When it comes to online dating, who should make the first move? The male or female? Does it matter? Will you be the one to make the first move or will you wait idly by for someone else to make the first move?
Myself, I typically wait for someone to make the first move, due in part to my fear of rejection and low self esteem. I feel that if I wait for someone else to make the first move, they are already interested. However, some times if I think someone is very interesting or we have a lot in common, I will take it upon myself to make the first move and send a message.
I guess, my first word of advice is that if you are going to make the first move and send the first message, try to grab that person's attention. Sending a message like, "hey" will most likely not get much of a response. Mention something from their profile that you liked, such as a band that they listed as a favorite or one of their favorite hobbies. Asking an intriguing question gives you more of a chance of getting a response also.
Prepare for Rejection
Not everyone is going to be interested. It happens. It sucks. You may get no response at all. You may get a polite, "sorry, not interested" or you may get a rude response. Luckily, I have only gotten a handful of rude responses. I have had a couple people respond with messages such as, "I don't date fate chicks" or "Hell no! You are a fatass!" (yes, that one happened). When I first jumped into online dating, I actually had someone send me a message telling me that I needed to start doing coke so that I could lose weight and no would want to fuck my fat ass. Oh, I proved him wrong, so wrong!
People are assholes. Well, some are, luckily not all of them are. Although the polite rejections may sting a little bit, at least the other person is being nice about it and they are not leading you on or wasting your time. More often than not, when someone is not interested, you will get no response at all.
You don't have to respond to everyone. It's totally up to you how you wish to respond to messages from people you are not interested in; just try not to be an ass. Don't feel like you have to respond or chit chat with everyone who sends you a message. Some people enjoy idle chit chat but if you are like me, you probably don't have time for it when you know it isn't going to lead anywhere. Don't lead someone on if you don't feel an attraction to them, that's really not fair to them.
Keep up the conversation.
If you are really interested in the other person, make an effort to keep the conversation going. There is nothing that annoys me more (well, there is really but...) than someone who can't keep a conversation going. You know, the ones who reply with one or two words. They don't make any type of effort to ask you questions or keep you interested and you seem to be the only one putting in effort. That is the best way for me to lose interest in someone; it gets boring quick. Make a conscious effort to keep the other person interested. Don't let them slip away to someone else who comes along with more appealing things to say.