Online Dating: Should A Woman Make The First Move?

You're afraid you'll turn him off if you wink, fav or message him first. 

Should Women Send The First Email

Ladies, dating rules have changed! Nowadays a woman doesn’t necessarily alienate an online man when she emails or flirts with him first. In fact, some men say they like it when a woman makes the first move because:

  • They are flattered by a woman’s attention.
  • Making the first move is a sign of confidence.
  • It can eliminate a man’s fear of rejection.

Sending an intriguing introductory message helps you to stand out from other women.

However, if you don’t post an attractive photo and write an interesting bio, don’t be chagrined when a man doesn’t respond.

I have found that the mere act of viewing a man’s profile can generate a wink, fav or message from him, opening the door for a coquettish message from you.  

When you write an introductory email with a casual, quasi-humorous approach and your script projects an aura of confidence, you won’t appear aggressive or needy, you will, instead, come across as self-assured, entertaining and intriguing. And if your profile meets his basic criteria (age, common interests and demographics), according to an OKCupid study, women are 2.5 times more likely to get a response than men if they initiate contact.

Moreover, OKCupid's study reveals that women who do message first go on a date with a more attractive guy.

What woman doesn’t want that?

According to dating expert Evan Marc Katz, it's perfectly okay for women to write to a man first, but where most women "screw up" that first email contact is by taking one of two approaches:

Where most women screw up that first email contact is by taking one of two approaches:

  1. Telling him how great he is, or
  2. Explaining why you’re great and why he should write back to you.

I know from experience opening lines that DON’T generate a response from an online man:

  1. I enjoyed reading your profile. (He knows I read his profile.)
  2. I see we share common interests. (Everyone says that!)
  3. I like your dog. (I’m sucking up to him.)
  4. I think you’re handsome. (I put him on a pedestal.)
  5. Please read my profile and email me if you are interested. (I’m asking for approval.)
  6. I'm newly divorced and I'm looking for a committed relationship. (I’m lugging emotional baggage into my next relationship.)
  7. I hope to hear back from you. (Please, please email me!)

These statements are dull, uninviting and show a lack of confidence in your value as a woman.

Men are bombarded my emails from women. If you want to stand out and pique a man’s interest, your introductory email needs to be short, flirty, funny, upbeat and challenging.

Additionally, asking too many questions in an email will turn a man off. 

Dating experts say that good online dating email should have four components: a greeting, an attempt to establish a connection, a request to chat and a closing. 

  1. The greeting. Never title the subject of your email as merely “Hi” or “Hello” or “Hey.” Greeting him by his name or his handle creates a feeling of warmth and genuine interest. For example:

    "Hi JimmyMack2016. I assume your name is Jimmy?" Or ...

    "Hi JimmyMack2016. I've always liked the name Jimmy."

  2. Attempt to establish a connection. Include something in your first email to prove that you read their profile. Mention something you both have in common or that resonates with you and ask a question. (If there are multiple things you like, just mention one; otherwise, you’ll look like you’re trying too hard).

    "I see you have horses. Lucky you! I rode when I was younger and I’m still a cowgirl at heart."

    "Your photos indicate your a lover of the beach and boating. Me too! Now, where the heck did I put my sunblock?

    "The book your reading about New York sounds fascinating. Is it a novel or non-fiction?

    "Four grandchildren, wow! You're blessed. Do they live nearby?"

    “Your Labrador is very handsome (has anyone ever told you he looks like you). What’s his name?”

  3. Request to chat. Make it easy for him by including a casual, low-pressure statement that shows you'd like to hear from him.

    “I feel a connection. Would you like to chat?”

  4. The closing. Always conclude the email with your name, handle or some other sign-off—and don’t be afraid to initiate a meeting.

    “There’s a really neat coffee shop in midtown I’ve been meaning to try out. Would you like to meet there Thursday afternoon?”

    If he’s a sport buff, you could say, “Would you like to meet for drinks over Monday Night Football?"

    Hint: Offering a specific date to meet significantly increases the odds of a positive response.

Set the right tone.

A study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found people could only correctly interpret the tone and mood of an email half the time. You know the intent of what you are trying to say in your head, but the because the reader cannot see your facial cues, body language, or hear the tone of voice you’re using, they may misinterpret your true meaning.

Eliminate clichés that are boring and cleverness that can come off as sarcastic. Get rid of “texting language" (mobile abbreviations and slang), capitalize all proper nouns and check your email for typos and misspellings. Before you hit send, read your email out loud. If it sounds like a normal face-to-face conversation, you will come across as genuine and sincere.

But even with a well scripted introductory email, you may not attract a man's interest because he's eagerly pursuing a woman he's already met online.

An attractive online man’s essay, said, “You must love Goldendoodles.” I sent him an email saying, “I love doodles.” I thought for sure he would he would pick up the scent.


A month later, my close girlfriend and I were talking about the men we met online. I learned that she had made a golfing connection with the Doodle-Man and they had been dating for two months. My girlfriend dumped him (because of his constant self-absorbed conversations) and a week later he emailed me, showing an interest in me.

If you make the first move and you don’t hear from him, it's often because he's busy shopping in the internet candy store. Forget about the players and jerks, continue to improve your online game and keep sending those adorable winks, favs and introductory emails.

Thanks to Your Tango dating expert Christie Harman and Dating Advice Guy for their contributing 4-point advice on how to contact an online man first.

Never Date A Dead AnimalDo you lack confidence with men? Nancy Nichols can help you realize your worth as a woman in her God, Please Fix Me! Trilogy A Breakthrough in Self-Esteem, Relationship Understanding and Personal Healing for Women.

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