Online Romance: It’s All in the Timing

A few months ago, my editor sent me an email from an XY Canada reader who wanted to know how to find out if a woman is interested in him or not, based on the amount of time it takes her to reply to an email he sent.

Timing is very important when awaiting a response from a woman you’re interested in. After the first date, most women expect you to use the three-day rule. That is, you must make contact within three days for her to think you’re interested. She will reply, using the same three-day rule. After that, you can up the ante by replying within the day, and she will reciprocate likewise. If she doesn’t, and doesn’t have a good excuse – like being out of town or otherwise incapacitated – then she’s not interested.

If it’s online dating, and you’re initiating contact, give her five to seven days to reply to your first email. Not all women are glued to their screens on Lavalife.

Content is also key. When composing an email, try to look at it from a woman’s perspective. After a first date, a simple “How are you doing?” email will be analyzed to death. She’ll wonder, does this mean he’s interested, or just wanting to be friends? Why is he so vague? Does he even care? And so on, until she thinks you’re crud. You know how it goes.

It’s important to be clear in your email. That is, start with a greeting, and go on to pay her a compliment on the lovely scarf she was wearing when you last saw her, or something she said that made you smile. Don’t overdo the compliments – keep it simple and sincere.

If it’s an introductory email, pay attention to what you know about her from her profile. Better yet, offer something about yourself that draws parallels. There is nothing more annoying than the “How are you doing?” email from a stranger that leaves no room for response. You’ll go straight to the trash.


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