Common Email Misconceptions

By: Jess Downey, Copy Cutie

Approaching a match in person is all about initial chemistry and body language. But sitting behind a computer screen takes all that away. Instead, you have to woo a potential partner with your witty wordmanship. Your first instinct may be to disclose every nitty gritty detail about yourself in the first email, but there’s something to be said about playing digital hard to get. You want to say just enough to pique their interest, while still keeping them curious to know more. So here are a few examples of how to take common, mundane email misconceptions and make them work for you!

Misconception: “It sounds like we have a lot in common.”

Perfection: “Barbados is one of my favorite vacation spots, too! I’m always ready to hop on a plane at a moment’s notice …”

Explanation: Pick something in their profile you relate with and run with it. Instead of just saying you have a lot in common, pick a specific topic and say how you both share that interest.

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Misconception: “What do you like to do for fun?”

Perfection: “I used to watch Alfred Hitchcock movies all the time. My favorite is Rear Window…”

Explanation: It’s impressive when someone can see that you took the time to read their profile. Instead of just reiterating what’s already there, pull specific things from their profile that seem interesting and take it to the next level. Ask a question and let your personal charm shine.

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Misconception: “Where are you from?”

Perfection: “I grew up in a little town in Michigan but I have lived all over since I graduated from college…”

Explanation: Try to inspire something that calls for a little more than a one word answer. Instead, share a few details about yourself that will encourage a little sharing in return.

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Misconception: “What’s your favorite restaurant (or band, book, food, music, etc)?”

Perfection: “I love sushi too! I always love to get the …”

Explanation: Favorites are a great starting point but don’t stop there. Take it even further by sharing some of your favorites too. Who knows — it could even be the inspiration for a date somewhere down the line.

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Misconception: “What are you looking for?”

Perfection: It might be best to skip this one altogether.

Explanation: While it might seem like a good idea to just come out and ask their intentions, you’re setting yourself up for disaster because there is really no good way to answer this question. No one is going to say “you, of course!” (And if they do, that’s pretty creepy, isn’t it?) You’re also outing yourself for not reading their profile, too, since most sites have a place for everyone to describe their perfect match. And even if they do answer the question, the answer can totally distract you from the task at hand — flirting with a potential match.