You only get one chance to make a great first impression. Being witty and original is obviously the dream, but there are many ways to make a really great first impression which I’ll take you through today. Say the wrong thing, and your fish will swiftly move on with a click of a button.
Scenario #1: Starting a conversation in person
Starting a conversation face-to-face can be difficult sometimes because…
b) You are trying to read the situation, the body language and determine what to say and when to say it
a) You are in public and aware that people may be watching your attempt at flirting
c) You don’t want to startle or appear “creepy” to the stranger you’re approaching
Say you’re at a coffee shop, and you are standing in line behind someone you want to strike up a conversation with. What would you say?
Here’s a tip! You can play off the drink menu or the food on display by saying something like “Excuse me, have you ever tried their white mocha? It sounds delicious.” Asking a question is the best way to get a response. If you’re simply stating something like “Yes! I love the coffee here!” It’s a bit abrupt and you will most likely be met with an eye roll.
Read body language: Does the person look tired? Happy? Frustrated? Would you crack an espresso joke? Would you talk about the weather, or about an event happening in the area? Also, what time of day is it? Tons of people aren’t their best selves in the early hours before they’ve had their coffee, so be considerate of the time you’re attempting to flirt.
In real life, you can use body language or the situation and props around you to help strike up a conversation with someone that you’re interested in. Online, you are not able to do that, you need to jump right in and make contact.
Scenario #2: Writing a first message to someone on a dating app
Writing a thoughtful first message can be tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find it alot easier. Here are some elements to consider:
Pay close attention to their profile
People appreciate a thoughtful first message because it shows that you’re not just spamming out the same message to see who will reply back. An original message implies that you have taken a good look and read through their profile.
Some good examples for sentence starters are,
I noticed in your photos…and I read in your profile…
In their photos, pay attention to the following:
- activities they’re doing
- pets or animals they have
- food or drink (do they mention their favorite restaurant?)
- any other objects their making a focus in their photos (cars, books, paintings)
- special destinations (Paris, Hawaii, Tokyo – take note of their travels)
In their description about themselves take note of the following:
- likes or dislike
- hobbies and interests
- goals and dreams
- music, movies and tv shows
Give Genuine Compliments
There is a nice way to compliment and then there is the super cheesy approach that will get someone to pass right by you.
NO: “Damn gurl, you fine!”
YES: “Your smile just brightened up my day.”
The difference between these two compliments is that the first one, perhaps your intention was to be nice, but, it comes off as a cat call. The second is more specific and evokes a positive emotion from the receiver.
What to avoid at all cost IRL and online
Cliche sayings: “Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?”
This will just get an eye roll, a click and a pass. We have all heard it before and this never works.
Sexual undertones: Something about butter and spreading…(enough said)
There’s no need to go further with that one. To many, this is not flirting, it’s just off-putting. If you are truly serious about making first contact with someone and are looking for something more long term, never send an overtly sexual first message.
Obscure interview questions: “If you could be a tree what kind and why?”
This is a dry start to any conversation.
A better question would be – “If you could travel anywhere or time travel back to any time period, where would you go?” This question opens up a back and forth conversation.
Text speak abbreviations: WYD? HRU? GM.
Not everyone understands text speak and this could lead to a misunderstanding. It also shows lazy messaging and a lack of effort right from the start.
Bad spelling: This might seem petty, but if your spelling is horrendous, it can lead to an automatic pass because it looks like you genuinely do not care how you come across online.
Be easy on someone sending you a first message
Remember, it is not easy making first contact. Just like in real life, things can be a bit awkward. If someone is truly trying to make an effort with their messages, at least have a look at their profile and reply. Just like in real life, even if they have a small coffee spot on their shirt, it does not mean you should pass up having a conversation with them. You never know where that first conversation will take you