The J Spot

AskJustin: Communicating in online dating & judging the first date

Ask Justin Bird

So what’s a good opening email when messaging someone on online dating? I can never think of anything to say besides Hey how are you?

Oxford, Miss.

Personalize, Personalize, and Personalize! Don’t ever underestimate reading his profile, unless it’s a novel. Tailor your opening line with common interests between you two.

  • Funny is always great, but don’t go overboard as it is difficult to predict tone via text. It highlights a sense of humor; does he even get your humor? If you don’t like funny guys, don’t be funny. If he doesn’t find you funny, either: he’s funnier than you, you’re not funny, or he has no sense of humor. A 33.33% chance is not too shabby.
  • Be authentic, guys can sense just from reading your opening sentence if you are trying too hard. I love it when a woman is upfront and tells me what she wants.
  • Be clear and concise in your opening message because we probably will not read it if it’s a long paragraph…unless you are a 9 or a 10. To summarize: Find common interests, funny or not, be authentic, clear, and concise in your opening line.
  • Think of the messages you get and how many you discard if its too long, has too many compliments, or if the person in the pics looks like Shrek(alt- you are simply not attracted to the person in the pics). How do those make you feel? Men feel the same way so simplify things.
  • If you don’t receive a response, keep pressing on and move on. It could mean many things, but don’t waste your time trying to figure it out as there is not enough time in the day to search for the answer. Your time IS valuable!!!!
  • Finally, I leave you with this, do not use the same lines that the creeper at the bar uses to repel every woman in sight.At the end of the day, “A pickup line is as good as the man using it”.


Q: How much do men judge your actions on a first date?

Janan, 34
Newport Beach, Ca

We’ve all heard the saying “actions speak louder than words”. Words are just words unless the actions follow, well done is better than well said. Lets talk about how men judge women’s actions and see how men view what you verbalize.We as humans all judge actions on a first date because we want to identify who this person really is and decide if he/she is someone we want to pursue.

We all have our own criteria of what we look for in a mate and we notice little idiosyncrasies that might potentially strike our fancy or have us running for the hills.

When I go on first dates, I am very perceptive and I weigh-in on how she engaged me when we first said hello. Did she seem excited, nervous, blah? Hand-shake or hug? Eye contact? This gives me insight into her personality type and how she carries herself around people in her personal and/or professional life.

First impressions are invaluable!

  • What was she wearing? Yes, we look you up in down like vultures in a covert way-so we think. Did she dress appropriately or slutty? Lets us know about your style, taste, and know when to match the attire to the occasion.
  • Does she attempt to offer to pay/split the bill or was she expecting you to handle it? Ladies, it’s the gesture to split/pay the bill that goes a LONG way and us men appreciate it more than you know. He should deny your offer and pick-up the check on a first and most likely second date.
  • Pet peeve -If the woman asks a man out to dinner around the 3rd to 4th date, she should pay. Don’t ask him out and then just expect the man to pay, we feel used and think you’re a freeloader.
  • Did she bring up her ex? This indicates she is still not completely over him.
  • Did she talk about herself the whole time or ask you questions? It must be all about her. If she asked you questions then clearly she is interested in wanting to find out more about you.
  • Did she ask how much you make or what kind of car you drive? These questions indicate she only cares about what you can offer her, so in that case split the check and see if she calls you back for round 2! (Teach-test moment)

On a first date, men and women alike both have heightened senses from nervousness to excitement.

There is no wrong way to approach a first date since we are all unique and come from all different backgrounds, but be cognoscente of the aforementioned signs.  Odds are you will then be able to distinguish more quickly who he/she is and hopefully you’d want to pursue a relationship with them.

Send your questions to Justin on Twitter @JustinBirdTMM