If you’re scared to use the L-word online, you might want to get over that.
Online dating site Plenty of Fish analyzed hundreds of thousands of conversations to find out the top words single men and women use in first messages that lead to conversations. The word “love” actually made it into the top 5 for both men and women, proving that summer is heating up and love is in the air.
It makes sense. The word “love” is very positive and enthusiastic, which is what most of us are looking for in a partner. We don’t want someone who is merely lukewarm or “OK” – we want to meet someone who seems just as excited to meet us. Because, as Bianca Stratford said in the film masterpiece, 10 Things I Hate About You, “There’s a difference between like and love. Because, I like my Skechers, but I love my Prada backpack.”
We want certainty and excitement from our potential partners. We want to be that Prada backpack.
While you don’t want to tell everyone you meet online that you love them (that would just be creepy,) using the word love in your first message can definitely increase your chances of success. For example, are you more likely to respond to a message that says “Hey ….sup?” or one that’s specific, optimistic and complementary and says, “Hey, I love all your travel photos from Tibet! Where else have you traveled?” My point exactly.
But according to Plenty of Fish, using the word “love” isn’t the only way for you to boost your chances online. Here are a few other ways you can optimize your online dating messages so you can get more dates this summer.
1. Lead with a compliment.
If you’re a man hoping to meet a woman online, one of the quickest and easiest ways to get her to respond to your message is by leading with a compliment. In fact, a full 20 percent of guys who use the word “beautiful” got into a two-way conversation with ladies online. So, if you’re interested in someone, tell them what it is that makes you heart go aflutter – and no, telling someone “U R HOTTT” doesn’t count.
Instead, let her know she has beautiful eyes or that you really dig something she wrote in her profile. Keep it classy and try not to get weird (meaning: overtly sexual.) Complimenting someone on their eyes or another feature is cool, but telling someone they have a totally “bangable body” (#truestory) is less so. If you wouldn’t want your mother to read your “compliments,” then you’re doing it wrong.
2. Tell them they’re gorgeous or pretty.
If you’re not sure how to compliment that adorable single online, keep in mind that “gorgeous” and “pretty” also made it into the top 5 words that lead to conversations. Tell someone you think they’re really pretty or say, “Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I think you’re gorgeous!” Once again, just make sure you’re keeping it classy. There’s a big difference between saying, “you’re gorgeous” (great!) and “you’ve got a gorgeous ass” (super creepy). Just saying.
3. Let them know you think they’re handsome and nice.
It’s important to keep in mind that men also like to receive compliments. So, ladies don’t be afraid to flatter the fellas you meet online. For women, “nice” was the number one word that led to conversations (for example, “You seem like a really nice guy. How’s it going?”) Women who mentioned how “handsome” a guy is, or complimented his “smile” were also likely to engage their matches. It can be simple as letting him know, “You’re really handsome and seem like a nice guy! I love your smile.” Bingo!
4. Interested and sexy are where it’s at.
Interestingly enough, the words that piqued the interest of both males and females included “interested” and “sexy,” which popped up in top 15 for both genders. I personally feel like using the word “sexy” in an opening message has the potential to go sideways. After all, not everyone wants a virtual stranger letting them know right off the bat that they think they’re really “sexy,” nor does everyone know how to use the word appropriately (for example, letting someone know that they “Have really sexy toenails” maybe isn’t as sexy as you think it might be.) Not sure what to say? Complimenting one of their interests is a great place to start – for example, “I think it’s really sexy that you read. I’m interested to hear what you’re reading right now!”
At the end of the day, the message is clear: giving compliments and using positive, enthusiastic language works. So, what are you waiting for? Go tell that intriguing person you’ve met online that you think they’re certifiably awesome.