out there. I think that it should be fun to start meeting new people online.

  8. Thanks for this post Tori – some really good advice! Often the guy is the first to write the first message, but not on some platforms like Bumble, so I really struggle with what to write sometimes. This has definitely given me a bit more confidence and some tips to try!

  9. Hey Tori, just stopping by to say that this was a great post.

    I’, not having much success recently with online dating, I have tried a few platforms such as Tinder and Plenty of fish – but no luck!

    I’ll take these tips on board, thank you!

  10. My sister is thinking about starting using a dating app. She is pretty shy and has been worried about messaging guys. So, I liked your advice on make sure she is personable when she is writing that message. It does seem like it would help her be less nervous about writing the message.

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