With the advent of the internet and email, so much of our connections, input and interactions are using the written words.

On the plus side, people are reading way more than they used to, which, as a writer, makes me happy!  On the minus side, some people are not great writers or not great at using this medium to their best advantage.

Unfortunately, if people don’t like your writing style, they may never meet you in real life and realize that you’re an awesome person.  So, let’s help you get your writing and messaging game strong!

Express Yourself 1

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I cannot stress this enough.  Most people are turned off by bad grammar.  We aren’t talking about a typo here or there or accidentally using “there” instead of “their.”  Those mistakes happen. I’m talking about a lack of punctuation, capitalization, misspellings, etc.

“Hi There ☺ How are you? I browzed around and noticed your profile which got my  interest as I like your profile you sound very intersting and look cute. I want a relationship to last so if your looking for that as well i hope you can message back”

There’s so much wrong with this message but the grammar alone would send me running!

Express Yourself 2

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I know it’s difficult trying to write to a virtual stranger.  Especially as men, who aren’t really taught to express their feelings well.  But if you just use logical, direct words, it doesn’t inspire any emotion.

No: “On the weekends I like to go hiking.”

Yes: “I’m always happy when I can escape the city and relax out in beautiful nature!”

Be Careful About Teasing

Yes, teasing is fun and flirty but when it’s read in stark black and white of a message, it can easily be misconstrued.  No one can tell what your tone is, so what might be enjoyable in person can sound outright mean online. You might want to joke around that they like Justin Bieber, but it might come off judgey and mean.  You only have a little time to interact, don’t risk too much!

Ideally, you want to have easy and fun back-and-forths.  So make it easy for them to respond to you. Now is not the time to get into deep discussions that require a 20-minute email.  If they can just fire off something quick to you, they are much more likely to respond. Remember, they are likely receiving lots of emails, so if it takes too long to write back, they might save yours for later and then forget about it.

No: “Yes, weekend was good!  I watched the debate and man, I can’t believe this election!  So what are your thoughts on immigration reform?”

Yes: “Yes, weekend was good! I watched the debate and man, I can’t believe this election! I had to go cleanse my palate with some chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream!  What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?”

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Hunt Ethridge is a Hoboken-based dating consultant and a fashion writer. Currently, he is the Senior Dating Coach at New York Dating Coach (www.newyorkdatingcoach.com).