What should you say in your first message?

Over 500,000 first encounters were investigated by OkCupid on its dating platform. Their program looked at important terms and phrases, response rates they affected, and statistically significant trends. There are rules on what you should and shouldn’t say when introducing yourself as a result. Let’s get going:


Use a unique greeting

Salutations were scrutinized by OkCupid’s researchers. After all, the manner in which you begin your first communication with someone is the “first impression of your first impression.”

The top three most common methods to say “hi” all had terrible starts. Even the slangy holla and yo outperform the overall “be literate” criterion. In fact, it’s better to skip the usual greeting altogether (which gets you a reply rate of 27%) and just plunge into whatever you have to say than to start with hello.

The more informal conventional greetings, such as how’s it going, what’s up, and howdy, performed admirably. Perhaps they strike a more casual tone that many enjoy; nevertheless, You had me at ‘what’s up’ doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Bring up certain hobbies or interests

Many of the terms on the effective end of the researcher’s list, such as zombie, band, tattoo, literature, studying, vegetarian, and metal, obviously allude to something important to the sender, the receiver, or, preferably, both. Talking about certain topics that interest you or that you may have in common with someone is a tried-and-true technique to connect.

If you’re a man, be humble

Awkward, sorry, apologize, sorta, and definitely all made male communications more successful, but none of them influence female texts except sorry. As previously said, lovely, no doubt due to its adverbial meaning of “to a reasonable degree; moderately,” also aids masculine messaging. Many dating experts advise guys to be more confident, yet evidently hemming and hawing works great online.

Perhaps seeming hesitant makes the writer appear more fragile and less dangerous. It’s possible that ladies prefer guys who write mumbly. But, in any case, guys should be careful not to mistake the look of vulnerability with sweating desperation: please is on the negative list (22% reply rate), and it is the only word that is really worse for you than its netspeak equivalent (pls, 23%)!

Check your grammar

Bad grammar, spelling, and netspeak are major turn-offs. Our list of negative correlations includes words like “ur,” “u,” “wat,” “wont,” and more. All of them leave a bad first impression. In fact, the worst six phrases you may use in a first message are all clumsy slang if you count hits.

Language like this is such a significant turn-off that even commonplace terms like don’t and won’t, when appropriately spelled, have response rates that are above average (36% and 37%, respectively).

Expressions of enjoyment are interesting exceptions to the “no netspeak” norm. Both lol (41% reply rate) and haha (45% reply rate) worked out well for the sender. This makes sense in a way because people like comedy and you need to be informal to make people laugh. The term “hehe” was also popular, although much less so (33%). According to science, this is because it has a slightly wicked sound.

In other words, you can laugh as long as the remainder of your message is properly punctuated and grammatically correct.

Do not give physical compliments

Although the evidence indicates that both sexes can benefit from this counsel, it is primarily geared at men because they are far more likely to discuss their appearance. Even while you may believe that calling someone lovely, beautiful, or sexy is a wonderful thing to do, nobody likes to hear those words. As we all know, compliments generally make people feel good, but when they are used as pick-up lines before you have ever met, they invariably make people feel bad. Moreover, if you tell a lady she is gorgeous, you probably aren’t.

The word pretty is an excellent example of our concept. It’s a physical compliment as an adjective, but as an adverb (as in, “I’m pretty excellent at sports.”) It is simply another term.

When employed as an adverb, it performs admirably, but when pretty’s uses grow more plainly about appearance, response rates plummet significantly. You’re pretty and your pretty are two sentences that can be used interchangeably (physical or non-). However, really pretty is virtually always used to describe the appearance of something or someone, and you can see how that works.