On HowHookup.com, there are two ways of responding to specific date ideas posted by other users: you can “Reply” to a date, essentially writing your own message, or you can simply click the “I’m Intrigued” button, which lets the person who posted the date know that you’re interested.

The ‘Intrigued’ button on HowHookup is a feature that lets users coyly initiate contact, but it can sometimes be puzzling to be on the receiving end. If you get an “I’m Intrigued,” is it then up to you to say something first? If so, what do you say?

Date Report blog editor and HowHookup community manager Michelle Dozois has some helpful suggestions for navigating the tricky waters of the “Intrigued” button. She says:

“One thing that’s come up over and over again in the 13 or so months I’ve been at HowHookup is that some people (friends, coworkers, site users in general) really dislike getting intrigues. They think, ‘Why should I go through the trouble of crafting a response to you, when a) I already came up with a date idea to post and b) you didn’t put in any effort to respond (except for clicking a button)?’

On some level I agree with this — I’m much more likely to respond to an actual message than an intrigue — but I don’t think it should be an automatic dealbreaker 100% of the time. Here’s what I’ve found works for me when I get an ‘intrigue.’

1. Take a peek.

At least check out the person’s profile/photos. If they seem like a catch (for me, that’s a combination of great photos and something in their profile that makes me laugh), I’ll write back a very short and sweet response, usually in relation to the date they’re responding to (“Have you ever been to Burger & Barrel? I haven’t, but I’ve heard good things”) to try to get the conversation going. If the conversation picks up from there (or if we make plans to meet up right away), great; if not, at least I gave it a shot.

2. If it’s the first time, cut ‘em some slack.

If I’ve gotten 2 or 3 intrigues from you — and I haven’t responded to any, and yet you keep sending them — I’m probably going to assume you’re a “serial intriguer” and I’m going to tune you out. Next!

3. Don’t overthink it — especially if the date is something you really want to do anyway.

A few months back, I posted a date idea that involved going to an upcoming book reading and then discussing “our mixed feelings for the author’s first book over drinks.” I got 9 responses (higher than I expected, considering how super-specific this date was), 8 of which were intrigues (and a couple of those were from “serial intriguers”). One guy who’d sent an intrigue but wasn’t a repeat offender caught my eye.

I waited until a couple days before the event to see if any more responses came in, then sent him a quick “Hey, are you still free on Weds?” message. He was; we met up; we had a blast and went on a number of fun dates after that. Which never would’ve happened if I’d had an “intrigued = no go” policy.”

How about you — how do you respond to intrigues? Tell us in the comments or at thedatereport at HowHookup dot com.

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