Monday, February 19, 2007

Question tones

So I guess my follow-up to the last post is - given that all you have is a few pictures and a profile, how do you balance between simple small talk and serious relationship question when exchanging e-mails online with someone you just met?

This is probably the main reason why I'm so shy about online dating. I don't want the casual chit chat to go on and on, but I also get bored by someone who just wants to exchange information like we're comparing resumes. I feel absolutely clueless about how to ask simple questions that help me learn about whether we're compatible without getting serious and scary. If this is supposed to come naturally, then I'm in biggggg trouble.

Any good tips on what to look for in a profile to help start an interesting and informative conversation?


mini said...

given my limited experience with online dating, I don't think I asked any questions in particular. But then, I wasn't taking it all that seriously, either.

the email exchanges I had all revolved around the stuff we did. He may ask "any big plans for the weekend?", and i'd reply with "I'm thinking of going to six flags this weekend with friends. Do you like roller coasters?" And then he'd write back about having grown up near an amusement park and going all the time ... and that probably led to my asking him how it was like where he grew up.

So summarizing that just now seems really shallow and non-substantive. But I think I relied more on chemistry than practical compatibility. I do remember not emailing back one guy anymore because he sounded too arrogant, even over email.

I don't know how quickly you want to get into the practical compatibility questions, but I think the chit chat about things you both like to do is helpful in setting up a personality and seeing if you guys are compatible in that department.

zerodoll said...

i think you have to cut to it and meet. you can't even get into serious relationship talk on the first few dates, really!

Pandax said...

This also stirs up the questions of how long to e-mail each other before meeting. This is why I feel like a little something beyond chit chat would be helpful to gauge whether they're really interesting (and interesting to me). At the same time, I don't like getting into full on discussions by e-mail. It kind of makes me feel like the person might be hiding something... that is they want me to like them before meeting in hopes it will overcome something they don't think people will like about them in person.

Everyone has a different comfort level, so it's tough to know when to say, "hey, let's meet for coffee."

Anna May Won't said...

i agree with zerodoll that it's better to discuss such things in person, after a few meetings if you hit it off. i personally HATE dragging out an email relationship.

the right number of email exchanges is different for everyone, but for me it seems to be 2 or 3. after that, i get bored.

i think you're totally right that someone who wants to prolong the virutal relationship is hiding something. then again, you don't want someone who throws his digits at you in the first email. it's a delicate balance. also that chemistry thing.

Admin said...

Pandax: pre-coffee date e-mail chit chat mileage varies depending on who I'm talking to and the chemistry that's flowing between us.

I personally prefer meeting sooner than later, but if I feel like the girl is shy or seems to prefer a slower pace, I will hang in there for 5+ e-mails before asking to meet in person.

Rule of thumb is you will learn more about someone meeting them for 5 minutes than you will with 20 e-mails back and forth.