A few weeks ago, while returning from out of town to Richmond, I was graced with the following message via OkCupid:
Hey, I'm Rachel :-) I would assume a lot of women start out with a hypothetical relationship question, but I'm curious.. say it were the end of the world, and we were the last 2 people, and there was nothing to eat except for the little bunny in front of us, how would you kill me for the food?
I nearly drove off the interstate, except I didn’t because I was at a red light because that’s the only time I look at my phone while driving.
How would I kill you???
Welcome back to Tinder conversations. The technology we 20-somethings supposedly celebrate for convenience and immediacy also opens another can of sauerkraut: Conversation openers. We can stalk your profile all day, but eventually, if we’re interested enough, we have to make contact.
A question that has plagued scientists for ages – how we do communicate with intelligent life? – now faces the dating demographic. And in this case, binary code and pictographs aka emojis won’t cut it.
The cliché frontrunners for first contact are “Hello” and “Hi.” You don’t get any bonus points by including a smiley. Having been the recipient of these sorts of messages, I would like to say, this gives me nothing to work with. Multiple women post disclaimers in their profiles demanding that men not message them if all you’re going to say is “Hey, what’s up?” I get why now.
So, similarly, I demand more effort from my female courters.
Tacking on a comment about my physical attributes doesn’t work either. I once received this message:
Hello there, how are you? Lovely eyes you have
I responded, “All the bigger to see you with.” She didn’t respond.
Actually, I just never replied to her.
And going straight for my physical attributes may be even worse. Also received once upon a time:
I’m sorry, are you going to add something there? If this were Microsoft Word, there would be green squiggly that says, “Sentence fragment.”
Novellas also are not received well.
I'm kind of glad I'm not the only one who enjoys really sad stories or songs in my case. You should check out Whiskey Lullaby by Brad Paisley, Lighthouse's Tale by Nickel Creek and Love Vigilantes by Iron and Wine. The imagery in Lighthouse's Tale is completely amazing. I've actually got a sketch and mood/story board inspired by it. And I don't know too much about your movie tastes or if you ever watch chick flicks but P.S. I Love You gets me every time.
(Paragraph break, otherwise known as a moment to catch my breath.)
One more thing: After reading your profile just now I'm super craving some salmon and lox which I haven't had in forever so thanks a lot. Not fair lol
Holy crap. I feel like I just sprinted uphill to keep up with this introduction – and then directed on a scavenger hunt of songs to listen to before I reply – besides being told my profile is tasty. Sounds fishy. Literally.
If you’re going to reference my profile (which I do encourage), you should keep it casual and avoid paragraph vomit like the above.
Hi :) I liked your pictures. You like bubble tea and have a cute dog. What do you do? Did you go to school?
This is borderline too much:
You seem like an incredible person to spend time around. I'm still baffled that you're a self-proclaimed extrovert. As an outgoing introvert, my mind is just blown. What kind of yoga are you into? How long have you been writing? - Kay
Kay could have skipped the middle part – dissecting my extroversion – and just posed her questions along with that compliment about my “incredible” personality.
In fact, complimenting someone is always the best way to go.
You sound like your a blast! I think the rest of us could stand to borrow a little of your energy.
Except consult spell check, because it’s “you’re.”
Here’s someone who masters spelling and exudes classy casualness in her message:
Hey! How's your snow day going? I am with you on the balcony chilling - the best setting for Friday nights, though this is more of a cozy coffee shop kinda week. - Meryl
Meryl and I actually met up. Probably because she didn’t ask me how I would eat her.