Finding True Love Online
Sample Excerpt

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Talking To People From All Over the World

When you join the fun, wild and wacky world of online dating, chances are high that the person you meet may be halfway across the globe. You may find yourself talking to people with different creeds, cultures and traditions. The language barrier may also come into play even if the person speaks and writes good English. Some meanings get lost in translation. That's why it is necessary to watch what you say so you will know what is and what is not offensive to them. If you aren't careful, just one word may be the end of it all. Who knows? That person may be the one for you. You could lose all your chances for a happier life just because you said the wrong things. It is important to have an open mind.

Since your form of communication is the written kind, it is important that you use the right words all the time. It will also help you to learn how to make a good impression with what you write; here are some reminders and tips to help you improve in making good conversation through the written word.

  • Making the first move

Whatever method of communication the online dating site uses, like e-mail or online chatting, what you say is important. You can always keep it simple. Just saying "hi" and telling the person that you found his or her profile interesting would do. Say that you're interested in getting to know him or her better.

Mention something in his or her profile that caught your eye. This shows that you definitely read it. Tell the person why you found it interesting and say something about yourself briefly that you can connect to his or her profile, or something both of you have in common.

For example, a man can say, "Hi, My name is Fred. I noticed in your profile that you like cars. That picture of you with your black Lexus looked really great! What did you do to make it look so shiny? I'm into cars myself, I like to spend time tinkering with them. Maybe we can talk sometime. Until then."

This introduction is short, simple and mentions something both the writer and the addressee have in common. This letter would probably intrigue the reader to spur him or her into action and reply to the writer. Then that's it, don't push too much; if the other party doesn't answer right away, give them the benefit of the doubt. They may be busy so don't take it as a rejection. However, you have to be prepared for this. Be patient and just keep on trying on the next profiles that catch your attention.

If they do answer back, then good for you. You can pick your next topic from their response. If they find that talking about your opening topic is interesting, then capitalize on that. However, don't dwell on that particular topic too much; try to pick out some other topics from their profile as well. Your objective is to get to know the other person better. Don't hesitate to ask questions but don't make it too personal at first. Deeper topics can be reserved after both of you are comfortable with each other. Questions can keep the conversation going. This also shows that you are indeed interested in the person.

  • Trust your instincts

If you're on the receiving side of the message and there are people sending you messages, you are under no obligation to answer those that stir something in your gut feeling. If you do not feel comfortable, or if something feels wrong, do not answer the message. The person might be out to harm you.

No matter how handsome or beautiful the person looks in their photo, this doesn't mean that they're honest. Also, always notice the tone of your conversations. If the messages have become too personal and assertive or sexual innuendos are being inserted that make you feel uncomfortable, cut off all communications with the other person right away.

This is the great thing about online dating; you can always decide not to reply to a person and end the communication with them. You are not required to reply and you don't have to explain why. If you don't feel comfortable with the person then just stop.

Try to remember, if it doesn't feel right, stop. Move on. There are thousands of other members and you will definitely find someone for you. Always trust your intuition and judgment. If still unsure, ask your friends' guidance or those that you have met and trust online who have prior experience with online dating.

  • Open-looped and Close-looped messages

It is important to read between the lines. Some people respond to messages because they are equally interested and some do because they just want to be polite. If the reply that you received is somewhat bland and cold, chances are high that he or she is not interested, especially when the reply doesn't come with a question. This is known as a closed-looped message.

Close-looped messages mean that the message seems to be a big period. The person replying does not ask any questions and seems to be ending the conversation. It is up to you if you want to pursue it further. Some people may use close-looped messages to probe or screen other people. However, if you do write back but the reply is still the same closed-looped style and it takes a long time for you to receive an answer, this may mean that they're really not interested and are just being polite.

If the reply is upbeat, and there is a question asking something about you or your interests, then this may mean that the other person is willing and interested in pursuing a friendship. If this happens, then pat yourself on the back for a job well done. Try to keep it up as much as possible.

This sequence can also happen the other way around. If you're not interested, then you can send a close-looped reply. You're not under obligation to answer but you can do so to be polite or to soften the blow. Remember you may choose not to reply if you don't want to but it still pays to be polite even in cyberspace.

The key to having a successful online conversation is showing that you are truly interested. Doing a little research usually helps. Know what the likes and dislikes of the other person are. Do some knowledge-hunting about it. It is not enough to keep on talking about yourself. In a face-to-face conversation, most people do not like other people who keep on talking about themselves. They want to be drawn out of their shells

If the person sees that you have devoted some time and effort to keeping the conversation going, then they may be impressed and want to talk to you more. This would not be just about mutually interesting topics but probably other topics that they specifically like. They're likely to open up some more.

For example, if your potential friend is into basketball, you can try to learn more about some statistics and some players' profiles, especially about his or her favorite players and teams. By doing so, you can add more to the conversation and ask intelligent questions. If you're not really interested in basketball, it's okay, you can keep the conversation going by asking more questions about the sport. You can always say you're very curious about the sport and would like to find out more about it.

However, don't just stop there; talking about one topic too much can be very boring. Try to open yourself up bit by bit. If they feel uncomfortable about the topic, or don't respond well to your questions, move on.

Always remember to proofread your messages and check for spelling before sending them. If you are too sloppy and your message is full of errors, they may think that you are uneducated. They may also think you're not willing to go the extra mile to make them feel important. Showing your best side to a person means you want them to show their best side to you too. Most likely, the person you are trying to connect with did their best to make people stop and take interest in their profiles so you should show the same courtesy as well. This shows respect and people want to be respected.

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