Spelling and grammar How boring: Spelling and grammar.
Yes, but you want to make the best first impression.
Actually send a written message Yes, send a written message — not a wink/smile or whatever your online dating service offers.
Guys definitely can’t get away with the wink/smile — Women possibly.
Words misspelled, sentences that make no sense and lame short forms indicate laziness (especially in a world where auto-correct and spell check exist). and maybe funny Definitely you want to come across as positive.
Don’t lead off with a negative statement — discuss something in a positive light!
So, ask them a quick question based on what is written in their profile.
Instead of sitting back and waiting for them to contact you (no, really, make the first move! First off, you want to make it easy for them to respond.
Secondly, you want to capture their attention, so they actually do respond.
Most people will likely use “hello / hey / hi / what’s up? Meaning, you (per above) chose to ask them more about their trip to Africa that was shown in one of their photos — so, incorporate that in the subject line! This likely isn’t a hard and fast rule, but if done wrong it can blow up on you, so I would avoid it.
Avoid commenting on their physical appearance Should you comment on their appearance? They already know you likely find them physically attractive – that’s part of why you are showing interest in them.