There is a good chance you will want to be hard on yourself when after five or ten attempts at contacting people you’ve had no responses. Before you label yourself as the “Worst Profile Creator Ever” or anything else equally untrue, review all the reasons why you may not get responses. Do not assume there is something wrong with you or your profile. Below is a list of reasons I know occur simply from talking to the girls I dated or from talking to friends.

Reasons People May Not Respond to Your Emails

Not Paying for the Service
Sometimes people create profiles just to look around. These people may be at the bar every night or having dates all the time. At some point online dating may have sounded interesting and they created a profile but never really did anything more than upload their picture and look around. Now they check their account occasionally to make themselves feel good based on all the emails they are getting but they never respond to anyone. Other times, people create profiles and don’t want them anymore but simply don’t know how to get rid of them! So keep in mind that even on a dating site there are people who aren’t looking to date and there are more than a few of them.

No Longer Using the Service
I stopped using any dating services in the summer of 2005. In the winter of 2006, I received an email from one of the services I had used stating that such-and-such a person was interested in my profile. Now I know I removed my profile when I closed my account but somehow someone was still seeing it. Obviously, I’m not going to sign back up to tell this woman I’m married now but what is she to assume? She’ll probably assume I didn’t like her profile which will be incorrect since I’ve never even seen it! Remember: dating sites are like other businesses in that their goal is to make money. Part of this may be showing inactive profiles to encourage other people to sign up which, while not “right”, may be well within their “rights” (that is, you create the profile but they technically own it). Knowing what I know now, I wish I would have removed my pictures and any text so that even if the service did try this at least there would be nothing to see.

They are Very Busy
That’s all there is too it. Occasionally you may even get a response from someone you emailed months ago apologizing that they hadn’t been online for a while or had been very busy (this happened to me twice). Don’t assume that no response is a rejection because there is a chance they’ve not even read it yet.

Email Box Comparison
If you know any girls who use online dating, ask them how many emails they receive regularly. It’s going to be much, much more than guys receive. One topic I found easy to talk about on my first dates was how our experiences were going with online dating. I was initially surprised at the number of emails many girls were receiving. Much of it was worthless spam (the same guy sending the same email to every girl within 30 miles of him) but it still provided a lot of communication for the lady to go through. Just remember that your email is not the only one she’s received recently…she may have received a dozen in the last week. Depending on how she dates, she may love your profile but feel uncomfortable contacting you because she’s already talking to someone else.

Sometimes people sign up just to view other profiles. When I was dating, some of my friends signed up just to view my profile (because I asked them to). Additionally, I know a few couples who signed up for eHarmony just to take the test and see if it would match the two of them up. In all of these cases, someone signs up with no intention of ever using the profile. Many sites do show the last login for members which is helpful but many will not get more specific than “Has not logged in for 1 month”.

General Reluctance
Never forget that while online dating is gaining some acceptance it is still very new. I have to believe that some people, especially shy people who may be drawn to this type of dating, have the best intentions but once communication begins become fearful and cannot follow through.

Other Issues
A friend who uses online dating will absolutely not talk to engineers because her ex-husband is an engineer. In most cases, being an engineer is a good thing (well paying job, stability, etc). I know she has been matched several times with engineers on eHarmony but does not respond to these men. I also know that if these guys had to create a list of why she did not respond to them “My well paying job” would not be at the top of said list! So not receiving a response may occur because of a quality about yourself that is, in and of itself, good but that the other person does not like. There are many nonsensical issues that people make their decisions based on that have nothing to do directly with you or your profile so make no assumptions!

They Did Not Like Your Profile
It happens and it’s nothing to get upset about. If you are honest in your profile and she sees things she doesn’t like, she’s saving you both time.

Now I will take all these reasons, assign my best guess as values for each, and create “A Pie Chart of Feeling Better About One’s Self”:

While this chart doesn’t have research to back it up, neither does assuming that every time you don’t get a response it’s because you are doing something wrong. Based on this chart, only 1 in 5 emails receive no response because they didn’t like your profile. I know there is no science behind these numbers but I also know these numbers are more likely to be correct than the assumption that every lack of response is your own fault. I also know I didn’t think of every reason a response is not written!

Keep All the Factors in Mind
Even when you’re not receiving the responses you would like, try to stay upbeat and never start berating yourself. There are more than enough hurdles to get over in dating without beating yourself up. If you still can’t shake the feeling that you are doing something wrong, have a close friend review your profile and a few of the emails you sent. Chances are they will think you are doing a good job so chalk it up to bad luck and keep trying.