'Hey, how are you?' - a guide to composing online dating messages

Ooo new messages on my online dating account...

'Hey, how are you?'

'Hi, Hows your day going?'

'Hiya, What are you up to?'

Any of these making you feel hot under the collar?

I reckon sending a first message on an online dating site or app must be the trickiest sentence you'll ever write. Getting that balance between

being yourself

and being friendly

and respectful

and interesting

and funny

whilst also trying to be a bit flirtatious!

It's just a bit much for most of us so we end up typing 'hi, how are you doing?' and wonder why we don't get many responses.

If I'm honest I'm pretty pants at this myself. Totally guilty of writing 'hi' a few times and hoping that the other person will get the a ball rolling.

So I've collated some advice and good practise from quizzing other people with a bit more online game and here are my 8 top tips for online messaging - the Honoured way...

1. Think of a good opener - 'How are you doing?' doesn't really inspire much of a response. A funny question is much more likely to break the ice. Somebody once asked me who I would rather narrate my commute to work, Morgan Freeman or David Attenborough - you can't not respond to that kind of gold.

2. Don't be too serious or intense

It's a good start to focus on things you have in common or things you enjoy - ask them what is the best gig they've been to rather than giving them a life history of all your past relationships, careers or family history.

3. Don't ever message people saying you're bored

Even if you are bored - it just makes the other person think you have nothing better to do!

4. Don't talk about other people you've messaged or other dates you've been on

Hands up - I'm terrible at this! I've got too many fun dating anecdotes. But if you talk about other people you've met online it might leave the person you're messaging feeling paranoid, wondering how they compare or what you might be saying about them in a few months time.

5. Keep the messages flowing

Online messaging works best when there's a chatty vibe going so don't bother playing games and waiting ages to answer - just get stuck in and if the other person realises you're not strategically waiting ages to respond, they wont either.

6. This is not the place to re-educate the ignorant!

As we all know, the word 'Christian' covers a broad range of beliefs and ideas. If you begin to realise the person you're chatting to has very different ideas about gender or theology or any of the many million other things we could disagree about - there's no point in getting confrontational about it. Either you'll be cool with having different opinions - or it's not to be (in which case jump to tip 8)! If you're bossing it as a woman in church leadership - you might find it hard to date someone who doesn't agree with female leaders in the church etc etc...

7. Pick your moment to ask for a date

Tbh guys I've had everything from being asked out in an initial message, to weeks down the line having to ask a guy if he actually wanted to meet up. I don't think there's a magic moment but if the vibe is going well after a couple of days get on and ask for a date. Online messaging is fun but it's really all about the vibes when you meet up.

8. No ghosting people!

If you decide after a period of messaging that you're not actually interested then you need a kind but clear way of expressing this. It's not honourable to just stop messaging. Hands up I have done it myself and I don't feel good about it. Something like 'It's been great messaging you but I'm not sure there's a romantic vibe here' is fine.

So - hope these are helpful.

I guess - just like driving a car - remember that behind the screen there's another person with their own set of fears, insecurities and expectations.

Let's not allow technology to dehumanise us. Let's treat each other honourably and remember - even though online dating can be hard and terrifying - it should also be fun!

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