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Easy How To Communicate During Online Dating (Complete With Pictures) - How To Communicate During Online Dating - Although online dating is getting more popular every year, it can still feel hard to establish a real connection when you’re meeting someone over the Internet. Just like in real life, the key to getting to know people online is honest communication: asking lots of questions to find out who they are and being just as open about yourself. By opening with a good message and asking about things you’re genuinely curious about, you can make a good impression and start to segue into a relationship.

Sending the First Message

How to Communicate During Online Dating (with Pictures)

Get in touch with people who are similar to you. Recent studies have shown, unsurprisingly, that the most successful online dating interactions happen between people with genuine similarities. When you’re looking through profiles, gravitate towards people who have listed interests similar or compatible to your own.

Look at their pictures as well—not just to see how they look, but to get an idea of their personality and how social and adventurous they are.

How to Communicate During Online Dating (with Pictures)

Start with a question about something on their profile. Read the person’s profile and look at their pictures to see what they’re interested in. Referencing something that shows you looked at their profile, especially if it’s something you have in common, gets your communication off on the right foot and gives you a better chance of getting a response.

For example, if the person has a picture of them skiing, you could say, "So I saw that you’re a skier. What’s your favorite mountain around here? I need to get back on the slopes."

Don’t make up a similarity if you don’t have one; instead, play off your differences. Send a teasing text like, "So you’re a skier? I’m more of a snowboarder myself, but I guess we can still try to be friends."

How to Communicate During Online Dating (with Pictures)

Make them laugh with a joke or clever question. Starting things off with a joke or teasing question or comment can be a playful, flirtatious way to get in touch with someone online. Use a joke that reflects your personality; the way that they respond will show you if your senses of humor are compatible.

You can go with something as simple as a knock knock joke, or make a funny, personalized comment like, "I see you like pizza and I need to know: pineapple or no pineapple? No pressure, but this is extremely important."

You can also start off the conversation with a funny gif or meme.

Avoid making sexual references. This can come off as overly-aggressive and off-putting.

How to Communicate During Online Dating (with Pictures)

Compliment them, but not their appearance. A little flattery is OK, but complimenting someone’s appearance online can feel cheap. Instead, focus compliments on their interests and things that they’ve done to show that you’re interested in getting to know them.

You could say, for example, "I saw that you went skydiving, that’s so cool. I’ve been wanting to go for forever."

Try a backhanded compliment for a more playful, challenging tone, like "So I see you’ve finished a marathon, but come back to me when you can do something really impressive, like eat 10 hot dogs in a row."

How to Communicate During Online Dating (with Pictures)

Avoid a "hi" or "hey" message. While it’s great to try to keep things simple, just sending "hi" or "hey" as your first message probably won’t cut it in online dating. You’re not revealing any part of your personality or showing the other person that you’re interested in theirs. These messages also tend to get the lowest response rate.

If you’re really stuck, try sending something like "What’s up?" instead. This keeps your tone simple and casual but still invites a response from the person you’re messaging.

Getting To Know Each Other

How to Communicate During Online Dating (with Pictures)

Ask lots of questions. The more you know about your potential partner before you meet in-person, the more likely you are to have a great date and relationship. Once you start getting to know each other, don’t be afraid to ask deeper questions to get a feel for how you’ll connect to each other.

Start with questions about what they like to do in their free time, their friends, their job, and things they love, like food, movies, or sports. From there, slowly transition into deeper subjects you’re genuinely curious about.

Don’t jump into sensitive topics just yet. Stay away from questions about religion, politics, and other potentially touchy subjects until you’ve met in-person.

How to Communicate During Online Dating (with Pictures)

Be honest about yourself and your interests. It’s important to be honest in any relationship, but especially in online dating, when you and potential dates only know about each other through your messages and profiles. Don’t hide behind your computer screen and try to be someone you’re not— it will only lead to a worse overall relationship.

Even "white lies" about small things can add up over time. Remember that you want this person to like you for who you are, not the person you think they want you to be.

Show them your true personality, too. Stick to your natural sense of humor and mode of speaking to give them a sense of your communication style and character.

How to Communicate During Online Dating (with Pictures)

Stay positive, upbeat, and light. Keeping an upbeat attitude while talking on a dating site will give people an overall positive opinion of you and make them want to keep chatting, since your optimism will be infectious. A little sarcasm or dark humor is okay occasionally if that’s how you communicate, but keep outright complaining to a minimum.

For example, don’t start a conversation with something overtly negative, like, "Ugh, I really hate my job." Instead, try something like, "Today was insane at work! So happy to be home."

How to Communicate During Online Dating (with Pictures)

Use self-deprecating humor and honesty. Being a little self-deprecating can show potential dates that you aren’t arrogant and don’t take yourself too seriously. Some studies have even shown that people who use words like "sorry," "apologize," and "awkward" in their messages have more success in online dating.

This can be a great way to point out and laugh about some of the strangeness of online dating. You could say, "Sending these messages is always so awkward, but I was looking at your profile and think you’re really interesting. Would love to get to know you more :)"

How to Communicate During Online Dating (with Pictures)

Mimic their texting or emailing style. Studies have shown that people who talk and text in a similar style are more likely to start a good relationship. Don’t completely copy what they say, but take a cue from their overall tone and the words they tend to use.

You can also use this technique to gauge a potential date’s interest. If they seem to be mimicking or shifting towards your messaging style, it could be a sign that they’re attracted to you.

How to Communicate During Online Dating (with Pictures)

Don’t give out personal information until later on. It’s always smart to keep some information private, no matter how well you think you’re connecting with someone online. Don’t tell anyone your last name, address, or workplace until you’ve met in person and have a strong connection.

Avoid asking other people for their personal details as well.

Never give someone you met online money.

How to Communicate During Online Dating (with Pictures)

Set up a date when you’ve talked for a few weeks. Make sure you have a chance to get to know your potential date before you ask them out in-person. The more you know about them (and vice versa) the better chance you have of enjoying a great date and making a real connection.

Use your best judgment to decide when to ask them out. You want to know enough about them to ensure that your connection is deeper than just physical attraction, and it should feel like a natural next step in your relationship.

Avoid asking someone out within a day or 2 of messaging them. This can come off as desperate and needy. Even if you’re making a fast connection, waiting a few more days will feel more natural and relaxed.

Communicating That You’re Not Interested

How to Communicate During Online Dating (with Pictures)

Write back when you can tell they wrote a personal note. You don’t have to respond to every message you get, especially if it’s someone you can tell you wouldn’t go out with. If the message is personalized and clearly took some time to craft, though, it’s good form to take a moment to kindly thank them and express that you’re not interested.

Respond to messages that mention something on your profile, like a particular interest, or show that they tried to make a kind of connection.

You can delete or just not respond to plain messages like "hi" or "what’s up."

You especially don’t have to respond if the message is offensive or rude. You can even block people that you don’t want to contact you, especially if they’re persistent.

How to Communicate During Online Dating (with Pictures)

Send a brief, direct, and kind message to let them down gently. It’s never fun to reject someone, so do it as kindly and firmly as you can. Make sure your point gets across but let them know that it’s not personal and that you hope they find happiness in another relationship.

You could say, for example, "Hi James, thanks for the message. You seem like a good guy but I don’t think I’m the right fit. Wishing you all the best."

If you’ve been chatting for a while and want to break it off, say something like, "I think our connection is more platonic," or, "You’re a great person, but I just don’t feel the chemistry between us."

How to Communicate During Online Dating (with Pictures)

Give them an excuse if you want an easy out. It can feel awkward rejecting someone you haven’t met in person. For a smoother way out, try using a polite excuse, either real or made-up, to show that you’re not available.

Say something like, "Hey, it’s been really great chatting with you. Unfortunately, I’m realizing that I really don’t have time for a relationship right now with everything going on in my work and family life. Wishing you all the best."

How to Communicate During Online Dating (with Pictures)

Mention something positive if you don’t want to hurt their feelings. When you’re letting someone down easy, try to couch it in positive, complimentary language. This can help to lessen the blow if you think the person will be really disappointed.

You can say something like, "Your messages have really made me laugh, but I just don’t see our relationship going any further. You’re a great person and I know there’s someone out there for you."

How to Communicate During Online Dating (with Pictures)

Be honest with them and yourself. Don’t pretend to be interested in someone just because you’re not sure how to let them down easily, and don’t try to force yourself to like someone that you just don’t. This isn’t fair to them or to you.

If you feel bad for shutting them down, just remember that you’re doing the right thing for both of you in the long run. You’re freeing both of you up to find better matches.

How to Communicate During Online Dating (with Pictures)

Be firm with people who are bothering you. If someone is sending you rude messages or is bothering you persistently, it’s OK to be more blunt and forceful with your messages. If they continue to bother you after you’ve told them not to, block them, delete their messages, or report their behavior.

Say something like, "Please stop messaging me. I’m not interested and your comments are pretty offensive. I will block you if you keep sending me messages."

Look at the settings on your social media or online dating platform to see how to report or block people.

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