What Do Women Want from the Men who Email Them?

What do women want from the men who email them? And, if you’re a guy, do you give them what they want?

Please respond in the comments below.


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  1. 1

    Maybe I’m a minority here, but the only thing I really want from an email from a guy on a dating site is an indication that he has read my profile. A nice greeting, then one or two questions about me that he would have come up with from reading my information, indicating an interest in my personality and that he’s not carpet-bombing every girl he sees.

    There is no magical formula that will get me to write someone back. Likely before I even read the email I will check out the profile to make sure that the superficial stuff is there (I’m a tall girl, height is the first thing I look at). If the guy is a definite no, I probably won’t even read his email.

    One interesting tidbit, both of the men that I met on a dating site and have had serious relationships with (including my current and final boyfriend) had “hello” in a foreign language as the email subject. Ex greeted me with “gutentag” and current boy greeted me in Thai (which was referenced on my profile). Funny coincidence. 🙂

  2. 2

    The first thing I want is for me to not be rude when I tell them I’m not interested.

    The second thing I want is for men to say more than the common ‘you’re beautiful, we have a lot in common, let’s go out’ line as an opener. If they make any reference to my profile, it can be some thing simple like ‘I see you like Grey’s Anatomy; how do you feel about the new story line with Callie’, I’m already ridiculously impressed. But my number one pet peeve, and the thing that made me take a break from online dating, was the amount of rudeness I encountered when I politely said thanks but no thanks.

  3. 3

    I have to go to work so I might add on later, but here are the top things I want from a guy who e-mails me (in no particular order):

    -Personalization that shows he read my profile. No spam please!
    -Uses standard English grammar and spellings
    -Asks me a question (you’d be surprised how many guys forget this)
    -Has a well written profile himself. Well, I should say decently written. Something with no more than a couple typos/errors, that shows he at least made some effort to be sincere.

    And if the guy writes me an amazing e-mail, I’m willing to consider tons of possibilities I never would consider (the best one I ever received was from a guy 20 years older than me who had partial custody of his kids and lived a couple of hours away…all big no-nos for me. But his e-mail was so good that I actually considered him for his dating potential, but then my rational mind got over his fantastic e-mail and sent him a lovely “no thanks” message). But I just have to reiterate, an extraordinary e-mail will get extraordinary consideration from a girl, even if you’re not her usual type.

  4. 4
    Slim Pickens

    Since my response rate is very high I’d say this guy is giving them what they want. And that is what xpuff said, an indication that I actually read their profile.

    I’m only separated at the moment – something I am very upfront about – so most of my contacts don’t go beyond exchanging email, and a couple of them ended with a ‘come back when you’re not married’. But that’s completely understandable. I’m actually always surprised when anyone replies back. (It’s also why I’m not even trying to contact very many people right now).

    When I become more active on these sites after the official divorce is done, and I inevitably start getting rejections based on appearance and other less clear-cut reasons I’m sure I’ll take them graciously. I cannot imagine being rude about it. But again, since I’m carefully reading profiles, anyone who does say ‘no thanks’ is probably going to be nice about how they let me down. If they’re not, so what? I don’t know them or have any real investment in them.

  5. 5

    Like xpuff, I want him to read the profile before making his move. I’m a CSI addict which is in my profile. Recently a guy emailed me and said that he had read that I loved CSI and that he did too. I was all over that! It was original, said that he obviously read the profile and reacted to it. Gotta love that!

  6. 6

    @Jennifer, post #2

    the thing that made me take a break from online dating, was the amount of rudeness I encountered when I politely said thanks but no thanks.

    I’ve gotten that type of response from women I’ve turned down. Ironically, I only sent out the “thanks, but not thanks” responses after they sent angry emails to me for not sending them a “thanks, but not thanks” note.

    Some people think it is rude to not respond if you are not interested, but I actually prefer it that way. I can’t explain why, but it doesn’t feel like a rejection. I have no idea if I am in the minority or not on this one.

    One of the big points of online dating is the anonymity so that you don’t have to deal with people being rude/baggagy. You just press a button and move on.

  7. 7

    “Hey Baby, some mend “compensate” by driving a Hummer or some fancy sports car. I drive a 91 Civic……if you KNOW what mean” 🙂

  8. 8


    Ha ha! I drove an ’86 civic until 2005. Honda’s last a long time! When my current freebie car dies, I hope I can get another one. Hopefully something a little more recent, we’ll see.

  9. 9
    Evan Marc Katz

    This is a GREAT question…and if you stick around until the end of this free teleclass: , I will let you know exactly how to deal with those kinds of guys…

    Thanks for reading.


  10. 10
    Dana Palumbo

    Absolutely the best thing is knowing that they read your profile. Even a single comment or question is enough to at least make me sit up and take notice.
    If they are rude or sexually inappropriate, I enjoy teasing them back when I say “no thanks.” If it gets them to at least think about how they behave, I’m pleased.
    But my best advice is to be a gentleman. For me anyway, it’s the most effective way to perhaps make me forget I’m a lady later on.

  11. 11

    Hey first post here. Aren’t you proud. 😉 I definitely agree with A-L. I will overlook a lot if a guy throws some humor in there, or shows that he really read my profile. Whether it is 3 sentences or 4 paragraphs doesn’t really matter so much if the email shows intelligence, thought, or at least that he didn’t copy and paste.

    So I have a related question and since I won’t be here on Tuesday, thought I’d throw it out and see if anyone responds.

    The situation is: Occasionally I will see a great profile, the guy will write to me, and his message will be really disappointing. “Hey, loved your profile. Wanna grab a drink?” I know that I’m not going to meet the guy right away (not my style), and I also know how to come back with some cute reply that leads us into a situation that I AM comfortable with… IF I want to.

    My question is whether its worth even bothering with this kind of guy. Is this automatic weed-out criteria for most women? Or is it worth trying to change the dynamics of the conversation? I’m in the higher demand age-range & looks, btw, and don’t get any shortage of emails really. But a great profile is a great profile… just not if it leads to a guy who’s just trying to get as many dates as he can in. Any thoughts? I’m new to online dating and am still figuring out how to view things.

    1. 11.1

      If you get plenty of messages, you may as well use it as a filter.  You probably need ways to weed out candidates if you’re a hot commodity.  Especially if the message really is like the example you used — demonstrating no reading of your profile.

      If all you’re referring to is the fact that he asked you out quickly, I wouldn’t hold that against him.  Even good-looking guys online have really low response rates — something most women online don’t know and could never relate to — so if every guy crafted the “perfect message” to every girl he messaged online, he would literally have no time to do anything else in his life, making him a miserable loser you wouldn’t be interested in, anyway.

      1. 11.1.1
        R Cook

        I’ve been told I’m attractive more than once so the comment on low replies is  very true.

  12. 12
    Karl R

    In my opening e-mail to a woman, I send the kind of e-mail that I like to receive. I refer to something specific in her profile. I say something in response to her profile which will stand out from the other guys. I proofread my e-mail to ensure there are no spelling, grammar or punctuation errors.

    I also try to keep my initial e-mail reasonably short: 4 to 10 sentences.

  13. 13
    Evan Marc Katz

    Hey Karl,

    I know you’re a bright guy who does pretty well, but I’d keep it shorter. You saw how much email they get, right? Hundreds! Don’t make ’em read so much. Three lines, make ’em laugh, let your profile do the rest…

    Have a great weekend.


  14. 14

    Like many of the others-something to let me know they read my profile. Use proper English, no text language please. Also don’t call me cute in any way. Cute is for children not some one almost 40.

  15. 15

    Online dating would be so much easier if both sexes could just send an email that did 2 things – show you read the profile and ask a question to make it easy to reply. If the profile is appealing, all we need is an open door…Fascinating and intriguing emails are great (I’ve gotten a few) but if there is something inherently wrong about the other .person, such as distance or really bad fit, then no amount of email technique can be an offset.

  16. 16

    I like emails that indicate they read my profile, they comment on something beyond my picture and they use decent grammar/spelling. If they ask a question or make a statement to respond to it’s an easy way for me to respond.

    What I don’t like is when they:
    – Say we have so much in common/we are perfect for each other (and I can’t see ANY similarities in their profile, other than being human and the opposite gender)
    – Ask me marry them, or ask me to go to Paris/Hawaii/ or to some remote location (this is a first email , don’t freak me out asking me to do something unrealistic)
    – Ask why I don’t have kids and don’t want kids
    – Ask why am I single or express shock at the idea
    – Send more than 2 emails when I don’t respond (no I don’t send polite “no thanks” emails because in most cases it leads to rude responses)

  17. 17

    OK, I don’t want to sound weird here, but the first thing that I notice is whether or not the guy can put a complete sentence together with no misspellings and using correct grammar. If he can do that, I’ll give the email my full attention.

    After that, I look for charm & humor with indications that he took the time to read my profile. Unlike some other women, if a guy simply writes, “Hey, looks like we have some things in common. Want to go out for a drink?” I would not just 86 his email right away. I’d take the time to read his profile and see if it’s true that we might have some things in common. If I’m pleased with what I read in his profile I will more than likely email him back for that drink date.

    Looking forward to your teleseminar on Tuesday!

  18. 18

    @ Steve, yes people are certainly in two different camps on that one. If the guy just sent a generic email, I likely won’t respond to say no thanks. But if he took the time to write a thoughtful note, I will tell him no thanks if I’m not interested because I feel it’s only polite to respond since he made a sincere effort to reach out.

    Sometimes if guys see you’ve logged in since they sent you a message and you haven’ t responded yet, they get all stalkerish and send multiple notes and say ‘how many times are you going to log in without responding to me’ and stuff like that. Not the biggest deal in the world, but definitely annoying.

    @lulubell you’re right. While witty emails are a plus, if the guy isn’t attractive or otherwise unsuitable, the most he can get for that witty email is a ‘thanks but not thanks’ note in return. Wit doesn’t override everything else.

  19. 19

    Well after reading all these responses i would say that what a man emails a woman tells alot about where he is in his life regarding dating and relationships. I will admit i used to be one of those guys that got upset when i did not get a response back from a woman that I thought we would be good for each other. But after doing the online thing for almost 2 years now, there are skills you have to learn about how the whole process works. Not to sound like a suck-up but the blogs i read from Evan have really helped me to understand how the whole process works. I’m looking for a woman to be my long term partner and maybe even my wife so I’m one who does read their profile and am more interested in who they are as to what they look like and I do believe my emails reflect that. Listen, women aren’t dumb and they can smell bullsh**t a mile away so any guy that writes an email like that isn’t serious about being in a committed relaionship. I think there is a direct correlation between what men write and where they are at!

  20. 20

    What I like to read in an email is a sense of humor, no generic sentences, some creativity to show that they really took the time to email YOU!! Don’t really need your cute, what’s up, or call me with the phonenumber displayed.
    I am not going to respond to men who cut and paste their emails. I don’t know why they think we won’t know….because we do know.
    It also took me a while to learn how to write emails when I contacted men I wanted to get to know better. The best way I found is a short email…with a funny sentence or so.
    I even shortened my profile. I have had nice responses to that too. That my profile what too the point, yet classy.

    Thank you Evan I learned so much from reading your website and I am still learning.

  21. 21

    A lot has already been covered, but here is some additional advice for men, if I may:
    1) unless you are prepared to unequivocally pronounce the given woman beautiful, abstain from commenting on her appearance altogether. A man once wrote me, “on some level, you are my type”. What the hell is THAT supposed to mean?
    Besides, any and all comments on her appearance in general aren’t necessary until you establish some sort of a rapport – after all, the fact that you are writing to her in the first place obviously implies you find her attractive.
    2) In the first conversation (in my experience, this usually occurs in the first phone conversation (if it occurs), not over e-mail), do NOT ask a woman how come someone as wonderful as she is still single. The question not only will put her on the defensive (or just cause her to make a mental note about you of the negative nature, depending on her level of self-awareness), but from the logical standpoint is preposterous. I mean, and why are YOU?
    3) Do not, in the first conversation, allude to sexual preferences (yours or hers). You’d be surprised how many otherwise worthy people do this. Generally, don’t act overly familiar when it’s not yet warranted.

    Now, slightly off-topic, you know what I would really like? I wish there was an acceptable way to tell someone, when first starting communicating with them:
    “I would prefer to refrain from telling you anything about myself apart from what is already contained in my profile. It’s not that I am trying to conceal anything from anyone, I am merely attempting to conserve my energy. When and if we ARE in a relationship, I’ll tell you everything you want to know. But right now I feel like if I tell yet another person my life story, I’ll just die.”

    Resonate with anyone? And what’s the polite way around this?

    1. 21.1

      What I see wrong is that if a girl posts very provocative pictures and then a guy does the same he is immediately condemned for it.   Well that seems a little one sided to me.  The big number one issue that I see is the short temper.   This is bitterness, anger, and baggage that men do not want to see.  It comes out in really lame ways.  I once got a really rude remark because I was trying to explain myself and took to long doing it.  So, men aren’t supposed to show their private parts, and then if we talk to much explaining ourselves  that’s a no no.  Could it be that a lot of woman are just too critical and carry to much bitterness into finding a new partner?   They are trying to meet men that did nothing to them and already the relationship is doomed because of what someone else did to them.  I can tell you that it’s the biggest red flag and I won’t spend a minute on them  if they carry that into a new relationship with me.

      1. 21.1.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        Dude, just stop sending dick pics, which no one likes, and you’ve solved your problem. You’re welcome.

  22. 22

    Oh, forgot to finish my last paragraph:
    “And for the time being, I would just prefer to discuss ideas.”

  23. 23

    It depends on whether or not I initiated the conversation. If the email is unsolicited, I would prefer it be short, polite, and reflect that the writer has read my profile. And no form letters, spam, etc.

    If I have initiated contact with a man, it’s OK if his email is a little longer. (I’m not the least verbose person on the planet LOL.) In that case, it should reveal something beyond his profile or ask a couple of questions to get the dialog going. A little humor is nice, too.

    If he’s writing to me, I assume a man finds me reasonably attractive–I don’t need commentary on my looks, unless I have sent him additional photos or put up new pictures.

    And the topic of sex? I have to confess, I’m a hypocrite. If a guy I’m not into emails me and includes something of a sexual nature, it’s just creepy to me. If it’s a guy I’m into, however, all bets are off. I may try to steer the conversation back to something more platonic, but I’m usually not offended.

  24. 24

    I’ll tell ya what I dont Want…..your phone number and a message that “I” should call “you” to chat, I mean how much less effort can be put into that? Also, please dont send a completely obvious form letters that you cut and copy from your MSword and send to every woman.. truth is, we know it and you probably wont get a response.
    I would like to say thanks to the men who actually read the profiles and remark on something specific. Koudos to you!

  25. 25

    Who gives a shit what the woman wants? It’s always been about the woman. When will it be about the guy?

  26. 26
    Karl R

    James said: (#25)
    “Who gives a shit what the woman wants? It’s always been about the woman. When will it be about the guy?”

    Your statement could be 100% true, and it would still be 100% irrelevant. Even if it’s always about the woman, even if you think it should also be about the guy, even if you personally don’t care what a woman wants….

    If you ignore what women want, you won’t be able to get/keep a girlfriend.

  27. 27

    The only thing I want from a guy is to show interest. My profile is very brief, and includes more photos than it does content. I have done this on purpose: we all know men are visual creatures. I know I want a man who finds me attractive, and don’t want one that doesn’t. I want genuine interest in e-mails and after looking at his profile and pics I will make a determination if I want to speak with him. I have become more selective in choosing, and also will do less phone screening. After all, it’s kind of exciting to go on a date and learn more about a person. Thats what a date is for. If I am at a coffee shop and some guy asks me for my number and introduces himself, I know nothing about him when we meet for a first date. Online dating should be similar in my book. No drilling and asking lots of questions. Plus I have found there to be mistruths (notice I didn’t say lies) in mens profiles. I don’t trust what I read in profiles, I want to hear it from the man after I have determined he is worth getting to know better on a first date.

  28. 28


    How do you determine whether or not a guy qualifies for a first date since you’re doing less phone (and e-mail?) screening but being more selective, and don’t really trust their profile? Just curious.

  29. 29

    Good question and I will answer it very honestly. Initially I was “getting my feet wet” following a 10 year marriage. I would meet anyone who wanted to meet me, regardless of age range, physical attributes, or standing in the community. After meeting many men from online dating, I have become more honest and self-assured about what I need/want/desire in a partner. I am less likely to date outside of parameters i created from my dating experiences. What used to be “you never know…give it a shot” inside my head has now become “you already know the answer to this one now trust yourself.” I think i am now more ready to have a quality relationship. (Which is why no one should date someone fresh out of a ten year marriage!! LOL) I can also more readily spot someone I might be interested in. 🙂

    1. 29.1

      “you already know the answer to this one now trust yourself.” Sometimes, reasonable and long-lasting relationships come out of the ones you didn’t trust but still went on with it. Trusting an instinct could be wrong because it could be your defenses standing up for you.

  30. 30

    Also, if your profile is very brief aside from the photos how do you expect a guy to express an interest in you, aside from the fact that you look hot in your photos?

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