Dear Anon-O-Box: Hating The First Contact Email Numbers Game

Dear Anon-O-Box,

I’ve been on and off dating sites for 8 years now. I’m finding it much more difficult to get women I write to respond. I know it’s a numbers game but I’m really getting frustrated needing to contact 20-30 women and hope to get one date out of it. So what advice can you give me about the high level of frustration of online dating I’m experiencing now.  By the way, I am very articulate incorporating questions and responses to what they write in their profile.

- Burning Out

Dear Burning Out,

I’m glad that you understand that online dating is, in some degree, a numbers game.   But for the enlightenment of guys like you who don’t know about the numbers game, here’s a breakdown of reasons why a woman doesn’t respond:

Or, the last and most likely – she’s just not into you.  It happens.  Think of it this way… go back to the times before online dating.  Heck, let’s go all the way back to high school.

How many girls in high school did you find attractive and interesting?  Let’s err on the high side and say there were 20 girls you would have gladly dated.  Out of those 20 girls, there were 10 who already had boyfriends.  Three of them had parents who forbid them from dating.  Five of them were bitches who wouldn’t give you the time of day.  That leaves you with two out of the twenty that would possibly go on a date with you.  Out of those two, you might score a girlfriend, you might not.

While (one hopes) all the women on your dating site are single, the numbers are about the same.  But instead of telling you to your face that they’re not interested, they can click the mouse and you disappear.  It’s a cop-out, but let’s face it, there are a lot of women (and guys!) would take the easy way out every day.  If you’re getting one date out of every 20-30 emails, that’s actually not terrible.  (I have had men come to me saying they’ve sent well over 50 emails and gotten no replies, nevermind dates.)

But still, if you feel that you are not getting enough replies, check the following things.  Not all of them will need changing, but a tweak here or there could make the difference.

  • Profile.  Is it interesting, fresh, and up to date?
  • Pictures.  Are they recent, clear, and free of sins?
  • Your Look.  Do you look your best?  Is your hair cut?  Is your facial hair under control?  Are your clothes neat, clean, and at least partially on the fashion train?
  • Competition.  Have you scoped out your “competition”? This can be helpful, but don’t do it if you’re prone to pity parties.
  • Your expectations. We all dream of finding the perfect 10 – someone who is totally hot and that we get along with on all levels.  Truth is, most people end up falling in love with someone less than perfect.   That’s not to say you can’t get a 10; just don’t complain when it takes you a stack of rejections to get one yes.
  • Your circle. We often start to show a pattern in online dating – we go for the same type of people over and over and over.  Take a moment to break that circle and go a bit outside your norm.   Look at brunettes instead of blondes or women who are a bit taller or shorter than your ideal.  Stretch your search criteria out and check out those people on the edge.  They may not be as far out as you think.
  • Get offline. Hide your profile, delete your bookmarks, and take a week or two off.   Find a Meetup group to visit or sign up for a class.  At the worst, you’ll have a refreshing break from online dating.  At best, you’ll find someone special.

Chin up, geek friend.  Good things take time.  You’re single now because the right person hasn’t come along yet.  Ask anybody in a crappy relationship – or as Dane Cook calls it, a “relationshit”- and they’ll tell you that it’s better to wait for the right one.

Happy dating, geek friend.

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