How to write a GREAT online dating email on eHarmony

This article is going to teach you how to write a great (not good) email on eHarmony or any other online dating service.

Over the course of any given month, I get about 40-50 emails from people asking me for dating advice. Lately I have been noticing a trend amongst the females in which they are not able to get guys to respond to their emails. For illustration purposes, I am going to use my friend Sally who came to me with the exact same problem last week.

Sally is a very attractive 26 year old. She has a good job and comes from a great family. She is funny and witty and the exact type of girl that any guy would dream of dating. With one exception…

In the past week and a half, she has emailed about 15 different guys and not one has responded to her request for communication. I took a look at her personality profile, then took a look at her emails and found the root cause of the problem. I asked her to write an email to one of her matches, but not send it.

She gave me her permission to cut and paste the email into this post:

“Hi John ! I just got back from Pilates class and I’m tired. Work was just out of hand today…Had 3 meetings and the second one caused me to be late for the third one. Oh well, I shouldn’t complain because for the past 4 years I have been working towards this promotion and I guess it comes with the territory. After work I had exactly 30 minutes to drop my car off at the dealership before Pilates class began. The girl at the rental car place was taking her sweet time and the printer was malfunctioning so by the time I got out of there I was already 15 minutes late to class.

I guess this is just one of those days for me !

Well, hope you had a great day and ttyl !”

– Sally

Ok, so what we have here on the surface is a seemingly innocuous looking email from Sally to a guy named John. In it, she describes her hectic day and how nobody/nothing was on time. That nice….if “John” was the brand name of a diary that she picked up at Staples instead of a live human being.

When John reads this email, what is he going to think/say? I would consider myself a master linguist and even I would have a hard time responding to that email. Sally gave John nothing to go off of. She basically treated him as if he was her personal diary. This is extremely impersonal and basically says to John:

“Hey, I’m the center of attention here and TMZ and the Paparazzi should be following me around with a t.v. crew and camera to document the most mundane events in my life.” See you at 6:30pm on Fox Channel 11 right after the Simpsons !!

This email is a clear red flag to John that she might be somewhat self absorbed (perhaps a bit shallow) and atrocious at interpersonal communication skills. I have known Sally for almost 10 years and she does not fit into one of those categories. Sally is relatively new to online dating and doesn’t realize that there is an unwritten code of conduct when it comes to writing emails. I pointed this out to her and she told me that she really couldn’t think of anything interesting to say….

Sally met John through eHarmony. I told her that it was inexcusable that she could not think of anything interesting to say to him. Had she been a member of one of the “lower end” online dating services, wherein all you have to go off of is a cheesy picture and a couple of paragraphs of “about me” then I could plausibly understand….but not with eHarmony.

In a nutshell, before you are given the option to freely communicate with your matches on eHarmony, you must first go through something called “guided communication” wherein you have to choose 4 questions to send to your match. eHarmony already gives you the questions (or you can ask your own) and all your match has to do is respond to those questions either in their own words or pre-answers that eHarmony lists.

So before you get to the point where you can freely communicate back and forth in the eHarmony system, you have already gotten to know quite a bit about the other person. There is a ton of information that you can use to compose a very well written, thoughtful email to your matches on eHarmony.

I told Sally that she should have gone back to those Q&A “guided communication” section and pulled a couple of good questions from his answers. She could have asked him to expand upon his love for dining and cooking. She could have asked him where he plans on traveling this year since he told her that he loves to travel internationally. In the end, I took a look at her guided communication with John and created a sample email that she SHOULD have sent him in the first place:

“Hey John ! Well, we finally made it to open communication ! So tell me a bit more about your love for cooking….what’s your favorite cooking style? Mine is Italian. I don’t cook as often as I like to due to my sometimes hectic work schedule, but when I do I love to make the same pasta dishes that my Grandmother brought here from the old country. Any plans on going out of the country this year? I just got back from Hawaii a few months ago (for work). I haven’t been outside the country but am starting to do some research on flights as I would love to go to Italy this summer.

Anyways, hope you had a great day and talk to you soon !”

– Sally

The above email was short and sweet, yet to the point. In it, there are many topics of discussion that John can “pull from” to reply back with a great response. Trust me, if a man is into you….and you send him an email that is similar to what I just wrote, he will have no problem composing a great reply.

That email did not give out any irrelevant information about Sally (that would raise a red flag in John’s mind). Sally instead greeted him, picked out two things to further expand upon (that they briefly spoke about via “guided communication”) and then said her goodbye. Sally did not come off as desperate, needy, clingy or gave off any sort of red flags that would send John packing for the hills. It did however give John much information to pull from when he writes his reply back to Sally.

Long emails are fine….just not for the first 3 or 4 times you communicate. Long winded emails are a very good indication of chemistry and attraction, but when you start throwing out irrelevant information from the get-go, you are only scaring people away.