Bearing the Cardinal Rule in mind, once you’ve found the potential girl of your dreams and you’re ready to make contact, Robinson advises that you treat your initial message like an opening line at a bar. “Keep it coy, genuine, and interesting,” she says. “‘Hey, what’s up?’ doesn’t cut it, but something like, ‘I can’t believe you met Ryan Gosling! Was it hard to form sentences around someone so attractive?’ is more likely to lead to a real conversation.”
Wendy, who actually posts to her Facebook status every time something absurd happens in her online dating saga, has developed her own three-pronged, winning formula that she both uses and responds to for contacting potential dates:
1. Hello, my name is… “You’d be surprised at how many people neglect to tell you their name,” she sighs. “If your handle is Scooby Doo, I don’t know what your name is, so when you’re introducing yourself, please tell me your name upfront.
2. Take a cue from her profile. “Reference what it was that made you think you and she might have something in common that made you want to reach out to them. ‘I saw your profile and found such and such really charming, or I saw that you like to hike and I just came back from hiking the Appalachian Trail.’” Adds Robinson, “Referencing her profile shows that you read all the way to the end, and care enough to pay attention.”
3. Tell me a little bit about yourself. “A couple of sentences to a small—and I stress small paragraph. Hope to hear from you soon. Actual name (not Scooby Doo).”
Wendy bemoans the socially awkward guys who feel the need to float their entire life story before her. She recalls a case of one who regaled her with an e-missive that went on paragraph after paragraph. “He threw everything up against the wall hoping that something would stick,” she says. “A dozen of his favorite movies, 17 of his favorite bands, a million examples of what he liked to eat, read, do. It was overwhelming.”
The flip side of the over-sharer is the losing lothario who opens with, “Hey, are you naked right now?” “If a guy IMs me with, ‘What RU doing tonight? RU horny?’ it’s obvious all he wants to do is porn chat,” says Wendy. “That’s not just wasting my time and yours, it’s actually making me angry. Say a guy who does that actually changes his mind? He actually reads her profile and decides he might want something more; that she might be the one? She’s always going to think of him as ‘the RU Horny Guy.’ Don’t be the RU Horny Guy.”