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Step 8: How to respond to your first message

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by match.comRelationship and dating advice from match.com
Online dating how to

So your profile’s generated a bit of a buzz on the online dating scene; you’ve been winked at, sent an email or maybe someone’s initiated a conversation. Check you out! While you might be feeling uncertain about how to respond, fear not. In this article, we’ll show you fool-proof answers which are sure to get the ball rolling when it comes to dating.

Wink back

If someone virtually winks at you, why not wink back?! Cheeky and fun, a wink speaks volumes in the world of online dating. Winking indicates you appreciate them getting in touch and that you’re inviting them to make further contact.

Answer their questions

If someone has taken the time to email you and ask questions, it’s important that you reply with the same care and consideration. Answer honestly, clearly and concisely and show that you’re interested by asking them a few questions, too.

Keep it brief

Whilst it’s important that your reply allows someone the chance to get to know more about you beyond what’s written in your profile, it’s also important to keep things short and sweet. Stories about when you fainted in front of George Clooney and held a tarantula in Oz will make for excellent conversation starters when you get to meet your date in person, so save them for that moment!

Be literate

Being ultra-careful about spelling and grammar will highlight your intelligence as well as the care you have taken in sending the message. If you’re not quite as verbose as Stephen Fry, you may want to ask a friend to read your message though before you send it.

Be positive

You’ve received a wink, email or instant message because the other person wants to get to know you better, but that doesn’t mean that they want to hear all your woes and problems. Make sure you inject humour and a friendly tone into your response to demonstrate your wonderfully upbeat personality.

Reply as soon as you can

Enough of the ‘three-day rule’! We recommend that you avoid playing unnecessary games and reply as soon as you have time to dedicate to it. Leaving long gaps between messages just makes it more likely that you’ll miss out altogether.

Read the other articles in our '10 steps' series:
- Step 1: Why you should try online dating
- Step 2: Why you should choose match.com
- Step 3: Tips for writing your online dating profile
- Step 4: How to pick the perfect profile picture
- Step 5: Discover who you're really looking for
- Step 6: How to find your match
- Step 7: Getting in touch with your matches
- Step 9: Where to go on your first date together
- Step 10: The first date survival guide


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