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30 / M / Straight / Seeing someone
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
His journal posts
Sep 5, 2012
In nearly seven years of OKCupiding (not counting previous time on SparkMatch), you would think I'd have figured out what I'm doing by now.
I have had three relationships from the site, and good ones at that, but of those three, one messaged me first, one messaged me after I commented on her journal, and one I messaged after a significant amount of talking on the forums.
Success rate of 'cold' messages: 0%
It's not exactly hard to see why: there is a lot, I am aware, of accumulated stuff about what messages should not be. That doesn't get on well with my innate tendency to overthink things. It's hard not to write a message that seems stilted and artificial when your mind is on trying not to make it crap. And then it is crap anyway, so it's self-defeating.
But recently, I've got a bit better at it. And the thing is, I haven't changed my message 'strategy' or anything like that. I've just (hah, 'just') changed my attitude. And my change in attitude goes something like this: It doesn't matter. I figure a girl's going to reply to my messages if she wants to. If she doesn't want to, then what do I care? I don't know about you, but I am here to meet people who would respond to me. That's a pretty important quality in all my relations, whether romantic or social. So why should I go out of my way trying to convince - or even trick - people who don't possess that quality into talking to me? It's absurd, right?
It's not about the message so much. You should still adhere to basic message-writing principles: Mostly don't be creepy, and make your message easy to reply to (and oh, I could write a whole other post about that latter point, and probably will). But the message is the easy part. If your recipient is interested, they will respond (and if they aren't interested, maybe you messaged the wrong person, but that's ok). The hard part is not being a socially maladjusted, unlikeable loser, but if you need help with that, you need more help than I am willing or able to give.
So I don't know how qualified I am to dispense advice given the lack of success I outlined above, but I'm going to anyway. The key to good message writing is to stop caring so much. I know the one-word messages and demands to see tits everyone complains about display a staggering lack of thought, but the answer really isn't to put a lot of thought into it. As the cliché goes, just be yourself. Given its cliché status, that is, by definition, not new advice, and now you're yelling at your screen, "What the hell, fpb? Did I read through this just for that?!" You might also be throwing stuff. And you have anger issues. Calm down. But the real advice is to always keep in mind that the people who don't respond to you being yourself are the wrong people. People will tell you to keep that in mind when you don't get replies, so you won't get disheartened. But you should also keep it in mind when writing messages, because it will make your messages to the right people better.