So you finally get a match on Circl.es. You see their face, they see yours. What next?
Every dating website has this problem – eventually, at some point, someone has to say something. On Circl.es, the match is based on a simple evaluation whereby you thought the other person was attractive, and they thought you were, so this is already more natural than some system that just suggests you based on an “algorithm.” But the person is still a stranger, so how do you break the ice without sounding like a complete whackjob?
Unfortunately, no matter what, it’s going to be a little awkward. The key is minimize the awkwardness, share information, and beeline to less awkward waters – e.g., a bar or coffeeshop – as soon as it is reasonably possible. Here are five tips on how to make that first connection:
1) Keep it general.
Don’t delve into your life story. Skip the details about your recent breakup or the fact that you’re sitting on your couch eating week-old Domino’s pizza and watching Will and Grace re-runs… you want to leak this personal information gradually, over several weeks and bottles of wine — not in your first message.
2) Be brief.
Anything over a few sentences starts to sound like a late 90s Myspace monologue. Beware of this – nothing is more frightening than receiving a multi-paragraph autobiography via Facebook message. Mystery is good – it’s part of getting to know someone in person. Less is more.
3) Personalize – slightly.
Try to find some common ground or something you admire about the other person. Comment on a common place or mutual interest – but don’t make it look like you spent four hours stalking the person. Show them you’re not copy/pasting this message, but also aren’t planning your wedding together quite yet (even though you might be).
4) Be open-ended.
One person may lose interest, and that’s okay – better sooner than later. Leave your match exits – chances to let the conversation trail off or die. It’ll reduce awkwardness and make you seem cooler and less desperate. Dating is a numbers game – the more shots you take, the better your chance of scoring.
5) Say something about yourself.
The whole point of this bizarre dance is to judge mutual compatibility. You must give the other person something to work with. Try to sneak in a few details about who you are – some benign opinions, interests, etc. But save your funniest jokes for the bar.
Finally, here are some examples of first messages:
“Hey, I saw we have a match on Circl.es. I love your cover photo – did you take that from Conzelman Road? I ride my bike up there sometimes, it’s awesome.”
“Hey, how’s it going? Looks like we matched up on that Circl.es website. How long have you lived in San Francisco? I just arrived from New York two months ago.”
“Another Grateful Dead fan! Have you been to Jerry Garcia’s old house on Ashbury Street – it’s a Deadhead must-see. I’d be happy to take you sometime if you’ve never been!”
“Hey, nice to meet you. Looks like we have a match on Circl.es and some mutual friends. Why have I never seen you out and about before? Do you ever go to Blackbird Bar near your house?”
Do you have other ideas for what makes a good first message? Leave a comment!