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Making contact

Ladies first

Thanks to online dating, it’s never been easier for women to make the first move, but many women wait for a sign from their Prince Charming. What happens if he remains obstinately silent, though? The answer is to take the initiative.

Ladies first

You don’t want to miss your big opportunity.

“I don’t actually send contact requests,” says Joanne (37). A single mother with a young daughter, she tends to have several Parship correspondences on the go at any one time. “I don’t want to overload myself,” she admits. Nicole Schiller, Parship’s resident psychologist, suggests that everyone should be ready to make the first move. “If you just wait for someone to come to you, you are depriving yourself of the opportunity to take the lead in finding what you want,” she continues. And it could be that your ideal man just hasn’t spotted your profile … or that a certain type of man - who’s not to your taste - keeps getting in contact with you. Only if you take the plunge and get in touch with men on your list will you be making the most of all the possibilities open to you.

Men need signals

“Never write to a man first and when he emails you, take at least 24 hours to reply to him - because you are busy.” Brenda (57, a secretary) found these particular pearls of wisdom, found in a newspaper article about online dating, less than reassuring. “But I thought I didn’t really stand a chance of getting something going unless I took the initiative … What’s the right route?” Parship’s Nicole Schiller feels that “Brenda should absolutely trust her instincts and get herself noticed by sending contact requests.” Partly because more and more women over the age of 40 are looking for a partner and the right kind of men are much in demand, and also, as Schiller explains: “men work on the basis of clear signals from women.” Men don’t get the ‘wrong impression’ of a woman who makes initial contact. Not that you should suddenly become some kind of pushy predator - it’s just a matter of giving a signal. In real life a woman encourages a man with looks; on Parship it’s a few well-chosen words.

Striking the right tone

Even just sending a contact request without a note attached can work, as Melanie (35) and Ed (38) discovered, but it’s even better if you strike a more personal tone and give a reason why he appeals to you “ … I also play the saxophone”.. “I’m interested to see that you enjoy acting …”

If you’ve got a reasonable photo and a bit of courage, show him what you look like, though you need to bear in mind that some men are very specific about what kind of looks appeal to them. If he doesn’t want to carry on the correspondence after he’s seen your photo, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t attractive! It’s important to leave him a little space rather than dictating things to him. So it’s fine to suggest meeting up, but don’t take it upon yourself to make all the arrangements for the date, otherwise he’s going to feel trapped. “Men still like to feel a sense of conquest,” adds Nicole Schiller.

Express your desires

By making the first move you’re putting yourself in a strong starting position, especially if you’re the kind of person who otherwise tends to be a bit on the submissive side. It’s up to you to go through you list of recommended partners and choose some favourites, rather than wracking your brains to think of witty responses to the mails you have received.

In the course of a correspondence there’s a lot to take into account … Do you exchange photos? How fast should you take things? Of course, if a man approaches you first, you can still assert yourself, but you can be surer of having a real say in things if you initiated the process. The one unavoidable negative with sending contact requests is that things might go no further - it’s the man’s choice how he reacts; but it’s highly unlikely that he is going to be put off by the fact that you got in touch with him first.

Don’t cut your nose to spite your face

After a bit of a bad run, Sandra (47) felt disgruntled: “Men just sit back and wait to be written to, and they only react when they feel like it. I’m not sending any more contact requests - it’s up to them.” She’s not doing herself any favours with that attitude. Her recommended partners on Parship can’t do anything about the fact that there are not more men of their age on the lookout for a long-term relationship. And it’s really not a good idea when sending a contact request or completing your ‘About me’ page to write things like: “Don’t you men ever bother to reply?” As Parship’s Nicole Schiller explains: “Sometimes you just have to be patient. You chances of success also depend on your attitude to things.”

Open up some new horizons

To help make your own luck, extend your search. How about making contact with someone in France, Germany or another country - and how about thinking about men who are younger than you are? “Unfortunately, many women are shy about getting in touch with younger men,” says Nicole Schiller, but it’s worth bearing in mind that you won’t even appear on a man’s list of recommended partners if you are above the age he considers ‘ideal’ - so this is an opportunity to get yourself noticed. If you are 60 or older, you might have noticed that men of your age are often on the lookout for younger women, but test things out by sending a few contact requests. And don’t forget that nobody except you knows how many people you have contacted, so why not go for it! If you’ve got a bit of time one weekend, try sending a couple of friendly sentences to ten men on your list. The following weekend, repeat the whole process with another ten. That should get things moving!

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