If you’re making these introductions in an online dating community or sites like craigslist personals, this doesn’t make the task any easier. You’re likely to be a perfectionist about these things, or at least that’s the hope. While working over an email to make it perfect can also make it seem artificial and overwrought, you don’t want to dash off the first thing that comes to mind. You want to take your time, if nothing else because you don’t want to reply immediately to an email introduction from someone else – this reeks of desperation.
A Good First Impression
Remember: besides your profile picture and a few sentences your dashed off on your profile template, this is the first impression this person has of you. You want to sound reasonably intelligent and you want to be presentable. Use proper grammar and proper spelling. Studies show that women find an inability to write properly to be off-putting. If you can’t spell and make a sentence properly, you just don’t look particularly smart, even if you are. This shows one of two things: laziness or lack of education.
In the first case, you might be perfectly able to learn proper spelling and grammar, but you just don’t want to take the time to learn them, or use properly what you’ve learned. This is the equivalent of the guy who doesn’t take the time to brush his hair or teeth, clean up his car for a date, or put on deodorant.
Besides the unsightly nature of what you’re presenting, you’re telling this woman a whole lot of things about your personality and attitude towards life. Since most people who can’t spell know how to use a spell check, you are showing complete contempt for your audience, which is the woman you’re trying to impress.
In the second case, you are showing you don’t have the ability to learn good writing. This is worse, of course, because studies show that women like intelligent men. Educated and intelligent people (not always the same thing) are more interesting and stimulating to talk to, while (often more importantly) they tend to be in a higher economic class.
The upshot being, you don’t want women to think you can’t express yourself well. Good spelling in an email introduction might be less important for men (getting a letter from women), but it’s still a good idea for our female readers to express themselves well. Compare an email introduction for Internet dating much like a letter of introduction on a resume: you want to impress.
It’s somewhat elusive to “be yourself” without being too much of yourself. You want to present the positive side of your personality, but you want that side to be unmistakably you. Sure, you want to impress the person on the other side of the email, but you don’t want to be impressive by making up stories about yourself or your life experiences.
Don’t lie about your job or salary. Be honest about your expectations from the relationship. It’s better you avoid all talk of these things until sometime later in the relationship. If you don’t feel comfortable discussing these subjects with someone who is pushy to know about them, they aren’t the right person anyway.
Here’s the other side of the coin: don’t give away too much. First, it’s a safety and security concern to give away too much personal information to someone you hardly knows. Beyond that, though, you don’t want to tell this person your troubles, worries, feuds, and grudges.
This is stuff they’ll find out later, after they get to know you and have some affection for you. Most people are not going to gain affection for you if you tell them about your problems with your ex, your divorce, your troubles at work, or your exploits in bed, beyond the most passing reference to it. It’s better you avoid these subjects altogether in an introduction. Be brief. Describe yourself. Give a positive image of yourself. Don’t volunteer too much information.