Straight men have lots of complaints about online dating. Number 1? Women don’t answer their winks or their messages.
Here’s why women don’t.
- Guys don’t follow instructions. If a woman says she doesn’t want a long distance relationship, why would she answer you when you’re over 3000 miles away? If a woman says she wants kids and you don’t, why would she answer? If a girl says she won’t answer if you just say “hi” or if you haven’t actually filled out your profile, why would she answer a guy with no profile who just says “hi”? In short, answering is usually a huge waste of time.
- Guys train us not to. I’ve been trying to be polite in this adventure–to answer all messages–even from the guys with no profile, the guys who just say hi, the smokers, the ones who have Jesus as part of every profile sentence, the guys in Germany, whatever. For the most part, this is a waste of time, but I do believe in politeness.
Now, in my answers, I don’t encourage these guys. Here’s what I tend to say, “Thanks for writing, but I don’t want a long distance relationship/don’t date smokers/do not describe myself as ‘God-fearing,’ which you said was essential in a partner/etc. I hope you find what you’re looking for.” Three whole guys have thanked me for answering and wished me well. Several have not answered back (this is just as okay as thanking me). However, the vast majority have had one of three responses:
A. Ignore what I said completely, just as they ignored what I said I was looking for in my profile. A recent response to my sorry-we’re-so-far-away-and-plus-you-said-the-only-book-you-read-is-the-Bible message: “Thank you for your response, i am happy to hear from you and knowing that you want us to communicate and learn more about each other. I also want you to know that you have a beautiful smile, I seek for a serious relationship, i have been divorced for 2years now, i have a son, [lots of information about his son and his business] I find your profile interesting and will like to learn more about you, please write me your email so that we can communicate more often.” This makes me never want to be polite again.
B. Argue with me about it, telling me that I should be open to long distance, or not picky about smoking, or learn about Jesus, or whatever. I don’t need my preferences questioned. I didn’t write you back and tell you to move, to quit smoking, to de-accept Jesus Christ, etc. I saw who you were and what you wanted, and it was clear we didn’t match. Your second email should not be a request that I change for you.
C. Insult me. Perhaps they tell me they didn’t really want to date a woman with a kid, that I’m arrogant, or, as one guy recently said, “I tend to like younger women anyway.” Again, this doesn’t make me want to be polite ever again.
One of the problems, of course, is that some guys get mad at you for being polite. I’m polite, both in answering at all and in what I say. For example, I don’t say I’m not interested because the guy seems insanely dumb or because he has values I find reprehensible or because she’s ugly, but all of those things are true sometimes. However, as mentioned above, I don’t want to give false encouragement, so I’m clear that I’m not interested. However, the fact that I answer at all is taken as encouragement by lots of guys. Thus, when I say, “Thanks for saying ‘hi,’ but your profile’s blank–perhaps you could fill it out?” they explain that they don’t want to but that I can ask them questions (I’ve written about this ridiculous proposition in a previous blog). When I tell them I don’t want to play 20 questions when they could just fill out the profile, they say, “Then why did you answer?”
Guys, you want us to answer; you hate it when we don’t. But then you give us so many reasons not to.
Online dating is like sex. If you ever want us to say yes, you have to be willing to accept the no too.
PS–There are two other explanations for women who don’t answer. Some sites have fake female profiles. Some women, especially attractive women in big cities, can get hundreds of messages a day. Sometimes they don’t even read your message. It’s not personal; it’s just a volume problem.