The past four weeks of Tinderversing has forced me to develop a whole new skill set around text etiquette, or “textiquette” as I like to call it, and it has been fine tuned especially to manage online dating. So I often get asked, “What do you think should be the online dating text etiquette and who should text or email who first, the male or female?”
Whilst text etiquette has been a long standing topic on all of the online dating forums, I think the Tinder phenomenon has everyone talking about what the do’s and don’ts of Tinderversing should really be!
I view online dating text etiquette the same way we should all of our online communication, which is there should be no shortcuts. Take your time to write your message, whether it be an opening line or in response to someone else’s text. In my eyes, putting some effort into your communications goes a lot further than coming out with some cliche or idiotic opening line.
Maybe then we could start with who should message whom first?
Whilst writing this story, I researched various articles on this very topic, as I wanted to know what others thought about my approach – which is to happily throw out an opening line via text to someone with whom I have matched. It seems this approach is the right one to have based on the research I have done. One of my first few Twitter followers, Dr. Christie Hartman (@DenverDatingDr), sums this whole subject up perfectly in her article, Online Dating, 6 Reasons To Make The First Move.
Dr. Hartman says many things to support the view that it’s okay for women to make the first move. She even goes so far as to say…
“Not only is it okay to email men when dating online, it’s a useful tactic.” She also states the obvious which is, “Many women often believe that if a man were ‘truly’ interested, he would make his move. While this is true in many scenarios, that rationale doesn’t fly online. Why? Men have literally thousands of profiles to comb through…”
All the points she makes in this article ring very true to me. Not only does it make sense in our modern dating society, but it’s really very important to show a man you are interested too, just like you would if you made eye contact with him in a crowded bar, as Dr. Hartman mentioned in her article.
Now that we’ve covered some ground on who should go first, let’s discuss some of the opening lines I have come across, and why some of them are just soooo wrong!
You may be familiar with my series of Tweet’s titled “Dear Ted” (I think in hindsight I should have titled them “Ted Talks!” Damn, missed that opportunity, or did I?) Seriously though, in that series of Tweets, I didn’t share Ted’s opening line to me, which was none other than “Hello Sexy.” I have had others that were even worse, including “Hello Hot Chops” and “What you up to tonight?”.
I suppose that’s what set me off on my Twitter binge of “Ted Talks” – please allow me to refer to it as that, just for this article! Maybe because it was a stark reminder of why so many of my female friends are too afraid to join the online dating world, and would rather sit in a dark closet alone than face the Teds of this world.
None of this, by the way, would even be a discussion if it weren’t for all the Tinderfellas I meet asking me what my opinion of the textiquette is, and if I am too describe the worst of them it would be Ted. His little opener was not only dumb, but too suggestive and the equivalent to a guy in a bar coming up with some cheesy pickup line like, “Did u just come out of the oven, cuz u r hot!” … I shit you not, this sort of stuff happens to me when out, hence my move to online dating. Easier to Tinderblock a man online than in a bar!
So if a guy, or even a girl for that matter (playing devil’s advocate here), has made very little effort to communicate with you in his/her opening line, or subsequent messages, then you should probably just Tinderblock them (my favourite term of the week).
I think this is what I was trying to demonstrate with those Ted tweets. Ted’s lack of effort and suggestive texts were not helping him win friends and influence people.
If and when you do write to a potential match, I would always keep it present and try and make reference to something in their profile pictures, for example;
Say they have a photo of them skydiving, you might want to include something like – “You look like a bit of an adventurer, assume that is you free falling out of that plane?”
I know I am not alone in this thinking, as there are many articles out there saying essentially the same thing, but at least you have my added perspective of the online dating textiquette, which I’ve summarized below.
A Real Tinderella’s Textiquette Tips
- It’s okay for a woman to initiate the conversation in online dating.
- Start your conversation by referencing something in their profile picture.
- Don’t use cliche or cheap one liners.
- And don’t take shortcuts in your conversation.
Not rocket science I know, just a bit of modern day courtesy and common sense really. And remember, if all else fails… there is always Tinderblock!
A Real Tinderella