Comments
1 - 17 of 17 Comments Last updated Mar 12, 2013

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Mar 12, 2013
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I read the letter you ran on Dec. 21 from "Dateless in Dayton." We have a few thoughts on the matter we'd like to share with him and anyone else who is having bad luck getting responses on dating websites.

We are middle-aged and have been together for two years. Even though we deactivated our memberships in the dating sites we were part of, we still get emails daily that "'So-and-So' sent you a message." It appears these sites still show our profiles as active, allowing people to try to contact us. So it's entirely possible that the women "Dateless" has contacted were inactive or expired members who were never able to see his messages.

We would like to reassure "Dateless" that the problem may not be him. We would also like to encourage him not to give up on finding a mate. He needs to get out there and do the things he loves because he may end up meeting someone that way. If he covers all his bases and is himself, he'll do OK.-- HOPING TO BE HELPFUL, HUNTSVILLE, ALA.

DEAR HELPFUL: Many readers wrote to point out that the problem "Dateless" is experiencing could be more about the idiosyncratic subscription rules on some dating websites than about the writer or the women he is contacting. Other experienced users shared their stories:

DEAR ABBY: I can tell "Dateless" why he's not getting "thanks, but no thanks" notes from the women he contacts on the online dating service: Those women are most likely overwhelmed with responses.

Before I met my husband 10 years ago, I signed up on a dating site, then left the house to run some errands. When I came back a couple of hours later, I had 75 responses! I tried to answer all of them, but I kept getting more and more, so I finally gave up. I can only imagine how many responses women get today with online dating even more popular than it was then.-- SETTLED DOWN IN ILLINOIS

DEAR ABBY: How long does one have to wait before determining the person isn't interested or just hasn't had the chance to respond? Many sites offer a simple button push that sends a message saying you are not interested. It appears people are simply taking the easy way out without any concern for others. And unfortunately, this doesn't happen only in online dating.-- DAVID IN ST. LOUIS

DEAR ABBY: I'd like to suggest that "Dateless" consider that many people don't check their dating site often -- or ever. I signed up on a site in August and stopped looking at it in October. Then I forgot my password and could never look again.-- OVER IT IN TAMPA

DEAR ABBY: Sadly for "Dateless," many of us women who are also attempting online dating have learned the hard way that any response can quickly encourage a stalker who emails us or sends instant messages relentlessly.

I consider myself to be a courteous person with Midwestern values, and I tried (initially) to politely respond to everyone one way or the other. It became exhausting because many of the men I sent a polite "no, thank you" to began demanding explanations, taking my reply as a "maybe" or insulting me for being stuck-up (and the communication quickly grew uglier from there).

So please tell "Dateless" that it's nothing personal -- we're just trying to avoid drama.-- PAM IN PHOENIX

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#2 Mar 12, 2013
L1: "." It appears these sites still show our profiles as active, allowing people to try to contact us." Wrong. It's just spam b/c they have your email address. Your profiles are not active.

L3: "Many sites offer a simple button push that sends a message saying you are not interested. It appears people are simply taking the easy way out without any concern for others." In online dating, I don't owe ANYBODY a response. If I get unwanted messages, I learned to not respond with a "thanks, not interested, good luck to you though" because they will ARGUE with someone who responds. Screw that.

L4: Instant Message: So far as I can tell, you can disable this feature. Idisabled it at FB, match.com , and other dating sites. It's SO not a problem.

But this woman's post is completely true. THe harrassment you get just from a simple "Thanks for the kind words, but I'm not interested" makes it worth NOT responding.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#3 Mar 12, 2013
The guy is not getting any replies because he has the personality of a potato. He went thru his checklist (house, car, job, teeth), had them all and could not figure out why women were not beating a path to his door. The rest of his profile probably spoke about how he cleans the grout, or folds laundry.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#4 Mar 12, 2013
I will go home and tell my husband how much I appreciate him so that I don't have to deal with this.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#5 Mar 12, 2013
If only we could be Rehashless in Chicago...

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#6 Mar 12, 2013
I tells ya, there is nothing more humiliating than sending someone a friendly "hello," only for you to get some automated reply of "so and so is not interested in you whatsoever, please do not contact this user ever again." I mean, they aren't even willing to listen to what you're all about before they outright reject you.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#7 Mar 12, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
I tells ya, there is nothing more humiliating than sending someone a friendly "hello," only for you to get some automated reply of "so and so is not interested in you whatsoever, please do not contact this user ever again." I mean, they aren't even willing to listen to what you're all about before they outright reject you.
Except I would get men sending me messages and then I'd read their profile and find a real deal breaker, like, the guy wants to have more kids, or he's a devout Christian who goes to church every week and wants his S.O. to have similar priorities. Even though my profile would make it clear (1) if you have kids that's fine but *I* am not having kids, and (2) no fundies or overly religious people need apply (because I think it's about shared values), there are people who will ignore that and send a message. Or they aren't even reading profiles, but are sending out messages to a ton of women.

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#8 Mar 12, 2013
Really? The whole column is about this?

Eh... chat on, regs. Maybe I'll learn something.

Since: Dec 09

Smalltown, Colorado

#9 Mar 12, 2013
Having never gone on a dating website, after reading this column I'm glad I haven't. It sounds like you are opening yourself up to thousands of off-balance people, stalkers, controllers (my personal favorite) and other needy types. Don't we run into enough of these in our real lives without going to the infinite internet to attract more? Reaching out on topix is about as far as I want to go.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#10 Mar 12, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
Except I would get men sending me messages and then I'd read their profile and find a real deal breaker, like, the guy wants to have more kids, or he's a devout Christian who goes to church every week and wants his S.O. to have similar priorities. Even though my profile would make it clear (1) if you have kids that's fine but *I* am not having kids, and (2) no fundies or overly religious people need apply (because I think it's about shared values), there are people who will ignore that and send a message. Or they aren't even reading profiles, but are sending out messages to a ton of women.
I can understand if there's a deal breaker in the profile, but wouldn't it be better to just ignore the person? I'd prefer to be outright ignored than told "HELL NO! I'M GONNA DATE SOMEONE BUT IT SURE AS HELL AIN'T GONNA BE YOU!"

Since: Oct 09

Wagner, SD

#11 Mar 12, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
L3: "Many sites offer a simple button push that sends a message saying you are not interested. It appears people are simply taking the easy way out without any concern for others." In online dating, I don't owe ANYBODY a response. If I get unwanted messages, I learned to not respond with a "thanks, not interested, good luck to you though" because they will ARGUE with someone who responds. Screw that.

But this woman's post is completely true. THe harrassment you get just from a simple "Thanks for the kind words, but I'm not interested" makes it worth NOT responding.
THIS. I was on a couple of the more reputable, better-regulated sites before I was married and things like this happened much more often than not. I would even get harassment from men I hadn't even contacted. They'd berate me for my weight (which is perfectly normal for my height), for being a never-married single parent, for my political and religious views, etc. As soon as I'd block one, others would take their place. And I heard from many other women that that wasn't uncommon at all. I didn't give a fig what some random unknown guy thought of me, especially if I hadn't even contacted him in the first place, but I don't have to deal with such hateful harassment when I'm paying good money to that site.

Then, when I'd do the very polite, thanks but no thanks (usually for deal breakers in the profile), I'd often be barraged with messages from the person whom I then had to block. The messages would often be of the "you should be grateful anyone is interested in you, given your single-parent status" or some other crap. F that. And I never understood it, either, because I didn't go trolling through profiles to see if there was something about it I could then harass the person over and I never responded after receiving my own "thanks but no thanks" messages from those I contacted. I was not owed a response simply because I contacted someone, or an explanation if they didn't want further contact, and I didn't owe that to anyone either.

Ironically enough, I met hubby on a national independent political site when I was preparing to move to his state and posted in that state's forum on the site, asking for information on the area I was moving to. We obviously shared the same views and values from the start, so that made it much easier. I am SOOOO glad not to be dealing with online dating anymore, you need the skin of a hippo sometimes to deal with it.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#12 Mar 12, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
I can understand if there's a deal breaker in the profile, but wouldn't it be better to just ignore the person? I'd prefer to be outright ignored than told "HELL NO! I'M GONNA DATE SOMEONE BUT IT SURE AS HELL AIN'T GONNA BE YOU!"
Oh, I get it. Yes, I ignore them, I don't choose the option to send them the automated "thanks but no thanks" message.

Since: Oct 09

Wagner, SD

#13 Mar 12, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
I can understand if there's a deal breaker in the profile, but wouldn't it be better to just ignore the person? I'd prefer to be outright ignored than told "HELL NO! I'M GONNA DATE SOMEONE BUT IT SURE AS HELL AIN'T GONNA BE YOU!"
I do understand what you're saying, and I agree that it's often demoralizing to get such messages. But you just can't win, because there are plenty of people who think being ignored or ignoring someone is equally rude.
Kuuipo

Monterey, CA

#14 Mar 12, 2013
I tried online dating and decided that it wasn't for me. Most of the meetings that I had felt like interviews. A lot of the men basically interviewed me. A lot were AA members, smokers, or recently divorced. Blech. I have much better luck when I am out and about. I attract men more when I am out having fun and not looking.
Geno

United States

#15 Mar 12, 2013
Test
Geno

United States

#16 Mar 12, 2013
Again

Since: Oct 09

Wagner, SD

#17 Mar 12, 2013
Geno wrote:
Again
So, did you pass? Inquiring minds wanna know!

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