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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Dating Triumphs & Tragedies > Online Dating Email Tips

Dating Triumphs and Tragedies
by Nicole Roberge

Writing Me Off
Online Dating Email Tips

I’ve had the sudden, and painful, realization that I’m a writer.  Not in the professional sense.  I mean, I am in the professional sense, but I didn’t just realize that.  What I do mean is that “I’m a writer” like some people would say, “I’m a talker.”  Which can kind of put a damper on your dating life.

Growing up, I was kind of shy and quiet, but sort of came out of my shell in high school.  Even so, when meeting someone, I was always a bit silent at first and it took me a while to warm up a bit, but then afterwards—watch out!  Here’s Nicole!


But I like to think that I’ve evolved a bit and now that I’m older, I’ve found a happy medium.  I’m able to have conversations with people from the get-go, but not start singing songs at random.  So all is well…until…that whole online and email thing…

I never quite know what to say in those emails, and I know I’ve given the advice of not letting the emailing go on too long, and I don’t think that’s the problem.  It’s that my emails themselves go on way too long.  I don’t know when to stop!  I ask questions, I tell stories, give my family history, tell about my work, random thoughts, blah-blah-blah.  My emails go on FOREVER!  So first I get a response back saying, “okay, I’ll try and answer all your questions,” and I’m confused because I thought it was supposed to be a question-answer thing, and then suddenly I get a comment like, “I really like reading your emails, keep ‘em coming.”  This is after we’ve talked too.  After we’ve met and even when that may not go well, the person still tells me how much he enjoyed reading my emails.  So I have to wonder—did he go on a date with me, or my writing?

And aren’t “I” my writing?  Everything I put on the page, every word, was me.  Nothing elaborate—it was totally candid.  And that’s who I am.  Maybe I had a hard time being that open once we were face to face, and that might take a couple meetings.  Perhaps it was easier dishing things out to my computer screen.  Maybe that’s my problem.  So I found myself caught in a dilemma—should I hold back on the emails, or just hold back on dating?

I’ve got the pen on one shoulder saying, “Don’t give up on writing!” and my whole family on the other shoulder saying “Don’t give up on dating!”  And they’re both right.  So how can I ease up on the never-ending emails without withholding information?  Gosh, this sounds like a very dramatic made-for-TV movie.

I’m sure I’m not the first person to have emailing dilemmas when it comes to dating.  Ah, yes, I can see you there sitting behind your computers, maybe thinking of what to say, cringing, going to type, then falling back in your chair, knowing that wouldn’t work.  Defeated by your keyboard.  And then there are those like me, typing like maniacs, telling your email buddy about the guy you met in the elevator who had a blue shirt on and how much you like the color blue because it reminds you of the ocean and swimming is so much fun but only in the summer because in the winter it’s cold but it’s not cold out right now….what???
So here it goes, a few pointers for a good, and concise email.  And let’s hope I can follow them.

1) Don’t ramble.  It’s as simple as that.  Really, it is.  There’s no need to go on and on and on.  You can explain yourself but don’t be repetitive.  Like, all I really needed to say here was “don’t ramble.”

2) Don’t put too many questions or your own details into one email.  Then what will you have for later?

3) Speaking of questions—don’t bombard him with questions.  He might feel a little apprehensive about answering them all.  Wouldn’t you?

4) Keep it lighthearted early on.  There’s no need to get too serious…yet.

5) Remember that, yes, the emailing is part of getting his attention and seeing if there is a connection, but it’s not the only thing.  There is of course more to the person than his email address.  Same with you.

These may seem like easy steps, but when in the depths of an exciting email (or even not-so-exciting), you may not want to go back and check for these things.  You’re just too eager for a response, and click send.  But take it from someone who knows—you want a guy to remember you for you, and not that great message you sent him.


Dating Triumphs and Tragedies is published every Sunday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Nicole Roberge. She can be reached at

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