One of the most common complaints I hear from women about guys they date is that they talk about themselves too much. To see this phenomenon in action, watch any episode of Millionaire Matchmaker. It’s natural to want to talk about yourself. After all, what in this world is more important to you than…you? But, talking about yourself won’t get you too far in the dating world. Continue reading ‘Don’t Talk About Yourself’ »

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An interesting e-mail question I got about time of day you send your online dating messages:

Does the time you email someone matter? Currently I make it a
rule not to respond to or send emails over the weekend (Friday night
until Sunday night). Does the time I send the email matter?

Continue reading ‘Ask Russ: Time or Day of Online Dating Messages?’ »


So, you’ve mined the conversation nuggets from your target’s profile, you’ve sent short, funny, and brilliant one-line hook, and boom, you’ve gotten a response. Now what? This is a very critical point in the online dating process, but this is the final step before meeting in person. This is “the kill,” if you will: the second message with an online dating prospect.

A high-value woman has an incredible volume of messages to manage. The fact you’ve gotten a response speaks to your online dating acumen. But because this woman has such volume to manage, you can’t waste time. You need to meet her as soon as possible. Additionally, you want to ensure that she is who you think she is without investing more time. So, you should have two goals for this online dating message: maintain interest, and secure a date. Continue reading ‘Follow-up Online Dating Message Advice’ »


OkCupid has conducted an interesting study regarding response rates based upon specific key words used in opening online dating messages.

Pretty fascinating, huh?

Continue reading ‘What to say in a first online dating message’ »

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A female reader forwarded to me this incredible message.

I just wanted to say 'thanks' for completely ignoring my previous email. It must be tough on you to have such an overinflated sense of self-importance. I guess being deluged with emails from guys who you think you are better than can get to be a hassle, huh? But you don't even have the courtesy to send back a polite 'no thanks?' I guess that's how you were raised. Best of luck to you in your search :)

Wow. The most entertaining thing is that this e-mail’s subject is “2nd attempt,” as if such an attack could be considered an “attempt” to win a woman over. Continue reading ‘How NOT to Write an Online Dating Message’ »


I love

getting e-mails from you guys, especially when they’re about your successes. Here’s one I got this morning:

Russ, you are a fucking genius! I was out flailing on for a week before I read your columns and watched the tutorials Tombstone movie . I’m a guy who normally does pretty good at the bars and meeting girls in general but after I got on Match and was failing miserably I started getting seriously demoralized.

I tweaked my profile last night with the call to action (I work in marketing and have a degree in journalism so I should have known better) and added some more nuggets. I employed your techniques this morning on two girls and got positive emails from both almost immediately. I’ve gone straight for the kill with both instead of dicking around and I have something set up with the one and I’m waiting for the other to respond. This after a week of abject failure. You’re like the Arthur Laffer of dating economics. I only hope I didn’t blow it with too many potentials utilizing my old bush league techniques.

P.S. I think the mining of their profiles for nuggets was clutch, women love talking about themselves.

What great news! I think I’ll hang this e-mail up and frame it. Mine (I like that term – good one!) those nuggets, and use them in a one-line hook, guys!

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There’s one very simple piece of advice you can follow to improve your online dating profile, and profile photos, and online dating messages tremendously: inject all of them with as many conversation nuggets as you possibly can.

  • What is a conversation nugget? Simply, something specific and potentially interesting that can be the subject of a conversation.
  • How can I start using conversation nuggets? For everything you have in your profile, photos, or messages, ask yourself “how could this start a conversation?”
    • Instead of the photo of you with a bunch of random friends, share the photo of you drinking a gigantic beer at Oktoberfest.
    • Instead of saying in your profile that you like Indian Food, name which restaurant is your favorite. Instead of saying that you’re thinking of getting a dog, say what breed you plan to get and why. Better yet, pose the question right in your profile: “should I get a Beagle or a Boston Terrier?”
    • Instead of sending a message to a match asking her about her proclaimed nutrition expertise, tell her you just ate a bunch of broccoli, and you swear you can feel the detoxifying enzymes in your body ask, “is this possible?” in one-line hook form.

Continue reading ‘Conversation Nuggets in Online Dating’ »

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Able to get a response to your online dating e-mails, but don’t know what to do next? I’ll talk about that in this video:

Note that I talk about the one-line hook for writing a great first online dating message.

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Here’s a video demonstrating the “Who’s Viewed Me” Shuffle, a searching technique that will get women to wink at you, thus conserving your resources and getting her to express interest in you. This puts you in a more favorable position when writing that first message.


If, try as you might, you can’t get a lady interested enough to wink on instead of writing messages, and there’s a special woman you’re set on contacting, I’ve got a tip for you. Nothing I’ve found works better than “the one-line hook.” This is a one-sentence question that is relevant to something in the profile that interests you, that “hooks” your target into responding.

Remember, when you are making first contact, you have one goal, and that is to get a response, which will show that she is, in fact, also interested in you (while also helping build that interest), and ready to get a follow-up message, and eventually go on a date.

Some one-line hooks that have worked for me include: Continue reading ‘Online Dating Messages: The One-Line Hook’ »