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Show ALL Forums  > Dating and Love Advice  > First Contact: Generic emails vs. Creative Writing      Home login  
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 HawkingJr
Joined: 4/16/2007
Msg: 18
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First Contact: Generic emails vs. Creative WritingPage 1 of 6    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
I don't think it really matters what you write in either your email or your profile -- the person on the other end is going to make a response decision based largely on physical characteristics. I've practically written sonnets to women I had 99% personality matches and a dozen things in common with and never heard from them.

I think you're probably better off just sending out at least semi-generic emails -- I mean, it obviously helps to put something in the email that proves to the other person you at least read her profile, but there really isn't much point in getting fancy and pouring your creative heart into an email on this site. You could literally end up wasting thousands of hours and have nothing to show for it.

The randomness with what ends up working is actually pretty perplexing. I've been on and off Match for like a decade and never actually met anyone until last year, and oddly enough I can thank POF for it. I came across separate profiles on Match and POF that had similar looking women, only a couple of years apart, only a few miles apart -- and they both mentioned being first generation Americans with parents from the same very small country. I figured, what the heck are the chances that they don't know each other -- maybe they're even sisters! So I emailed both of them, sending each the link to the other, saying nothing more than pointing out the coincidence. Well, the POF woman never wrote me back (not even sure if she read the email), but the Match woman did write me back, saying "That's the greatest first contact email I've ever received. Let's talk."

I wasn't even trying! Yet a month later, I found myself meeting her at an upscale restaurant. I think that sort of proved to me just how little effort actually has to do with meeting people on dating sites.

And for those wondering (if anyone's even reading this old thread), somehow, those two women didn't know each other.
 HawkingJr
Joined: 4/16/2007
Msg: 20
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First Contact: Generic emails vs. Creative Writing
Posted: 10/27/2009 2:53:37 PM
Holy crap, arriver. We live like 20 minutes apart! I live in north Tampa. With all these millions of users, the chances of two people living that close to each other making consecutive posts in a non-geographic-oriented thread must be astronomical.

And maybe that's why I don't get dates -- because I'm always thinking of stuff like that.

But I do think you're probably going to have to say a little more than "Hey, I think you're hot" to get a significant number of responses. There must be a thousand posts from women saying they get that in nearly every email. Of course, if they think YOU are hot, then you saying the same thing to them might just be enough...
 OutMind
Joined: 2/13/2007
Msg: 21
First Contact: Generic emails vs. Creative Writing
Posted: 10/27/2009 2:59:11 PM
Be creative, take a risk, do not sell yourself, do not validate yourself, ask a question, make her think, above all be unique.

Women get over 300 emails a day. So stand out.
 HawkingJr
Joined: 4/16/2007
Msg: 22
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First Contact: Generic emails vs. Creative Writing
Posted: 10/27/2009 5:24:22 PM
Do you really think it's actually possible to stand out among 300 emails a day with what you're writing? As much as I hate to admit it, if I were getting 300 emails a day, I would probably have to "delete not read" with the vast majority of them, based entirely on the picture that accompanied the profile. Nobody has time to read 300 emails every day. I'm not even sure anyone can do that professionally!

The only search on this site that's truly worth a damn (at least as far as men are concerned) is probably the "no first contact emails in the last 24 hours." Because at least you know the women on that page probably aren't dealing with hundreds of emails, and quite often you will find some very surprising inclusions in that search that are well-worth emailing. With them, it might be worth getting a little creative, because chances are, they will read it. But most other searches, your message is like a lottery ticket and you might as well send something generic because it likely has as good of a chance of being read as Pultizer-prize winning manuscript.

Although that being said, I don't think any woman has ever written me back from a "no first contact email" search, but in my case that doesn't really mean anything.
 OutMind
Joined: 2/13/2007
Msg: 26
First Contact: Generic emails vs. Creative Writing
Posted: 10/28/2009 9:05:10 AM

If you have a boring nothing profile.... nothing that makes the gal say WOW! Now I gotta write that guy then yes you better be hot looking!


This is right on the money.

Women that get 300 emails, either a day or a week do not read through all of them. They will scan the headlines and delete. If one catches her attention she then notices the photo (yes women are visual as well, but as Cowboy said, it's not the looks, it's the attitude), then if it's interesting they will check your profile and then respond to your message. Now Cowboy said the key words to what a woman should respond to your profile, and that is "WOW!"

This is so important. When I split with my gf, to keep me from going nuts I joined Match again. But because I have been very busy with other things, I only contacted very few women, yet I kept getting women contacting me and commenting on the profile, even though I was not doing anything. So listen to what Cowboy said. He's right on the money.
 Vincent_1984
Joined: 11/14/2005
Msg: 27
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First Contact: Generic emails vs. Creative Writing
Posted: 10/28/2009 9:21:00 AM
For me, the whole "stand out/creative writing" thing is kind of overkill and I would definitely consider it counterproductive to solely judge someone on their first message or headline. I'm here looking to meet someone I can connect with, I'm not here looking to be entertained by their writing(There are entire industries devoted to creative writing, if I was interested in such things, I would go to industry professionals). I think those who go out of their way to come up with ridiculously extravagant intros to stand out are really trying too hard, I would rather get to know them from talking to them. Why make things harder for everyone?

When I start a conversation with someone offline, I have no such expectations of them; so why should I have those expectations online? I'm fine with people sending me generic emails; they don't need to be original or creative just to talk with me, they should just be themselves. They are just trying to reach out to me in what they believe is customary and I don't think there is anything wrong with that.

Although, I do tend to lose a bit of respect for those who look at their messages with apathy and expectation. Even if someone does receive dozens of messages a day, they could still make an effort to get to know the people who made the effort to contact them a little bit before passing judgement. If they don't have time for it, they certainly don't have the time for dating.
 OutMind
Joined: 2/13/2007
Msg: 29
First Contact: Generic emails vs. Creative Writing
Posted: 10/28/2009 10:31:07 AM

I think those who go out of their way to come up with ridiculously extravagant intros to stand out are really trying too hard, I would rather get to know them from talking to them.


First you have to make them respond. And extravagant is not what gets them to respond, but rather how you hit a nerve on their minds. If they are geting "Hi, I am larry I love to blah...." "Hi am Jeff, I am into cards and I love to blah..." "Hi, I am jim could you check my profile, maybe we could blah..."

YOu are not going to get a response. And if you do, it may be that SHE found yo physically attractive, you look like her dad.

Look, it's not about being extravagant, it's about connecting. My headline in on email was simply "Sick", in another one "Are you creative?" Another one was "Not really" or "I don't believe it." In another case I wrote "kafka" and since the girl was from Prague she responded immediately. Probably the only repeat headline that got women talking like crazy was this one "Are you a geek?" That was usually as a response to some geek comment on their on half, so they went on to explain that they were smart, but active, and outgoing and liked doing marathons and tris and so on. All of these created conversations, connections and dates.

So it's not about being extravagant, it's about hitting a nerve.
 HawkingJr
Joined: 4/16/2007
Msg: 30
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First Contact: Generic emails vs. Creative Writing
Posted: 10/28/2009 10:51:29 AM
From my point of view, there is not a chance I would ever hold a lame profile or generic first contact email against a woman. It does make it more difficult to come up with something original to say to her, but I'd still message pretty much any woman if I thought there was a good chance she'd reply back, regardless of what was in her profile. I am a writer, but I have no expectations of ever dating another writer (it has never happened, online or otherwise -- I have actually emailed pretty much every local profile I've come across that indicated she was also a writer or had a really witty, creative profile and none has ever written back). I mean, I'm just on here to find a date, not a muse or a collaborator, and dating really has nothing to do with writing. At least not MODERN dating -- obviously if you want to go back into the 17th century or something, it was all about love letters and poetry, but try that crap with a 21st century woman and see if you don't get laughed off this site.

But among the three women I have dated the longest by far, I met all of them in "real life" situations, and two of them never emailed me or wrote me anything whatsoever over a year each (neither was a good writer to my knowledge) while the third came in the MySpace era so we occasionally exchanged information (both directly and indirectly) on that site, but it was certainly not romantic emails or POF-like getting to know you emails. I'm just saying, I can't see where the brilliance of a woman's profile is going to have anything to do with me dating her -- naturally, I stay away from really badly written profiles, with terrible grammar, ghetto slang or venom against male-kind, but I have no problem whatsoever with a woman who simply posts a resume' of her life -- that's what I really want to know, not that she has a grasp on iambic pentameter.

All indications are from the posts in this forum is that most women pretty much feel the same way. An obvious copy-and-paste email might be a little offensive, but if he's her "type," I think most women will just get over it. Now I'm not ANYONE's type, so my situation is quite different (all of the guys in this thread look like they could be someone's type, whether they're actually handsome or not). Maybe I need to do something creative to stand out among the handful of women who don't care that much about looks, but that's still not going to get you a date with somebody who isn't interested in dating someone like you physically. It just isn't going to happen, not even if you write the most brilliant thing since Tolstoy. Now in "real life" you can land a date with someone who isn't attracted to you (I'm quite sure woman A mentioned above fell into said-category), but that's a whole complicated issue involving presence of personality (as opposed to email personality) and chemistry. I think a lot of you are confusing real life results and online results. Dating sites serve the purpose of eliminating the riffraff and presenting you upfront with exactly what you want, and if you're not what most people want, then you're going to have a hard time online.

And Cowboy, I would think being a moderator alone would get you a ton of first contact emails (but regardless, I still see you as being many women's "type," unlike me, so the clever profile is just a bonus to them).

Arrive: I live in Temple Terrace, which borders New Tampa. Ever go to the Starlight 20? I'm there quite frequently because of advanced screenings. I've only been to Land O Lakes once though, many years ago to, coincidentally, meet a woman for a date. That went well enough, but her family scared the hell out of me. Well, her sister was pretty cool.
 HawkingJr
Joined: 4/16/2007
Msg: 32
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First Contact: Generic emails vs. Creative Writing
Posted: 10/28/2009 2:14:34 PM
This site is just full of doubt. I wouldn't go so far as to say it has the highest rejection rates of all sites, but it certainly has the highest level of wasted effort.

But anyway, I think it's definitely possible to fall into a category such that you're not anyone's type. Statistically, I'm that guy. I'm like a perfect storm of dating negatives -- for example, whenever I'm on Match or Yahoo (where people have to list their dating preferences), I can usually respond to about 2 or 3 out of every 100 profiles based on just 3 or 4 preferences alone. But I've still gone on a decent number of dates (though not anytime recently) and had 3 quasi-girlfriends. It's a matter of convincing women whose type I am not to go out with me anyway, and let me tell you, that is difficult business. I'd really rather be trying to sell sand to a sidewinder. I was definitely not the "type" of any woman I have ever gone on a date with and quite a few told me so (repeatedly). They had not dated anyone remotely like before and so far as I know, not since. For some reason or another, they all made me their exception to the rule. Frankly, I think there were a dozen different reasons (except for the sizeable group that was being "experimental" at the time) and none of them really had much in common. On that same note, I don't have a "type." I learned a long time ago that's pretty useless. I go out with the women who decide to make me their exception. That's my "type."

And I believe you speak of "The Grove." That's a little far for me on a regular basis, although being the movie aficianado that I am, I'll end up there sooner or later -- I hear it's pretty incredible. I do know that Starlight is being killed by the new competition. Such is life.
 OutMind
Joined: 2/13/2007
Msg: 33
First Contact: Generic emails vs. Creative Writing
Posted: 10/28/2009 2:55:27 PM

It's a matter of convincing women whose type I am not to go out with me anyway, and let me tell you, that is difficult business.


Try not "sell them" in choosing you. Turn it around and make them think that they need to qualify themselves to you. Now, you need to be more positive. If you have been dating women that supposedly are about your level. Then that is your level and nothing less. It is you who seem to be stuck on that definition. They are choosing your, so you are doing some how, something right.

What will happen is that first they will chose you, and of course dump you, but as you gain experience, confidence, you will begin to be the one that dumps them and becomes more demanding.

For instance, most women I have gone out even said that they would not go out with a man with facial hair or even a mustache. Others said that they hated hairy men, yet they went out with me and did not complaint.

So look at the bright side. Pay attention to the things in your own personality that triggered them to respond to you, and do more of that. And if they dump you. Who cares, you learned something, and each interaction will teach you something very valuable and will allow you to be more comfortable with yourself. And that is the key to confidence.
 HawkingJr
Joined: 4/16/2007
Msg: 36
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First Contact: Generic emails vs. Creative Writing
Posted: 10/29/2009 8:20:46 AM
A few months ago, I sent a message to a beautiful blonde female psychiatrist with the subject "Blonde Lilith," a joking reference to Lilith on "Cheers"/"Frasier," who was an attractive (though admittedly icy) female psychiatrist.

Yeah, I got blocked. In fact, that's the only time I'm certain that I've ever been blocked, because a day later I checked my contacts, and her profile was definitely not in the list.

On this site, you walk an extremely fine line between being funny enough to catch a woman's attention and offending a woman who otherwise would have been all right with "Hi." I prefer to err on the side of caution. As best as I can recall (and it has been 2.5 years so I can't recall it all), no woman has ever responded to any of my "clever" emails, but I still have a couple mailing me that I sent slightly clever but largely generic "Hi" messages to (all the more reason I believe it's all about physical attraction). Most women on this site obviously get a lot of truly obnoxious and rude emails, and I'd rather not be thrown in that bucket because I was trying to be amusing and that particular woman didn't get my sense of humor. Which you may say, hey, isn't this site about finding someone who "gets" you? I've been around this world long enough to know that just as I'm no one's "type," that no one "gets" me either -- at least not dating-wise. Obviously, I'm somewhat successful at professional writing, but what works in screenplays, novels, songs, poems, etc., does not translate so well into dating emails and profiles (especially went your speciality is dark comedy).

But that said, I do often use something other than "Hi" for the subject, usually something related to what the woman said in her profile (like "Kafka" mentioned by OutMind). But I won't say anything that could somehow be twisted around to be offensive even if I personally do think it's kind of funny.

In general, I'm pretty sure my biggest problem is age at this point. I've noticed the most open-minded women are much older or much younger. Women in their late 20s-30s pretty much think they have their perfect man all figured out and with biological clocks ticking, don't have much time to waste on "youthful experiments" anymore. I'm just about out of the age range of college-age girls, so I guess if I'm not completely bitter by my 50s, I'll be in good shape. No offense, but I really can't take men's advice on such things all that seriously -- the women are the ones making the decisions, and essentially every thread or email in which some woman claimed I should be a good catch, she is almost always much older, meaning she has a completely different set of priorities from women close to my age.

You know, I looked at some older threads about that 300 emails thing -- back when this site first started, really high daily volumes wasn't uncommon for women, probably because as is the case with pretty much every site, the early adopters were male, so back in the early 2000s, men probably did outnumber women 20 to 1 or something. Only Markus or maybe the moderators could attest to this, but I bet the user ratio is much closer to even now, so there's much less competition for a single woman's attention. The only women I've really seen evidence that they get high double digits or maybe even triple digits emails on a daily basis anymore are usually the Keeley Hazel/Lucy Pinder wannabes (or on occasion, just a really attractive young woman in a large urban area who isn't trying to be anyone but herself, and that's good enough for most guys). Most current threads seem to suggest even your typical young attractive woman probably gets a couple dozen emails a day at the most after she's no longer new, and I'm always puzzled to find very attractive women on the "no first contact emails in a day" list.

It's still a lot of clutter to bust through, obviously, and a lot for them to deal with (and more than I get in 6 months), but 300? Only Xerxes had to deal with that.
 HawkingJr
Joined: 4/16/2007
Msg: 41
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First Contact: Generic emails vs. Creative Writing
Posted: 10/29/2009 7:03:25 PM
That advice sort of contradicts your previous advice (or support of someone else's advice). If saying "Blonde Lilith" is a problem to an attractive female psychiatrist because she hears it all the time, then certainly saying "Kafka" to a woman from that region is a problem because she probably hears that "all the time," too. I think we can all agree that pretty much anything is better than "Hi," yet at the same time, I've had as many responses to that as anything clever (and not been blocked for it). Although you're correct that Lilith was not a generally likeable character (in fact, I'm quite sure she was named after the original female vampire) so she might have been bothered by that (I thought Lilith was pretty cool myself but I'm weird like that). Or maybe she just blocked me because she didn't want unattractive guys emailing her. Who knows? She is a psychiatrist -- she can see unstable people coming from a mile away!

I'm not batting zero in responses. I'm batting zero in meetings. I'm just batting bad enough in responses that I'd probably be benched for the rest of my career if this was a baseball game. But it sounds like POF is a whole like baseball in that guys who fail 2 out of 3 times are considered highly successful. Nothing wrong with that really, I guess, since it's all about finding the right one. I think it's even further proof that I'm not really anyone's "type." I'm just an occasional exception to the rule.
 HawkingJr
Joined: 4/16/2007
Msg: 43
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First Contact: Generic emails vs. Creative Writing
Posted: 10/30/2009 5:04:56 AM
Valencia: I actually did that experiment years ago with another service where I wasn't getting any interest. I posted exactly the same profile for two consecutive weeks, with everything in it being 100% true (and not particularly creative -- just a dating resume', really), except in the first week I was my real height and the second week I was 6 feet tall.

I have never, ever received anywhere near as many responses for any ad/profile I have ever posted anywhere as I did for that 6 foot tall one. It's definitely the only time I have ever received double digit responses in a single week. And I didn't even respond to anyone else's -- this was just first contacts to me!

Of course, the week of the short man ad had no responses. Very close to my 2 1/2 years worth of experiences here, with entirely truthful profiles (of a many different types).

Not that this is surprising to anyone. There's a zillion threads about it. I'm just saying, in as far as the subject of THIS thread goes, I think it is even further proof that it doesn't matter what you write (so long as it's not something ridiculously bad), all that matters is who you are (and I'm not talking about personality). Nearly every guy in this thread or others who's talking about how effective his profile or messages are is around six foot -- they are in a completely different category to women from me. And you know, I've been around long enough to accept that. I'm just really annoyed that POF doesn't even attempt to do more to prevent guys like us from wasting so much time here. If I knew there was no chance a woman would reply back to me because of my height (or ethnicity or because I'm a UF graduate or whatever), I wouldn't spend several minutes crafting her a "non-generic" message, but on this particular site, you just can't tell 95% of the time. It's just really frustrating, but unfortunately, POF is just about the only popular non-scam dating site still out there, so you gotta work with what you've got.
 Strings6
Joined: 7/14/2007
Msg: 44
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First Contact: Generic emails vs. Creative Writing
Posted: 10/31/2009 3:54:48 AM
I have no desire to be with a woman who is so complex that "Hello" isn't good enough,or thinks of herself as somebody in one of Shakespear's dramas....had enough drama.
 OutMind
Joined: 2/13/2007
Msg: 46
First Contact: Generic emails vs. Creative Writing
Posted: 10/31/2009 9:10:30 AM

And extravagant is not what gets them to respond, but rather how you hit a nerve on their minds.

Outmind is correct again (one reason I kinda sorta follow his posts ;-)


Thank you hon.


then certainly saying "Kafka" to a woman from that region is a problem because she probably hears that "all the time," too.


Hacking, you are over thinking it. Just do it. I have send messages that completely tanked, or even got the girl offended. But does it matter? If you think that is not going to work, then you spend your time thinking what she may like instead of expressing what comes from the inside. The girl I opened with Kafka, had lived in the States for some time and was actually moved because most Americans are clueless about geography, they do not know where the Czech Republic is, or know about Prague. We had a conversation about how she liked Prague much better than Paris, but loved Barcelona. And we did go out.

Oh, one clarification about the 300 emails a day. That may sound far fetched and misleading, so my correction. Usually when you join a place you get inundated by emails. And that is more what I refer to. Of course that tapers down. But for example, my gf just joined in. She put in her profile, not looking, she even put a picture of me there, and she still got inundated. I need to check with her but she has gotten about 50 messages without doing a thing. Talk about guys not reading. Women do find that such a turn off.
 OutMind
Joined: 2/13/2007
Msg: 48
First Contact: Generic emails vs. Creative Writing
Posted: 10/31/2009 9:42:20 AM

How do you get to that subsequent contact if you don't pass the first contact for lack of interest?


If you don't pass, you don't pass, end of story.

But if there's some interest, I think both can move it forward. You can always tell if a woman in interested because, she responds to what you asked, but then throws in a question about something about you. Same thing for guys. If you answer or talk about something, you have to end it by asking a question. But stop selling, stop trying not to piss her off, say what comes to mind. If you worry too much about this things, eventually you will stick your foot in your mouth anyways. So do it early, so at least you come across as being human, or having a cheesy sense of humor.
 HawkingJr
Joined: 4/16/2007
Msg: 51
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First Contact: Generic emails vs. Creative Writing
Posted: 10/31/2009 12:27:18 PM
Well, I think all these posts just go to show you that everybody's different. Dude 1 doesn't care what woman writes, dude 2 does, dude 3 sorta does. Interestingly, my last first contact (not related to the forums) was a form letter/copy-and-paste. I was kind of scratching my head on that one -- I didn't think women sent enough first contact emails to have to resort to such methods. My response? I told her it probably wasn't a good idea to do that.

Now you're probably thinking, "YOU IDIOT! You sit here complaining about the lack of messages you get, and that's the response you have for the only first contact you've had since May? And doesn't that even completely contradict what you just said about how you'd handle a form message if you ever got one?" Not really. I said it'd probably have no bearing on whether or not I had any interest in her. And it didn't! I realized it wasn't going to work out for other reasons, but I figured the nice thing to do was to at least send her a polite response telling her what's been said in this thread about "generic emails." Had my "dream girl" (whatever that is) or even just someone who it would not be a really bad idea to date sent me the same email, my response wouldn't have included any information about her style of email whatsover.

Actually, the woman who has been dragging our communication out for 6 months (who I definitely like a lot other than that) sent one of the lamest first contact emails ever for anybody's taste: "How was your weekend?" I mean, how much more generic and simplistic can you get than that? I have no evidence whatsoever that she read my profile. But by God, I told her exactly how my weekend was as fast as my little fingers could type, because I was stunned that someone who seemed as cool as she is would even send me a first contact email at all. And like I said, from "How was your weekend?", we've been in more-or-less continuous contact for 6 straight months. ("How was your weekend?" actually has been pretty typical of her emails to me, unfortunately -- I only know a lot about her at this point because of the massive accumulation of emails and text messages.)

So I'm going to almost completely agree with 2ears1mouth's last post. Not sure about that last paragraph. I think he's referring to over-filtering on the receiving end, which he has a point -- I bet all 3 of my exes would have filtered me right out had we tried to meet through online means. However, if he's talking about on the sending end, obviously I'm an advocate of more of that so there's less time-wasting.

I actually agree completely with something Outmind said, about questions. I almost always ask a question in my first contact emails. Almost every time a woman actually responds to, all she does is answer that question -- nothing else. No questions for me. Bad, bad sign. I will try to drag it out anyway, but usually that one email in response to my original question is all I get. If they don't respond with a question or something similar, that likely indicates a lack of interest and I wouldn't get too excited about such a response.

Cynthia: I'm guessing from what you've written that you didn't think much of that quite generic email that doesn't indicate if he read your profile, despite the fact that it is fairly well-written and gives you plenty of info about the guy (reminds me of that last generic email I got, in fact). However, I won't go so far as to say you completely dismissed him based on that email -- I bet you checked him out first.
 Happily Ever...maybe
Joined: 2/13/2007
Msg: 53
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First Contact: Generic emails vs. Creative Writing
Posted: 10/31/2009 3:00:56 PM
I like to think I'm a fairly creative fellow, and I'm all in favor of being somewhat creative in both my profile and an initial email, but let's face it, the majority of people look at the picture(s). If they don't get a sense of attraction, creative and funny quickly turns into strange and weird, and now its a reason to reject you. I wrote to someone not long ago, introducing myself and commenting on what I found appealing about her after seeing her profile. Her only response was to object to a reference to Hitler in my profile (I was humorously pointing out the irony, or so I thought, that even Hitler had a long term girlfriend), and that having that in my profile was a bad way to try to impress a woman.

The bottom line is, there is no magic formula to prompt a response from someone you send an email. Knowing that I stick to being true to myself; some will find that interesting, some too quirky for their tastes, and that's just fine. If she appreciates my intellect and sense of humor we'll probably get along.
 Strings6
Joined: 7/14/2007
Msg: 57
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First Contact: Generic emails vs. Creative Writing
Posted: 11/1/2009 5:48:56 AM
it seems that alot of people here want someone else to think they're special before they have ever proven themselves to be so
 HawkingJr
Joined: 4/16/2007
Msg: 59
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First Contact: Generic emails vs. Creative Writing
Posted: 11/1/2009 7:23:30 AM
C: It was well-written in comparison to "Hey WU? Yur profile dope yo!" Now I can't say I've received too many emails like that, just because I can't say I've received too many emails, but certainly most of the female profiles I've read aren't better written than this guy's email. And from what I read in these forums, most men's emails that aren't well-honed generics are worse-written than that. I'm just saying, as far as the basics (grammar, spelling, sentence structure, coherence, etc.), there is nothing wrong with that email, which is a lot more than you can say for most emails around here, including nearly all that I've received! It would receive a good grade in a freshman English composition class (again, can't say that about most writing in this place). Is it going to win a Newberry award? Of course not. Could it be plagiarism? Sure. Does it accomplish what you want a first contact email to accomplish? Apparently not. But that still doesn't make it badly written, especially in comparison to most emails and profiles on Plenty of Fish.

But I will add this: if you're looking for someone brilliant and creative, then I definitely think you can disqualify someone for an email like this -- and in general, I think you can disqualify said-person based on his or her email. If you are brilliant, than your correspondence should indicate this. But as I suggested previously, I personally am not necessarily looking for anyone brilliant and creative. I'd prefer smart enough to relate to, but I'm not even going to get picky about that. None of my 3 exes fall into that category and I was perfectly fine with them. So I don't need to be blown away by an email.

You, just being a woman alone, are in a completely different position so I can understand your selective nature in regards to emails. But there's just no reason to believe most women on here are as picky about the nature of the emails they get. Those who post in the forums are probably a more selective bunch than most, and even the majority of the posts I've read here seem to indicate that they will respond to bad emails if the guy seems like someone they would want to date overall. And they won't respond to "good" emails if he seems like someone they wouldn't want to date for whatever reason. I'm quite sure I've sent a few good emails over the years that weren't replied to. I could be wrong about this, but it seems unlikely someone with my writing skills could send nothing but hundreds of bad emails. I'm sure I've sent some (just like I've written some questionable screenplays), but nearly ALL of them? And don't forget -- I've had much more success on other dating websites and used to frequently get "Oh, my God, you write the world's greatest emails, Presley!" responses all the time. So, either I've "lost it," or I've aged out of the group that thought I wrote the "world's greatest emails," or something is just really odd about Plenty of Fish. (Well, as I've already said, the lack of extensive preferences on this site doesn't help because I'm just wasting my time upfront on the vast majority of the emails I send, which I could be using to write even better first contact emails to women I actually have a chance with, plus it being a free site and all means the competition for a single woman's attention is just ridiculous.)

I'm not sure how that height knock at the end is fair. For one thing, I'd never assume a woman who actually wrote me back to say it wasn't going to work because we didn't have anything in common did so for any reasons other than what she said. But see here, there is the difference: in my entire POF existence, only one woman has ever written me back with ANY reason whatsoever why she wasn't interested (it was "lack of physical attraction" but she added we had a lot in common and lived near each other so we could still be friends. I never wrote her back -- I have a half million female friends who are enough trouble as it is -- and, no, not a single one of them has ever set me up or introduced me to an eventual girlfriend and only one of them ever turned into a girlfriend eventually, so there's really not much benefit to having a bunch of them. My best friend I've known for 13 years and she sets up her friends all the time, but not me! She keeps saying if she can find someone who thinks I'm cute, she'll do it.) I mean, you're pretty much in a different class from most women on here just for the fact that you actually reply back with a rejection. In fact, I think our problem here is that you are practically nothing like most of the women on this site, so your advice from your persepctive is likely not much good for most other women. But statistically, there's a pretty good chance most of the women who aren't returning my emails (and not telling me why) are doing so because of my height, ethnicity or just general lack of physical attraction. I mean, you really can't argue with the statistics of it. I've sent emails to women who had so much in common with me (including other writers) that they could be a twin separated at birth and still didn't hear from them at all -- not even an answer to any of my questions about things in their profiles we had in common.

Interestingly, the 6-month-POF woman actually told me in an email at some point that she almost didn't send me a first contact email because of my height, but then decided my profile was too cool to pass up. 1 in a million. Of course, we still haven't met, 6 months later.

BTW, speaking of the subject of "responses without questions," today I finally (after God knows how long) received a response from one of my recent first contacts. I asked her a question about her profile. She gave me a line answer, with no return questions and really no room to expand on her answer. I believe that's a bad sign. But I'm going to reply anyway and try to stretch it out. I suspect I will never hear from her again, which is exactly what has happened each previous time this occurred.
 HawkingJr
Joined: 4/16/2007
Msg: 64
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History
First Contact: Generic emails vs. Creative Writing
Posted: 11/1/2009 7:03:03 PM
I stand corrected on something. Woman who sent me a one sentence response yesterday also responded today to my new question -- with a one sentence response. You could have knocked me over with an emoticon. Not sure what to make of that -- we'll see how long that goes on. But you know, you can't fault her too much for sending me one line responses if she's actually trying to do the "right" thing by replying back to everyone who writes, because she's probably got 300 (or maybe a dozen) emails a day to deal with (I suspect most of my all-time write-backs were from women who replied to everyone). But I do wonder if guys she's MORE interested in get longer emails. Well, at this one-line-per-email rate, I can ask her if she wants to meet me in about 3 or 4 years.

Thinking back to the 6 or 7 first contact emails I've received, none of them except the generic copy-and-paste email were longer than a sentence or two. The last one (besides copy-and-paste) was responding to a profile similar to the one I have now in which I explained all the stuff going on in my life. Her email? "Wow, sure sounds like you have a lot of stuff going on!" Hey, at least it sounded like she read my profile. Reading her profile afterwards, I was quite puzzled as to why she thought mine was worth sending a first contact email. Never found out since she didn't reply to my response.

Yes, a paper proven to be plagiarized would fail freshman comp, but in this case, it would fail only because it was plagiarized -- being plagiarized does not make it badly written. If someone plagiarizes the Gettysburg Address, does that make the Gettysburg Address badly written?

I think you're confused about my argument here. I don't send generic emails. Why would a creative writer do that? I actually largely agree with you about what I should be (and therefore am) doing. I'm just saying there are quite a few posts by WOMEN in other threads in which they claim it's not terribly important what a guy says in emails to THEM, because if said-guy doesn't meet their specifications, they're not going to bother, even if the guy wrote something that deserves an Oscar. I think you're different in the sense that (A) you actually try to respond to most of your first contact emails [God knows you're way in the minority on that and you know that] (B) you will disqualify a guy for a weak first effort, as that effort itself is important to you (C) perhaps physical characteristics aren't as important to you as many other women (at least traditional physical characteristics).

But let me ask you this: a man writes you a brilliant first email, perfectly tailored to you, but when you click on his profile you see that he's just finished a ten year stint in prison for statutory rape. Do you reply back? If you DO reply back, are you going to seriously consider meeting or dating him? I mean, he sent you a brilliant email! He even has an outstanding profile, except for that whole prison line!

That to you, probably is a deal-breaker, regardless of what he wrote in his email. Everybody has them. And for some, that might be height, some it might be ethnicity, some it might be prison (not sure if it was mentioned in this thread but I know I saw it somewhere on this site: that "20/20" episode about male height showed quite a few women more willing to date a tall prisoner than a short corporate executive).

So I'm just saying, no, I'm not going to write a generic email, but considering the ridiculous rejection rates around here due to "deal breakers" beyond my control that I don't know anything about because women don't put them in their profiles, I stopped pouring my heart and soul into emails a long time ago. It's just wasted time, wasted effort.

And, not too sound snitty or anything, but I bet nearly all women on this site have extremely high communication and meeting percentages for their first contact emails. It is they who are the deciders, so naturally if they decide to send an email before the guy even sends her an email, something's probably going to happen. (Except for me any my 6 or 7 first contacts. That I have trouble explaining. Well, I'd have to explain each one individually because they're all different, but at least 3 of them were responding to my most creative and entertaining profile with a "Wow, that's a great profile, but I'm not really interested in dating you"-type email, so that explains half of it.)

BTW, I've been blown off by plenty of women who were standing right in front of me! Yeah, sure, it's a LITTLE harder than "read/delete," but not by much. The main way this is different from real life for me in particular is that in real life, you rarely ever meet someone for the first time with "date" in mind going into the meeting. You meet them in work environments, school environments, church environments, activity environments, even being in a bar is not necessarily to find a date. In those situations, I have the opportunity to win over women who would have had no interest in me because of a "deal breaker" with my personality before I ask them on a date. That is borderline impossible on POF, because the objective on here is to find a date, and your defense mechanisms kick in the instant contact is made (unless you're actually on here to find friends, which a few are).

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I get this feeling that you think I'm more or less a smart guy and you think I should be going after a smart woman. If there's one thing I've learned from years of being in honors classes and honor programs and honor societies and honors dorms, it's that smart women pretty much have the same physical attractions as not-so-smart women. The only difference is that most smart women won't date an attractive dumb guy (or are done dating them by this age). But just like most not-so-smart women, they aren't going to date an unattractive smart (or dumb) guy. I'm all for dating smart women, but you know, I pretty much just date whoever will date me, and all the research (not to mention lifelong experience) suggests that's a very, very limited pool, so I'm not going to dismiss someone interested in me just because she's not particularly brilliant or (in POF terms) has weak email writing skills or a terrible profile. I'm not really into waiting around for the perfect woman to come along before I go on a date. I'd be competing with Steve Carrel for his title if I had adhered to such a notion, and as it is, I've gone years between dates multiple times, and I can tell you, those were/are not particularly happy years.
 HawkingJr
Joined: 4/16/2007
Msg: 66
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History
First Contact: Generic emails vs. Creative Writing
Posted: 11/3/2009 11:37:42 AM
It's ironic, isn't it? I've been at work for 7 hours and already attended two meetings full of controversy. Yet I bet I have spoken less than ten total sentences today. I've probably written dozens of sentences on POF and this is a slow day. I likely have one of the worst real life/online personality splits in history. It's not a good thing.

The fact of the matter is, it's much easier to figure out why people don't like you than why they do like you. I have no idea why my last girlfriend dated me at all much less for 2 years and neither does she -- her fiancee' could not possible be more Bizarro Me, but she has a million reasons why she's dating him. Fact is, almost none of my dates make much sense (except for the golddiggers -- but even they didn't make that much sense, as it's not like I have tons of gold to dig). Most people know what they don't like but they have trouble defining what they like until they're already liking it. And statistically, I am in a very small percentage of desirability -- it is what it is. So the "can'ts" are just always swallowing me up. I'm not even sure what a "can" is in my case. All the supposedly good things that have happened seem completely random and nonsensical. That's why I can't define the woman that I want to be with. I just have to date the woman that wants to be with me.

You know that "women who think you're hot" function that's based on the search criteria of other people? How many show up when you do it? Most days I get zero. That's because no women are searching for somebody with my characteristics.

I am in a completely different world from most normal people and unlike a lot of my ilk, I was given way too much intelligence and analytical skill (that's actually my job title -- I am a professional analyst) to go with those circumstances. Combined with tons of time on my hands from the general lack of a social life (post-girlfriend, that is), I do probably spend far too much time thinking about it all. So I don't disagree with you, but I doubt there's much I can do about it.
 OutMind
Joined: 2/13/2007
Msg: 67
First Contact: Generic emails vs. Creative Writing
Posted: 11/3/2009 11:59:07 AM

I do probably spend far too much time thinking about it all. So I don't disagree with you, but I doubt there's much I can do about it.


Yes, you do overanalyze things to the point that you come up with our own arguments to cancel yourself out. I do believe that you need to work on your self worth and begin to accept some of the things that you are as simply AWESOME. What that is, be AWESOME to yourself. Don't do things because you are going to be liked or not liked, do them because YOU like them.

Let me give you an example. I have a passion for a street market, for spices, fruit, vendors, mayhem. I never thought that women would dig this. It was my unique corkiness and nothing else. Then I took a lady to one of this places thinking that well she would be completely bored. It turned out she loved it. And she loved it because it was different.

Look at the things that make you a passionate individual. If you claim to be a writer, writers are all about passion. And passion is what makes you unique and believe it or not, good writing is not about beautiful prose, but about raw prose. So what do you like, the classics, Post modernism, Modernism, Don Delillo, Proust, James Joyce, Faulkner, Hemingway, or the British Colonial writers such as Salman Rushdie, VS Naupaul, or the magical realist like Borgues or Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Anyway, what you learn from there is a approach about life, your life, and discovering those morsel of life that then when you share them with a particular woman, they will find them so intoxicating, so powerful that they will be in love not just with a guy, but with the essence and the idea and the body and soul that represents YOU and only YOU. Seek that, find that, discover that and you will understand what your last girlfriend loved about you. And for that matter, the next woman.
 HawkingJr
Joined: 4/16/2007
Msg: 70
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History
First Contact: Generic emails vs. Creative Writing
Posted: 11/3/2009 1:57:32 PM
"Should I be worried that some woman in Texas with high dreams, who wants a Jewish Harley driving doctor, that shaves his body, likes country music, smokes, who hates men who wear glasses yet love porn won’t pick me?"

Not necessarily "worried," but if she wrote that in her profile, you'd just skip on to the next one, right? See, therein lies my problem with POF: the top 2 reasons women won't go out with me (both from personal experience with rejections and from statistical research), most women on POF don't feel comfortable putting in their profiles. Therefore, I waste tons of time writing women I never had a shot with, like the woman in Texas who wants a Jewish doctor you never had a shot with. (Or for that matter, that I never had a shot with.) I'm not saying most guys on here are acceptable to most women on here. I'm just saying, you probably waste a lot less time emailing women who want nothing to do with you than I do. And it's not like I'm emailing 6 foot tall supermodels. Many profiles do stand out to me as pointlesss to email. I don't even look at women taller than me, not because *I* care but because I know THEY care. But a great deal of shorter women feel the same way, yet almost none of them say so in their profiles (though you can find dozens of threads in which they are saying it). I'm just really tired of sending emails to women that I could have been warned away from emailing. And at most other dating sites, I would have been, because of forced preferences.

Outmind: People do tell me I'm one of the world's best devil's advocates. I look at every problem from every possible angle and that leads to all sorts of canceling effects. I can't argue with you there. I'm not really book-obsessed. I've worked at several movie theaters, I was a film critic for several years and I've spent the past year trying to turn a short film I wrote and produced into a feature film -- although I'm a writer, I'm much more movie obsessed. My ex (who I met a movie theater) was also pretty movie-obsessed and I took her dozens of screenings -- even a couple after we broke up! (Not to worry, ladies -- last time I saw her was 2 years ago at a funeral of one of our friends.) Movies seems to be a terrible thing to be passionate about when it comes to dating, though. Maybe if I lived in Hollywood, but having just come back from there, I still got that feeling that's more of a male thing. Yeah, sure, almost everybody loves to go to the movies every now and then, but that's not really the same thing -- I literally see over 200 movies a year in theaters alone, and I'm not even a critic anymore!

4 Forum: "You only need to find one who adores you and you adore her." I don't believe in "the one." Statistically it shouldn't exist. And even if it did, most people just end up marrying someone they meet in church, class, work, down the street, etc. -- I mean, really, what were the chances that the most perfect person in the world for you lived a block away? This would probably be a good time to point out that although I don't know why my ex-girlfriend dated me, I do know why she broke up with me, and my inability to believe in "the one" was one of those things. But peculiarly, we knew each other as friends for almost a year before we started dating and she heard me say that about "the one" God knows how many times before she decided she had a crush on me. Which makes it all the more puzzling (to both of us) why she dated me...
 OutMind
Joined: 2/13/2007
Msg: 71
First Contact: Generic emails vs. Creative Writing
Posted: 11/3/2009 2:15:11 PM

although I'm a writer, I'm much more movie obsessed. My ex (who I met a movie theater) was also pretty movie-obsessed and I took her dozens of screenings


Actually this works even better to the points that I was trying to make by using literature, or more in your case the ability to tell a story. Look for instance at Lieutenant Dan, a character that I absolutely adore as one of the best written characters in a movie. He was supposed to die in Nam, instead survived as a cripple, and instead becomes the first made of an idiot (Savant). In one of my favorite scenes there's a hurricane and they are out there exposed, and what did Lieutenant Dan did? He climbs up the mast of the shrimp boat and in the middle of the storm and lighting curses god to strike him down.

As a writer look at the vitality of that character, and how resonates with what all of us have to deal with. When he becomes flesh in our head, you will begin to pursue life with such bravado, with such passion and determination. And do it not to please someone, but just because it feels right to you.
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