Which Online Messages Should You Avoid?

By Paola Hernandez, Copy Cutie

The world of online dating can be intimidating, confusing and often times, overwhelming. And it’s often easy to find yourself at your wit’s end with some of the messages you receive from “potential matches.” These messages are the first digital impression of a person — that is, if you haven’t already seen their profile — and you want to make sure you’re focusing your energy on the right people. Luckily, unlike being at a bar or any other public venue, dating online makes it easier to ignore the unwanted messages that come your way. Here’s a handy tip sheet on some of the messages you should avoid and delete.

The Template Message.  Oftentimes people will only do a quick profile skim after checking out someone’s profile pictures. While skimming can help utilize time online, this often leads to people sending out mass “template” messages to the matches they’re interested in — all 50 of them, all in the same night. Typically vague and impersonal, these messages might say, “I love your profile,” or “Hi how u doing.” While it might be worth clicking on the person’s avatar to see if there are any sparks on your end, it’s better to wait for more substantial messages with personal anecdotes to come along.

The Catcall.  Most people (especially ladies) wouldn’t respond to catcalls on the street. So why would you reply to a “hey mami?” type message? Messages like these might mean that this person is looking for a quick fling (or clearly, doesn’t know how to court someone properly). If you’re still interested after taking a peak at the person’s profile, respond. But if you wouldn’t answer to something like this in person, delete the message.

Bad Grammar.  It’s safe to assume that the majority of people who use online dating services have acquired basic knowledge of the English language. If you receive a message where it’s unclear whether or not the sender knows the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ and ‘there’, ‘their’ and ‘they’re,’ ignore it. Attention to detail counts, and if this person can’t take the time to proofread a simple message to you, who knows what else they won’t take the time for?

Far, Far Away.  Movies like Sleepless in Seattle, Going the Distance and You’ve Got Mail have given hopeless romantics a glimmer of hope that long distance relationships or romances solely based off the Internet can work. Realistically, flying across the country multiple times a year to see your significant other will get expensive. If you have the ways and means, go for it. But relocating your entire life for just anyone isn’t ideal. Member SmithJ72 might sound amazing (and be good looking to boot), but if he’s randomly messaging you from San Diego while you’re in New York, it might be a wise choice to keep it moving.

What messages do you avoid responding to on online dating sites? Share with us in a comment below!