If you’ve been in the online dating world for any length of time, you’ve probably realized that it takes two to tango. Meaning, it takes two people to get things going, especially when it comes to chatting. Hopefully you’ve bit the bullet and have already sent private messages to those you are interested in knowing better. Great job!
Now… when someone responds, what do you do? You keep the conversation going as long as possible. This doesn’t mean it has to be a 1-3 hour IM marathon. You could certainly have a conversation back and forth over several days. The point is to keep things going.
How do you do that? Here are some tips:
- Be Genuinely Interested. Be honestly interested in learning all about the other person. If you’re not, they will figure it out pretty quickly. This is about getting to know them as a human and a friend. If love follows, fine–but that is not the goal as of this minute.
- Ask Lots of Questions. Look at the person’s profile and get a sense about them. Ask about things they mention on their profile. Where are they from? What do they do for a living? What are some things on their Bucket List?
- React to Their Answers. When the other person answers a question, respond. For example, if you ask, What do you do for a living? And they respond, I write for the local newspaper, you could react with: Oh that’s cool! I’ve never met a real-life reporter. In essence, you are telling the other person that you heard them an are excited by them.
- Dig a Little Deeper. When the other person responds to a question and you’ve offered your reaction, next ask a follow-up question. Dig a little deeper–within reason of course. Play it by ear and don’t push too hard, especially with sensitive subjects. If the other person avoids talking about something, take the hint. But if they mention photography a few times, it’s pretty obvious they want to talk about it. So steer things towards what they are most passionate about.
- Be Honest About Yourself. At some point, the other person will ask questions about you. Number one, be honest. Don’t stretch the truth just to make yourself appear a certain way. You don’t have to tell the other person your deepest darkest secrets, but with information you to offer, make sure it’s honest.
- Keep It Light. Especially at the beginning, if the conversation gets too serious too fast, it’ll scare the other person off. If thing are light and fun, then the other person can start to develop trust with you. Trust is essential to keeping the conversation going. It’s also important to keep it fun! Be humorous and playful. That will keep the other person coming back for more!
- Get a Little Flirty. After you’ve been talking for a bit, get a little flirty! Try not to make a big deal about it, but definitely do it. For example, you could tell the other person you really like a particular picture they have on their profile. Explain why. Tell them they are cute. Tell them you thought about them the other day. Again, keep it light (otherwise it’ll be kinda creepy) but throw a little flirtiness into the mix once you’ve gotten a little more personal.
- Ask When You Can Talk Again. If the conversation is reaching an end, it doesn’t have to be forever. Tell them that you had fun talking and you’d like to talk again. Set a tentative date/time to talk again, if you can. If the other person agrees and shows up, you’re totally in.