Online Dating Message Stats

Online Dating

5 Online Dating Message Stats from 2024

Anggi Pradhini

Written by: Anggi Pradhini

Anggi Pradhini

Anggi Pradhini is a professional copywriter who creates unique, engaging, and up-to-date content for As a former stockbroker turned professional writer, she loves to challenge herself to broaden her horizons and improve her skills, one article at a time. After learning from the breakups of three long-term relationships, she dedicated her life to providing informative and relatable content about relationships and dating for those who need it.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

Discuss This! Discuss This!

The digital era has transformed how we live, including our quest to find love. More than half of Americans agreed in a Pew Research survey that a relationship that begins on a dating site or app is just as successful as those that begin in person. So if you’re single, it’s worth brushing off your online dating skills and learning about this new terrain.

Whether you’re a seasoned online dater or new to the game, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of the first message. It’s a virtual handshake that serves as the first impression. Your first message could make or break a potential match. The burning question is: What should I say in the first message to get a reply?

Fortunately, dating apps understand this struggle, and they have conducted studies and gathered insightful statistics to help users craft their messages. After all, dating apps want their users to have a good experience online, and the last thing single people need is to talk to a void. Using these data-driven insights, we can refine our messaging skills and boost our chances of getting the first date.

1. Messages With “You Mention” Have a 50% Chance of a Reply

In a world where people clamor to be seen and heard, giving attention to others will make you stand out from the crowd. Statistics show that including “you mention” in your first message raises the likelihood of a response by 50%. Perhaps that’s because this phrase demonstrates that you’ve read the profile and paid attention to it. This approach signals a genuine interest and sets a positive tone for the conversation. 

Screenshot of top responses graphic
Showing that you pay attention to someone’s profile can increase the odds of receiving a response.

Other phrases that get more than a 40% reply rate are: curious what, your name, noticed that, and good taste. Additionally, mentioning specific interests such as zombies, bands, tattoos, literature, vegetarianism, and metal can also enhance engagement. Discussing topics that interest you and help you connect with your potential match can lead to more meaningful interactions.

Above all, what is most important in online dating messaging is building genuine connections. The statistics about individual words are good to know, but still, when you message your potential match, be yourself and focus on getting to know them. Don’t overuse keywords to try to game your way into someone’s heart. Keep the conversation natural. After all, you don’t want your dates to fall in love with someone you’re not.

2. On Average, Men See Fewer Responses Than Women

In the online dating realm, the gender ratio tends to lean more toward men than women, which leads to competition among men to get women’s attention. It comes as no surprise that men need to put more effort into starting and sustaining online conversations. Conversely, women often find themselves overwhelmed by the volume of messages from men and may not have the time or emotional energy to reply to all of them.

On average, a man who sends 18 messages to women his own age can be 50% certain he’ll receive at least one response. Meanwhile, women need only send five initial messages to reach the same level of response. If you aim for a 90% response rate, men would need to up their game to 58 messages and women would need to send 13 messages. It’s clear that men need to try three times harder than women to get the same result.

Knowing these numbers can help you set realistic expectations, especially if you’re new to online dating. Don’t give up just because you send several messages and don’t get dates right away. And remember that quality matters more than quantity. Instead of spamming multiple profiles to initiate conversation, focus on people you’re genuinely interested in so the conversation will be more meaningful and worth your time.

3. Between 40 and 90 Characters Is Best for First Messages

As we’ve mentioned earlier, your initial message plays a crucial role in making a good impression. OkCupid has dug into its user data and discovered valuable tips to increase a single person’s chances of receiving a reply. According to its findings, the sweet spot for your first message is between 40 and 90 characters which roughly translates into one or two sentences. 

Moreover, if you’ve been using generic greetings like hi or hello, you may not get many conversations. To increase your chances of receiving responses, try changing your greetings to more engaging ones, such as  How’s it going or What’s up? OkCupid also found that women don’t like compliments that reference their physical appearance – hot, sexy, and beautiful — at the beginning of an online chat.

Photo of someone messaging on a mobile device
Two sentences seem to be the sweet spot for most first messages on dating apps.

So the question is: How does someone compliment a woman in a non-physical way? Our dating experts suggest you mention something you noticed from their dating profile that’s not physical. Below are a few examples of how you can create an intriguing first message:

Example #1: 

“War and Peace” also took me two years to finish. (47 characters)

Example #2:

Harry Potter fan, huh? Who is your favorite character? Mine is Hermione. (73 characters)

Example #3

Can you really play the guitar as your profile photo suggests, or do you just pose with it? (91 characters)

Statistics aside, please remember that your first messages don’t have to stick to 40–90 characters. This number is a guideline to make your first greetings short and effective. 

4. Online Daters Like Messages About Similar Interests 

When it comes to building connections, finding common ground is often the best way to start. And one topic that is likely to strike a chord with strangers is music. In fact, a study of 9 million profiles on Plenty of Fish revealed that music lovers, both male and female, were more likely to find a catch. 

“Mentioning a particular band you’re currently listening to or listing your favorite tunes can help break the ice and provide an easy conversation starter on a dating app,” said Kate MacLean, a Plenty of Fish (POF) dating expert. “If you find yourself chatting with someone who enjoys the same music you do, that’s great!”

Photo of a couple at a concert
Singles often use music as a conversation starter, which can provide plenty of insights about a potential partner.

The type of music that people listen to also provides interesting insight on a person’s personality. Men who list country music as an interest in their profile receive 32% more messages on POF and are more likely to find their match (65%), according to the study. On the flip side, women who love classic rock, such as Led Zeppelin, Queen, and The Rolling Stones, are more likely to find a match on POF (68%), the study found. 

In addition, women looking for a long-term relationship would do well to search for a man who says he loves country music. The POF study revealed that 49% of these men were less likely to be looking for casual hookups. Meanwhile, single women who listen to classical music are 93% more likely to seek marriage, according to the study. So don’t forget to check your potential match’s music preference next time you use an online dating app.

5. Messaging Rates Skyrocketed During the 2020 Lockdowns

The pandemic lockdowns of 2020 had a big impact on the dating world, particularly when it came to online dating. When singles couldn’t meet in person, they flocked to apps in record numbers. OkCupid saw a 21% increase in users during the pandemic lockdowns in the spring of 2020. At the same time, there was almost a 30% increase in young women sending more intro messages on the app. 

Elite Singles, the dating site for single professionals, also grew in membership and recorded higher levels of online engagement, especially video chat. In terms of messaging rates, adults on the dating platform seemed to embrace the new normal of remote life. “We found that EliteSingles dating profiles with phrases like ‘working from home’ or ‘home office’ received 85% more messages than the average dating profile,” the team explained.

These numbers show that people in lockdown were craving connection, and the easiest way to get it was by connecting online. 

Photo of daters messaging with masks on
Messaging on dating apps increased significantly during the pandemic in 2020.

The pace of online dating changed as well in 2020. Before the pandemic, people rushed to go on their first date once they connected on dating apps. During the lockdown, online dating became a marathon that required singles to take their time to get to know prospective dates and build deeper connections before agreeing to meet.

OkCupid has also seen a shift in what its users want in their love lives. More single people are seeking long-term relationships rather than hookups in the post-pandemic world. The conversation on dating platforms is becoming less small talk and more meaningful, and people seem more interested in making an emotional connection than simply meeting a hottie.

Dating Message Takeaways: Be Original, Positive & Interested

These statistics should help you navigate online dating with confidence and meet a romantic partner you’re interested in. When all is said and done, interacting with new people through online dating apps isn’t so different from meeting new people in real life. Except in real life, you don’t have a bio of information to help start the conversation. 

People can sense if you’re being sincere, so treat the messaging process with care. Remember that each interaction is unique. If you want to be successful in getting a date, approach every conversation with respect, positivity, and eagerness to discover the person behind the dating profile. What you put out there will attract the same vibe. So if you want to get a terrific partner, you can start by becoming a terrific individual yourself.

One last piece of dating advice I’d like to offer you is to enjoy the process. Online dating is an experience that may take a few weeks, or a few months, or maybe even a few years, and it shouldn’t be a chore – it should be something that helps you learn and grow. Try to find joy in the conversations and connections that come your way (and brush off the awkward and irksome ones) without putting so much pressure on yourself to get a certain result. Focus on being authentic and building trust, and the rest will follow.