First impressions are an essential part of having success in the online dating world. According to a study published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “romantic first impressions seem to linger”. 

Now, you might be thinking, “Geez, that sounds kinda intimidating!” And hey, we get it.

The upside is that, unlike a face-to-face interaction, the virtual world allows for a bit of time to re-center yourself and collect your thoughts before typing up that first message. You can take your time to be thoughtful, intentional, and crafty with your message.

This article is here to guide you through the twists and turns of crafting that unforgettable first impression. Whether it’s about putting your best foot forward with an eye-catching profile or composing that perfect opening message, we’ve got your back. 

Understanding Online Dating Dynamics 

In all dating scenarios, context matters. For online dating, it’s helpful to know that every platform varies in the way people interact. For instance, on Bumble, women have to message first, but on Tinder, anyone can message first.

So, whether you’re swiping left or right on Tinder, answering prompts on Bumble, or catching someone’s eye with a witty bio on Hinge, every platform brings forth a unique culture and expectations. 

Another major shift in dating profiles is the focus on written content on dating profiles. Beyond simply skimming photos, users are encouraged to take time to review a potential match’s profile. This not only offers valuable insights into someone’s personality, interests, and passions, but it can also distinguish you from the crowd of individuals who may not pay as much attention to these details.

Connection is about taking time, being intentional, and showing effort. 

Crafting a Compelling Profile 

A great dating profile is like a friendly smile or a warm handshake when meeting someone for the first time. It’s something that should always be inviting, approachable, and open to conversation. 

One of the reasons our profiles are so important is that they provide a quick glimpse into who we are as individuals. According to research, people are fairly perceptive at forming a first impression based on brief observations or “thin slices” of information. 

Some details to consider adding to your profile include:

  • Flattering and recent photos of yourself
  • Photos of yourself pursuing a hobby or interest you are passionate about and/or in a setting with a friend or group of friends
  • Light-hearted or witty sense of humor, if that is a part of your personality
  • Insight into what matters most to you (i.e. your sibling, a best friend, a pet)
  • Memorable trips or places you’ve visited 
  • Authenticity while still leaving people curious to learn more about you
  • Open-ended questions or easy-to-comment-on prompts 
  • Optimism and positivity that shine through your photos, bio, and prompts 

Approaching the First Message 

According to the 2022 PNAS study, individuals in a speed dating setting were capable of sensing compatibility with a potential suitor even after a brief conversation. This finding emphasizes the importance of romantic first impressions in the courting stages of a relationship. 

When you land a match, it’s important to approach the first message with thoughtfulness and genuine interest

Simply saying “hi” or “what’s up” does not often cut it in the first message as it appears to many as being lazy or disinterested. 

Remember, personalization can go a long way here. 

Consider complimenting something you noticed on their profile, creating dialogue around a shared interest you noticed, or asking a whitty or curious open-ended question to spark a conversation.

Making a Positive Impression 

Putting your best self forward in the online world can be tricky, especially when you’re unable to identify nonverbal cues, tone of voice, or the immediate reactions of the person you’re interacting with. 

Here are some helpful ways to make a positive impression in this setting: 

  • Ask questions: be mindful to ask the person you’re interested in about themselves, so the conversation doesn’t revolve solely around you.
  • Ease into humor: if you have a strong sense of humor, consider easing into this with light-hearted jokes to gauge how they are responding
  • Allow for organic breaks: it’s normal for there to be short breaks between messages since your match might be busy and can not reply immediately 
  • Avoid double messaging: avoid overwhelming your match with a flurry of messages at the start and instead, send one message and wait for their response.
  • Be kind and respectful: above and beyond all else, be courteous to the person you’re talking to, no matter how they respond to you

“How Much” and “How Often” Rules

Recognizing that everyone has a life outside of their phones and dating apps is essential for making a great first impression.

Giving ample time for responses not only shows that you are patient but also demonstrates that you are aware that everyone has their own boundaries regarding response times. Although one person may get back to you within seconds of your message, others may take hours or even a full day to respond.

While there is no hard and fast rule for how much and how often to send a message, it’s necessary to recognize that there should always be reciprocity. In other words, what you’re giving to the conversation is roughly equal to what you’re getting back.

For example, you might say something like “Hey there, I couldn’t help but notice in your last photo that you went deep-sea diving! How long have you been doing that?”

Their response may be one of two things: 

  1. “Yes! I got my diving license a few years ago and have never looked back. Are you a deep-sea diver yourself?”
  2. “Two years.”

In the first scenario, the person expresses both excitement about your question and tags you back with a new question. This is ideal! 

However, in the second scenario, the response is brief and lacks engagement. Though it isn’t a total deal break, it doesn’t provide much opportunity for further conversation. This can give you an idea as to whether or not they are interested in continuing chatting. 

The Bottom Line

Learning to make a lasting impression in the online dating world takes a bit of practice. However, with a bit of confidence, personalization, and a game-changing profile it becomes a whole lot easier! 

If you need help creating a dating profile that makes a more memorable impression, our expert guidance can elevate your online presence. Let us assist you in crafting a profile that authentically showcases your personality and attracts compatible matches.

Click here to connect with us today!

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