How to Repair a Bad First Impression Online

July 5, 2012
How to Repair a Bad First Impression Online

Let’s be honest — online dating is awkward. While online dating websites offer an increasingly viable opportunity to meet the sort of great men you’ve been looking for all your life, they also provide plenty of opportunities to make a total fool out of yourself.

Whether you’re unsure of how long to wait before responding to a message, you’re insecure about starting a chat with an eligible bachelor, or you simply wrote something embarrassing, using an online dating website will provide you with countless moments where you feel off your game.

Everyone, at some point, will feel like they made an ass out of themselves online. But thankfully, with the right strategy, you can easily come back after making a bad first impression online. Let’s take a minute to look at a couple common online dating screw-ups and how you can recover from them.

You said something inappropriate.

The text-dominated nature of online dating makes it difficult to determine inflection, tone, timing and countless other little cues that help inform you of the deeper meaning lying behind a man’s words. And without a consistently clear understanding of what a man really means when he sends you a message, it’s unavoidable that you will eventually respond to at least one of these missives inappropriately.

To recover from making an inappropriate statement, you need to first wait for a man’s response. Don’t assume that a couple days of silence indicates an indictment of your botched message. Wait for a response, and when it comes, evaluate the tone of his reaction. Nine times out of 10, a man won’t respond nearly as negatively as you worried he would.

If he is truly offended by what you said and he corrects you, then it’s up to you to apologize and explain where you were coming from and what you actually meant. If you’re honest and sincere, then a single misstep shouldn’t sideline your chances with a man.

Finally, if a man doesn’t respond within a reasonable period of time, then you’re free to go ahead and send him the apology message and let him know you still want to continue getting to know him better. Your apology may or may not work, but it’s always better to try to re-establish communication than to simply write off what may very well be a salvageable connection.

He stops responding for no reason.

If a man stops responding to you without any clear reason, you can’t assume you’ve done something wrong. There are a million reasons why a man may not respond to your message. Men get busy, men don’t always know what to say, and men occasionally enter into serious relationships and cut ties with the other women they’ve been getting to know.

When a man stops responding without an obvious reason, you need to wait a reasonable amount of time, whether it’s one week, two weeks or a month, and then you need to send him a simple, “Hey there! What’s up?” message. Keep your message short, keep it friendly, and keep it noncommittal.

If a guy is interested and simply found himself sidetracked, your message will bring him back. If he has left forever, then you can move on, confident you did everything in your power to keep your connection going.

Sam has been writing about dating and relationships for more than three years now. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bucknell University, has self-published a few of his own books and is currently working on mastering the double right turn in his salsa dancing classes. Connect with him on Google+.

Related Topics:
Etiquette Online Match

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