“I like your shirt in your pictures. I bet we would make the cutest babies together. How do you feel about natural childbirth? Do you prefer traditional sexual positions or kinky stuff? Oh, I’m Thomas by the way.”
If your first message or any of your messages for that matter to a potential dating interest are anywhere near this forward, you’re about to learn why you’re not having much luck when it comes to online dating.
Being forward and communicating well are great traits to have especially when you’re not with someone face to face. The problems arise, though, when you take this to the extreme and are TOO forward, and your communication starts to become scary.
Today, we’re here to help. We’re going to be pretty forward with you about how you can stop being too forward with the single guys and gals you are interested in online. Finding that balance between effective communication and not being the king or queen of creepiness is not that hard, but is oh so important.
Why You Shouldn’t Be Too Forward
While it may seem pretty obvious why this is a bad idea, it clearly is not because so many of you, yes you, are still sending awkwardly forward messages. Let’s talk about the selfish reason you shouldn’t be doing this and the non-selfish reason. The selfish reason is that messages like this are going to scare away potential date matches. As soon as you creep them out with something far too personal far too early, they’re going to run for the hills.
The non-selfish reason you shouldn’t be sending overly forward messages is that it ruins the online dating experience for the guy or girl you’re chatting with. If you get too many of the messages like the one at the top of this blog, you’re not going to get very excited about logging into your online dating accounts. The less excited you are, the less of your time you’re going to invest in the process and the less of a chance you have of finding love. Don’t do this to other people.
Why Singles Might Think It’s Ok
For some reason, there’s been “dating tips” floating around that say shock factor is a great way to get noticed. They say that if you say something outlandish or out in left field, it’s going to draw special attention to you. It’s supposed to make your potential match say, “Who does this guy or girl think they are that they can talk to me like that?” and then they get intrigued to answer the question.
Here’s the scoop on all of that. It might have some merit in the bar scene where you and the other person are both drinking, but it has no place in the more controlled environment of online dating. When we say it has no place, we don’t just mean that it’s out of line. We mean that it doesn’t work. If you’re looking for utter garbage singles, you may have some random hits with this method. If you’re looking for any sort of quality matches, though, you need to abandon this mentality.
How to Avoid Being Too Forward
While we wish common sense was a good enough answer here, we know that we need to give some people a little more. If you’ve just started talking to someone online and have not met them in person, you need to assume that they prefer a more proper and appropriate approach. Sometimes you might read too far into things they say and misinterpret them as a window to be a bit more forward. It can also be tempting to be forward because it makes you feel like the potential relationship is moving faster and more successfully.
Don’t ask them highly personal questions. Stick to more straightforward and generic questions. If it’s not something you’d ask someone at a dinner party that you just met, don’t ask it of someone you’re chatting with online.
Don’t ask them sexual questions. There is a time and a place for these discussions, but after you just met on an online dating site, it probably is not. Don’t discuss finances. The only exception would be if you’re on a sugar daddy app, and then that’s probably part of the equation.
In fact, that does bring us to mention the one exception to these rules. If you are on a niche or specialty dating site where talking about some of these things is ok, then you’re alright being more forward. If you’re on a more adult type site, talking about sex sooner than later is probably ok (with discretion). Again, if you’re on a sugar daddy dating site, talking about money is probably expected pretty early in the dating conversation.
For the rest of you that are on more traditional online dating sites, you need to stick to these rules. Avoid these topics, and anything else that you may think could be out of line.
Ask yourself this every time. Would you say this to someone you just met at a friend’s dinner party? If the answer is no, then don’t say it to a new potential date. Would you tell a new friend at a dinner date that you would make nice babies together? Would you ask their opinion on types of childbirth? Would you ask about their favorite sexual positions?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, we’ve got bigger issues that we’re not equipped to help you with. The answer should be no to all of them. Should you never ask these questions? That’s not what we’re saying. There will be a time and a place for all of these questions and comments. It’s just not right after you started talking to someone you haven’t even met yet. For clarity, the time is not a few days or a week after you started chatting online either.
Take your time with these sensitive topics, so you don’t scare away great singles and don’t ruin the online dating experience for everyone else you interact with.
Written By: Jason Lee
Jason Lee is a journalist and data analyst with a passion for studying online dating, relationships, personal growth, healthcare, and finance. In 2008, Jason earned a Bachelors of Science from the University of Florida, where he studied business and finance and taught interpersonal communication.
His work has been featured in the likes of The USA Today, MSN, The Motley Fool, Net Health, and The Simple Dollar. As a business owner, relationship strategist, dating coach, and officer in the U.S. military, Jason enjoys sharing his unique knowledge base with the rest of the world.