All of my single girlfriends who are doing the online dating thing know my golden rule: Don’t be afraid to message him first. I once used this strategy and ended up dating one guy for two-and-a-half years. He told me shortly after we got together that he wanted to message me first, but was too intimidated and assumed I would just blow him off.
Ten months ago, my best friend followed my golden rule and reached out to a guy. He said that he had never seen her profile pop up on the site before, and was actually about to cancel his membership. Today, he’s no longer on the site—because his relationship with my BFF is still going strong. “He says that me reaching out to him made me seem really confident and like I knew what I wanted,” she says.
And now, some hard data can back up our winning strategy: Online dating site OKCupid took a gander at their members’ activity and found that women who initiate conversations, as opposed to men, are 2.5 times more likely to get a response. Plus, the fellas fielding their message are likely to be more “attractive” (by OKCupid’s standards) than the ones hitting up their inboxes uninvited.
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But here’s the rub: Women are still 3.5 times less likely than men to make the first move. Ugh!
Single gals, I’m begging you: If you’re looking for a great guy, stop wasting time reading through your inbox on OKCupid, Match, Happn, Hinge, or whatever site or app you’re using, and start proactively going after what you want. That means messaging guys first in the virtual world, and yes, approaching them in the real, live, 3-D streets, too. If you go after who you find attractive and interesting at first glance, rather than fielding the advances of all the guys that find you attractive and interesting, you’ll up your odds of meeting the person who’s right for you.
I know the idea of hitting on a guy—either online or IRL—can be intimidating at first, but just think of it this way: Men have to overcome that hurdle, too. And as we all know very well, anything they can do, we can do better. So go show ‘em how it’s done.