Some people seem to attract dates easily, while others find matchmaking an incomprehensible riddle. People who have been unsuccessful in trying to find a partner first-hand might try their luck at online dating, which takes a lot of the pressure of immediacy out of the situation. However, this avenue can often prove every bit as frustrating and fruitless.

This infographic from Commins & Co ( looks at the findings of a survey organized by OKCupid to detect discernible patterns in what makes an effective or ineffective first message on an online dating platform. This first obstacle is usually the hardest to jump, with many women having their inboxes inundated with messages, most of which do not portray the authors in a good light.

Online dating is not an exact science, but there certainly are trends which are worth noting if you’ve had no luck so far with finding a match. One of the biggest turn-offs is a message that’s rife with grammatical errors or ‘netspeak’. While online dating is meant to have a casual tone, littering a first message with misspellings like ‘wat’ or ‘luv’ makes the sender look uneducated and lazy.

Another major no-no is commenting on a person’s appearance in a first message. Even if this is meant in the nicest way possible, it will probably be interpreted as creepy. Instead, say something nice about their personality. This shows that you’re interested in something more than just a casual fling, while commenting about something in their profile or bio indicates that you’ve taken the time to read it. If you throw in a mutual interest or two, all the better.

See the full infographic below for further tips on what to say and, perhaps more importantly, what not to say before you click ‘send’ on that make-or-break first message.


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