Guy Winks at Me but Won’t Respond to my Emails

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The way works can sometimes create confusion for subscribers. In this case, a woman receives a wink from a man and she’s interested so she emails him back…then he doesn’t respond! What’s up with that? Here’s an example from a reader:

Hi, I have received a wink a couple of months ago from a match guy. He also made me a favorite and “liked” my pictures. I winked back and sent him a note thanking him. No response. A month later, he “liked” some new pictures I put up. Just a few days ago, he winked again and “liked” another picture. What the what? Any ideas what is happening here? I have a strong attraction to him and like his profile. Thanks for your thoughts!

What the What?!

So to understand what’s going on here you need to understand a few things about the “free version” of

  1. First, anyone who signs up at is immediately in the “free account” mode. The biggest benefit of signing up for the free version is you can browse all the dating profiles…so you can see if there are people you’re interested in before signing up.
  2. You can also do some limited communication including winking, although you can only wink at the same person once a month. I suppose the once-a-month limitation is to make sure a non-paying member can’t harass someone. Photos can also be liked under the free version.
  3. You can also add people to your favorites list (which shows as “Save” if you’re looking at search results). I still have a non-paying account and I just verified that I can added someone to my saved/favorites list.

So if you’re in this situation and you look at what a free member can do, it becomes clear that there’s a good chance the guy contacting you is likely not a paying member. You might think, “How annoying! Why would let someone wink at me if they’re not a paying member?”

Well, don’t forget that is a business and they want to encourage people to become paying members. If a guy isn’t a paying member, by winking at women he can measure how much success he might have by seeing how many responses he gets to his winks. If a man thought there were ten women that he was interested in and winked at each of them, if five of them responded he might be motivated to subscribe for the service.

However, one thing that many people might not realize is that while a non-paying member is alerted when they get an email, they can’t even see their inbox until they subscribe. This means they won’t know which women responded to the winks if you email them back.

A Few Thoughts on this Situation

First, I generally think guys should not be winking. I’ve talked to enough women to know that the majority of them do NOT like this. They all say basically the same thing, “if you want to talk to me send me an email”.

With that aside, some guys will wink and there will be non-paying members included in that group. So it’s good to remember that whenever you get a wink, you have no guarantee that they’re a member. So what should you do? If you want to respond with an email, that’s great. But I think you should also wink back. A non-paying member can’t see their inbox to know who is responding but they can see who has winked at them.

With this approach, if the guy is looking for motivation to sign up, knowing who is responding to him might help him take that next step. Of course, it’s not your job to convince someone else to try a dating service so I wouldn’t put too much thought into it…but adding a wink to the response email is a pretty easy step to take.

And hopefully that helps solve the question of “what the what”!



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.


  1. Ryan  November 8, 2017

    I am a man – and this happens to me. I paid for a month, had a fair few number of women wink at me – so juvenile – and then I send a message. No response. It goes both ways (men and women) – I really dislike this winky option on match. I am a 30+ man and want to have a nice, grown up, normal, online conversation with a women in the hope of meeting for a coffee, in the hope of dating, if things go well. Not winking and favouriting. Why should I have to pay, and all these free members have the opportunity to wink at me etc. And waste my time when I email and get no response. It is a joke. And frankly just irritating.

    • AnonymousLadyOnline  December 23, 2017

      Hey, Ryan, in response to your comment from last month… Maybe I can offer a different perspective that can help, though I certainly can’t speak for all women and may be unique in the fact that I, too, am not a paying subscriber and in my reasons why.

      When online dating first began, it seemed the sites made their money only off their adds, or if they charged, they only charged the men. This worked well for men since it brought in many more women for the men to choose from it seemed, so it felt much more win-win back then.

      Unfortunately, nowadays, the sites are charging both. For a conservative, traditional woman like myself, I feel really awkward at the thought of paying to meet a man. It just doesn’t feel right to me and makes me feel… manly. You know, kinda like me being “politically correct” on a date and emasculating a chivalrous, masculine man by refusing to allow him to pay for me when he insists, and it’s his pleasure to do so, and I take that away from him. I understand many men and women no longer have these values, but I do, and I am looking for the same.

      If a man doesn’t know these things yet, though the chivalry is in his heart… could I be missing out? Yes, I know it’s a possibility, so is a risk I’m taking. But as you can see in my other comment, I still did all I could to show my interest, and gave him a way to contact me away from the site.

      The other reason is also that I don’t date regularly, and I don’t date for sport. If Match charges me a 3 month subscription or whatever, I’m going to feel obligated to get my money’s worth, and I don’t want to be ruled by that for three months. And there’s a part of me that feels that if a man is truly interested in me, he’s going to pay a little extra to contact me (Match gives you that option). No, I don’t expect men to do this, only if they are seriously, seriously interested. But you see… I only want to talk to the man that IS seriously, seriously interested… so in some ways it works for me and weeds out those that never even read my profile…. you see?

      To show this can work, the greatest connection I’ve had so far with any man (in my whole life, not just online) happened this way. I was not a paying subscriber. But the way Match used to be set up, you could at least still tell when a man was interested, looking at your profile, etc, by putting the pieces together. Because I could see that, every time something came in from him I couldn’t fully see, I made sure he knew my interest by liking every picture, favoriting him, winking at him, etc. I prayed that if I was to talk to him, that God would put it on his heart to buy the feature that would allow him to contact me – and He did! The man was so disappointed with the whole site that one day he canceled his whole account. But after my prayers… he couldn’t get me out of his mind. I prayed he’d come back. Not only did he have to start a whole ‘nother profile, he also paid extra to write to me. As soon as we connected, we both got off the site. People want to give online dating a bad rap, but it can be very romantic if your heart is open.

      I wish I could tell you it worked out in the long run, lol, but he moved far away. I can say our meeting changed both of our lives for the better though! And who knows what the future brings, as neither of us are married yet.

      While I know many would not agree with me on that, I was looking for a chivalrous man and I found what I was looking for in that.

      I would say if you find a profile you’re seriously interested in, and she continues to show you interest by winking and liking you back, maybe don’t see it just as immaturity, but take the risk and upgrade to write to her and see. Women love to be pursued. People say women like that bad guy and that the nice guys finish last. I say it has nothing to do with it, but instead, most women end up with the man that pursues the hardest, and doesn’t give up. 🙂

      Lol, you got any advice for me on my last question? ; D

  2. AnonymousLadyOnline  December 23, 2017

    Brad, can you help..?

    I was wondering if you or anyone can help me understand this… A man on Match winked at me. I am not a subscriber, so I prefer a wink as it means they read my profile since I mention that I can receive winks. I suppose there’s a tiny possibility he’s not a subscriber as well, but I doubt it, as most men would go ahead and subscribe if they can afford it. And he has a successful business which he mentions in his profile. I “liked” one of his pictures back. Because he already mentioned his full business name and full name himself, I simply emailed him through it, thanking him for his wink and letting him know I could not contact him through Match. And now… no response. Yet, he shows as being on the dating site constantly. 🙁

    What do I do now? Do I wink to make sure he received my interest? But I’m afraid that if he IS getting my contact, he already received my “like” and my brief personal email, and I will look too desperate. Even though he winked at me first, I ended up really liking what I learned about him, and for many reasons would really like to connect. Why do men do this? Can a wink be saying, “I like your profile and am just giving you a thumbs up for it, but I’m not interested in getting to know you myself”??

    Btw, he’s in a profession where he’s around beautiful women a lot, so it’s a little surprising he doesn’t meet anyone he’s interested in organically, though he seems pretty humble and could be the type to look for something deeper. My point is, I’m really interested. At the same time, I’m learning if we’re not careful as women, it can work against us to pursue a man too much in the beginning, as men don’t like to feel “hunted”, lol, even if that’s not the case, their primal nature can receive a woman’s pursuit as that, it seems..?

    Any thoughts?? Should I wink, favorite, or like his profile one last time… or let it go? : /

    • Mike K  January 15, 2018

      My general thought is that if a guy winks at a woman, it often makes sense for the woman to just wink back at him and leave it at that. Encourage him to make the next move.

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