Last week I mentioned that I had decided to become a dating Agony Aunt.  With the sad departure of Clare Rayner, there was a gap in the market and quite frankly, from behind, we look the same.  So I asked people to let me know their dating woes so I could ‘help’ them, (note the air quotes.)


First up is a Twitter friend of mine Beth, who has written:



Dear Dating Guru


Men just message me with “Hi” and expect a reply.  What’s that all about?  But what IS a good first message?

Loving your work.  You are absolute amazing and totally rock my world.*

Love you long time.




(* I’m paraphrasing somewhat.)



Well Beth, you’ve picked up on one of my (many, many) bugbears in the dating world … a complete lack of originality, effort and substance when it comes to men on dating sites.  If “Hi” is all you can come up with it really doesn’t bode well for actually dating does it?


I put on my profile once, “If you just say hi, I won’t reply,” but then figured that a) my poetic talents were wasted on that lot and b) once I started writing a list of things men shouldn’t do because it annoyed me, there’d be no room left for my actual profile.


But I feel your pain Beth.


I once had a conversation that went a little like this:


Him:          Hi.

Me:             Erm, hi?

Him:          How are you?

Me:             Good.  How are you?

Him:          Good.

Me:             This could go on for hours.


I actually lost the will to live round about “How are you?” and I decided to bail on the conversation with my sanity just about intact.


So what IS a good first message?


  • Guys, mention something a woman has said in her profile so she knows you’ve actually read it (rather than just spaffed over her photos.)
  • Ask her a question.  How is she finding the site?  What has she been up to today?  Just sound interested.
  • Compliments.  Who doesn’t like a compliment?  But avoid “nice tits” … not cool.
  • JUST BE NORMAL!!!  What would you normally say to a woman you’re interested in getting to know better?  It’s not rocket science … it’s just a dating site – how hard can it be?


What not to do:


  • Don’t just say “Hi” or “Hello” or “Fancy a f*ck?”  (I’m not making that last one up … and I didn’t fancy one, but thanked him for the offer.)
  • Don’t call a woman ‘babe’ or ‘hun’ or ‘hunni’ or any variation thereof.  It’s patronising and makes us want to punch you in the throat.
  • Don’t use text speak.  Use full words … it’s not too much to ask for is it?  IS IT???
  • Don’t say, “I’m such a boob man,”  (congratulations,) or “are u free? do u have a zest for life .. ? x”  because that’s just weird.


I could go on (and on) because I think I’ve had every variation of first message you could possibly ever have, but you get the gist.


So Beth, in summary, if a guy comes across as ‘normal’ or interested in you, and doesn’t’ just say “Hi” or “I’d tap that,” he might be worth at least five minutes of your time.  You’ll soon know if he’s a dullard, pic collector or crotch rubbing freak.


You can’t hide that shit, TRUST me!


Good luck girlfriend.  You’ll need it.




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Published by Kate Sutton

Writer, Mother, Dater.

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