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I'm currently thinking about asking about how to approach somebody on a dating website (OKCupid, Match.com, etc) that requires an introductory message. I'm currently grappling with the issue and I'm finding it difficult to find any answers online that would match the quality of a Stack Exchange answer. The problem is, as per the tour, I can't decide if it's on or off topic.

Specific issues with interpersonal skills

Yeah, it's an interpersonal skills question relating to communication between two people, so it can be on-topic.

Real problems or questions that you’ve encountered

Check, real problem and I can tell from other online help topics that it's a problem other people may suffer from.

On the other hand...

Questions that are primarily opinion-based

It is opinion based. I understand that this site is a little looser with that requirement than others, but this question still could be considered opinion-based.

Questions with too many possible answers or that would require an extremely long answer

This is what I'm mostly worried about. Depending on the person, there may be an incredible amount of possible introductions that would work with different people. Factoring in the website, different sites may have different audiences or resources with which to introduce yourself.

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  • Just a thought, but wouldn't a cut and paste message be counter productive? – apaul Aug 29 '17 at 21:09
  • Welcome! Can you post an example of what you think the question would look like? Alternately, it might be better to go ahead and ask the question (on the main site) and we can see how the community reacts. We can't really decide if something is off topic until we see the question. :) If it gets closed, we can use this question on meta to discuss how to make it on topic, if that's possible. – Catija Aug 29 '17 at 21:10
  • @apaul34208 Hopefully the question isn't asking for someone to draft a message for them but how to decide what to say in that message based on the user's profile. – Catija Aug 29 '17 at 21:10
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    @apaul34208 You misunderstand me. I don't want an introduction written for me, I want advice on how to form one. I feel like that's a consistent enough problem space to get some good answers for. – GGMG-he-him Aug 29 '17 at 21:10
  • Ask your question and find out. – user288 Aug 30 '17 at 0:04
  • Done and done. interpersonal.stackexchange.com/questions/2929/… – GGMG-he-him Aug 30 '17 at 0:05
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As I understand it, your question would be about an asynchronous public message that you put out there for people browsing the site, something like an "about me" blurb. You presumably desire a certain outcome, which you'd need to make clear. (Some people are trying to find the One True Love. Some are trying to meet lots of people casually. Some are presumably doing other things.) So bear in mind the problem you are trying to solve, which isn't just "how do I write this intro?" but "how do I write this intro to achieve this outcome?".

Is it on-topic? It's hard to tell; this is a young site still trying to work out its scope, which is best done by trial and error with real examples. It seems like it could be, so I suggest actually asking it on main, knowing that it could get closed but one closed question isn't going to hurt you and it'll help the community figure out where the bounds are.

Beta sites are experimental, so are you game for a little research?

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Questions that are primarily opinion based

Does the question fit into that category? Sure there isn't a 'correct' answer, but that's is partly due to the fact people visit dating sites for lots of different reasons, and with lots of different goals. but there are some basic principles that can be conveyed - common mistakes to avoid, consider your intent, think about how your message might be received etc

Questions with too many possible answers or that would require an extremely long answer

I wrote an answer for the question, it was perhaps 3 paragraphs long, covered most of the basic principles - and then discarded it for the fact that most of the points had already been covered. yes audience, the person in question, the site itself are all basic factors, but a bad 'hello' message is usually a bad message, and better one is still better. as an example, a guy saying 'wanna f@@k' with a picture of their genitals is unlikely to be successful ( even on grindr ), yet a well written ( compelling, concise, and offering the chance for an active response) will go done well on most sites.

opinion, but I'd say that this question passes on both these points.

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