Women! Don’t be Afraid to Message First

There are plenty of things about dating that, when held up to scrutiny, just don’t make much sense at all. It’s a practice loaded with rules, traditions, and conventions that would sound awfully strange if you described them to an alien.

Now, we all know that traditional dating and online dating are, at least functionally, quite different. Whilst traditional dating is about the moment – catching a smile across a crowded room, and taking things from there – online dating is a much fairer and more balanced approach to dating. There’s still the element of instant chemistry, but you get the chance to think about your approach, write a friendly message and really get your personality across.

Though the two are clearly different, there are some vestigial traditions which have stuck around in mature online dating – and none more disappointing than women’s reluctance to message first. It’s something that many of us don’t consider when we’re dating, but the resistance to speaking to a man first is a hangover from ‘civilised’ societies where women would not speak until they were spoken too. It’s a case of embedded sexism that’s meant countless encounters have been missed, and potentially a lot of loves lost over the years.

It’s not just anecdotal evidence, either, because studies back it up. A new study by major online dating websites has shown that women of all ages (even us over 40 dating users) do not send the first message. Astonishingly, women are 3.5x less likely to message the man first. As a woman, you’re likely to send around only 4 messages first, compared to 14 for men. Now, you might say that because women are simply more discerning, but the study also shows that women who do message first reap the benefits.

Unlike men who message first, women who send the first missive are 2.5x more likely to get a response. Indeed, not only are you going to be having more conversations than your sisters who wait for the first message, you’ll be chatting with more attractive men too.

On average, men send messages to women 5% more attractive than themselves. However, women who message first do so to men 7% more attractive than themselves. Combine that with the fact that you’re 2.5x more likely to get a response and you’re talking on average to men 12% more attractive than women who sat back and waited for a message. Oh, and the same goes for women who are looking for women. So, if you’re getting back on the horse with online dating, you’d do well to message first!

We all know that as mature daters it can be difficult to get out of our old ways, but if you’re serious about meeting fantastic new people and taking control of your dating life – it really pays to message first!

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