8 First Online-Dating Messages That Led To Relationships

This article was originally published on February 19, 2016.

We all know, whether firsthand or through acquaintances, that online dating can be a horror show. The silver lining: Horrifying messages are ideal material for war stories, and depressing or entertaining websites and articles that feature egregious digital overtures abound.

A select few first messages in this mess, however, lead to IRL relationships. A 2015 survey conducted by Mic found that 9.4% of the 2,373 coupled 18-to-34-year-olds who participated met their partners online. To celebrate connections sparked on the internet, we collected eight first online-dating messages that actually worked — as in, they led to relationships in the meatspace. Some messages are long, some short; some begin with greetings, while others leap directly into conversation.

They are all, however, polite and friendly, and while some are complimentary, none are overtly sexual. Take note, single swipers! Click through to witness the first bloomings of real-life love.
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Hinge

"After Daniel, I, and the algorithm gods agreed [Daniel and I] could be a potential match, I made the move to reach out to him... [This was in response to] something like 'I am incapable of keeping a jar of peanut butter for more than a day.' I'm not sure whether that came from liking his profile, impatience, or given the subject matter, hunger — or some combination of the three. 15 months later, I'm so incredibly glad I did." — Message sender
2 of 8
OkCupid

"Here's the thread of my exchange with [my partner]. We're getting married in two weeks! OkCupid had a question like 'What's the most embarrassing thing you'll admit to?' I answered that I listened to NPR all the time without donating, so that's what she mentioned in her first message." — Message recipient
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3 of 8
Tinder

"I responded because I was stoked we'd matched and he finally sent me a message. I joined as a joke, but found myself really hoping he'd message me — something about his eyes seemed really kind. I was glad he led with a question because it got the conversation going right away. We're now engaged! His groom's cake is even our Tinder match screen."
— Message recipient
4 of 8
OkCupid

"Spaced is a late-'90s British sitcom often (incorrectly) compared to Friends, and it is one of my favorite shows of all time. So, of course, I mentioned this in my OkCupid profile. Way back in 2009, I was a junior in college, and had neither Netflix nor friends who were interested in talking about my undying love of canceled brit-coms. So, this message was the perfect recipe for a response from me. This guy and I ended up dating casually for about a year. Spaced, however, is still on Hulu." — Message recipient
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OkCupid

"This message still makes me smile. In my OKCupid profile, I had said something about debating whether it would be better to perish in the zombie apocalypse or try to survive in the 'afterscape.' I appreciated that he'd clearly read far enough into my answers to come across that word."

"It also felt like a real person was on the other end, asking how things were going the way you would in real life, instead of the too-typical online dating messages saying I was cute or that he thought we'd be a good match because of XYZ or flat-out propositioning me, so I replied. More than four years later, we're married, and expecting our first baby in June. Looking forward to our own post-child afterscape!" — Message recipient
6 of 8
HowAboutWe

"I was on the app just browsing [when] I had a message from someone who, from what I could make out in the thumbnail, was cute. I vowed that if I was going to pay for a subscription, I had to force myself to put in some effort. I opened the message and it was perfect. In my profile I had mentioned that all Jim Carrey movies were the best."

"These messages were exchanged in 2013 — we dated for a summer, then we each went soul searching, reconnected in April 2014 and will be celebrating two years together in April!"
— Message recipient
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Match

"I met the love of my life and my business partner with this message... I thought it was a good message because I keyed into a few of his key interests (travel, food, tennis, space travel) and mentioned his adorable kids, who really ARE adorable and have since become a huge part of my life. I got a 'four-in-one' special. Also, since I was reaching out to him, I kept it casual. I think guys like to be the one to ask the girl out on a date, so I left the 'asking' up to him." — Message sender
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OkCupid

"I'm a sucker for vocabulary and wordplay, so I loved that his first line opened with 'flanked' and 'abutting.' Not exactly common vernacular, especially on OKCupid. He then followed up by connecting to several key, personal points in my profile, and did so with intelligence, wit, and even a bit of poetic nuance."

"Overall, I was impressed that clearly he read my profile in full, cared enough to reflect on it and add his own thoughts, threw in a bit of flattery for good measure, and in the process of all of this, subtly demonstrated a lot about himself (charming, smart, thoughtful) without coming off like a cocky dick. It was a breath of fresh air after months of wading through the online-dating cesspool. (And let's be honest — it didn't hurt that he was a total babe, too.)" — Message recipient
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