The Secret To Online Success

Women, let a dating expert tell you why making a move via email can be the best idea ever—and how exactly to do it!

By Evan Marc Katz

n the latest edition of Mythbusters, we’re going to tackle a biggie that’s been around for thousands of years: the idea that women should never approach men first. What a quaint Victorian mind-set for this 21st-century computer age!

If you’re a believer in this “men write to women and not vice versa” theory, you’re probably thinking something like this: “Men pursue women. It’s been this way since the beginning of time.
Don’t miss out on half the online-dating experience!
They’re hunters. If they’re interested in me, they’re going to email me. Plus, the few times I wrote to men in the past, they didn’t write back, which hurt quite a lot. So instead, I’m going to wait for the right guys to contact me.” Does that sound about right? Good.

But as an online-dating coach who works with both men and women, I think this passive approach is fatally flawed. For the best results, consider these four reasons why you should write to someone who catches your eye — and a simple technique for how to do it well.

You’re on his favorites list already
A guy goes on, browses through 500 profiles and puts 100 women on his favorites list. He writes to ten of them and two write back. When those dates don’t pan out, he does another search and adds ten more women to his favorites list. He writes to five more. The process begins all over again. More women are being added and subtracted, but the list stays the same massive size.

Can you see how you could actually be on a man’s favorites list forever without his writing to you? If a guy is having success online, he doesn’t need to write to everyone. Thus, he may be attracted to you, but you’ll never know it if you sit and wait for him to write that first email.

In other words, you can wait for your teacher to call on you or you can raise your hand to get his attention. Which gives you a better chance of getting picked?

It makes his job a lot easier
You know that feeling when you go into your inbox and you receive a handful of messages from attractive, interesting men? It sure is great, isn’t it?

So is there any reason that a man wouldn’t like to receive unsolicited email from attractive, interesting women? Of course not. We love it. Not only does it make us feel attractive and put a boost in our day, but it’s tiring being the aggressor all the time, y’know?

It’s no big deal if he doesn’t write back
The fear of rejection keeps many women from emailing men. “What if he doesn’t answer?” they wonder. Let’s consider the other side of the coin to help answer that: Say you’ve received 20 messages and only responded to five of them. Do you think the 15 you
It’s not the content of your email, it’s the tone that matters.
didn’t reply to should feel terrible that you didn’t acknowledge them? I sure hope not.

So, then, why should you be heartbroken if you write to a guy who doesn’t write back? It doesn’t mean anything. This is the nature of online dating — a lot of people writing to a lot of people and hoping that the stars align. It’s the nature of dating in general, too — you meet people you’re interested in, and not all of them will be interested in you, and vice versa. To take rejection personally is to make a mountain out of a molehill. If a guy doesn’t write back, he’s clearly not your future husband. Next — move on!

You’re missing half of the online-dating experience
Imagine being in a store and only buying the clothes that the salesperson hands you, even though you like other clothes more. That doesn’t make much sense, does it? Even if the salesperson has great taste, you’d be staring at this other dress across the room and hoping it would leap into your arms, just because you like it. OK, you can see the holes in this strategy, right? Online dating is a great and level playing field. Men and women alike have so many options that it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. But the answer is not to recede into the crowd and hope to get his attention. It’s actually to have a great photo, a winning profile and a confident initial email. But it all starts with your saying hi. He’ll either write back or he won’t. Either way, it’s no big deal.

How to write an email that gets results
So, if you’re going write to a man, what’s the best way to do it? Well, if you were at a bar and saw someone cute across the room, what would you do to meet him? Would you leave the bar and hope he chases you outside? Or might it make more sense to cross the room in front of him, plant yourself eight feet to his diagonal, turn, smile, and make eye contact? By being proactive, you have given him the unspoken invitation to approach you, yet you have remained in full control. There is no form letter; it’s really a matter of tone, not content. The tone shouldn't be “Hey Jeff102, You’re sooo cute, and your profile is really amazing. I think we have a lot in common. Please look at my profile and if you like what I have to say, maybe you can write back to me. I hope to hear from you soon. Nancy.” The tone should be “Hey, J. [Add some specific observation/opinion on a detail in his profile.] Talk to you soon. Nancy.” Think along the lines of “This is your lucky day,” not “I would be lucky to have you write back to me.”

By writing a confident email that assumes success and makes him smile, you are giving him the invitation to approach you. Isn’t that a much more powerful option than hoping to get picked from a lineup of thousands?

Dating coach Evan Marc Katz is the author of Why You're Still Single: Things Your Friends Would Tell You If You Promised Not To Get Mad. You can reach him at and read his blog at
Related Articles

print send feedback subscribe to
What kind of relationship are you looking for?

Marriage—I'm definitely looking for The One.

I'd like a committed, serious relationship, but not marriage.

I want someone to have fun with—I'm not ready to settle down.

Browse singles in your area.
About | Your Privacy | Terms of Use
Contact Us | Advertise with Us | Become an Affiliate

Copyright 2011, L.L.C.

partner sites:  HSN  Citysearch  Evite  Expedia  Hotels  Ticketmaster  ReserveAmerica  Hotwire   LendingTree 
Entertainment  TripAdvisor  CondoSaver  TravelNow  ClassicVacations  LiveDaily  Udate