Dating Skills 101: The 24 Hr Rule & Why I Won’t Sleep With You

Name: Terimark5_heart_keyboard_jesse_2013-04-19
Comment: Hi Moxie,

So, I’ve been chatting with this guy on OKC. After a few exchanges, I suggested we meet up sometime for a drink/coffee. He agreed and then his profile disappeared the next day. No problem, it happens. All part of online dating, I get it.

Then a couple days later I see his profile is back up, so I send a quick message just to say hey and ask if he’s still up for meeting. He just replied…3 days later and said yes. He apologized for the delayed reply and said he’d been really sick the last few days. Not sure I buy that, I figure I’m a 2nd choice or last resort date. I pay for an OKC membership, so I saw that he read my message within a day of me sending it.

I’ve heard you say it shouldn’t take longer than 24 hours to reply. Would you give this guy the benefit of the doubt and still meet him?
Age: 38
City: Toronto
State: ON

It’s totally possible that he was sick and decided to take his profile down. What bothers me is that he a) took the profile down without shooting you a message to provide some kind of contact info and b) took 2 days to respond to your message. It sounds like you casually suggested that you and he meet up offline and he casually agreed. It doesn’t sound like you made any kind of concrete plans. That, too, would concern me.

You can go out with him and give him a chance, but I would invest absolutely nothing in the date. His actions communicate to me that he’s flaky and not terribly serious about meeting someone. If you had to follow up with him after he re-activated his profile, that should really tell you his level of interest. He didn’t seem at all concerned about the possibility that taking down his profile might send a conflicting message or make him look disinterested.

I adamantly stand by my 24hr Rule. There’s no excuse these days for anybody to take longer than 12-24 hrs to respond to a message. The longer they wait to respond is indicative of their level of interest and availability.

I went out with someone a while back. Great date, everything went well, walked me to the cab, kissed good night. I sent the thank you note the following day saying I hoped to see him again soon. I don’t hear a peep from him. Then, three weeks later, he replies saying he was taken out of the country and was really sorry that it took so long to respond. Then he asked me out again. I said Yes, but in the back of my mind I was so annoyed/suspicious that it made me anticipate the second date less. Which sucks. I like going in to every second, third, etc date with a growing level of anticipation and momentum. I also prefer that there be no red flags just in case I want to sleep with him. Taking three weeks to reply? Yeah, I won’t be sleeping with you on the second date no matter how badly I want to.  You’ve given me a tangible reason to be cautious and I will heed that caution.  You do it to yourselves sometimes, guys.

Teri, I’m sure this guy will meet up with you, especially if you contacted him as soon as he brings his profile back up on the site. Now he knows that you’re more than moderately interested in him and possibly don’t have many options. If he’s the type of guy who will go out with anyone just for the possibility of getting laid, you just made yourself very vulnerable. So keep your wits about you, enjoy the date, but don’t get too attached.


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55 Responses to “Dating Skills 101: The 24 Hr Rule & Why I Won’t Sleep With You”

  1. Teri Says:

    Thanks Moxie…I decided against meeting him. It just doesn’t feel right and hindsight being 20/20 and all, I shouldn’t have been so keen to message him as soon as his profile was back up. The fact that he disabled/deleted it right after we casually agreed to meet was the first red flag (no concrete plans had been made at that point). Live and learn … and I’m definitely learning as I go along. Thanks again and have a great weekend!

    • Eliza Says:

      Good girl! yes! great move…don’t waste your precious time on people who don’t place value on meeting you. You deserve way better than that. Which is why I always feels just because people state in their profiles – “I am serious about meeting the right person”–those are just words. I go by actions. No concrete plans or level of reciprocation? OK, next. Plenty of prospects out there. I would have done the same thing. And I agree–nice to read a post from someone that is together and has common sense…and uses logic.

    • BTownGirl Says:

      Teri, you have a great attitude and I’m glad to here you passed on this dude! Well done, lady. :)

  2. PGHGal Says:

    Can I just note hoe refreshing it is to read a post from someone who seems to have it together. I know the blog needs people who “don’t get it” in order to exist. But it’s just a nice change of pace and props to Teri for deciding against meeting someone who was less than moderately interested at best.

  3. HammersAndNails Says:

    Sigh…here we go again. I get it that if Bar Refaeli joined okcupid and sent me an email I would, without a doubt, respond within 24 hours. That being said emailing when my attention is on other plans than dating feels like eating when you are not hungry, and I think that shows. I’ve never held the length of time a woman took to respond to an initial email against her so long as all follow up communication was timely.

    We’ve all been there when you have a full dance card when someone who looks good emails you. It’s not that you are not interested, it’s just that you already have plans/dates/work.

    That being said, that only applies to first emails. Once you start a conversation it’s rude to leave someone waiting and I agree that it indicates low interest.

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      That being said emailing when my attention is on other plans than dating feels like eating when you are not hungry

      Right. Which is why people should move along from people like you. Who wants to go out with someone who is too tired/busy/stressed/overwhelmed? Every time this issue gets brought up people always prove why the 24hr rule is productive.

      • HammersAndNails Says:

        I have plenty of time to date someone or two someones. I just don’t have plenty of time to date 3-4 someones.

        I’m not too tired/busy/stressed to date, I’m saying that if I’m already dating a girl or two, I’d rather just not answer your email until I’m available rather than string you along until things fade out with my current dates.

        • msM. Says:

          I agree with everyone’s point…I agree that back and forths are a waste of time..when deciding to meet it’s always a good idea to “close the deal” not just making a suggestion. So if ppl were too difficult I’d cut off communication.

          BUT as Hammers said above, the thing with dating though, is that most people are juggling more than one person until they commit…or they would not be online, but in a relationship, so I’d give people the benefit of the doubt. What if he’s been seeing someone else and another person and that didn’t work out?

          So in that sense people are THAT busy, indeed, making plans with someone else. And I don’t think that the first time meeting someone I should care that much, because lesson #1 of online dating for me is, have NO expectations. And #2 have lots of dates, even when you are not THAT into the person via email. So you’re not waiting around anyone to call you. I assume everyone these days only does coffee/drinks/lunch for first date anyway so there isn’t too much invested on one person initially.

          • D. Says:

            Yeah, but that’s the point: you aren’t really available if you’re juggling. So, it’s a waste of time for either party to pursue things.

            There ARE instances where someone who’s genuinely busy will be taken enough with the other person’s profile and email that they’ll juggle things further to MAKE time for this new person and give them a fair chance…except that’s not what happens in most cases.

            The only time I’d waive the 24hr rule is if I can see that the person I emailed hasn’t logged into the site since I emailed them. It’s when someone is consistently logging in and not replying that it’s safer to assume they just aren’t that interested. They’re available enough to log in and to check your profile or read your email, so if they don’t get back to you within that 24 hour period, it stands to reason that they just aren’t that interested.

            They may get back to you later, and it’s ok to date them, but you have to do so with the right mindset — namely that this will not become the great love of your life, and will just be casual dating until something better comes along for either of you.

          • HammersAndNails Says:

            you decide who is the love of your life based on who emailed a week before who on okcupid? Sure. That sounds completely reasonable.

            If you’d emailed a week earlier you would have been a first choice, but just because of timing you aren’t. Why does everything have to be about you?

        • Kira Says:

          HammersAndNails said: “I’m not too tired/busy/stressed to date, I’m saying that if I’m already dating a girl or two, I’d rather just not answer your email until I’m available rather than string you along until things fade out with my current dates.”

          I’m having this issue, too. I’ve got one person I’ve been seeing somewhat regularly (but I am not sure it’s going to progress; still early) and one other I’ve gone out with less than a handful of times now but we keep making plans.

          I am continuing to get messages from new, interesting men but I’m not sure how to fit in more dates at this current moment. I’m finding this is a big drawback of online dating for me, I don’t know how to juggle! I don’t enjoy it, but I also don’t see any other way around it.

          Like msM said, I assume the two men I’ve been seeing are also seeing others, and will until there’s a point we talk about making things exclusive. Which may not happen with either guy. Will I be considered too busy or uninterested if I then finally have time to meet some of the men in my inbox?

          • fuzzilla Says:

            I think if I were in that situation where 1-2 guys seem promising but no “done deal,” and meanwhile interesting guys were writing me – I’d still write the interesting guys I hadn’t met to keep them in play, but maybe put off meeting for a bit (1-2 weeks) and say work’s crazy/I have this thing for my niece’s graduation, etc.

            I don’t like juggling, but I make it a point to keep my options open if I’m not sure I see a future with any current dates.

          • D. Says:

            Here’s the thing.

            It’s not that it’s unacceptable that you don’t respond within 24 hours. It’s that your failure to respond within 24 hours indicates that, at least initially, you aren’t all that interested. Maybe that’s because you’re swamped with work, or swamped with dating options, or maybe it’s because someone else has more of your attention and you’re more into them.

            But from my experience, when I failed to respond within 24 hours to an email, it was usually because I was in some way, shape, or form unavailable. And, to be clear, I include “Not all that interested” in the term “unavailable.” You’re not getting to date me, regardless of the reason, therefore, to you at least, I’m unavailable.

            This also isn’t to say that you can’t still find something good and meaningful while you’re dating other people…if you’re open to it and capable of recognizing it when it crosses your path. Whether someone can do that while dating multiple people, working a busy job, traveling a lot, or whatever, really depends on the person. Ultimately, you have to determine for yourself whether you are truly too busy, or whether you’re capable of making time for someone who seems right.

            I’ve done both. I’ve been unfocused and too busy and, truth be told, unavailable because of it, at least for new people. Thus, I didn’t respond within 24 hours and, in most cases, anyone I took a while to get back to, if we ended up going out, it didn’t go anywhere because I wasn’t really that interested. Likewise, I’ve responded within 24 hours, even when things were busy, for people in whom I was really interested initially, and I’ve had it develop into something long-term.

            I guess in the end, that’s the point of all of this: it comes down to your interest. Maybe you don’t have the “bandwidth” to be interested, or maybe you do, but usually, if you aren’t responding within 24 hours…you aren’t that interested, and that’s the bottom line. Doesn’t really matter what the reason is. You aren’t responding because this person didn’t grab your attention, either because you don’t have the attention to give, or because they’re kinda boring. Either way, you’re unavailable to them, and if you’re on their side of the equation, you should bear this in mind if the other person gets back to you later and wants to go out.

            It’s not a fatal flaw, but it does indicate that, at least initially, you weren’t so amazing to them as to make them drop what they were doing and focus on you. So, don’t go focusing on them with that level of intensity.

    • msM. Says:

      I’m with Hammers in this, it seems completely arbitrary and crazy to expect someone to be replying to you when you want them to within 24hrs to show they’re really interested…YOU HAVEN’T EVEN MET!!!…Plus, we girls forget about what it’s like for guys – they can’t be like us sitting on our asses watching emails coming in…they HAVE to send out a ton of messages all the time. what’s the big deal about this, honestly? Just meet the guy!!! He may not care all that much in the end, or he might be a future boyfriend, but at least you met someone new if anything. He doesn’t owe you anything.
      The part about “they’re juggling and therefore not available” does not take into consideration REALITY…I mean if you see things from this perspective then people have to be passive at all times waiting until YOU come around, and work on YOUR schedule…sorry that is unrealistic. Especially with popular folks. There is always “someone” until you find the right one. Expect competition and expect to be one among many until actual commitment has been agreed upon by both parties.

      • AC Says:

        Thank you for injecting some common sense into the covnersation. The purpose of online dating is to generate…tada!…dates!!! If us guys want to accomplish this, we sometimes have to send ten or meails in a week. Sometimes we get no reples, sometimes we get two or more. This means we have to juggle, stall, finagle. It’s not rpeson, it’s just part of the game. They way men and women fade in the online datig game, none of us has much choice except to realzie that early on (anywhere between before the first meeting and the 1st-2nd date stage) nobody owes anybody anything. Obvously, being a flake (canceling multiple times or last minute) is totally uncool, but at the same time, adhering to a rigid set of rules can eliminate some pontetially great people. All I’m trying ot say is that realize the reality of the game and incorporate some common sense into your decisions.

    • Howard Says:

      Thank you Hammer and Nails. I believe Technology is making us a little too impatient. There used to be a time that someone sent a letter, and received a reply three weeks later. This demand for our instant attention is like a modern form of slavery. We become slaves to that ringing phone telling us to drop what we are doing and answer it.

      There is this social media frenzy where people seem to have to post every arcane detail of the happenings in their lives, that leaves the rest of us almost forced to follow suit just to keep up, to market whatever we have as assets.

      People texting, messaging and emailing, and demanding our instant attention has to be the worst form of slavery to conform that I know. If I have a well established relationship with someone, absolutely, but when I don’t even know someone, this has to be the height of absurdity.

      The second bit to all this is the belief that people can’t change their minds. For crying out aloud, this person has not met you as yet. What makes you think you are entitled to them being sure about you?

      The final hypocrisy to all this, is that nobody is worse than women when it comes to following up with a man they are not so sure about. And they are entitled to do that. But please stop whining about it when the guy does it. Oh I just got a Happy Valentine text from a woman I was speaking to maybe a year and a half ago. She had stopped communicating with me. Well, I guessed she changed her mind. That’s how it works. I am not mad at her. If I weren’t occupied these days, I would probably entertain her newly found attention.

    • John Says:

      HammersAndNails says:
      “We’ve all been there when you have a full dance card when someone who looks good emails you. It’s not that you are not interested, it’s just that you already have plans/dates/work.”

      Here’s an idea- when your dance card gets full, hide your profile. When you have more time and openings in your schedule, unhide it. Brilliant, I know.

      • AC Says:

        Easier said then doen my friend. Yes, if you’ve met someone and you’re 4-7 dates in and it seems to be going well – do it. If you’re in that 1-3 date phase and happen to be in one of those phases were the replies are flowing us, go with that as well. Putting someone on the back burner early on isn;t a crime.

  4. C Says:

    “Taking three weeks to reply? Yeah, I won’t be sleeping with you on the second date no matter how badly I want to. You’ve given me a tangible reason to be cautious and I will heed that caution. You do it to yourselves sometimes, guys.”

    Unless he tells me he was in the hospital and all of his dialing fingers were broken, he is sending a very bad message. Awwwww what happened buddy? Get dumped by the chick you really wanted and now want me to help you salvage your ego? I dont think so.

    I’m not sure I would respond the same way to a guy I’ve never met. I know I personally have done a 180 after meeting a guy who turned out to be amazing in person while his online profile was only “meh” at best. My personal feeling is that at least sometimes, I’d give a guy I’ve never met the benefit of the doubt until we meet. After that, its game on.

    That said, I totally agree with Moxie’s assessment of the situation. If you have to ask him to meet twice and he still hasnt made plans, theres a blocking point to his interest level. Proceed with caution. If it were me, I’d back off and let him schedule the date. He already knows you are interested. Let him step up.

  5. Teri Says:

    Personally, I would prefer the guy to make the plans even if I was the one who suggested meeting. Maybe I’m a little traditional that way. I like a man to take charge when it comes to that stuff. While I realize this wouldn’t apply in 100% of the cases, I’ve had a couple male friends tell me that guys don’t like it when women take charge and do the date planning.

    • C Says:

      I’ve been told that as well. Some dont care or like it when a hot woman pursues them. Others dont like it.

      Men know that theres the expectation that they will do the asking. One stands to reason that if you have made it clear that you are interested, and they arent asking, bad sign.

      There is always the exception: maybe the guy is submissive and likes to feel pursued or he just came out of a bad break up and is not pursuing anyone, etc… but those cases are far and few between.

    • DrivingMeNutes Says:

      I can’t speak for all men. I don’t think men have an issue with women taking initiative. Men are people and, like all people, appreciate when someone shows interest. The problem, in dating, is that men are expected to finance the date. So, unless a guy asks you to suggest a venue, it is rude to suggest one unless it comes with a sincere offer to pay – and, even then, you’re bucking tradition which potentially makes everyone uncomfortable. Worse yet, if the guy suggests a date, and you “counteroffer.”

      The idea, however, that guys generally feel emasculated by women taking initiative is mostly idiotic. I’m sure some guys say it and some may even feel it but, for the most part, it’s missing the mark. No one likes rude behavior. It’s not a “guy thing.”

      • Goldie Says:

        In my short time dating last fall, I went out with ten people. Nine of them asked me to suggest a venue for a first date. They would all ask, “Okay what is good for you?” or “what is close to your area?” I agree with you that it’s not an easy situation to be in. He still initiated, he’ll still insist on paying most likely, so I cannot in good conscience suggest a dinner. I spent a lot of my evenings in coffee shops during those two months. Honestly I’d have preferred them to pick a place already and tell me where to meet. Especially since there are no good meeting places that are super close to my area anyway.

        • LostSailor Says:

          While I’m happy to accept suggestions, as a rule, I tell my locations (work and home) and ask about hers, and then pick a place and time in one of her areas, preferably near home (because, hey, you never know). I’ve found that this elicits the best response, which half of the time is “perfect, see you there.”

          Guys who ask for suggestions are, to me, looking to avoid somehow offending a woman or increase their chances by meeting at a place she likes. But I believe this is a mistake; picking a place without much fuss shows confidence, which is most likely to increase their chances…

        • Steve From the City Next Door Says:

          I think you may have hit upon the reason…. they are looking at places that are near you and not finding any.

          I know a lot of older guys (55+) who really want to be the initiator and a small number of younger guys though not the ones I would think would be considered quality. More would kinda prefer to be the initiator but won’t really matter.

      • C Says:

        I once asked a guy if guys like it when women call them. He said, “Depends. If I’m really attracted to a woman, then yes. If I’m not sure about my interest level, then its annoying.”

        I’ve also heard from a few guys that men dont like it when a woman is “too eager because she comes off as desparate and nothing is less attractive”.

        The message I’ve gotten is that its best to err on the side of convention.

        • DrivingMeNutes Says:

          I agree. I asked a Magic 8 Ball once whether women like to have sex on a first date. It answered “Reply Hazy Try Again.” Given that, I always take a cautious approach.

  6. D. Says:

    Sounds like you made the right call, Teri. From my perspective, when I’ve done what this guy did (or something like it) it usually meant that I was either too busy to date, or just wasn’t that excited. Sure, you could have some fun dates result from it, but it never went anywhere for me with someone about whom I was initially lukewarm. Even if things developed, they’d only end up going so far.

    By contrast, in the situations that actually developed into relationships, I wasted no time, and neither did the women involved. My interest was clear, as was theirs. It wasn’t dialed up to “11” instantaneously, but there wasn’t the kind of hesitation or delayed communication back and forth that happened in situations that went nowhere.

    Put simply: if someone is interested, they will make time (within reason) to be in touch with you, even if that means giving you a quick heads-up to let you know that they’re swamped with work/out of town/whatever, and that’s why they’re not getting back to you faster.

    • fuzzilla Says:

      **Put simply: if someone is interested, they will make time (within reason) to be in touch with you, even if that means giving you a quick heads-up to let you know that they’re swamped with work/out of town/whatever, and that’s why they’re not getting back to you faster.**

      Yeah. I don’t agree that putting off a date necessarily means someone isn’t interested, because there could be any number of legitimate reasons for that (work/family/out of town, etc.). However, if the reasons are legitimate, someone interested will still make an effort to keep you posted. They’ll want to stay on your radar so you don’t forget about them.

      • BTownGirl Says:

        Yup! I once had a dude that I knew casually through a mutual friend ask me out by inviting me to meet him for a drink. Homeboy even sent me a picture of a little gift he had gotten me that related to a hobby I’m really into. The day of the date was set, but not the time and venue. He was never heard from again, until a month later. You for real, boo?!

  7. Goldie Says:

    Anytime I’ve disabled my profile for any length of time, it’s been either because I had met someone and things were getting serious enough that I wanted to concentrate on that person; or, I needed a break from dating altogether. I’ve asked my guy friends on a number of occasions why they’d disabled their profile and got the same answers. I would not bother with a guy who’s in a disabling/enabling mode, as that tells me he’s not in the mood for dating me at the moment, for whatever reasons.

  8. G Says:

    Moxie could be right, that he’s not very serious or you were 2nd choice. But having said that, everyone being too cynical is kinda what makes online dating a bit hopeless.

    The 24 hour rules has it’s merrits but I don’t think you can make it a hard and fast rule. If I really like someone, it’s true, I’ll be eager to reply and keep the conversation going but there have been times where I say the incoming mail, read it and said “Oh, that’s great she replied, must write back later when I have time to write a good email” and then either work or whatever gets in the way and I don’t hit the “24 hour” mark. It happens.

    I find it’s more about HOW someone replies. I’ve had replies in minutes but they are just like “Hi, I’m fine thanks, hru?”. Those people are just killing time. Others take longer to reply but write really well thought out emails. Guess who turns out to be nicer in person?

    Also, the idea of going on the date and being stand-offish is pointless I think. I’ve had people go on dates with me and do this and I don’t see the point. It comes across terribly and I won’t call them again as the date is like pulling teeth.

    I think a better strategy is to put your best foot forward. You don’t have to flirt your ass off but show off your personality and how cool and funny and witty you are. I’ve had online dates where I couldn’t wait, they seemed perfect, then in person they were dry and boring. On the other hand I’ve gone on dates where I thought they were nice but wasn’t head over heels just yet and was blown away in person at how nice and funny and awesome they were just to be around, and it totally won me over since you only get a certain idea of someone online, in person is much more important. There’s a chance, if he IS on the fence that the in person experience would make up his mind, while going along and just going through the motions will make him walk away thinking “Well, I was right all along, why did I meet her?”

    • D. Says:

      Point of clarification:

      You don’t have to be standoffish on the date. You just have to have adjusted your expectations accordingly. When you’re on a date with someone who either showed lukewarm interest or faded on you before, it’s better to assume that this won’t get serious, and it may even fizzle in 1 date. Doesn’t mean you can’t go out and enjoy the evening for its own sake, but it does mean you shouldn’t get too invested in the idea of what could be happening.

      The problem that more commonly arises here is that someone gets an initial lukewarm response from someone (they take forever to respond, are slow to schedule a date, whatever), then things develop for a bit (usually including sex), and then they fizzle. At this point the person writes in trying to figure out what happened, when the answer is “They were never all that interested.” The big clue being the initial lack of interest. Doesn’t mean that an initially lukewarm meeting can’t turn into something more, but it shouldn’t be a surprise if and when the person fades.

      But you can still date someone and enjoy yourself in spite of that, as long as you can keep your expectations at the appropriate level.

      • msM. Says:

        I almost feel like the first date is a “pre-date” and no one should take that very seriously, too many expectations/rules before meeting someone usually creates ill-will between people. Know what you want and what you are looking for, and pay attention to signals AFTER you meet. It’s like judging a ghost…you have almost nothing to base it on. People can be COMPLETELY different once you meet them…this happened to me several times.

  9. LostSailor Says:

    I generally agree with the 24-hour rule. If I’m interested, even if I’m “juggling,” I’ll respond within that time-frame and try to keep the conversation going. The fudge factor is whether a person has actually logged on to the site to read the message, since they can’t respond if they haven’t seen it. Of course there’s a dodge here, too. I primarily use OKC and have the app on my phone, but I also have alerts sent to my email, so I know when someone has messaged me without having to actually log on to the site.

    But for both men and women, if someone doesn’t respond within 24 hours of seeing your message, yeah, they’re probably not interested or are lukewarm at best.

    So, yes, Teri made the right call on this one. The biggest red flag, however, was that they guy disabled his profile and then claimed he was “sick.” Nope. I’ve never disabled my profile and wouldn’t unless things got fairly serious with someone. If I’m seeing someone less seriously or even just too busy to bother, I just don’t log in. Others may disagree, but disabling a profile, especially for a short period of time, smacks to me too much of playing games. I mean, really, why bother?

    • G Says:

      I don’t really agree about disabling the profile. I take mine down from time to time. It’s either when I’ve had a few dates with someone and am not too interested in emailing anyone else or most likely I’m not dating anyone but feel a bit jaded. The absence sometimes ends after a weekend or 2 months.. It just depends. There’s nothing behind it.

      I feel one of the worst things is seeing the same profiles constantly. I’ve gone on and off online dating for 4 years because I was dating people but in those 4 years, there are profiles which NEVER disappear. They are either always 3 able or always online. That’s a red flag to me. Either they are serial daters, too picky or have other issues that they spend every moment on the site for years but never ever seem to meet someone, even for a short time. It’s a bit weird.

  10. Steve Says:

    I don’t agree with the 24 hour rule. Maybe women can get away with it because they have more options. But it is quite common in my experience, and I would never eliminate someone based on this alone.

  11. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    “The longer they wait to respond is indicative of their level of interest and availability.”

    This is true as far as it goes but it begs the real question. Why would you expect someone who has never met you, and doesn’t know you, to have any level of genuine “interest” in you? That’s the problem here. You’re just some photos and some words on the Internet at that point. A “24 hour rule,” at least with respect to initial communications on an online dating site, reveals some wildly unrealistic expectations. It’s okay if someone is not “crazy interested” in you before they’ve met you. In fact, to me, that’s a positive sign that they may be somewhat stable and sensible.

    As far as suspending or deleting your profile, however, that is a very strange thing to do, especially on a free site. What? Caught cheating? Hiding from coworkers? Trying to communicate unavailability? Paranoid schizophrenia? I honestly can’t think of any rational reason that a person would take their profile down that would reflect positively on them. It’s just the Internet.

    • fuzzilla Says:

      **I honestly can’t think of any rational reason that a person would take their profile down that would reflect positively on them. It’s just the Internet.**

      They either met someone they’re starting to get serious with or they’re just fed up with bad experiences and need to take a break from dating before they turn bitter. Maybe the latter doesn’t reflect positively on someone, but if not, I’d say it’s more neutral than negative. Sometimes a break is healthy and exactly what you need.

      • DrivingMeNutes Says:

        I don’t understand why one couldn’t just leave the profile up and just not actively check it. For someone supposedly taking a “break,” it literally takes more effort to take the profile down and then put it back up. It’s less about taking a break and more about trying to draw attention to the fact that you’re taking a break. The latter is, in fact, the opposite of the former. If a “dating break” falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

        As for, “he’s met someone serious,” that’s even more ridiculous since the profile apparently went back up shortly after it came down. That reeks of melodrama, not a serious person.

        • fuzzilla Says:

          **As for, “he’s met someone serious,” that’s even more ridiculous since the profile apparently went back up shortly after it came down. That reeks of melodrama, not a serious person.**

          Well, in the OP’s story, yes. I doubt he met his true love in three days, and taking the profile off and on in a very short period of time does give off drama queen/wishy-washy vibes.

          You said you couldn’t see why anyone at all who’d disable their profile. When I did, it was either because I met someone or had a string of disappointments and was just fed up and wanted to unplug. If I do have profile up, I tend to check the site/my visitors obsessively and I often just feel better when I remove the temptation to waste tons of time there.

        • Goldie Says:

          “I don’t understand why one couldn’t just leave the profile up and just not actively check it.”

          Because people will still message you and expect a response. They are not mind-readers and don’t know you don’t want to date anyone for the time being.

          Granted, if you don’t actively check in, then all you have to do is just wait a few weeks – when you stop showing in the “active in the past month” searches, people will get the message. But that’s a hell of a long time for people to be flooding your inbox with messages you don’t plan on replying to.

          My other concern with this tactic is that, by the time you do come back and start being active on the site again, people that have messaged you while you were out will see you as a flake who ignored them in the past for no reason, and won’t message you again. Some of them could be potential good matches. Why kill your options?

          FTR my profile has been disabled since mid-December and I plan to keep it that way until mid to late spring. If that makes me look paranoid, oh well. But how can I look paranoid to anyone when I don’t show in their searches and do not have an active account? I don’t think I get it. What’s the damage?

          Have to add that, in the OP’s story, something does not in fact add up. Why would anyone take their profile down *for three days*? That I, too, do not get.

          • C Says:

            Exactly! 3 days is hardly “a break from dating”. No one shuts their account down for 3 days to stave off the flood of emails.

            He met someone and it fell apart 2 days later? I guess anything is possible but I wouldnt bet money on it.

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      Why would you expect someone who has never met you, and doesn’t know you, to have any level of genuine “interest” in you?

      I suppose I base it on my normal response time. It usually doesn’t take anyone longer than 12-24 hours to reply to my initial message. It’s similar to your opinion that nobody should go out with anyone who is meh about them. I take a longer than 24hr response as meh. I might still go out with them, but I’m certainly not as interested as I am when I go out with guys who reply within 24 hours.

      As far as suspending or deleting your profile, however, that is a very strange thing to do, especially on a free site.

      Absolutely agree. Unless they’ve decided to be exclusive with someone or know they won’t be available for the foreseeable future, taking down the profile is sketchy and weird in my book.

  12. msM. Says:

    C’mon you guys, the OP has not MET the guy, he turned the profile off for whatever reason, none of which is anyone’s business because well, he does not know her…or owe her an explanation. So yes he was possibly lying when he said he was sick, but if the OP is already demanding answers before they even met…what was he supposed to say? The truth? What if it were something like:

    “-You seemed ok but too clingy and I was waiting on that hot blonde with big tits to call me back, and another girl from out of town…That didn’t quite pan out so I turned the profile back on.”

    There are things we can’t say and this man owes her no explanation whatsoever since they haven’t event met. IMO that’s fair game for online dating. I have sort of cancelled on people I was mildly interested in a couple of times. Do I owe them an explanation with the actual truth? “It was raining and I was not about to face the rain to go across town to meet some guy for coffee I didn’t like as much as the other couple of dudes i was dating?”

    I told him something else. Because someone agrees to meet you does not mean they are CRAZY about you and will drop everything to see you. That level of “romance” does not always translate well for online dating. Online dating does dehumanize people a bit, because there are just so many people, but the upside of it is the amount of possibility and change. If you are doing this, you have to be prepared and it’s always best to have low expectations and better outcomes than high expectations and disappointments.

    • fuzzilla Says:

      Huh? I don’t see where she demanded an explanation. Sure, maybe she shouldn’t obsess over what the guy did or didn’t do or why, but she didn’t behave inappropriately. She’s learning to read between the lines and figure out who is and isn’t worth her time before investing too much, which is nothing but smart. His behavior (disappearing and reappearing from the site without notice) is that of someone not very interested, so she moved on. What’s with the vitriol?

      • msM. Says:

        She wrote to the website asking for an explanation since she didn’t have a plausible one from the OP. I just think it’s generally a good idea to meet people before drawing strong conclusions as to whether they are “worth it” or not. I just feel like this level of expectation before you actually meet someone is not realistic and it leads to a habit of “NOs” too frequently.

        I didn’t say she was inappropriate I said she was unrealistic. I just ultimately feel it could be a wasted opportunity to simply *meet* someone. Personally I have come across so many men that talk so well, and are really smooth online and they turned out to be married. I am MORE suspicious of shiny surfaces to be honest.

        I just feel like being too judgmental too soon is not a good overall strategy. Once I meet someone I can assess whether I like them, am attracted to them and can see something with this person within 5 minutes. Much faster than obsessing about someone you have not met. THEN you can move on to someone else.

        • ATWYSingle Says:

          I didn’t say she was inappropriate I said she was unrealistic.

          And had the only red flag been that he took 3 days to reply to her, I might agree with you. But it wasn’t. The guy took down his profile after he expressed interest in meeting her. That’s weird.

          I think you (and a few others) were in such a rush to point out how everybody else is less cool and understanding about this than you that you totally missed the cluster of concerns that the OP had.

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      @MsM She didn’t demand an explanation of the guy. She thought his behavior was odd, she bowed out with little to no drama. End of story. Not sure why you’re so bothered about it other than it allows you and a few other people the opportunity to purport that you’re just so much better at it than they are.

      • msM. Says:

        Moxie, I love your advice in general and I love this site, but you have a thick layer of defensiveness/aggression that makes you seem like an unpleasant/hardened person. We are not perfect and that is why we comment here. Maybe it’s time to retire lol:) I just get mad when I see people closing off shop too early.

        This attitude that is bred from this,of putting up walls all the time, where if the man does A or B or C wrong before meeting they are pushed aside is not the best attitude to have. It’s best having an overall picture of what you want and being open to meeting people instead of nitpicking details about people you haven’t met, since they are most likely dating others as well. I just feel like online dating is in many ways a numbers game, and you have to meet as many people as you can to draw real conclusions.

        • ATWYSingle Says:

          Moxie, I love your advice in general and I love this site, but you have a thick layer of defensiveness/aggression that makes you seem like an unpleasant/hardened person.

          Orly? I would think that your kinky dominant persona that you talk endlessly about would identify with that. You’re a woman who a) doesn’t live in Manhattan but insists on dating someone who does b) insists that whatever man you marry makes enough so that you and he can live and raise children comfortably in Manhattan c) wants “a mirror image” equal but still insist he be the one who provides health insurance for his family so you can stay home and raise your kids in MANHATTAN. Oh, and he must be “submissive” because you’re a dom and so into the D/s scene and are a kinky kinko.

          Do go on about how unreasonable everybody else is while you pursue your subby unicorn.

          The fact is that if you were so successful in your approach, you wouldn’t be here. If you are, then the only reason why you are hear is to school all the poor slobs who aren’t. Either way, get the fuck over yourself and spare me and everybody your passive aggressive nonsense. You need a man to provide you with the lifestyle you desire. Get it for yourself if you’re so impressive.

        • fuzzilla Says:

          Well, would *you* turn off your profile if you were excited to meet someone, and then not contact them once you turned your profile back on? The possible cheater/married thing that other people mentioned hadn’t occurred to me, but given the weird time frame w/r/t disabling and re-enabling his profile, it’s plausible.

          Maybe he’s a peach of a guy just going through a rough patch, but his current behavior is of someone not very interested or available. If you get a bad feeling about someone and you *don’t* heed it and insist on giving everyone a chance, that’s how you end up on awful dates, turn bitter, and eventually give up. People only have so much time and energy; don’t waste it on flakes or you’ll be too exhausted to try any more.

      • Teri Says:

        Exactly, thanks Moxie. And to those who think I should have met this guy anyway – why bother? If you all think he was just ‘meh’ about meeting me, what’s the point? I don’t want to go on dates just for the sake of having dates. I would like to meet someone that I can build something substantive and (hopefully) long term. I don’t see the point in wasting anyone’s time, mine or his in meeting when you’re just not that excited about in the first place, which this guy obviously wasn’t.

  13. Lisa Says:

    Another reason ppl disable/hide their profiles is if they’ve been caught out there in a lie. A man has a gf or is seeing someone…maybe they met on the site? She thinks they’re exclusive but he is looking for greener pastures. She discovers it and confronts him. He insists he has no idea how how his profile reappeared…that it’s been down since the day they met. Or he says a coworker who looks like him is using it to cheat on his wife. Or whatever. To really convince her, he say, “OK, I will delete it right now! This site means nothing to me. (Just plz stop checking up on me.)”

    Things go back to normal w/ the girlfriend. And the profile goes back up a few days later. Or maybe the girlfriend calls it quits. And the profile goes back up a few days later.

  14. WeWill Says:

    Wow, most of you sound crazy, including the OP. Demanding a reply within 12-24 hours from a stranger you cold-messaged on a personals site? Lol. Is this what dating in NYC does to people?

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