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Posted September 6, Reviewed by Ekua Hagan. The next stage is either to sit and wait to be contacted by a potential date, or to look through the site and proactively start sending messages to potential dates yourself.
Surely, one of the things any online dater would want to know is what type of first contact message is most likely to draw a positive response. Should it be humorous, should it be factual, or should you just introduce yourself? Further, exactly how much should you say about yourself in this message? The researchers carried out an ambitious analysis offirst-contact messages sent by 3, users. The suggest that the likelihood of a first message receiving a response depends on several factors:. If you are the recipient of a first-contact message on a dating site, is it better to play it cool and not show too much initial interest, and make the message sender wait a while for a reply?
Contrary to what we might think, it has been demonstrated that eager replies are not perceived as a turn-off. Rather, the faster the reply to a message, the more likely it is that communication will continue Fiore, Taylor, Xhong, Mendelsohn, and Cheshire, Are there gender differences in who is more likely to make first contact?
In their study, Hitsch, Hortacsu and Ariely found that:.
When it comes to responding, Fiore et al found that males replied to more first-contact messages than females 26 percent compared to 16 percent. These gender differences may be ed for in terms of error management theory Haselton and Buss, This theory suggests that because of the relative risks that reproduction poses to males and females, males tend to overestimate female sexual interest known as an overperception bias. Because reproduction poses a greater risk to females, they have evolved to be more cautious and judicious during interactions with males. Further, despite the fact that those using online dating reported that they do not necessarily pursue the most attractive partners, Hitsch and colleagues noted that online daters pursue people who they find to be most desirable, rather than those who match them in terms of attractiveness.
In other words, those using online dating attempt to find the best and most attractive date they can instead of looking for someone similar to themselves in terms of attractiveness.
In face-to-face communication, if we ask someone a question and are ignored, we'd consider such behavior to be rude. However, in the online dating world, it is not uncommon for messages to go unanswered and ignored, and such behavior is not normally considered to be offensive. One possible reason for this is the degree of online disinhibition Suler, users experience in an environment in which they feel relatively anonymous.
Even relatively impersonal responses such as simply saying "no, thank you," with no explanation are considered acceptable. Some people using online dating sites may not look at their messages that often or may have found someone and left the dating site altogether, even though their profile is still present. Each of these things may for their failure to reply.
Fiore, A. Hasselton, M. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology78 1 Hitsch, G. What makes you click? Mate preferences in online dating. Quantitative Marketing and Economics8, — The role of linguistic properties in online dating communication—A large-scale study of contact initiation messages.
Suler, J. The online disinhibition effect.
Cyberpsychology and Behaviour7 3 Martin Graff, Ph. Martin Graff Ph. Love, Digitally. References Fiore, A. About the Author. Online: My WebsiteTwitter. Read Next. Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help. Personality Passive Aggression Personality Shyness. Family Life Child Development Parenting.
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Modern Guide to Dating After 50