Introducing yourself in online dating

Dear Diva,
So I finally decided to give the online dating thing a try. I am just wondering what to say when I first write to a girl?… I mean isn’t she just going to look at the profile and decide if she wants to write back or not regardless of what is in the letter? I know you wrote a book about meeting men online so I was just wondering if there was anything you usually looked for with the guys you answered back?
Signed Stuck in St Louis

Dear Kickstart-your-heart,
It’s good you are trying to meet new people. I have to do my usual online dating warnings and tell you to use caution when giving out personal info and make sure your first meeting is in a open public place.
Now back to your question. Though the profile is important, see related article: Making an online dating profile
What you say in the letter does matter. I have had guys with great looking profiles write me awful things. There were other guys whose profiles didn’t look so amazing but something they said to me peaked my interest so I responded to them. Each person develops their own “system” for reading their mail. Some don’t look farther than the pic, I read every letter. Since everyone has their own idea of what “good looks like to them”, I will share with you the things I personally like and don’t when a man “approaches” me online.

1. It’s nice to know they actually read something about my profile. “I see you like Shiraz, I just tried a great one myself last week!” or “I have always wanted to try soaring, how long have you been interested in it?” Things like this show that you looked past the pic.

2. It bugs me when men that I have never had any contact with use pet names like “baby”, “sweetie”, or “honey” in an introduction email. I know they are trying to be cute and cool, but for some reason I just feel like those terms are a bit too familiar.

3. Too much information. It’s great to share something about yourself in the intro email, but keep it brief and simple. I once had a guy write 6 paragraphs in his first email. I found it a bit much.

4. I personally like it when a man uses good grammar and spelling in the intro and in his profile. Later on if we are IM’ing or we are texting- the “text talk” is ok but if the first letter says “Hey Babee- UR Hot” I will probably delete it no matter what his pic looks like.

5. If you don’t have a decent pic on your profile, attach one. ‘Nuff said.

6. This isn’t about initial contact, but spend some time on your own profile as well. Know what good looks like to you so you can attract that.

Hope this helps you get started. Be friendly, be casual, and be you. Don’t be afraid to say hi. Some will delete your letters with no response. That happens, it just wasn’t what “good looked like to them.” Don’t take it personally or be discouraged. Write back and let me know how your doing.
Love, Diva