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You winked, he winked and wrote ...

Posted Sep 11 2008 5:37pm

You winked, he winked and wrote an e-mail saying “What’s up?” So now what do you write? I’ll tell you what not to write: “Nothing. What’s up with you?

This is a list of the seven things you should avoid or be sure to do in your e-mails.

1. He can start the conversation, but so can you. Show initiative and start the conversation. In life being passive never pays so if you’re interested write him and say so. You could write something like: “I’ll tell you the boldest thing I’ve done if you tell me yours. I’m interested in getting to know you.”

2. Asking a lot of good questions. Talking too much about yourself is a huge turnoff. Wait to be asked questions before giving your speech “So, about me.” He looked at your profile and knows a little about you already, he’ll be more interested if you ask him why his favorite author is David Sedaris or why he lived in Japan for so long.

3. Keep him guessing about you, but not for that long. It’s good to keep him intrigued, but if you wait too long to return his e-mail or call he may forget about you and move on to the next match. If you ask him to tell you about the boldest thing you’ve ever done, be sure to tell him about yours within a few days after he does. In this same vein, if he asks for your number or to meet you, don’t wait a week to respond.

4. Avoid the e-mail love affair. Many people give good e-mail. It’s exciting to log into your e-mail account and find three new e-mails from this new, interesting guy. But what happens when you fall for the e-mail version of him, but meet the real him and have zero attraction? I suggest meeting him after the first five or so e-mails. You’ll be bummed to lose an e-mail lover you’ve grown attached to.

5. Copy and Paste: Don’t. You’re likely to make a mistake if you send the same “about me” e-mail to three online matches. A friend of mine did this and she sent the same e-mail to one guy twice AND she didn’t change the name at the top. He never wrote back.

6. Just the right size. One complaint a lot of men have about women is that they talk too much. Although I’ve seen studies showing that men talk more than women, I do know from experience that some guys get freaked out by “chatty Patty.” Don’t write a long e-mail until he does. Once he does (if he does) then you’ll know he has the patience for it. I suggest keeping the e-mail to two short paragraphs.

7. Send an e-mail after the first date. I think it’s nice to get a follow up e-mail even if I’m not interested. It’s a polite thing to do.

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