You’re single and ready to mingle and haven’t had much luck meeting people the regular way, so off you go to the online dating site recommended by several friends. The account is opened, you post up your best photos and feel proud about your cleverly crafted “About Me” so now you wait.
But here’s the deal – you’re not quite ready.
There are a couple of things those friends probably didn’t tell you about meeting people online, because you need to know a little more than being aware of those Nigerian scammers and the real catfish that are waiting for you. Not only will you need to be armed with loads of patience, an amazing sense of humor, some counseling skills and a few glasses of wine but it’s important to know how to handle those unwanted messages.
If you’ve been online for just a month, it’s likely you’ve experienced it all from the boring series of greetings, copy and pasted novels, passive aggressive notes, marriage proposals and those lovely passive aggressive notes. Sometimes I feel as if their sole purpose online is to make your life a living hell, so here are three ways of handling those online messages that are normally unwanted:
In case you haven’t noticed, online dating is one of the most popular ways of meeting new people nowadays and having a flurry of messages to sift through can be a bit overwhelming and time consuming. It seems a bit rude to ignore someone who’s taken the time and courage to reach out, but if a woman is two tons of fun ignoring your preference for fit and athletic and a man who drinks regularly doesn’t care about your ten step program, don’t waste your time responding.
I remember when I first signed up on Plenty of Fish before two photos had been uploaded, my inbox was inundated with about ten messages and most of them were deleted after a quick look at the photos of the senders. The unappealing profile is likely the number one reason a message will go unanswered, or the cheesy and basic “Hello” or “Hi beautiful,” and one of my personal favorites “Can you be dominant for a submissive.”
2. Politely Decline
It’s amazing how easily we can offend, upset or disrespect someone who has reached out to you online based solely on how they interpreted your rejection message. While you’re thinking certain people should never contact you based on your carefully crafted profile but let’s face it – most of them aren’t reading anything past the first line. Still, there’s no reason to pour salt on that wounded ego so a simple “Thanks, but we’re not really a fit” or “I don’t think I’m a good match for you” can go along way when shutting someone down. Remembering how much confidence it takes to reach out to a stranger and thinking of your own (possible) rejection should be reason enough not to be an ass when telling someone no.
A guy messages you with “Hello beautiful” but he’s not your type so you don’t even view his profile and you don’t respond. He contacts you again with “Hi there, how’s it going” and you think maybe that one photo was a bad angle, so you view his profile and nope – still not interested so you don’t respond. This one is really persistent and sends you the “I see you peaking and not speaking” message, so now you feel obligated to say something. You politely say “Sorry, we’re not a good fit” and he throws on the charm by replying “Screw you bitch! This must be fun and games for you which is why you’re fat, ugly and still single. Good luck, I would have been the best you ever had.”
This is a perfect time to implement operation block that ass!
I hate to say it, but some people online are just stupid and refuse to take an indirect hint or a very direct rejection but no one should be forced to do anything they don’t want to do. So whether a person is annoying you by constantly messaging you, not understanding no or sending lewd and inappropriate messages, the most effective way of handling this (short of hiding your profile) is to block the offender. Nearly every dating site offer this feature along with the option of reporting an abusive user and it only takes a few seconds to do.
Hopefully, your experiences with online dating don’t extend beyond a few etiquette faux paus but just remember – if you’re not interested it is your choice to say “thanks, but no thanks” or ignore them completely.
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