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random musings of a crazy cat lady

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Old Biddy's advice for a good OKCupid email

Today I got a very odd email on OKCupid.  I'm not sure if he's trying out some "advanced" new pickup artist technique or is just bad at this, or both.

Dear Old Biddy,
My name is Mr WTF. I have visited your profile on more than one occasion in the past day that I have been on this site. I have looked at others but keep coming back to yours. I feel I may be stalking you via this site and its disconcerting. If you would care to discuss the matter so as to resolve the issue I would greatly appreciate it. Please feel free to contact me.


Um, WTF, Mr WTF?!?!.  "Stalking" should not be used at all, ever, in an email or a conversation.  You guys think it's funny or even flattering but I suspect most women do not feel that way.  We do have creep radar and you just set it off, rightfully or unintentionally.  You can say the same thing in a much nicer way - say you keep coming back to my profile because you like my smile, or my eyes, or whatever it was that drew your attention. 
Anyway, I decided to compile a little bit of OKCupid message advice, so I am such a pro at it....well, not really, but I am an expert on what doesn't work. 
1.  No negging*, ever.  I don't care if the pickup artist video you watched said it's the best thing since sliced bread, it doesn't ever work in an email and probably hardly ever works in real life unless you look like Javier Bardem or Jon Hamm, in which case you could probably just read the phonebook and get better results.  No outright negging, and no subtle negging.  Don't tell me that I'm "actually" pretty, don't ask me what I think about a study showing that people who own cats are more likely to be depressed (yes, this was in a first email), etc.  Don't neg on other guys too unless I start it, which I won't at this early stage.  I had a tall guy make unprovoked snarky remarks about short guys who lie about their height.  I don't care about height but this did make me a lot less interested in him.
2.  If I don't write back immediately, don't send me another email.  This is not going to make me more likely to write back.  See above section on stalking.  Sometimes I check my email but am too tired/busy/actually at work and will write back at my convenience.  
3.  Write something to start a "conversation".  It doesn't have to be a lot, but if I get an email that just says "S'up?" I'm not going to write back unless your profile really stands out.
4.  Don't ask me to write back to let you know if I'm not interested.  I know you mean well but other guys have ruined it for you by using that as a reason to get rude or to try to get me to change my mind.  Believe me, I wish this was less of a game too, but after some trial and error I'm sticking to techniques that have worked well for other people.

Anyway, that's just a start.  I'm sure I'll think of more after I've been doing this longer.

*  "Negging" is a technique where someone jokingly/subtly insults someone with a backhanded complement like "you're really hot for a crazy old biddy cat lady with thyroid issues"  Supposedly this is all the thing now, thanks to the pick up artist (PUA) websites.  Since I am old, I haven't encountered it before now but am seeing it this time around.

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