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How to reply to an online dating message

Friday March 20, 2015

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Er meh gerd! You so, like, totes got a message!

So how do you like, y’know, respond n stuff?

Congratulations. You’ve clearly been reading my advice and written an awesome profile, your photos look good and you’ve been rewarded with a message!

I’m going to assume it’s not spam or a one liner in the frame of ‘u is ht. wd luv 2 hk up!’
How do you respond in order to extend the conversation into more engaging realms?
Listen carefully because I’m going to guide you.

First up:


You’ve heard of the 3 day rule? The idea that 3 days is the perfect balance between not wanting to appear over eager and your correspondent losing patience?

It’s rubbish. Ignore it. We live in the internet age. Sometimes we’re too busy to respond for days. Other times we can respond right there and then. But please do reply as soon as you can. If it takes a while to reply then say so and perhaps why. If you’re worried you’ll seem to keen try “Perfect timing. I’d just logged in.” Playing games before you’ve even started chatting is a little, well, dim witted.


You’ve got the easy part of the deal here. Whoever sends the first message has done the hard part. Everything you need is in the message you’ve received (see my previous assumption).

Answer them. Someone has taken time, after seeing your profile among the thousands of others, to work out a way to try and pique your interest. Answer any questions they’ve asked. Ask them a few back. Feel free to expand a little but don’t ramble on. Remember, it’s early days. Oh, and be honest!


Key word: Briefly. I don’t mean yup, nope, good thanks. But you have to leave something for that all important meet up. Because you’re an optimist and this is the point of dating online.

Acknowledge that you do indeed have great affection for Ken Dodd and his comedic brilliance. You don’t need to write a theoretical analysis of clown theory. And yes, Wolverhampton is a wonderful place to live with its small but impassioned Goth scene but there’s no need for an entire thesis on northern sub-cultures from 1985-present.
Be nice. Be succinct.

How now?

Okay you want more on the how. Fine.

Be positive. The person has contacted you because they’re curious and want to know you better. What they don’t want is an electronic Victor/Victoria Meldrew whingeing about everything that makes this world so dark/painful/depressing.

Be friendly and woo with your wonderfully wistful self. And that’s pretty much all there is to it. Obviously, write properly. If you have to, get a friend to check it over. A brilliantly written profile and then a grammatically grotesque reply will ring alarm bells. Consistency is important. Just don't let it become mundane.

The rest is up to you.

And if you're finding online dating and Tinder to be a total bore you could certainly do a lot worse than coming speed dating in London. You'll actually meet people and that's a great start!




The beauty of Speed Dating London lies in its no-nonsense approach. You take an equal number of single girls and guys, put them in a room and give them a few minutes to chat with every other member of the opposite sex.

When you get there

Original speed dating events in London normally begin at 7.30pm. You will need to register with our hosts and to begin with they will issue you with a score sheet. This will help you to keep track of the singles that you would like to meet again and perhaps go on a date with. After a short period of mingling, your host for the evening who will run through detailed instructions and give you your starting position if you are a guy or table for the event if you are a girl.

Meet & Mingle

A London speed dating event is split into two halves, each lasting around an hour, there will be an interval at half time of about 15 minutes for speed dating London. You will have between 4 and 5 minutes with each person, after which you need to tick a box on your score sheet - "yes, I would like to meet this person again" or "no. Thanks but no thanks". Or "friend" if you'd like to get to know them platonically. Make sure that you do this after each date to keep track. Afterwards there is an opportunity for everyone to meet and mingle informally - this is often where the real action begins, so make sure you don't disappear too quickly!

Complete your score sheet

After the event you simply tick who you liked on the Original Dating website and the site works about your matches automatically. If the dates you have ticked as a "yes" have reciprocated you have a match. You will be able to view the first names and message them via our site online without revealing your email address until you are ready to. You'll be having proper first dates in no time.