Online Dating

Dear Emily,

I just recently signed up with OkCupid to give this online dating thing a try. I’m a newbie so I’m not up on all the rules and hidden rules. My question is would it be cool to tell a girl she’s cute in the first message? Are there any tips on what girls want to see in that first message?

Costa Mesa, CA

Dear Stan,

So glad you asked, because there are hidden rules on sending the first message. I’m sorry to tell you this, but telling a girl she’s cute in the first message does not fare well. In fact, studies have shown that women are turned off by compliments on their looks in the first message. You obviously think she’s cute if you’re messaging her. So, for the first contact, you should try to riff off something from her profile–“You say you like Mexico, what’s your favorite city? Mine is Sayulita. I just got back from spending 6 months traveling throughout Mexico…”
Show that you actually read her profile and are interested in her for something other than her looks. Because, while we know that it’s her looks that probably caught your attention….. she doesn’t want or need you to confirm that which she already knows. The most important thing is demonstrating that you found something interesting in her profile and conveying that in your message.

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