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Online Dating Etiquette-Email Or Wink?

Mar 8, 2008
You've been searching around your online dating site and you've come across a profile that really catches your interest. It could be the picture that drew you in, or perhaps it was the online profile which seemed witty, but either way you're hoping to start a dialog with the person.

In the online dating community, all initial conversation is done via the internet. Different companies have different platforms to operate on: chat, instant messaging, and groups, but all of them include email. You don't actually get to "talk" to someone until you've progressed pretty far into the relationship.

This leads to the big question, what's the best way to get in touch with a profile that you're interested in?

As a free member of a site, you usually are not able to contact the paid members. This privilege is withheld from you until you reach into your back pocket and pull out your credit card to pay for a membership. Once you do this, you usually will have two different options to choose from.

Most sites offer some sort of initial contact to let someone know that you found their profile interesting. Many of the sites use the same terminology by calling it either a "wink" or an "icebreaker," but its purpose is to let them know that you're interested.

A "wink" is nothing more than that. It's a notification that pops up telling the person of your interest in them. It really doesn't tell them one thing about you. If you are tight on time and you don't have the chance to craft an email, this is a quick method to state your interest. One note of caution, in many instances these are often ignored.

The second option available is to send an email to that person that introduces you, and it also lets them know that you are interested in them. This is by far the more effective of the two.

An email conveys to the recipient that you think enough of them that you are willing to sit down and take the time to compose an email to them. Let me put it to you this way, if you received a wink from one profile and a concisely written email from another profile, which one would you value more?

One final benefit to sending the email is that this gives you a chance to sell yourself, which you'll never get by sending a "wink." You don't want to write the Great American Novel, but you want to take 1-2 paragraphs to tell a little bit about yourself.

I advise trying to get it to fit into 1 paragraph, but the most important thing is to be concise. Give them just enough info that they'll feel the need to reply to you to find out just a little bit more. That should be the goal of every communication you send. So sit down, send that email, and hopefully they'll want to learn a little bit more about you.
About the Author
Jim McMenamin is the webmaster and creator of MacsDatingSite.com, a blog dedicated to the various issues of online dating. For a limited time, Jim is giving away two free eBooks, 10 Tips To Writing Your Online Dating Profile as well as 101 Steps To A Happy Relationship, when you sign up for his newsletter.
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