What NOT to say in your online dating messages!


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All relationships are built on good communication and in the world of online dating the first few messages you exchange are all important in deciding whether this is a match to pursue or one to discard.

It’s important to bear in mind that the messages you send a match are the first impression they’re going to get of you (apart from the information contained in your profile). Take some time to compose your message and avoid these common mistakes.


Some people think it’s worth sending a message to every match they receive regardless of whether they’re genuinely interested. Instead of sitting down and writing a well thought out message they send a generic email that could be sent to absolutely anyone. While casting your net wide may eventually land you a good catch it’s more likely to leave you with an empty net. People want to know that you read their profile and that  something unique about them caught your attention.

Before you write a message to a match ensure that you’ve really read their profile and found something in it that you connect with. Once you’ve written a message, read it back and make sure there’s something in there that shows it’s meant especially for the person you’re contacting.

Personal information

The first exchanges of messages are simply to establish whether there’s a mutual interest and if you both feel it’s worth arranging to meet up. Only once you meet face to face you’ll discover whether there’s a vital spark between you which could indicate a potential romance.

Avoid giving any personal information before you have met and established a firm connection. Swapping mobile numbers or social media profiles is fine if it helps you feel more comfortable about meeting, but steer clear of giving out information like your home or workplace address.  Your instincts may tell you that someone is trustworthy but in the early stages of communication it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Sexual connotations

Men tend to do this more often than women. A bit of gentle flirting is good but starting an email with something like ‘Hi honey, you look hot in your photos’ is liable to turn a woman off rather than on.  People using eHarmony are generally looking for a serious relationship rather than a cheap thrill and will tend to vie away from a match that comes on too strong.

Avoid sexual references, promises or discussions on email and remember, what you write online stays online.

Bad English

Try to avoid text speak, bad English, slang or poor grammar in your messages. If your spelling isn’t very good, write your message in Microsoft Word first and put it through a spell checker.

A poorly written email suggests that you couldn’t be bothered putting in much effort. It’s the number one reason people give for ignoring correspondence. If you want a reply, write something worth replying to.

 Your life story

A message that’s too long is unlikely to be read at all. There’s no need to give someone your entire life story, or even the sound bites. Keep it short and focus more on enquiring about them than telling them all about you. If they’re interested they’ll ask you questions and a rapport will develop. Don’t reveal too much too soon or you may find you’re lost for things to talk about when you do eventually meet.

An introductory email should be about 3-5 sentences long. In further correspondence make your replies around the same length as the one you received and remember to answer any questions you match asked.


If this article gave you the confidence to find your match, try eHarmony today!

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