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A Few of My Favorite Things: Openers Online June 14, 2010

Posted by anoddphrase in Favorite Things, Ones and Zeroes (Online Dating), Picking Up.
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What’re the first things you notice when you meet someone?  The things that make up that first impression?  Clothing, facial expressions, tone of voice, attitude, posture.  These are all things that key into social cues for people.

Online—we don’t have as many of them.

We’ve got CAPS, chat slang (lol/brb/idk), smileys (:-p/<3), and of course, the dots (…).  And everyone’s got their own online chat tone.  How fast you reply to someone means something, pregnant pauses can still be pregnant—or they can mean that your internet connection has died.

But still, the question remains: if you want to make a good impression (especially if you’ve never met someone before—and you want to preserve your naked time odds), how do you do it?

So here are the basic components of a good opener online: (1) light internet stalking, (2) be interested/interesting, and (3) keep it short and sweet.  By #1, I mean, take a look at the person’s profile (Facebook, OkCupid, etc.) and find out their interests.  Does the person share an interest with you?  Something cool?  That leads us to #2—be interesting/interested.  Talk about that interest.  Then, ASK A QUESTION—yes, you.  Because if you just say something interesting, the person might think, oh, that’s interesting, but… I don’t really have anything to say to that except Lol, and that’s just not a good way to start a conversation online. You should also remember to mention what it is that you like about the particular interest that you’re talking about.  That brings us to #3, do all of this in a line.  Maybe two.  It leaves the other person wanting more, and indicates interest without coming off as stalkerish-creepy.

Think of an opener as like the beginning of a meaty (like prime rib steak) conversation.

Good examples:

[Sea monsters on profile.]

  • “Sea monsters, huh?  Have you ever seen that Godzilla movie where the monster comes out of the water and then proceeds to kill tourists whose mouths move and no sound comes out of their mouths?  I just love that movie.”

[Picture of a girl jumping out of a plane with a parachute.]

  • “Why would you jump out of a perfectly good plane?  That’s what my shirt says.  How many jumps have you done?”

[Picture of a cat in the profile + HP references]

  • “Did you know that your cat looks like a doppelganger for McGonagall’s Animagus form?  Yeah, that was an uber geeky question.  But it’s awesome and true.”

[Mention of sushi]

  • “The concept of raw fish has always freaked me out—but I LOVE IT!  I’m on the fence about wasabi, though—it’s like sinus medication, but my tongue won’t stop burning just at the thought.  What’s your favorite sushi roll/restaurant in town?”

[Mention of travel]

  • “Travel… brings to mind squat-toilets and hand-sanitizer for me.  But maybe that’s because I keep traveling to places with a lot of the first and a lot of need for the second.  What countries/places have you traveled to?”

[Question stem of most interesting thing you have to say.]

  • “Hmmm, the most interesting thing I have to say is that I once accidently put on two belts and didn’t notice for an entire hour…I’m sorry, that was terrible wasn’t it?”

[Mention of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog.]

  • “So what’s your favorite song from Sing Along Blog?  Mine was the one by NPH in the laundromat.  Wait, was that all of them?”

Bad examples:

  • “Hey Baby” (anything that has the word ‘baby’ in it is usually bad)
  • “sexy” (anything that has the word ‘sexy’ in it is usually bad)
  • “hot” (in the context of “You’re hot” is also bad—if context is “Venezuela sounds hot and humid—the mosquitos are probably the size of dogs”, you’re fine)
  • “Hey, how you doin’?”
  • “What’s up?”
  • “I like your profile.”
  • “Hey, let me know if you want to talk sometime.”
  • Take a look-see at the OkCupid blog post about this subject for more info.

A Few of My Favorite Things

A Few of My Favorite Things: First Date Convos March 21, 2009

Posted by anoddphrase in Favorite Things.
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We all know that awkward first date moment…  That moment when you’ve gotten past the “Where are you from?” and the “What do you do for a living?“.  That moment when you haven’t quite gotten to the point in the evening when it’s appropriate for you to ask, “Can you take off your pants and do it already?“.

Yeah, that moment.

Well, for all you awkward nuts out there (I’m usually included in that crowd), here are a list of favorite topics of conversation that we’ve come up with that can help you move on from that moment so that the subsequent Take Off the Pants Moment is more fun–and possibly more likely to happen:

  • “What do you like to do in your free time?”–accompanied by your complementary: “I like to jump off of planes and risk my life dodging cars on my bike.” (Or whatever it is you like to do in your free time.)
  • “What’s the most exciting place you’ve ever been? (And whuh-y?)”
  • “Tell me your favorite scar story. (And I’ll tell you mine.)”
  • “What’re your favorite authors/movies?” (On this one, you have to promise to withhold judgment ’till after sex.)
  • “What’s your favorite word?”– Mine, for the moment, is ‘loquacious’.  It just sounds yummy.
  • “What’s your favorite part of your body?” (And let them know that penis or vagina is overdone.)
  • “What’s your least favorite part of your body?” (And if they say penis or vagina, run.)
  • “What’s the worst injury you’ve ever had?” Do not ask if you are of weak constitution.
  • “Rocks?  Paper?  Scissors?”  Make an argument for which one’s your favorite and why.
  • “If you were stranded on a desert island, what four things would you bring?” (If they say Kevin Bacon as one of them, take off your pants then and there.)
  • “What occupation did you want to be when you were seven?”  My little brother wanted to be a bunny rabbit–I wanted to be a vet.  Every little girl wants to be a vet, so I always mention the little brother.  (Note: this goes for all the people who wanted to be a vet at age seven, pick something else to say.  Or at least tell them that you figured out puppies dying were not your thing.)
  • “How do they land the Mars Rover?”


Once you’ve exhausted this topic list, the night is over.  It’s last call.  It’s naked time–so stop paying attention to all that talking and start paying attention to unbuttoning those pants.

A Few of My Favorite Things

A Few of My Favorite Things