“Why aren’t I getting a response?”
It’s a question I’m asked often, and my answer is multi-faceted. It’s easy to get frustrated when you reach out to someone your interested in online – be it with a friendly email, a request to instant message or a fun emotigram – and your effort is followed by…nothing. We’ve all been there and it’s not a great feeling.
But don’t get discouraged. There are a slew of factors at play, some of which have nothing to do with you. So take a deep breath and consider these possible variables, which all can contribute to communication frustration.
1. There’s no established etiquette for online communication – be it on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, email or a dating site. When contact isn’t face-to-face or on the phone, many people simply don’t feel obligated to respond.
Someday there may be more established rules of etiquette, but for now ,people have differing opinions about what is polite behavior when responding to someone you don’t know in an online dating situation.
I’ve also known people to change their minds after using an online singles site; in the beginning they feel like they have to respond to everyone, even if they’re not interested, but then after some time they realize it can be time consuming.
2. Online daters can be hasty and use the shotgun approach, which can boost your rate of rejection. Think about how the scenarios differ.
At a party, there are maybe less than a handful of people in your age range you are attracted to, and chances are you’re only going to approach just one – two if you’re really feeling brave. Because you will approach fewer people over time, your rate of rejection is likely to be very low in comparison.
Online, you can choose from thousands of options and easily initiate communicate with a hundreds if not more people with little investment, just a click, click, click of the mouse and dozens of conversations, introductory messages, winks, flirts, etc. are sent out.
This approach will almost guarantee a smaller percentage rate of response and, thus, it could feel like you are doing much worse. It’s not that the shotgun approach is always a bad thing, but you just have to set realistic expectations for responses.
3. We tend to be more critical online. When you’re one of dozens, if not hundreds, of profiles being viewed in an hour, you’re going to be judged by a high standard and, conversely, you’re likely judging others more critically as well.
Men and women might judge differently, but they both judge more harshly when they can dissect a profile and ponder photos.
The way to help lessen this effect is to make sure your profile is really, really good. Ask some friends from the opposite sex to look it over and give you suggestions. Guys and girls look for different things, so find out what they might be looking to know about.
Don’t be afraid to update your profile often. Once a month is not too much, but at least once every couple of months, even if it is just a small piece of new or changed information.
You can never upload too many photos — and that doesn’t mean 7 or 8 head shots. Upload photos that show who your are, what you’re about and why they should be interested in you. The next time you catch yourself being very critical about a profile you’re reviewing, remember someone is probably being just as critical about yours.
4. Are you being realistic about who you contact? This goes back, in part, to point number two, how easy it is to initiate contact online.
When we’re meeting people offline, we tend to be much more discriminating about who we initiate contact with. Age range, their looks and even social class all play a part in whom we talk to or ask out.
Of course, there are no official rules and there are the exceptions (super model chooses the web geek). But I think you understand my point.
We’re more discriminating offline because of the fear of rejection and because it takes courage to engage in a conversation with romantic intention. So we tend to make contact with people we consider to be in our comfort zone; it takes a little less courage. But most of us have lots of courage when we’re online, safely tucked behind our keyboards in the comfort of our own home, where rejection isn’t imminent and there are no awkward moments.
But it is exactly that comfort that allows us to make contact with lots of people we might not risk it with in the offline world (which is not always a bad thing). However, that will inevitably increase your rate of a non-response.
A special note to guys: looking at the profile of women 20 or 25 years your junior is unlikely to result in any real relationship, and more likely, it’ll give you a creeper label and land you as the butt of some jokes.
If a significantly younger women browses your profile, then by all means view her and maybe send her a message. Just remember: she might be scoping you out for her mom.
5. Sometimes the chemistry is just off. Not all first communication is equal. Some messages will resonate; others will fall flat. Sometimes you’ll ask a question she/he can’t wait to answer; other questions will seem boring.
This is outside your control, as chemistry is and should be. Part of the magic is the rarity: there’s nothing like catching the right person on the right day with just the right words.
Don’t fight it, don’t stress about it, it just is what it is. If it doesn’t click, accept it and move on.
6. Not all of our members are paid subscribers, and people who don’t subscribe cannot send or respond to messages. I understand this can be frustrating – I have seen my share of angry support tickets and forum posts over this issue – but it is the right model.
Growing and investing in CatholicMatch is in your best interest as well as ours; the more members we attract, the higher your odds of finding “the one.”
Let’s face it, what is the cost to be out in the offline world where there is a concentration of single Catholics who are interested in meeting other singles Catholic who care about their faith?
Does it exist? If so, please tell me, because I’m single too! And if it does, I bet it costs much more than $10 or $20 a month.
If someone isn’t willing to spend that much for the chance to connect with you, how serious are they really about meeting, let alone dating you?