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? 



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


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!

Encounters with “nice guys” on OK Cupid

In early 2013, when I was contemplating joining the online dating world, my friend C sent me a link one day to a Tumblr called “NiceGuysofOKCupid.” The point of the site, explained in more detail in this great Daily Mail article, was to call out guys on OKC who spent time on their profile pontificating about being “Nice Guys,” but whose pictures, answers to questions, and profile summaries revealed them to be anything but. 

For example, let’s take this clown:

nice guys okc example

Photo credit: Daily Mail.

Hello young gentleman! You sound like such a wonderful person. Tell me more about the situations in which a woman HAS to have sex with you. Or actually, don’t tell me anything. I’m just looking for attention anyway, so I could care less what you have to say. EW.

Major shout out to the good woman who started the original blog!! You are one of my blogging heros, right along with Meg Rowland and Deb Perlman! This post is 100% inspired by you. #girlcrushes

Anyway, after a few months on OKC, I have had the pleasure of being messaged by some “nice guys” myself.

Forget their answers to questions; these guys were clearly trying to win me over with their profiles alone.

Bachelor #1:

another profile pic of a great guy

Sir, what intelligent questions you ask! Let me see if I can answer them.

1. Not only am I stuck on myself, I am stuck on the fact that you should be using “women” to refer to multiple females. Not woman. It would serve you to be stuck on a dictionary.

2. Who is Scorn 4 life? Is he a rapper?

3. Well, I don’t know what I “want on need” since I’ve never heard that delightful turn of phrase before. I certainly have no idea what I want or need. I need you to tell me and guide me. Please.

4. Well, most of us “good-hearted” women are off looking for jerks. You seem like way too nice a guy for me to be attracted to you.

5. This is actually a great question. I call myself Independent (with a capital I), but yet, I enjoy a good group bathroom trip. I am having a moment of existential crisis!!! AM I truly independent? I needed to take a break here, and consult the 2008 Webbie hit, “Independent,” featuring Little Boosie and Little Phat:

Phew–thank god. Webbie says nothing about the bathroom. I cook, I clean,never smell like onion rings. CHECK. I’m INDEPENDENT.

6. I never said I hated games. I love Scattegories. I love Taboo. I love kickball. BRING ON THE GAMES.

7. What does it take for me to open up? Just a nice guy messaging me on OKC. Like you. 

8, 9, 10. Geez, I am getting so tired of these questions. I feel interrogated, and not in a good way. I have a sinking feeling this is a preview of what it’s like to go out with you.

Bachelor #1, I am going to have to take a pass at responding to your message. Just chalk it up to trust issues. It’s clearly not you, it’s me.

Bachelor #2

Bachelor #2 actually sent me a pretty witty message. I was contemplating writing back, so I visited his profile to see what we had in common. Here’s what I found:

profile shot of great guy 1

Well, right off the bat, I can see we have a lot in common. I too find online dating frustrating, I also love women, and I guess I am using the interwebs to find a companion. Sure, I would have saved these sweet nothings to whisper into someone’s ear on a first date, but oh well. BUT OH NO. WOE IS ME. Bachelor #2 is leaving OKC on Sunday. Way to light a fire under all of us women who are dying to get in touch with you for some drama and games (oh wait, sorry, that was bachelor #1). Now, why has our dear friend Bach #2 not found anything of interest? DON’T WORRY, he’s going to tell us:

profile shot of great guy 2

While a lot of this is baseline truth (though I prefer minigolf/more drinking to the art museum), I am not sure why this guy has described to other OKC users, who are very well aware of how this shiz goes, on his profile.

profile shot of great guy 3 

If this guy finds the process so unsuccessful, then why is he still on OKC? Looking for dates? I am so confused. Is he hoping for some woman to break the cycle? Also, from the above description, it sounds like this guy is largely responsible for the failure of his relationships. Does he really want to advertise that on here? Is he expecting a woman to read this and think, “He nailed it! This is exactly what I want!” (Minus the Bahamas. I would take a trip to the Bahamas even if was with Mr. Sarcastic McMiserable over here.)

But I lost my chance to do that, since I never responded to this winner. Now excuse me readers, I am off to figure out what I “want on need.”