Even in a sea of bad first messages and worse ones, sometimes I do receive a piece of OkCupid email that makes me smile. Here are a few from my inbox that actually got a response — though they’re few and far between. Take that as a good sign, online daters.
For straight boys, for example, it’s a numbers game. Simply by existing as a woman on the site I receive a handful of unsolicited messages each day. Write something coherent, interesting, and personalized or cute and chances are you’ll rise above the crowd. Women may seem like sphinx-like enigmas — waiting to consume you, nom nom — but in fact we’re all waiting for you to write us about how much you like tofu sculptures (like ice sculptures, get it?)… at least, I am.
Message: “Hello! I’m not a couple, but I do love (a) vegetarian restaurants and (b) to bite people. How did you pick up on that from my profile? The little floating robot thinks we both like neutral milk hotel and by god he is correct, WELL DONE FLOATING ROBOT.”
Earned points for: This boy I “poked” first, but he’s the one who put out this brief but adorable, funny message. I can tell that, at least in internet land, our senses of humor match up nicely.
Message: “You seem like a colorful and fun person who I would like to be friends with. I live in the Sacramento area, but I do frequent the bay area once and awhile on weekends… So hopefully I didn’t talk your eyes off… hmmm…that doesn’t sound as good as I thought it would. Anyway, I hope that this message finds you in good spirits and that we might have a conversation soon.”
Earned points for: Tons of personal detail (not included here, to protect, as a voice from Nick-at-Night’s Dragnet will always say in my mind, the innocent), a bubbly personality, the willingness to be kooky.
Earned points for: Brevity, confidence, huggability. Admittedly, this sort of message really only says, “Hey, you look cool. Check out my profile.” But if that profile is equally fun and appealing, it works.
Earned points for: My profile used to mention, in the “I spend a lot of time thinking about” category, something along the lines of “sex… or puppies.” I’m a sucker for my own tactics, apparently, because this tidbit of a message made me way too happy.
Message: “Hiya! Saw you on my stalkers list. It’s handy! Thought you and your profile were cute and interesting… I used to live in SF for two years, and since I was vegetarian that whole time, I have a few suggestions… ps. welcome to the City!”
Earned points for: Casual, friendly premise for writing, personable, enthusiastic, but down-to-earth tone.
Message: “Hey, I like board games and steampunk and…
um, we might need to be friends.”
Earned points for: This is exactly the kind of message I would send someone. Well done! Hmm, this is like how I think curvy redheads are cute, isn’t it?