How to Message a Girl Who Has Nothing On Her Profile

Hi Em,

How do you “cold call”? That is to say, send a message with basically NOTHING to go on. Sometimes a girl’s OkCupid profile is so minimal – and apps like Tinder create this problem all the time. I read your article on messaging, but I don’t believe it covers this particular issue.
— Skylar

Skylar, this is a great question!  Minimal profiles are the worst.  They’re also a bit of a gamble.  Here’s why:

If a girl doesn’t bother to fill out her online dating profile, it could mean one of two things:

1) She doesn’t care about online dating, so she isn’t making an effort to succeed at it with a profile.

2) She’s so hot that she doesn’t need to write a profile. She gets messages from guys constantly, just because she’s attractive.  She doesn’t need to do anything and she’s still got the pick of the litter. 

 Of course, it’s also possible that:

3) She’s new to OkCupid and hasn’t filled out her profile yet. 

But odds are in favor of (1) or (2).  That’s why smart guys don’t spend the majority of their time messaging girls whose inboxes are flooded or who don’t care about online dating. 

Your efforts are better spent making genuine connections by messaging girls whose profiles prove you’d be a good fit for each other. 

That being said, a cold call every once in while won’t do any harm… 

Increase your odds of getting a reply with this 3-step strategy:

1) Ignore the Superficial

Online dating sites (and apps like Tinder) are about quick first impressions and starting conversations.  

In a cold call situation, most guys fail on both accounts.  They lack the creativity to come up with anything interesting to say, and go with general openers or comment on a girl’s looks only: “How’s your night going?” or "Gorgeous photos..I'd like to know more about u….." 

You’ll make a better first impression – and increase your odds of a reply – if you ignore her appearance and “how are you?” platitudes.  Make a real attempt to get a real conversation started right off the bat.   


2) Scour Her Profile for Conversation Topics

Take a quick inventory of what you DO have to work with.  Most guys will ignore the tiny bits of information that a bare bones profile provides – but any kernel of information can be gold! 

Even a mostly empty profile on OkCupid could tell you a girl’s city, at minimum.  If you’re lucky, maybe she also filled out the Basic Info section with her diet, job, or if she has pets.

NOTE: try to avoid using Basic Info like religion, income, and drinking/drug habits.  Those can be controversial or super personal, and might make her hesitate to reply.

Specific info in her pictures can also be fair game  as long as your message focuses on a unique detail that not everyone could note as special.  

For example, maybe she's wearing an old Weezer t-shirt.  Maybe she's at Platform 9 3/4.  Those are great to comment on; not everyone is into those things.  Meanwhile, tons of guys could write, "Hey, I love the beach, too."

Your first message's goal is to start a conversation on a subject that sets you apart from other guys.


3) Ask Her A Question

Use that little gold nugget you found and ask her a question about it that inquires about her thoughts, opinions, or feelings. 

Since the only goal is to come up with a question that asks for her opinion, let this take the pressure off crafting the “perfect” first message. 

There are lots of things to ask when you know a simple fact about a person and don’t care about saying something “perfect.”  Just brainstorm for 30 seconds and go with it!

For example, let’s say she’s filled out her Basic Info on OkCupid, and her diet is “Strictly Vegetarian.”   

Your first message could ask any of the following:

  • “Hey, saw you’re a vegetarian.  I’ve been mostly pescatarian for the past 5 years.  What’s your favorite meal to cook for yourself?” 

  • “Hey, saw you’re a vegetarian.  I’m always curious to hear the reason people choose that – ethics, health, etc.  What was it for you?”

  • “Hey, saw you’re a vegetarian.  Have you ever been to X Restaurant?  Their veggie burgers are actually incredible!”

  • “Hey, I’m a vegetarian, too!  5 years.  How long for you?”

  • “Hey, saw you’re a vegetarian.  Ever considered going full vegan?  I thought about it, but I’d miss cheese too much :)  What would you miss?” 

  • “Hey, saw you’re a vegetarian.  Me too, 5 years.  I do miss bacon sometimes…but I’ve held strong!  What do you miss the most?”

None of these messages will win any literary awards, but they ask a question about something you know she’s got an opinion on. 

Then, don’t stress out beyond that.  Knowing she might be a girl from category (1) or (2), just give it a quick shot and move on.


It’s frustrating to try to message girls whose online dating profiles provide nothing to go on.  While it’s a better use of your time to focus on girls whose profiles prove you’ve got lots in common, a cold call every now and then can be worth it.

Increase your chances of getting a reply with a first message that stays away from superficial topics.  Instead, pick out any bit of info that her profile does share and quickly write a question about it that asks for her thoughts or opinions. 

With your interest in her thoughts (not her looks) and your ability to start a conversation out of nothing – you just might succeed where other men have failed!

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