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- Online Dating and the Endless Emails - ACW
- Online Dating and the Endless Emails
Lots and lots and lots of emails. This wouldn't bother me so much, except I've found very little correlation between compatibility-over-email and compatibility-in-person. Which means all that time spent writing emails is essentially wasted; you get false negatives and false positives all over the place. And it can take A LOT of time. This is usually what makes me leave. I'm thinking about getting on OkCupid again, but this time around, just asking women out in the first email -- or if they email me first, asking them out in my first reply. A woman's profile gives me basically all the information I need to decide whether or not I should give her a couple hours of my time.
So, here are some things you should assume about the guy doing the emailing: Good grammar, spelling, etc.
I've actually tried Craigslist before, and generally like the way it's oriented towards actually meeting people. If someone responds to your ad, the emailing stage is basically just a matter of ironing out the details. However, Craigslist is irritating and primitive, and doesn't have the same quality userbase as OkCupid. I really like the idea behind howaboutwe. So what do you think? Is there a good way to approach this? What if I put a line in my profile explaining that I'm not that into email? What if I explain inside the email itself?
Is there any way to do this and not come off as a player? I'm definitely not at a point in my life where I'm looking for one-night-stands; I'm just wanting to cut through some of the BS of online dating. I would not want to be asked out on the first email, especially if I had not initiated the conversation. I would think "Why does he want to go out with me? He doesn't even know me! However, after emails I'd be more than happy to be asked out, if the conversation had been interesting and I thought we had something in common.
Not a woman, but a retired veteran of the online dating scene: I too got tired of all the constant email back-and-forth. However, even as a dude, I'd be a little taken aback by an immediate first email that was an invitation to a meeting - that would imply that the asker was making the invite based only on a reading of my profile and a view of my picture. I staked out a kind of middle ground: You get the minimal get-to-know-you chitchat out of the way, but don't get into the "what I did today" level of e-friend.
I love it when guys ask me out right away and I often ask guys out in the first or second email. I would keep it casual -- "Let me know if you'd be interested in grabbing a cup of coffee sometime" -- but other than that, I say go for it. Which is really how I decide if I like the person enough to want to go on a real date with him. I am female and a veteran of the online dating scene.
I preferred to be asked out on the email from the guy. Any earlier, and it was, like, "Whoa, desperate! I did not like emailing back and forth much because I couldn't tell anything until we'd met in person, but I did want to feel like he was asking out a real person and not just checkmark: I agree that "hello, unknown girl, let's meet up someplace" is a bit unexpected.
I think you'll get more positive responses if you phrase things in your profile that you're all about doing things and going places and meeting in person, as opposed to a negative statement that emailing is boring or useless. To avoid the "first-date hookup" vibe, it helps if you don't ask her out for the datiest of dates let's try this wine bar!
Asking someone out in the first email is like telling someone you see across a crowded room that you're going to marry them before you even say hello. It's weird and has a low success rate. If she says no or wants to email lots more or dear God no start swapping texts or whatever, by all means wish her well and back out. But attempting to set up the date with what amounts to no conversation on OK Cupid would leave me cold. I was all about getting off the dating site and into a restaurant - after all, it's supposed to be about finding a partner not a pen pal - but your proposed approach seems premature and almost rude.
You need to let the other person speak, or do what passes for speaking on a dating site. To be clear, I did my share of asking people out. I didn't always wait for the guy. I think that you can say some variation of "I prefer to get to know people face to face" and see what happens. Maybe not on the first e-mail, but the 2nd or 3rd.
There's no need to divulge your life story over e-mail if you don't want to. Some people are online because they're terrified of face to face conversation, and they prefer the back and forth email to get to know a person, so be prepared that you might not get the response you're hoping for.
But as a woman, I don't think it's creepy if you word it correctly and don't seem demanding. You've got two hurdles to overcome here: Asking for a date too quickly looks like desperation. Who I am, what I say, what I talk about, what I'm interested in, what my interior life is like - these things are immaterial to you. All you want is a date, and it doesn't matter who it's with. You could prop up a cardboard standee left over from a movie theater would work fine for you.
I think what you'll want to do is explicitly defuse both of those concerns in the second email, while asking her out on a low-stakes date like coffee or lunch. I'd love to talk to you about all those things and more, but let's have those conversations face-to-face. Email is so impersonal; I find that real-life conversations are so much more meaningful. It sounds like you just want to see signs that the woman is reasonably attractive and intelligent before you meet her, which is totally fine. The thing is, in addition to that, I also want to see signs that the guy isn't a total psycho.
Obviously, a few emails aren't going to weed out everyone who is nuts, but it'll weed out quite a few of the worst cases. And yeah, if a guy asked me out RIGHT away, I would also kinda feel like he wasn't interested in me in particular, that it was as aabbbiee said, he just cared that I was female and breathing. That comes off as a little desperate, and would also make me feel as if we weren't likely to have a good connection. I don't have an answer for the OP not being a woman of Metafilter , but I have a request for clarification from those who are answering.
Everyone seems to be mainly responding to just the first half of the OP's question, the part before the dash in this sentence: What about the part after the dash? If email 1 in the whole exchange is from Woman to Man, does it make sense for him to send a reply trying to set up a date? Of course, the reply wouldn't be just about that; assume he also has a good response to what she wrote in the first email. Some of these answers that say to wait till the "2nd or 3rd email" are unclear to me whether they mean both people should have sent 2 or 3 emails, or that it's fine for the date question to be in the 2nd email altogether which could be the first email from him.
Since this question is all about details, that's a crucial distinction. The other thing to remember is that women typically get dozens to hundreds of replies doing online dating.
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So, women have to be judicious as to how they use their time. It only takes a few minutes to email, whereas a date can take up hours of your day. When you have so many replies, you have to decide which ones you're going to invest more of your time in. The guys you know more about, have a better idea that you'll click with, are probably the ones you'll invest more time in.
If one guy just asks me out without talking to me at all, and another guy has spent a week talking with me, it's much more likely that I'll invest my time in meeting the second guy, all else being equal. I'd go for it, and probably be happy to have the meet and decide if the guy is a possibility or not without too much investment. But I like spontaneity and boldness.
I mean, all this blah blah and you're going to have to cut to the chase and meet in the flesh anyway, right? As long as there's enough written communication to see that the guy knows where to put apostrophes and can form coherent sentences. Let's meet at X and have some tea. Bring a deck of cards and your three favorite knock-knock jokes. If she sends the first email, then I think he could ask her out on the first email he sends, but only if there has been enough small talk in those first emails to make it seem like he's not just Thrilled to Be Contacted read: I understand totally that you want to cut through all the endless emailing, but emails is a reasonable compromise.
What would work for me: Would you like to get a cup of coffee sometime and talk about [that book we both love, or whatever]? Would you like to go to [fancy restaurant] and [long movie] with me tonight? I'm definitely game to gamble that on a person I've only exchanged one message with and wouldn't assume that person is just looking for a hook-up or is a sleeze. The second is a datedate and too much of a commitment for me to make for someone I don't know at all. I'm a hetero dude but here's my two cents: This only happened to me once as a guy getting a message from a girl.
Biggest complaint by men dating online? Endless emails. Dumbest complaint? Endless emails.
She asked me out for a specific activity related to something I put on my profile, for that weekend, and she framed it in a humorous way. Unfortunately her profile made it seem like she wasn't my type I had in fact already seen her profile and skipped over it and her asking me on a date in the first email somewhat confirmed it. I probably would have responded to a normal message if she had sent it, although I probably wouldn't have asked her out on a date unless the emails went really well.
Personally I solved the same problem too many messages, not enough dates by going for the date at around the third message. There is going to be some proportion of the women you message that will be weirded out by asking on the first message but who would have accepted after a few messages, you just have to weigh that against really not wanting to spend time messaging. Even though it's true, I don't think "I'm sick of messaging people" is really a good way to make a first impression.
Lifestyle & Relationships
I think the risk is more that you'll seem like you're mailing hundreds of date requests out to every random girl within a 20 mile radius. Even though you've read her profile and whatnot it's still going to seem impersonal if you ask her out without having any kind of conversation with her at all. Personally, I wouldn't mind, especially if: Your offer is for a relatively casual activity in a very public place coffee or lunch - rather than dinner.
You explain perhaps in an edited version of what you wrote here why you would like to make the date on the first email. You mention some things you liked about my profile that led to your interest. This can include my picture but only as one of several factors. You are honest and polite. Obviously I won't know how genuine any of that is but I don't think two more emails would make that much of a difference.
I did it by widening my search on a whim and found someone several states away and then we emailed a ton, admittedly. It only takes one. I have to be in a certain kind of mood to go on a date with sameone I literally know nothing about so I think a few emails is important so you know you are on the same page at least. I think it is a really bad idea to use emails to build attraction or chemistry. After you know the bare minimum of age, work situation, big interests, whatever is important to you it's time to meet in person.
Yeah at least wait for a positive response from the lady first.
If you wrote me a decent length e-mail for a first contact but not TOO wordy! But I have also found that I can be very interested in someone online but then discover there's absolutely no chemistry in person. You know, it might boil down to the kind of person you are looking for. I mean, I'd go out and meet anyone who seemed reasonably intelligent and vaguely clever.
There are strangers all around everywhere, and I am not afraid to chat with someone new. But I do all kinds of nutty things I lived without indoor plumbing, and in an intentional community and sometimes my SOs weren't into that later in the relationship. Maybe that's not the sort of person you want to end up with. I'm a woman on OKCupid, and I'm in the "go for it" camp. I'm a huge fan of X too, but I might have to debate you on innocuous topic Y from her profile.
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Would you like to meet for a drink or coffee sometime? If she has written to YOU first, then yeah, your reply can definitely be a suggestion to meet.
Online Dating and the Endless Emails - ACW
If I initiate contact, you've already crossed my threshold for "meetable. This kind of pattern indicates to me that the guy is patient, not a player, and genuinely intrigued about me but not in some desperate rush and not a stalker which is how I feel about guys who visit my profile multiple times a day, oy! Oh, and feel free to memail me if you'd like a little anonymous objective feedback on your profile, I'd be happy to.
I have used and currently use online sites to find dates.
I agree that it is tiresome to write back and forth repeatedly. I have a pretty busy life, and all that time spent emailing can feel like having another part time job. So, I have been receptive to men who in their initial contact with me say something like: I am the kind of person who likes to just meet and see if we can hit it off instead of emailing back and forth repeatedly. Wanna hang out tonight? Text me at " posted by medeine at If she sends the first email, then I think he could ask her out on the first email he sends Well, I'm not sure why you say most responses say he should wait till the second email he sends, since your own advice would seem to suggest a different rule: If the second email altogether is sent by her, then by definition he'll have to wait till the next email to ask her out.
And there is another view, which is basically that the OP should go for it in the first message. And yes, there are qualifications to that advice, but the qualifications pretty much go without saying: In other words, if all other factors are positive , is sending an initial message asking her out a good or bad idea? There seems to be no consensus on that: So you might as well try it either way and see what happens to work for you.
Online Dating and the Endless Emails
On post-view, make that: Haven't read any of the comments, but for me, I wouldn't be into being asked to commit to an in-person date on the first email. I understand that frustration, really I do, but as a lady, one of the ways I evaluate ok, evaluated, because I'm with a long-term partner I'm very happy with potential mates is by their written communication ability. This is likely because I'm a nerd and love to read, but I'm not at all interested in people who can't represent themselves credibly in a letter. Rather than focus and get frustrated by the quantity of emails, I'd suggest doing something like this: Think about what you want to say, and say something personal, don't use a line or a paragraph just because it has seemed to work before and you're tired of typing.
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