Dear Anon-O-Box: The Black Hole of No Reply

Dear Anon-O-Box,

I have been on an online dating site for a couple months now, browsing girls’ profiles and messaging a few. A small percentage have replied, and we’ve been having what I thought were good message conversations going back and forth. But for each exchange, the girl has just failed to reply at some point, ending the conversation.

Have they just changed their minds? Did I say something wrong, each time? Are they expecting me to ‘double-message’ them, to prove that I’m interested? Is there a point where they expect me to have asked them out, and otherwise they move on? Or is there something else going on?

- Everyone Left, What Gives?

e answers:

ELWG,

There are a lot of reasons why these women have stopped replying to you, and unfortunately, without reading the exchanges, I can’t give you much in the way of specifics.

You did hit on a couple reasons why they may have stopped contact.

  • Changed Mind:  She may have decided she wasn’t as into you as she thought she was and moved on.
  • Expectations: If you drag out the email conversation for too long without moving to IMs or text messages or a real-life date, then she might think that you have her on the back burner while you’re more actively pursuing other women.

I don’t think there are many (any) women who expect to be double-messaged to prove that you’re interested. And honestly, if her self-esteem is THAT low that she’s playing that game, you don’t want to date her.

Some other reasons that communication might have stopped:

  • Her Back Burner: She may have met someone and moved you to her back burner while she pursued that guy.
  • She’s Busy: We all have lives, and sometimes they get in the way of other things we’d like to do. If you feel the girl is someone that you were having really good, deep conversations with and she just poofs, shoot her a follow-up email in a week or so to say that you miss your conversations and you hope she’s doing well. It may turn out that her grandma died and she was out of town.
  • You Said All The Wrong Things: I had a client who had a guy poof on her. She forwarded me the emails they had written one another and in each email, she “one-upped” something the guy said. He got 6 stitches, she got 12. He went to 3 symphony concerts this year, she went to 8. She didn’t even realize she had been doing it.

But the moral of the story is this…

If someone stops replying to you, don’t stress too much. These things happen to everyone – even people richer, more successful, smarter and sexier than you. Have a friend review the emails to see if you were throwing out any red flags. Send that follow-up email a week later if you really can’t let the person slip away.

But as Dory says in Finding Nemo, just keep swimming.

Happy dating, geek friend.

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