19 Reasons I Didn’t Reply to Your Online Dating Message

If you’re single in 2016, you try online dating. If you try online dating, you likely have questions:

How do I write a successful message?
Why aren’t people replying to my messages?

Why is my inbox full of messages that have nothing to say?
How do I attract people I actually want to date?

The cliché is that women get a ton of messages. From my personal experience, that is true. I get a lot of messages, but I have no interest in 90% of them. The majority are boring, clearly copy/pasted, and do absolutely nothing to start a conversation. In the online world “You’re so beautiful” makes me roll my eyes and assume you type the same thing into every message box. Sad, isn’t it? I only respond to messages that show the person read my profile. It seems simple but so few people actually do it!

Want to know why I don’t reply to 90% of messages I receive? I won’t just tell you, I’ll show you, with examples from my very own inbox:

The following are all actual messages from my OKCupid inbox. User names and photos have been edited out to protect the innocent because I’m not a total bitch.

1. Your message is my first impression of you.

That impression is that you’re cripplingly boring and unimaginative.

2. The double whammy of boring AND partial to inappropriate pet names!


3. If you don’t have the time to type out 3-letter words, you certainly don’t have the time to date me.


4. Small Talk. I hate small talk but I understand it’s a necessity of modern interaction. Fine. Cliché small talk? I’m sorry. I can’t. I’m too bored.


The same cliché small talk once every four months? Instead of bored I’m laughing. At you.

5. You talk about the weather.


Not once. Not twice! BUT THRICE! Comedy rule of threes! Comedic gold! Copy/past EPIC FAIL!

6. Sense of humor is very important to me and OMFG I HATE yours.


Not only am I not laughing but you bum me out. Ugh.


7. You objectify the shit out of me.


Worse than the time I worked at a biker convention.
I want to reply to this message. “Fuck you. I hope you never get laid again.” I resist the urge.

8. You wear your male privilege on your sleeve.



Seriously, if you put anything sexual in an introductory message, I think you’re an assholE.


9. It sounds like you copy/pasted your message off a site, “Online Dating Messages That Really Get Results!


10. I’m never falling for a cheap trick again.


Me: Whoa! Really? Who’s your roommate?

Him: No I’m kidding.

Me: You lied to me.

Him: Hey, it got you to respond, right?

I never responded again but was thankful this dude revealed himself as a liar and manipulator so quickly!

11. You live in New Jersey.

It’s hard enough to date someone who lives in a different borough of NYC! Someone out-of-state? Maybe if you’re hilarious, gorgeous, AND bake macarons.

12. My CREEP METER is set off.

Creepily noticing what time I’m online and asking me about it…


If I don’t reply to your message once, it is possible it just got lost in the shuffle. So trying one more time won’t automatically get you a CREEP label. But trying THREE times with no response? And targeting me when I’m online? YUCK.

13. You’re obviously a devout hipster.

I rarely get along with people who take themselves too seriously.


Also, negative energy bums me out and I have no use for it in my love life, thanks.

14. If I can tell you only looked at my pictures.


But “hotspot” is my new favorite pet name, so thanks for that!

15. If you’re not smiling in any of your pictures I assume you take yourself too seriously.

And never have any fun. And probably have IBS (something I mention in my profile).


16. You’re a completely inappropriate age for me.


Now if you demonstrate a great sense of humor and that we have things in common, I might entertain the “age is only a number” cliché. Otherwise NEXT.

17. Also this cliché: I’M NOT HERE TO MAKE FRIENDS.


18. As I read your message, Shania Twain’s “That Don’t Impress Me Much” grows louder and louder in my head.


19. I’m an only child. I’ll never be okay with a poem you copy and paste to me and hundreds of other girls because I’M SPECIAL, DAMN IT.


If you want responses to messages REFRAIN FROM ALL OF THE ABOVE. Should be easy! There’s also not so secret Reason #20: I’m just not attracted to you. Not much you can do about that. BUT a good message can make a person so much more attractive, I’m not kidding!

So what messages do I respond to?

Ones that have a personal touch. Ones that are too specific to be copy/pasted to the entirety of the online world. They mention something from the profile I took the time to create: a favorite movie (so easy!), or that I like making pizza from scratch, or that “I’m very expensive” (you gotta read the post all about that one). It’s also great to ask a question at the end of your message- this starts a conversation and gives something to respond to.

I dream of a world free of generic messages. This is me doing my part to make that world a reality.

You might think I’m too picky, that I put too much emphasis on a first message. Maybe you love Tinder and I hate it. I find generic, copy/pasted messages to be the epitome of DULL. To be dramatic: I would sooner die alone than be boring (#actress). While I’d like the person I date to perhaps be less dramatic than I, I think they need to be similarly minded on this.

Is that stupid? Is it too much to ask? Would you reply to any of the messages above? What do you think a first message should say? Why don’t YOU respond to online dating messages? I’d love to hear your thoughts!



About New York Cliche

NYC lifestyle blog by Mary Lane. Events, adventures, epic mistakes, dating, life, humor. A 20-something trying to make it (and make out) in the city of dreams.

30 thoughts on “19 Reasons I Didn’t Reply to Your Online Dating Message

  1. This post could not be more timely considering I may or may not have happened across a certain blogger’s Okcupid profile ????

    But also…really good advice. I cannot stress enough to dudes that if you’re generally not terrible, put in effort, and just try to be genuine how easy it is to date online.

  2. LOL this is so funny. I flagged this to read the other day and finally got around to it. The sad thing if I recognize a good portion of these messages from my own account on Match! I wrote about that recently (but after reading your take I guess I should take out the usernames, oops)! http://singlestrides.com/my-match-com-membership/ — also, really glad I read this because I haven’t seen #10 yet but would totally fall for it.

  3. Please don’t be mad at me but I tend to think you are gonna die single. Sorry. Grretings from Brazil

  4. I meant no offense by that comment. It’s just that you are extremely picky. I’ve never seen anyone that picky! At first I thought you were just trying to be funny. Finding out there is someone that picky makes one think. A few things come to mind: You are cute and all but men want more than a cute face. Being that pick may be considered a character flaw. No one is good for you? That is the first impression readers get. Plus you must look at your own flaws too. You are what? In your mid-30’s ? Late 30s? If by now you haven’t found someone what does that say about you? You can’t blame it on the men you date. As I write this I realize you’re not just picky ,you are an obnoxious little bitch. And I changed my mind: I do mean it all as an offense.

    1. Hey Marcelo

      I second to everything she said. She is NOT picky!! It’s someone you are going to spend your life with. Thru thick and thin. Yes we want interesting and genuine mate. If your message is rinky-dink, it means I am not worthy of ur time and I’m not “it”. I’m not the girl that stood out of all. I certainly will not waste my time on you. She is not bitch! Bravo to her she will not settle for less. Lifetime mate = invest time!! Mediocre messages = delete message bec I’m not worth ur time to invest your message to me, no passion, and I’m not it! Also it’s her decision to do this method. You entitle to yours. Date someone with mediocre message = boring relationship. A sure fire to failure. Leave this lady alone.

  5. Dude’s got no game. I know it’s not easy to approach anyone online, or in person, but some of those above are damn pathetic. The sad part is that “I’m in the medical field,” or “Nice place in Soho,” would probably impress some, and then promptly have them ending up in someone’s basement and or fridge.

  6. We are so on the same page! I was reading all of this and just nodding my head because it’s so true and I feel the same way. Honestly the first message is the first impression! Ask me some questions you have after seeing and reading my profile. It shouldn’t be that hard. Yet here we are, still dealing with these idiots.

    Single Vegas Girl

  7. Though online dating is an easy way to get the significant others today, it can be too much frustrating too. As you have mentioned in the blog, many women like you receive these kind of messages from hundreds of online dating profiles. Everyone tries to impress. But from them, some are genuine, and some people try to cheat. Like the use of online dating is increasing, catfishing is also increasing at the same pace. However, if you try to perform a Background check on your online dating partner, you can know his background details and keep yourself out of danger.

  8. I understand women wanting an original message, but in the world of dating, it’s typical for men to make the first move. In a perfect world, the first woman we contact with a perfectly crated personal message is totally receptive, and we have no need to explore other options. For those who are no so lucky, multiple approaches need to be made, so it gets way too time consuming typing dozens of messages… hence the advent of copy and paste. No offense ladies!

  9. Im with Marcelo on this one. You are way to picky and this is awful advice and its horrible that your spreading this to others. Its a huge list of things you DONT like and about 2 sentences of what gets your attention. I would love to have women send me messages like those you so desperately avoid, but women dont have what it takes to put themselves on the chopping block like we do. When you say “have a personal touch”, has it ever occurred to you that these are in fact personal touches? Guys have to write hundreds of messages in hopes to get just 1 reply, while you sit back and sift through your callers. How are men supposed to create hundreds of ways to get the attention of women that most likely wont even read the message they thoughtfully created without looking “copy and pasted”? You can only dangle that carrot full hope for so long before the animal loses interest all togeather.

    1. I agree, Andrew. As an aside, I was sort of OK reading this article until the “male privilege” reference. That turned me off immediately.

  10. If someone says hi how are you, you say good and ask them how they are. Small talk leads to deeper conversation. If you ever actually gave one of these guys a try, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised. Or you can continue to ignore them, lowering their self esteem and leaving yourself lonely.

  11. After reading the comments I realized this was just a rant from some old bitter woman. Hey do the internet a favor and write it in your diary and not publicly. You’re helping no one with this post, only spreading hate and sexism. I hope you’re ashamed of yourself.

  12. Here’s the thing though. From a guy’s perspective it is a numbers game.
    We don’t have an inbox full of messages and women are way pickier than men are. I write handcrafted messages and still get maybe 10% that respond, which often respond with bullshit lame one liners and all the same stuff you talk about from the dudes.

    I write poetry and so some days I’ll read profiles and write cute custom limericks or poems based on what I read – does it help? Not one iota. So where’s the value in putting in that time? Why would I do such a thing when I get the same response rate by cutting and pasting?

    I’ve come to the conclusion that 90% of the population have serious issues anyway. They drink too much, or use drugs or have mental illness or money problems or are conceited or have low intelligence or are high maintenance or never seem to show up. I’m not interested in these people anyway so do I really care that they don’t respond? No. Hence it is a numbers game.

  13. Whenever I look at a woman’s profile, and then if I want to write a message, I make sure that I reference something in her profile and/or pull something out that isn’t readily apparent. And I still get no responses. And no, I am not the hottest guy in town. So I take your advice with a grain of salt.

    Because I know I could always read a different article on how to get responses from women and get totally different advice. Not into “mixed messages” (pun intended), sorry.

    In short, I don’t write/send cheesy messages. Maybe I should start doing that. /s

    No, this is not misogyny. Misogyny is hatred. What I am expressing here is frustration. Unfortunately, I doubt you’ll be able to see past yourself to realize that.

  14. My main issue is that guys don’t want to take the first step and reach out! Or they message me with weird questions like “you like cosplay? Soooo is that in the bedroom too?”

  15. “19 reasons I didn’t respond to your online dating message.” NINETEEN!!!!???? Three or four is understandable but nineteen is an exorbitant number of parameters and requirements. I doubt anyone will/could write to you without violating at least one of your by-laws. There’s one female responder up there that gives a link where you can do a background check on us. So in addition to the 19 rules of engagement, we are also required to withstand the rigors of sustained scrutiny in the form of a background check? GEEZ, just when you think it couldn’t possibly get any worse… I’ve tried Zoosk and OK Cupid and get zero response from any girl I’m interested in. I understand times are tough and some girls might be unable to pay, especially if they’re raising their children alone so I paid extra on Zoosk so anyone could read messages I send and respond even if they aren’t a paying member—nothing. I make it a point to mention something from her profile and even ask questions—nothing. So why write out a heartfelt paragraph when a little emoticon has the same chance of getting a response? Now, let it be known that I’m not a male model but I’m not the elephant man either (No offense intended to the elephant man) I can carry on an intelligent conversation and I’ve been told countless times that I look just like Triple H (a wrestler) when he had long hair. I’ve even had waitresses ask if I would make a few pics with them. So this shindig is utterly impossible to figure out. I should get a response at least ONCE—nothing. So, in conclusion, I’ve come to the realization that most women on these sites just want to see how much attention they can garner and have no interest of finding this honest, loyal, gentleman they paint a portrait of in their profile. Most are probably already in a relationship anyway. There comes a point where eventually you give the dating site and everyone on it the long finger and walk. I’m lacing up my boots as we speak.

  16. As a woman, I did find this list was picky. I thought she sounds like a girl who’s always got a ton of men hanging around and thinks she can pick the best without giving much back. Thats just how she comes across, whatever she’s really like. Guys, you don’t know, and neither do i, so no snap judgements please.
    I do think women should have standards, but not if we don’t give guys a chance.But guys, women have to be at least a little picky. Just like you do. And keep in mind a guy can knock a girl up and theres no guarantees he won’t run for the hills when he finds out, leaving us to deal with stuff alone. We’re not in highschool, but it still happens. A girl has to feel more secure with who her partner is. In every way, not just the above reason. So yeah, we try to avoid those who look like creeps, those who seem like players or whatever else. I do think we sometimes ‘overlook’ a good guy who maybe used his words wrong without realizing it or whatever, though. Also, not all girls are this picky. If she’s not responding, she’s either not attracted (to your pic and/or words) or shes too picky. So move on. Personally, I’d rather meet a person irl and by being friends first.

  17. you all complain of being lonely when you ladies are hard nuts to crack for somebody to text you he saw something be a little bit considerate

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