Online Dating Blog

My Dating Profile Gets Lots of Views But I Get No Emails

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Does your profile get a lot of attention but you’re not getting any contacts from other online daters?

I wanted to discuss a few possibilities on why this can happen. One major assumption I’ll be making is that you have a good profile photo. As I’ll discuss later in this article, a good photo is often the most important part of your profile, especially for women. However, since the problem being discussed includes the fact that the profile is receiving a large number of views, I’m going to assume the photos are good.

For the Guys with Plenty of Views but Few Dating Emails

First things first, if you’re a man with a profile that is actively viewed but you’re not receiving contacts: this is not unheard of. As a matter of fact it’s probably common. It has recently been argued that sites like Facebook are so popular, in part, because they allow us to maintain our personalities online. For example, a shy person will not update their status nearly as often as an outgoing person or an introverted person may intentionally limit the number of friends they have. What does this have to do with online dating? I think in most of us still want to be ourselves when we are on the internet and online dating is no exception. Women, who are often accustomed to being pursued by men in every other area of their life, will often expect the internet to work the same way. And the truth is, it does work the same way.

If you’re a guy who is having women view your profile but you’re not contacting her after she’s checked you out, I promise you that other men are. Men new to online dating often see no contact as some kind of failure but it’s key to remember that just because we’ve added the word “online” in front of dating doesn’t mean all the rules have changed. Send a few emails and get the ball rolling yourself! Don’t wink….send some real communication.

My advice for women is a little more in-depth but for guys it’s simple: if you’re getting a lot of views, you should be contacting those viewing you.

For The Ladies With Plenty of Views But Few Dating Emails

If you’re a woman who is getting a healthy amount of views without much contact, it’s important to remember that being attractive isn’t the end of your responsibilities dating online! Having a pretty face is only going to get you so far…although it normally doesn’t hurt. However, being attractive with the wrong attitude in your profile can actually drive contact from men away. Why?

Men are often internalizing their chances of actually getting a woman to date them (although not always consciously). Men recognize that attractive women will have more contacts and therefore there will be more competition for your attention. As backwards as it sounds, this is actually a strike against the woman in some cases. From my experience, this is particularly true for women who have negative profiles. What I mean by negative is listing all the things you don’t want or all the things you hate. A positive profile on the other hand is one where the likes are listed instead. These two profiles could convey the same information but in two very different ways.

In my opinion, an attractive woman who lists everything she doesn’t like in a man is going to get far less contacts than a woman who is positive, even if that second woman would be considered less attractive. I’m really guessing here based on my experience and talking with other singles dating online. However, there are some solid statistics that reveal something about whose being contacted…

OKCupid Statistics on Online Dating Contacts

OKCupid continues its statistical analysis of its users and has released information on your looks and your inbox. This article is mildly off-topic since receiving a large number of views suggests a certain level of attractiveness. Still, I think one of the charts supports my idea that attractiveness is not the sole decider in how much email contact a woman will receive:

Male messaging and female attractiveness

I’ve marked two points in the graph. As the article points out, men are far more likely to contact more attractive women. As they put it, “2/3 of male messages go to the top 1/3 of women”. However, my question is why is point A higher than point B if men’s contact is based solely on attractiveness. While contact is obviously based in large part on attractiveness, this chart makes it clear that it is not the only variable…otherwise the last data point would have to be even higher (unless my high school knowledge of statistics is failing me).

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe being beautiful is enough for a woman and they can be as nasty or boring or unclear or negative as they want to be in their profile. Still, I would ask: Why take the chance? It’s a simple task to take a negatively written profile and flip it into a positive one.

Also, for good or for bad, these statistics show that many men are making most of their decisions with their eyes (or another body part if you prefer). Not all men but well over half. Because of this, women should take far more care in selecting their profile photos.

A Final Thought on the Email Dating Statistics

Ladies who are dating online are pretty rough when it comes to rating male attractiveness (at least those at OKCupid, anyway). When men judged women’s attractiveness, they judged just as many women as very attractive as those not attractive – the slope was almost a perfect curve. Women on the other hand rated over 80% of men as less attractive than average. How can 80% of the men be less attractive than average?! Guys, we shouldn’t complain though as women don’t let this opinion of us deter them from communicating.

The article argues that it is your photo that matters most for receiving contact. I would argue that for a woman, your photo matters most. I know, it’s not fair. Let it be said that I’m not the one making the rules. Ladies, my advice is don’t let this knowledge allow you to become lazy with your profile just because you’re pretty. If 1/3 of the men are contacting on something other than “being the most attractive”, that means there are thousands of men out there who are making their decision in some other fashion.

Guys: your photo does matter but it appears that many women are going to find you attractiveness less than average 80% of the time regardless. Women are rough on men in how they rate them but far kinder in how willing they are to communicate. With that in mind, a great photo is a good start but a great profile is probably more important.

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About the Author:

Brad initially struggled with online dating but over time became quite successful using it. He met his wife using online dating and has been giving advice and helping people improve their results since 2007. He has written a Free Online Dating Guide to help others find success with online dating. You can learn more about his personal experience using online dating and running this website here.

Discussion

  1. JohnD  December 26, 2011

    I had read the okcupid survery previously. IMO, the finding that the women in the survey found 80% of the men on the site to below average is extraordinary. Various defenses of this finding have been put forth (only losers post profiles on okcupid, all the attractive men are not online etc..), but they do not hold water. I am surprised that there has not been additional research on this subject, it is a most interesting sociological phenomenon.

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  2. mic  April 15, 2013

    A not-very-scientific study came out recently that supports the darkest conclusion of the OKCupid study (and indirectly led to this blog).
    http://jonmillward.com/blog/attraction-dating/cupid-on-trial-a-4-month-online-dating-experiment/
    What’s disturbing is that two decent-looking guys with decent-looking pictures and decent profiles were almost completely ignored. Apparently guys need to look better than average to have much of a chance, at least on OKCupid.

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