5 Things to Stop Saying in Online Dating Messages (and What to Say Instead!)

unhappy person talking to someone over the phone

You’ve signed up for an online dating account on Catholic Singles. After picking out your best profile pictures and filling out your online dating profile, you’re ready for the next step. It’s time to send that first message!

But knowing just what to say in your online dating messages could leave you wondering. What should you say? Creating a great first message to send to that Catholic man or woman who has caught your attention is something we’re here to help with. Today, let’s start by taking a look at what not to say when it comes to online dating messages.

Here are five things you should avoid when it comes to sending that first message on an online dating site, and some alternative options to send instead!

1. The same message you sent someone else

unhappy person talking to someone over the phone

Talking to more than one person while you’re logged into your online dating profile isn’t a bad thing. In fact, we encourage it. However, don’t aim for efficiency by starting all of your online dating conversations off the same way. Instead of starting with the same one-liner, take time to read through someone’s profile before hit send on your first message.

Read more: How To Navigate Talking To Multiple People With Class And Grace

Reading through someone’s profile intentionally before sending a message is a great decision for a few reasons. First, it’s a good way to get to know more about someone. Second, it often provides the perfect starting place for your first conversation together. Maybe the person you want to connect with loves traveling. You could open the conversation by asking about their favorite trip, and share a little bit about a trip you took recently. If they mention their love of a certain type of food, you could share about your favorite thing to cook, or a fun fact about a favorite restaurant they might like.

Starting off with more than a cut-and-paste line lets the other person know you’re interested in getting to know them and their unique experience and story.

2. Cheesy pickup lines

unhappy person talking to someone over the phone

I know, romantic comedies have taught us that cute and cheesy pick up lines are the way to go when meeting someone new. However, just because it worked for Will Smith in Hitch doesn’t mean it’s a good way for you to get to know someone you’re interested in on an online dating site.

But not all pickup lines are created equal. While the cheesy, canned variety should be avoided, that doesn’t mean you should write off all pickup lines. In fact,the most effective pickup line according to researchers might surprise you.

“Researchers at the University College London tested hundreds of pick up lines ranging from sweet and cheesy to flat out sleazy and they found that the single best pick up line for both men and women is: Hello, how are you? It’s really that simple,” Vanessa Van Edwards, a national best selling author and founder at Science of People, explains. “That question works because it’s easy for the other person to answer, it’s appropriate, it’s non-invasive and it shows you’re interested in hearing about them.”

Once you start a conversation, you can ask follow up questions to keep the conversation going past that first message. Looking for inspiration? Ask them about what a day at work is like for them, or what their favorite way to spend a weekend is.

3. Getting way too serious way too soon

unhappy person talking to someone over the phone

As a Catholic single interested in online dating, you’re probably also interested in discerning a vocation to marriage with someone. That’s great! We’re glad you’re here, and online dating is a wonderful way to meet someone. However, the first few messages back and forth with someone isn’t the right time to discuss discerning marriage together. This is the first message, not the proposal, after all.

Yes, talking about discerning family size, debt, and past wounds are important. Those conversations need to take place, especially as you get to know someone better. But those shouldn’t be conversations you have with someone the first time you talk to them.

Read more: 18 Easy Conversation Starters For Catholics

Instead of asking someone how many kids they would want or if they can see themselves discerning a call to marriage with you, have a conversation about something that helps you get to know them better. Do they have a favorite movie or book? Who is their favorite saint? These kinds of questions can help you learn more about who they are without getting too serious too soon.

4. Statements without a question

unhappy person talking to someone over the phone

More than likely, you’re wanting to connect with someone on an online dating site because you’re interested in them. You find them attractive, something caught your attention in their profile, or you share common interests and opinions. You probably want this message to lead to a conversation, instead of sitting in their inbox with no response.

To make sure your first message leads to a second, third, and fourth message, try including a question to keep the conversation going.

“Don’t just make a statement in your message; ask a question,” Dr. Martin Graff, a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of South Wales, recommends. “Asking a question allows someone to respond, which is more difficult with a statement. And use the recipient’s name—it’s friendlier.”

5. A one word message

unhappy person talking to someone over the phone

“Hey.”

“Hi.”

“Whatsup?”

“HYD”

Nope.

You don’t need to pen a novel in the first message by any means, but a message that would earn just a few points on Scrabble may not be the best. Take the time to write an intentional sentence. Remember, online dating isn’t a shopping experience. The person you’re messaging is a real person with interests, passions, opinions, and a story to share. They’re a person, not a profile picture, and your first message should honor their dignity.

Instead of sending a one word opening line, try a few genuine sentences. Start off with saying hello, but then keep going. Offer a genuine compliment, and finish off with a question. This simple and sincere way to make a great first connection.

Ready to send that first message? With an online dating profile on Catholic Singles, you can send a message without having to get your wallet. Messages between mutual favorites are always free, and we’re the only established Catholic dating platform to offer something like this! Download the Catholic Singles app and start messaging other single Catholics today. 

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