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The art of cyberflirting

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For many of you, communicating for the first time with someone you have not yet met can be a stressful and confusing proposition. Others may actually find this easier than flirting in the offline world. Whichever camp you fall in, we hope that the following tips will help you find the right words, nuances, and keyboard symbols to send the right message to your online crush.

Opening up the conversation

If you are the first to initiate an eflirt, keep your message relatively short and simple, but always include an intriguing fact about yourself to elicit curiosity (and inspire a response).

Example: Hello! I love the fact that you're a world traveler - have you ever been to Timbuktu? (Even if you've never been, you can follow up with subsequent messages about wanting to visit.)

The "Open Loop/Closed Loop" email

If for whatever reason you are not interested in pursuing a dialogue with your eflirtee, there are a couple of ways you can send the right message without being completely rude - this is the art of the "open- and closed-loop email." The open-looped email always ends with a question; the closed-looped email does not. The open-looped email indicates you are interested while the closed-looped hopefully lets the person know to stop emailing you.

Open-looped:It sounds like you are quite a mountain biker - where do you like to ride? What kind of bike do you have?

Closed-looped:That's cool that you like to bike. Take it easy.

Timing is everything

Similar to the offline world, timing is everything - but the rules on email are different. You do not need to wait three days to return an email, but you do need to wait more than three minutes. It's a smart idea to vary your response time, and be aware of how long he/she is taking to respond to you. Also of note: responding to emails at 10 pm on a Saturday night may not send the right message (and people, especially women do notice these things).

Spelling and grammar

People have very different standards for spelling and grammar in the email world. In the beginning, try to err on the grammatically correct side of things (this way they know you are capable of writing a complete sentence). It never hurts to run a spell-check or take time to proofread. After you have established a rapport, you can take more liberty using lower case, slang terms, and more casual communication.

In no time, you'll be wooing prospective dates with your flirtatious emails.


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