Online Dating Openers: Gimmicky vs. Non-Gimmicky
Let’s talk about online dating openers. To be clear, an “online dating opener” is the content of your very first message you send to a woman online. It’s a big topic I get asked about often.
First let me dash your misconceptions. Online dating openers are not as important as you think they are. There seems to be a huge amount of concern and angst among guys about the “right” online dating opener to use. Seriously, it’s really not that important. If you do them wrong, then yes, it will damage response. However once you’re not doing them wrong, it’s very unlikely you’re going to see a spike in the amount of women you have sex with by improving them. More on this in a minute.
I go into much more specifics with opener techniques in my ebooks, but in general, the way to not do them “wrong” is to follow these four guidelines:
1. Keep your openers short. Max of 2-3 sentences. (Most of the openers I send, and I have tested many, are just two sentences long.)
2. Make sure your spelling and punctuation are perfect. (Women are really anal about this on online dating sites.)
3. Do not compliment her. Fight the urge. Don’t do it. If you can’t control yourself and absolutely must compliment her, make sure the compliment is not about her appearance, and make the compliment a guess rather than a statement. For example, instead of saying, “Obviously you’re very smart…”, you would say, “You seem smart…”
4. Don’t not get sexual in the opener in any way. (Save that stuff for later.)
That’s really it. Do those four things above and you’ve instantly wiped out 95% of the problems guys have with online dating openers.
Now to the real topic of this article, which is what to do or not do once you’re following those four guidelines.
Your opener has only two goals:
1. To not turn her off (by failing to follow the four guidelines above).
2. To get her to look at your profile.
Because of this, my openers are very simple. I’m not going to give you word-for-word examples here, but they essentially say in two sentences that she’s welcome to message me back if she likes. That’s really it. It’s very outcome independent and very simple. All I want the opener to do is to get her to look at my profile, because it’s my profile the does all the heavy lifting. A woman will message you or not based on your profile, not your opener. All your opener can do is disqualify you. It’s your profile that will get her to actually message you back.
Therefore, as long as it’s clear that most women receiving your opener are looking at your profile, your opener is “working”.
What a lot of guys will do is use “gimmicky” openers. These openers are fun, interesting, controversial, or different. They often run a little long and are very creative. I’ve seen a million of them. Some will talk about being a secret agent, others will pose interesting psychological questions, some will make predictions, and on and on.
Gimmicky openers do “work” in that they often will boost your response rates. However they do not “work” in that they don’t actually get you laid any more than standard openers. I’m very serious about this and I have empirical testing data both from myself and other guys to back this up. More importantly, never once have I seen a guy with a very creative opener actually put his cock into more women because of it. Yes, I have seen these guys pull down larger response rates, but in terms of actual first dates that happen and lays that happen, these guys are usually no better off than anyone else with decent online game.
These guys will often get excited because of “all the responses I’m getting!”, so they will continue with the gimmicky openers. They fail to realize that all this online activity doesn’t actually increase the amounts of dates or lays they’re getting. As I’ve been screaming loudly for many years now, online dating isn’t about talking to women online, it’s about getting laid.
“Well, so what?” you might ask, “What’s wrong with more responses?”
The problem, at least in my view, is that responses that don’t end up in real-life dates create work. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like work. I like sex. I like to get to the sex as fast as possible with the minimum amount of work required. Work is not the goal. Work is bad. (I’m talking about a dating context here, not a business context.)
Therefore the guy who gets three first dates by sending 100 openers with a 40% response rate is WORSE OFF than the guy who gets the same amount of dates from the same amount of openers with a 5% response rate. I know that might sound strange, but if you do the math on the time both men are spending, it’s 100% correct. The first guy will feel more successful, but he isn’t. He’s actually just wasting more time and working much harder for no reason (other than perhaps an ego boost if he’s a more emotional or extroverted guy). I’ve talked here before about how I can get laid, very fast and with very hot women, with as low as a 2% response rate(!). The response rate is not the goal. SEX is. Way too many guys are forgetting this.
If you disagree with me and can back up what you say with real stats and numbers, I’d be happy to hear your comments, but anything that increases response rate without also clearly increasing your first-date rate and lay ratios is not a good idea. This is why I personally avoid gimmicky openers.