Living in the Midwest I feel that the dating experience for gay men and women is a little more limited when compared to our straight counterparts. I recall recently reading about a study that said over 61% of same-sex couples say they’ve met partners through and online dating sites compared with just 13% of opposite-sex partners. I realize for a smaller community of people connecting online allows users to meet a greater number of people more quickly than they would in person and this avenue includes a lesser risk of rejection as well.
Since rejoining the online dating world I’ve received a fair number of emails that have caught me off guard. For example…
“Hi. I saw that you visited my profile and just wanted to see what was goin’ on. ”
“Couldn’t help but notice you checked out my profile. I returned the favor. I think you did a nice job of filling it out. Its good to know you still have all you non essential appendiges, lol. Would be interested in getting to know you sometime. Message me back if you like.”
Moxie, I’m confused. Admittedly, I’ve been out of the online dating loop for a while but is this what communication has boiled down to? It’s not so much the content that has me confused, it’s how both people began their emails. Remember in middle school when kids would pass those “Do you like me? Check Yes, No or Maybe” notes around? This seems to be a more grown-up, passive-aggressive version of that.
I’m glad that I’m receiving ANY replies to my profile but it’s the tone of these that bother me so much. Is this how people start conversations online these days? I could care less if these guys chose to contact me because they saw me on their Visitors list but what happened to basic social skills? Would these guys walk up to someone in public and say “I saw you glance at me across the street and thought I’d say hi”. Would these people still have messaged me if they HADN’T seen my profile on their Visitors list? It feels like the online equivalent of the guy in the corner of a bar waiting for someone to make eye contact so they can start a conversation.
I feel it’s worth mentioning that normally the senders of these emails are not the type of people I would choose to contact myself. Very low Match %, doesn’t match my stated preferences in my profile, etc.
Moxie, should I reply to these emails? If I do, what should I even say?
I try to make it a point to reply to every email I get (within reason) and in doing so I’ve established some great friendships with people I don’t consider compatible with myself on a romantic level. Is it wrong for me to be so off-put by how these guys chose to contact me? I’m normally not so uptight just confused about the lack of basic social skills and tact.
Your thoughts would be appreciated.
I see absolutely nothing wrong with the messages that were sent to you. These guys are smart. They’re going through their visitors and contacting people who viewed their profile. That’s what online daters should be doing rather than sending a bunch of random messages to people who haven’t initiated some for of interest.
I’m not sure what it is you’re expecting with these emails. And that’s your problem. You’re expecting something more, something different. Why? Because you feel these guys whose league you feel you are out of should be working harder to impress you. If the guy sending the note was hot, you wouldn’t care what they did or didn’t say. That’s the bottom line.
What’s truly bothering you is that you’re not hearing from the guys you want to hear from. That’s it. The rest is just your way or rationalizing why these men you perceive as schlubs are reaching out to you. The tone of the messages aren’t the issue, nor do these men appear to be lacking communication skills. These guys wrote messages that don’t appear to be cut and paste jobs. They mentioned something specific to you that demonstrated that they’re not just sending notes to anyone who looks at their profile.
Nobody is going to be bending over backwards to write you some Jane Austen-inspired salutation. Sorry, you’re just not that special or important. You, like pretty much everybody else who dates online, are nothing but a number. Welcome to our nightmare. Jump in, the water is warm. You’re getting the same messages that we all get.
I try to make it a point to reply to every email I get (within reason) and in doing so I’ve established some great friendships with people I don’t consider compatible with myself on a romantic level.
Ugh. You’re one of those people. The people who say that they answer all their messages “to be polite.” For future reference it’s actually more socially appropriate to just not respond. The only people who whine about not hearing back from the people they message are the ones who feel slighted and take the whole online dating process way too personally. In the future, don’t send a message back to people just to tell them you’re not interested. Nobody wants to hear it.
There’s just something egregiously disingenuous about someone who replies to all their messages. Like they somehow get a thrill out of rejecting people or maybe want someone to ask them why they don’t think they’re a match. There’s a bit of a rush that comes with turning people down. Maybe you’re not on OK Cupid to meet someone. Maybe you’re their to reject people.
I think you’re expectations are way too high for online dating. At this point, people are just exhausted and don’t feel like crafting unique message after unique message. People are less concerned with capitalization and punctuation. Take whatever opening you can get, even the messages that just say “Hi” and don’t analyze it. It’s just one message. Not everybody gives good email. Unless someone writes in gibberish, indicating a multitude of issues, give them a chance.