If you thought sending that first message via your online dating app was terrifying, think again; it’s now up to you to keep the conversation with your latest beau flowing, or risk ending up on that virtual shelf yet again. While the consequences of fluffing your lines, or saying something silly aren’t quite as dramatic as they sound, it certainly helps if you know how to navigate instant messaging.
Allow us to introduce you to the fine art of conversation, dating site style…
We are, by nature, pretty egotistical creatures, and generally like to talk about ourselves when given the opportunity. Perhaps the best way to engage your ‘messagee’ in conversation is to ask them about themselves, choosing open questions that are going to inspire all kind of answers. Don’t be afraid to stray from the basics if you have to, or to flirt a little along the way – although make sure you’ve judged the situation correctly. Indeed, those first few messages are your chance to discover all manner of things about your potential partner. Just be sure that they reciprocate your curiosity.
Bonus points if… your questions correlate to your recipient’s profile. Asking them to elaborate on hobbies and favourite things shows you’ve read, and taken an interest in their profile.
Be honest, and open
We cannot stress this enough; unless you’re faced with a life or death situation, which, let’s face it, is unlikely, it really does pay to tell the truth when you’re venturing online. Lies have a funny way of revealing themselves, and there are very few online daters that are able to maintain a web of deceit for very long. What’s more, it’s much easier to keep a conversation going if you’re not always having to remind yourself what you’ve told various people. If it’s the truth, you’ll always have the answer; start spinning stories now, and your conversation will fall flat on its face.
You’ll feel better if… you admit a few of the flaws you’re most embarrassed about, or ashamed of. This is your match’s opportunity to share their own insecurities, and for the pair of you to form a bond.
Recognise when it might be time to move on
Of course, there will come a time when you start to realise that those one-word answers and dismissive comments should probably be taken as a sign; perhaps he or she just isn’t that into you. If you’re working hard to maintain a conversation that just isn’t happening, our advice would be to cool off a little. After all, there’s nothing more off-putting than someone who just isn’t getting the hint. After a little time has lapsed you may find that this particular person begins to message you again, perhaps reinvigorated with conversation starters and questions they just have to ask you. If not, reassure yourself that there are plenty more fish in the sea. Who knows, you may just find yourself in the easiest conversation of your life.
Don’t be tempted to… refresh your inbox every ten minutes to see if they’ve messaged back. If the conversation has become strained you’ll do yourself no favours obsessing about it.