Why don’t they write back? Uneducated guesses and other opinions…

Tonight, as I was going through my inbox to prep a Message Monday post for you, dear readers, I realized that nothing noteworthy stood out to me.

Sure, there were plenty of lame/nonsensical things to choose from, such as:

jdate book

Brought to you courtesy of Jdate, of course. This message is extraordinary in that it manages to be vaguely creepy but also rather unintelligible. Is my “book” my picture and profile? And what would it mean to curl up and “read” me? 

dexter

http://giphy.com/gifs/T8jvJ9xndGayY

So, rather than craft our 100 blog post about how most messages leaving us shaking our heads in a combination of confusion and fear, I decided to dedicate this post to tackling a frequent question from fellow online daters.

Why don’t people return my messages?

Now, here’s the deal/my regular disclaimer that, at the end of the day, I have obviously no idea what I’m talking about. If I did know what I was talking about, I would be married to Prince William. (And I’d have a much better relationship with the queen btw. Grandmas love me.)

However, I do have some well formed theories why people don’t return most of the messages they get. I’ve sent my fair share of messages over the last year, and much to my dismay, some of them never got returned. I used to get pretty bummed by this, but now it doesn’t faze me at all.

tom h brush shoulders off

 

Based on my experience sending and returning/not returning messages, I share the following nuggets of wisdom with you about why people aren’t replying:

1. They are not attracted to your pics. OKC’s Nobel Prize Winning scientists (oh, what’s that? Not a Nobel Prize? Just a Gold Medal of Douchery for experimenting on their users?) have conducted research to prove what we already know. Online dating is a shallow pursuit, where most users judge other users on their looks. I mean, if you have NEVER met a person, heard their voice, or seen them interact with other people, pictures are the most concrete things you have to go on. And if someone doesn’t like the way you look in the pictures you’ve carefully selected, which I am assuming were taken on a good day, when you were a few years (or at least a few months) younger, in some flattering, low lighting (MINE WERE), they probably won’t be attracted to you in person. Sadly, we online daters don’t get the luxury of getting to know each other through late nights in the dorm studying and eating pizza, or dinner parties with mutual friends.  So, we make snap judgments. It’s by no means a good thing, but it’s a necessary evil. I am sure that some men don’t reply to my messages because they just don’t find me attractive. I mean, I recently suggested “an older version of Dora the Explorer” as the actress who would play me in a movie. While a surprisingly large proportion of men find this attractive, others don’t. And I’ve made peace with that.

dora again

 

If somebody can’t appreciate what you got going on, oh well. Just move on, and eventually, somebody will. (In the meantime, it doesn’t hurt to find an animated monkey to be your BFF and follow you around.)

2. You have some weird dealbreaker in your profile that they’re not willing to compromise on.

Remember our series on OKC question dealbreakers? There are just some things that you might put in your profile or in your questions that might cause another person to press delete. For example, let me remind you that I hate cats, and I’m deathly allergic to them. So if you write about your multiple cats on your profile, I’ll likely take a pass for my own safety (and the safety of the cats). Same goes for vegans. Or people who like Billy Joel. Am I missing out? Maybe. But that’s my choice. And it doesn’t mean you have to change. Unless of course, your profile reveals you are an avowed woman-hater or homophobe. Then, you should change, because you suck.

3. Whether people reply or not probably has very little to do with you. Now, this is assuming you write something a) SANE (so, not this) and b) vaguely original (no form letters) and c) more than hi. The majority of times I don’t reply to messages that would pass a basic normalcy test, one of the following is going on with me:

  • I’m traveling/working a lot and just don’t check them that often.
  • Due to the traveling/working, too many messages build up and I get tired just sorting through all the crap (see a,b, and c above), get discouraged after 10 minutes and decide to watch The Daily Show instead.
  • I’m sorta seeing somebody, and I want to see where it goes, but I don’t want to jinx it by disabling my profile.
  • I just had a bad date and I’m too demoralized/terrified/irritated to interact with other strangers for awhile.
  • I am messaging with a couple of promising dudes, and decide it’s not worth it to engage in additional pen-palling at that time.
  • I burned my mouth on a pizza bagel and got distracted mid-reply.

up squirrel

http://thebertshow.com/stupid-viral-video-alert-squirrel-tries-bury-acorn-dogs-fur/

The key takeaway here is that we’re all just really animals who have no idea what we’re doing. So you might as well message people who sound cool, because honestly, what do you have to lose? And just remember:

Thank you Stuart Smalley. for the Sunday night self esteem boost. Have a great week readers!

Advertisements

Message Monday: Unsolved Mystery

Hey there, loyal readers. Just a heads up, LSD are busy ladies at the moment. Between moving, vacays, bridal showers and bdays, we may be a bit light on posts this week. Thanks for your patience 🙂 (L, I know how much you appreciated that emoticon).

Anyway, happy Message Monday! This one hits close to home for me–literally.

message monday ht

The part of the message that I blacked out? You guessed it: my high school.

Running into someone you know on okcupid is a very real fear of mine, much like being murdered by a date and becoming the subject of a Lifetime movie. You put your profile out there, and sure it’s “anonymous”, but your picture is still attached to it. And it’s the f-cking internet; nothing is really anonymous (except, we hope, this blog!). So yes, sometimes I worry that my boss could stumble upon my profile and read the sex questions I answered. Or a co-worker. Or a family member. Or a crush or hook up from back in the day. Basically anyone I’ve met, ever. Because of this fear, the number of questions about sex (there are hundreds) that I’ve actually answered basically amount to:

liz lemon treat

Also at the top of this list: former classmates. And don’t worry, this isn’t the first time this has happened to me, or even the second. TWICE before I’ve run into dudes I went to high school with, I guess hardly surprising given the fact that my hometown is less than 10 miles outside of Philly. L and I went to a pretty small high school, though; I believe our graduating class was 175-ish people. We literally know every single person in our class and in the classes 1-2 grades below and above. So I honestly wasn’t expecting to have to play the ‘who the eff is that?’ game until this fall at my (drumroll please) ten year reunion. (F-ck, I’m old). And I figured at least then I’d be with my friends, we’d be drunk, and possibly decide to perform an impromptu interpretive dance:

So when this dude messaged me and I didn’t recognize him at all, I figured I was just having a brain fart and that my friends would ID him immediately. I sent out the appropriate mass text with that screen cap, plus his full profile picture which it’s worth noting is a legitimate head shot/glamour shot (which you may recall is on my list of profile pic no no’s from back in the day). 

ht head shot

Can’t say it any better than my friend did:

dexter

Anyway, no one had ANY IDEA who this terrifying 29 year old bisexual claiming to be our classmate was. So I responded to him, curious now about this mystery:

ht convo

Ummm okay.

1. ‘We probably never crossed paths in school’–Creepy, slash you’re obviously right since I have NO IDEA who you are.

2, ‘You clearly appear to be the best looking’

donna excuse me

Hey, asshole. First of all, that’s not even true. My friends are mad cute. And since you claim to have such a stellar memory, they were also adorable in high school, even though we all had slightly more questionable fashion sense back then.

romymichele

Second, based on your picture I would bet that you’re probably on a registered sex offenders list somewhere, so I’m not really sure you’re in the position to judge anyone on their looks. Third, do you think that I’m actually pathetic enough to fall for this blatantly disingenuous, totally lame attempt at flattery? Oh gee, a creepy stranger on okcupid claiming to know me from 10 years ago insulted my friends, but he thinks I’m cute! BE STILL MY HEART.

Men.

I was officially grossed out by this mystery acquaintance, but now it was basically my mission in life to figure out who he was. I was this close to making my mom go into our attic, find one of my yearbooks and flip through the entire class of 2002 over the phone with me, but I figured I’d save her that trip if I could and check with some other friends from high school first (you’re welcome, mom).

I saw some of those friends on Saturday night, and the search continued. We named every kid we could think of with that first name, but nothing checked out. We texted another friend who lives in NYC and put her on the task force. She thought she had a guess, but then someone actually did consult a yearbook upon returning home and ruled it out:

Picture4

So as of Monday, July 29th at 12:30 pm, the case of the creepy classmate remains open. If anyone from my high school has any leads, they can leave an anonymous tip in the comments section. We’ll see you next time on…

unsolved-mysteries-logo