Example of a typical AGO from online dating sites:
Hi SoccerGuurl87, my name is Steve.
How’s your weekend going so far? I saw your profile and thought I would message you. You seem interesting and we have a lot in common. I love hiking, biking, beaches, music and movies. What are your hobbies? I’m really driven by my career and always love trying new things! I just moved to the city for a new job as a senior account manager for an internet company. I hope my message and profile catch your attention enough to hear back from you.
Have a great Monday :–)
Girls will read your message like detectives. They’re looking for clues beyond your message’s literal interpretation so they can figure out who you really are. The #1 thing they’re detectives about is how interested you are because girls are attracted to hard-to-get men.
If you make her believe you’re very interested in her, you’ll be easy-to-get. If you show very little interest, you’ll be impossible-to-get. Your goal is to communicate the right level of interest that makes you hard-to-get.
Most guys fail to be hard-to-get by looking too interested. Steve’s AGO is great example of how the average guy fails to be hard-to-get by littering their messages with clues of interest. Here’s a breakdown and analysis of Steve’s AGO:
Your message makes its first appearance in the girl’s inbox. And the first thing she’ll read is probably your emboldened username. This is your first impression, which makes it a big deal. The girl will heavily weigh any clues about your interest level that she gathers from your username.
In the example above, Steve designates “Chillguysteve” as his first impression. Think about what would motivate Steve to choose a name like Chillguysteve? Why can we safely assume Steve doesn’t use “Chillguysteve” as his handle on any other non-dating site?
Steve saw his username as an opportunity to explicitly pitch himself as a “chill guy” (mind you, dating sites already have a designated area for pitching oneself). Unfortunately, “Chillguysteve” is weak evidence that Steve is “chill” – a word too vague to be good evidence of any specific attractive trait anyway.
With no hint of irony, sarcasm, or humor (i.e. personality) in his username, girls will subconsciously think Steve doesn’t think the normal character he plays in life imputes attractive traits. Girls intuitively know that a hard-to-get guy wouldn’t bother explicitly pitching his value. “Chillguysteve” communicates that Steve is normally easy-to-get with his love interests.
The “Hi” is passable, but there’s no value in repeating her lame username “SoccerGuurl87”. In person, repeating her name may show you remembered it, or that you recognize her, or that you’re addressing her and not someone close by. But online, both her and your username unambiguously loom over the conversation, readily available for either of you to reference. As a general rule, putting in effort to produce low-information messages reveals your interest and mediocre social skills.
The AGO finishes off the greeting by proclaiming “my name is Steve”. At this stage in the interaction, there’s no need for the girl to know your real name. The girl will assume your high interest level caused you to disclose irrelevant information about yourself.
Small Talk Question
How’s your weekend going so far?
Steve segues from the greeting to a safe, small-talk-esque question. Other examples include:
- “How are you today?”
- “How is your evening?”
- “Did you have a good day?”
- “How are you?”
- “Anything fun planned for the weekend?
Caring about her answer to these questions shows too much interest. Girl’s know that a hard-to-get guy wouldn’t bother learning about their plans or well-being – he’s not interested enough to care.
These questions are also cliche. They’re overused and have lost most of their meaning. Using cliches offers no clues that an interesting character is behind the keyboard. Up until this point in your message, any person or robot could’ve generated the same thing.
I saw your profile and thought I would message you. You seem interesting and we have a lot in common.
Steve designed the next line to explicitly explain why he’s messaging the girl. Hard-to-get guys know they’re communicating enough interest by the fact that they’re messaging her. Any more explanation beyond that is redundant and signals too much interest.
Explicitly explaining your intention also makes you reek of insecurity. It shows you feel you need to justify your actions or that you’re worried she won’t understand why you messaged her. You’ll lose your hard-to-get perception the moment she gets a whiff of your insecurity.
More examples of AGO’s Explicit Explanation lines:
- “I saw your profile and thought I would message you.”
- “It seems like we complement each other very well and are looking for similar things in a significant other.”
- “It is hard to find quality people on here and you seem like you have your act together, so I thought I would give it a shot.”
- “You seem fun and really cute.”
- “You sound smart, sweet, sincere, and you’re so pretty!
- “You seem like such a genuine nice person.”
- “I think you’re super cute and you seem like you might be cool.”
- “I just read and really enjoyed your profile and very interested Also you are looking amazing and very beautiful.”
It’s actually good to express why you’re interested in a girl, but you should do it using subtext.
Explicit — “I saw you’re from the same small town as I am and thought I would message you”
Subtexted — “Whoa, you’re the first I’ve seen also from [name of town]”
In the subtext version, the will infer that being from the same small town is part of why you messaged her. She doesn’t need to be spoon-fed the obvious.
She wrote in her profile that she loves to cook and finds it attractive when guys fix things with their hands. In your profile, you write that you’re a huge foodie.
Explicit — “It seems like we complement each other very well and are looking for similar things in a significant other.”
Subtexted — “I can fix cars and you can cook, I think we’re meant to be”
I love hiking, biking, beaches, music and movies. What are your hobbies? I’m really driven by my career and always love trying new things! I just moved to the city for a new job as a senior account manager for an internet company.
In the next few lines, Steve writes a self-summary that should’ve been in its designated area on his profile page. If this information is already accessible from your profile, you’re basically telling the girl you don’t think she’ll visit and read your page.
Normally, a hard-to-get guy would just assume the girl would read his profile. Or he’d be too indifferent to care whether she read it or not. That’s why shoving your self-summary in your message is a good sign you’re not a hard-to-get guy.
I hope my message and profile catch your attention enough to hear back from you.
The closing statement is designed to explicitly communicate the next steps. Steve’s closing statement, wordy and tucked underneath a mound of words, comes off as a meager and apologetic attempt at escalating the relationship. Other examples of AGO closing statements:
- “Looking forward to hear from you”
- “Please check out my profile and let me know if you like what you see :-)”
- “By any chance would you like to grab some coffee some time?”
These closing statements give girls many clues that you don’t feel you deserve your request to be fulfilled. The girl interprets the mound of cliches and redundant info above the closing statement as a try-hard attempt to justify your request. She knows you don’t derive intrinsic value from writing the BS word cloud above. She knows exactly why you wrote it and that reason is explicitly defined in the closing statement. Your revealed intentions render the rest of your message’s content as an embarrassingly effortful and indirect ploy to fulfill a single goal. This signals your insecurity and feelings of unworthiness.
The closing statement doesn’t make you easy-to-get, it makes you already-gotten. The girl doesn’t have to work at all to win you over, you’ve already pre-approved her. Girls who will fulfill the closing statement’s request will probably be at the bottom 15% of girls in your league.
Have a great Monday :–)
Like the greeting, this is another low-information cliche that doesn’t offer any value or say anything interesting about your character. A salutation is even worse than a greeting because even some unattractive guys know it’s inappropriate in an online dating message.
Like the greeting and salutation, signatures show you’re too interested because it’s redundant and useless information. But signatures do double the damage. They’re a good sign you’re clueless about messaging girls you’re gaming. It also signals you may not be familiar with informal text communication in general. Do you even have friends?
For intuition on woman’s attraction heuristic, read the following thought experiment:
Imagine you’re about to choose one of three job interviews to attend. You know nothing about the job prior to the interview. You could be applying as a cashier at McDonald’s or a CEO of Intel—you have no idea. The only information you’re given is the following:
Job Interview 1 – You answer all the questions easily and feel confident you’ll get the job.
Job Interview 2 – You barely manage to answer the questions and you feel your chances of getting hired are insignificant.
Job Interview 3 – You manage to answer most, but not all of the questions and feel there is about a 50% chance of being hired. Remember, you know nothing about the salary, benefits or prestige of the job you’re interviewing for.
Given what you know, which job interview would you choose and why?
Most people would easily discard the second option. After all, there is no point of wasting your opportunity to interview for attainable jobs for one you have no shot at. The difficulty of the interview is evidence you’re probably under-qualified anyways.
Now you’re left with the first and third option. This decision is a little less obvious. Most would discard the first option, but not for the same reason they discarded the second. The problem with the first interview is that it’s too easy. There are certain inferences you can make about a job whose interview process is easy for you to pass: you’re probably overqualified and can get a higher-paying and more prestigious job elsewhere.
This raises the question: For a job you believe you’re perfectly qualified for and can’t do better or worse elsewhere, how would you expect the job interview to go?
You would expect it to be challenging, but still perceived attainable. In other words, the interview has to be the hardest possible interview that doesn’t make you feel hopeless. And this is why you choose the third interview—it fits the bill.
We know we’re maximizing our payoff when we experience these kinds of challenges; in this case, it was about maximizing the amount of money and prestige from our job. We are evolutionarily designed to seek out these sorts of challenges because they indicate that we’re maximizing our potential gains. Activates that are too hard use up too much energy and time for a little payoff. Conversely, activities that are too easy are a waste because time can be spent on yielding a higher payoffs elsewhere. Think about the times you’ve most enjoyed a sport or game. I can guarantee that in almost every case you experienced a perfect blend of ease and difficulty.
Women are like job-seekers going from interview to interview without knowing the salary or prestige of the jobs. Instead of seeking jobs, they’re seeking men; and instead of trying to maximize salary, they’re trying to maximize status in men. Women are turned on by men who bring forth a “challenging interview process.”
A man’s attractiveness (his status) is not as apparent as a woman’s: her physical appearance. While women have to “discover” a man’s value, men can plainly see a woman’s value. So men know how challenging a woman will be based on her physical appearance, woman don’t. Instead, they use the challenge itself to determine attractiveness. The same reasons that make a sexy woman challenging, make a challenging man sexy – because they’re probably the best you can do.
Don’t be easy to get. Don’t be impossible to get. Be hard to get.