This is a weird one but I figured I would share my thoughts just in case any other ladies out there run into a similarly strange situation. From a reader regarding some interactions on Match.com:
I sent a guy a message, very brief, sweet, he “winked” back. At first I got excited but my friends say forget him, he’s flattered rather than interested. But I just don’t know how I feel about it, I agree but also disagree there could be a number of reasons why he winked instead of responded…however I also don’t know how to respond to the wink. Thoughts?
What’s Up With That?
It’s hard to tell what is going on here and I told her as much. I do think her friends are far too confident if they believe there could only be one reason a man would respond this way. That’s not to say that her friends are wrong but I do believe there could be many things going on that none of us would be able to take into account.
My first thought is that if a guy wasn’t interested then the last thing he would do is wink. In my time personally dating online and then later talking with singles who still are, I’m familiar with two responses when someone is not interested:
- Not responding at all
- Responding by saying “Thanks but no thanks”
I know I wouldn’t wink at someone I wasn’t interested in and I’ve never heard of anyone using winks in this way…it’s such a mixed message.
I think a more likely reason could be that he’s not a subscriber and can’t reply. Other possibilities are that he might be painfully shy or he might be brand-new to online dating and he has no idea what he’s doing. Personally, I find the idea that he’s not a subscriber most likely.
How I Recommend Approaching This Situation
Assuming this is an issue of a guy being a non-subscriber, I would recommend the following:
- First, I suggest writing another email and basically calling him out. Something like:
I really like your profile but I’m surprised you winked instead of writing back
You could even create an account at OKCupid and then drop subtle hints about your using that service to see if he would come find you there. That’s unlikely to work but even it doesn’t, this type of response might encourage him to subscribe.
- At the same time, continue to look into other relationship opportunities. Her friends’ advice actually isn’t all that bad because you don’t want to waste time on someone who isn’t interested. However, I think what many people forget is that you can do multiple things at the same time. You can pursue other relationships while giving someone who isn’t showing the appropriate amount of interest another chance. I see little harm in doing both.
If following the advice in bullet number 1 above sounds like too much of a hassle, I would say her friends advice is correct for your situation and moving on to other opportunities would be best. Still, if you’re up for it, it could be fun to actually see if the guy will search you out.
Guys, Please Don’t Wink
I’ve said this about winks for guys in the past but I’ll go ahead and repeat it: guys really shouldn’t be winking. I won’t say there’s never a time but I’ve not yet heard of a good argument for doing so. If this guy was a subscriber and decided to wink instead of writing her back…well that just boggles the mind.
Follow This Reader’s Online Dating Experience
The reader who wrote in with this question actually runs a blog of her own called Doing Laundry in Heels. She’ll be discussing her experiences with dating so for those interested in how someone else is fairing, check her out.