How Not to Message a Stranger on Facebook

What?!? This isn't a video post!!!

I know, I know...but I grossly underestimated how much editing time I'd need on that bitch, so she's coming okay?

In the meantime, however, I have this post. I should warn you, it's full of what one might call "snark", and some might feel like I'm being a little howyousay "rude" with my comments. 

BUT, I get probably 4,598 people a week (okay, three) asking me questions about online dating, how to write profiles, and of course, how to write that all-important first when I got this gem on Facebook, I thought it could work as a teaching opportunity.

And yes, of course, I blurred out the guy's picture and info. (I'm actually still not convinced it's NOT spam...I'm pretty sure he ran his original message through Google translator, too, so whatevs. Onward.)

Here's the message first:

Aaaand, let's break it down, shall we?

"Hi beautiful" is actually okay, though a bit forward. Fortunately, I enjoy being called beautiful, so this works in his favor.

If "hi beautiful" was a little forward, "Hello Sexy" is definitely so. And now I'm thinking you only care about my smokin' bod and not at all about my insides...which are super wonderful, FYI.

OK, fair enough. This is a pretty standard opener for online dating approaches, and that's kind of nice to hear, because it means I wrote something of particular interest to the person contacting me. Always a bonus, right?

(My two cents, though? Be specific. Let the person know a few details about what you liked. For all I know, this dude just liked that I have a lot of friends or whatever. Give me something to work with, guy.)

Why, hello Run On Sentence, nice to meet you. OK, OK, I know I can be a little less judgmental about people's grammar, and like I mentioned before, it's entirely possible that English is not his first language, but I'd just like to say, "No, dude, I do NOT understand. You were once married and once had a son? Or you still have the son? I can't tell, and that's kind of important to me to know whether or not you have a kid (also, that's a sad story if you no longer have the son, for realsies). I also don't know what a 'real woman of your heart' is. I know I'm a real woman, last I checked. No cyborg parts here. Yet." But at least we have something in common...I also do not like "drama's or fakes"...especially in my art or handbags.

I also enjoy the beach, but am not familiar with offcourse clubbing. Is this like a baby seal thing? That's a hobby that is more or less morally offensive to me.

No, I will not put relocating first. Maybe we can talk about this on, like, our forty-fifth date when I am actually not afraid that you're a murderer. And seriously, if you want to kill me that bad, you can move to Columbus. We like gay people here, have the number one zoo in the country, and our football team is...wait, nevermind about the football team. Um, we have great restaurants.

You should keep praying about that. Because this whole "working out between us" thing seems a little pre-emptive, dontcha think? Maybe you should first pray that I don't delete you in the face.

Yikes. Have you seen a doctor about that? Actually, this might work in our favor, since my heart is two sizes too small.

See, now this? I agree with. Very lovely, indeed.

Why do dudes think they can do this!?! What's with the physical mentions in the first contact? In general, women want some sort of emotional connection first, and here you are, going straight for the make-out. And the L word? Already? Erg.

All right, all right. I went a little over the top there on some of this, but here are the lessons you can actually glean from this disaster:

1. First "Intro" type messages should be short. Not two lines or just a "hey" (that gives a girl or guy NOTHING to work with), but again, should just be a general introduction with a smattering of detail. "I'm so and so, and I thought your profile was really funny. I saw you like books by Terry Prachett. Have you read any by Douglas Adams? They have a pretty similar sense of humor. My personal favorite is The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul" That's it. Done.

2. Closings should be short and sweet, too. "Anyway, thanks for taking a second to read. Sincerely, A Dude (or Lady)." You've already asked a question in the body of the email, and chances are, if he's/she's interested, she'll answer.

3. Avoid too many physical compliments. We know you must like something about the pictures, otherwise you probably wouldn't message. I had one dude once tell me that he "stared at my pictures for hours just wondering what [you] were like." Glad you think I'm attractive...not so glad that you're presenting yourself as a total stalker. One of the best conversations I had with a guy online involved only ONE compliment on my appearance over a three week period. It was kind of nice.

4. Talk less about your "dealbreakers" or must-haves (at first). I think the dudes who are the hardest to talk to online are the ones who make a huge fucking list of "don'ts" or are like, "Girls are so awful and fake, I hope you're not like that." Awesome! I can't wait to defy the awful standards set by the one bad person you dated! Because that's not too much pressure AT ALL. (SARCASM FONT) If you've been burned in the past, well, we all have to some degree. But wearing your hurt all over your profile and messages is actually a lot more scary than it is endearing. I promise.

5. Don't gush (yet). There is no way I'm the ONLY woman that guy has ever emailed online. The tone is so over the top, it's completely unbelievable that he just wants ME. You don't know me. In fact, if we're being honest, I know I'm a whole lot to handle (I'm a busy girl who is pretty driven to get what she wants...that's hard to keep up with sometimes), so I'm pretty sure that if I'm already a woman who would never put relocating to your neck of the woods first, I'm probably not your type...and declaring your love and whatnot all up front only sets YOU up for disappointment.

So there you have it! Any questions? :)