Dating Site Etiquette re: responding to messages

Yes I confess I have an OKCupid profile. Admit it! You do too! Having recently moved to a new locale, I have lately gotten a lot of hits since I’m “fresh meat” - a new face in my new burb. Anyway, having gotten a lot of responses in the past few days, I have begun to notice familiar patterns appear (like how, for instance, EVERYBODY ACROSS THE BOARD starts their “About Me” essay by disclaiming “I really hate writing these personal essays…”)

One particular pattern I’ve noticed tends to stick in my craw however. It’s not uniform across the board, but I do notice a particular sub-set of msgs that read along the following lines: “I really liked your profile. Check out my profile and let me know if you think we may have a connection. But if you don’t, please send me a response anyway and let me know. Just don’t leave me hanging.

So the messages start out with a generic “really liked your profile” without mentioning a single specific reference to indicate that the person actually read it. But it’s really the last part that I italicized that gets me; it is in all intents & purposes a DEMAND for a response. To me, this is a pushy tactic and more than a little passive-aggressive. A person is trying to force me into interacting with him by “politely” telling me to respond, and pro-actively making it seem like I am being rude by not responding. How am I supposed to respond to someone I am not interested in? “Thanks for your interest, but you do not appeal to me - either physically or in your personal essay. Sorry about that”??

I have in the past sent out messages on OKCupid to people I thought were interesting, and got nothing in return. That’s fine, I know not everyone in the world will be taken with me. But my response is to say “Oh well…”, remove them from my “favorites” list and then scroll down some more. I don’t feel that I am entitled to GET a response from my stabs into the unknown, any more than I feel someone who messages me DESERVES a response if I am uninterested.

When I see messages like this, I suspect that the person is trying to guilt-trip me into a responding. I think they are trying to force my hand by making me feel bad if I don’t respond to them. And of course the reply they expect me to writes is a vague “You look like a nice person…” and me to steer around my actual disinterest. That then can be their opening to send message after message and try to force some level of interaction with me. If at some point in the future I put my foot down and say I am not interested, they can simply retort “Well why did you lead me on that way??” And therefore I end up being the bad guy by “hurting” them either by not responding to their msg (rudely snubbing them) or by responding to them (and leading them to expectations I didn’t intend to act upon.)

Anyway, that is my opinion. But I am interested in hearing what other people think of the matter. So, what say you all? Am I being rude by not responding when he TELLS me “don’t leave me hanging”, or is this passive-aggressive rudeness on his part?

Like anyone would REALLY enjoy getting an unsolicited message along the lines of, “Saw your profile, not interested, have a nice life!”


Personally, I would rather be ignored instead of getting a rejection email. I figure that if the person just never replies, you can soothe your ego by assuming they never saw your email rather than that they saw it, looked at your profile, and didn’t like you.

However, I think a lot of men in particular feel desperate just to get some kind of reaction from the people they write to because men often have to send out a lot of messages to get any kind of reply.

Don Are you female or gay? Or heck, female with a male screen name?
Anyway, I’m only asking because this is a common complaint I’ve heard from women. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard it from a male before.

Personally, I’d ignore it. And if not, I’d respond with something snarky like: “Sorry, I’m not into pushy passive aggressive people.”

“Don’t leave me hanging” seems like a manipulative way of getting you into a back and forth conversation whether you’re interested or not. He is, so you better not leave him hanging. That or he has self-esteem issues.

If you’re not interested, don’t reply. I’d prefer that than “thanks but I’m not really interested, Fatty”

Fuck that. If you aren’t interested, don’t leave me any damn message. I have an account on OKC and I had an experience recently that reminded me of this. I use a wheelchair and on my profile I have a couple of pics from my wheelchair-bodybuilding competitions. Well I just recently got a message from a (very attractive) girl, telling me how awesome my body looked, how much of an inspiration I was and if she could use my pics as a motivator for her disabled cousin.

Long story short, it became very obvious very quickly that this girl was NOT in the slightest bit romantically interested, she simply wanted to “compliment” me and ask to use my pics. Um, this is a DATING SITE. If you know ahead of time that you are not in the least bit interested, keep the fucking “compliments” to yourself. Geez. They come off as patronizing bullshit.

Comically, after I told her this, in a much less hostile way of course, her response was to block me. HAHAHA! As if I was the one to initiate contact. WTF. Aww. :frowning:

“Dear Sir or Madam, We have reviewed your recent submission and find that it does not meet our needs at the present time. We will keep it on file for 18 months, and will contact you if the situation changes.”

FTR, I am a gay man. (I considered changing my username to “Bob Benson” at one point, but that’s a story for another thread.)

Yes, I do. I don’t feel it’s anything to “admit” to with embarrassment. But anyway, I think your question has been discussed a few times around here. I (straight woman) write back to anyone wrote a to me, that is, whose messages make it clear that they’ve read my profile. Generally they seem to like that, as they often write back saying “thanks for replying at least”. Though often people here state they prefer to be ignored. Can’t please everyone, I suppose. In any case, if the message is generic and nothing to do with me, I don’t have any qualms about ignoring it.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a simple reply of, “Thank you. Good luck with your search.”

This lets the other person know that yes, the message was received, and no, you’re not interested.

Back when I was doing the online dating thing, I always tried to reply. Unless it was an obvious scam, or the dude was being rude. If I wasn’t interested at all, I would usually say “Thank you for your interest. I read your profile and I don’t think we are a match. Good luck in your search.”

In my experience, replying to people you aren’t interested in can sometimes open a can of worms. I would probably reply to messages which seemed genuine. But I wouldn’t bother with the ones where the sender obviously hasn’t read your profile and is just trolling around for fresh meat.

It’s just a copy & paste email, just like you get from headhunters: “Good day, I found your profile on I have a job opening that I feel may be a good fit for your skills; please review [link] and let me know if you blah blah blah.”

Translation: I bumped my list of requirements up against a database and it spit your name out. I can’t be arsed to actually read anything in your profile, so since you’re probably desperate, how about YOU do the reading and let me know if this works for you?

The only profiles I expect a reply from are the ones who weed out trolls by putting somewhere in their profile “Put your favorite color in the subject line so I know you read this”. So I did that and get… no reply? I jumped through your hoops to prove I actually took the time to read your profile and even then you ignore offer me no courtesy of replying? Another reason I gave up on OKC.

If you reply that you’re not interested, they’ll want a critique. WHY weren’t you interested? Was there some specific thing that you didn’t like? blah blah blah

What about being the one to initiate a message-conversation, when you are not interested? WTF is up with that? (not you, in particular, just in general)

I had one gentleman, when I did not reply, message me again and ask why I hadn’t replied. Acording to him, he had every quality that I said I was looking for and couldn’t understand my lack of interest. He was serious! It was creepy.

I have no interest in this thread. Just didn’t want to leave you hanging.

I always told pushy would-be suitors that sometimes no reply ***is ***a reply.

A creative friend of mine would play with the spammers. Some spammer from abroad who said she wanted to be his traditional wife was on the receiving end of one of these. He spun a long story about having multiple wives, and they all agreed he could have relationships with anyone he wanted. And then he said that he owned a business where all his wives worked. And that the business was a puppet workshop. In Zaire.

The best part is that the person kept responding.