“Thanks, but I’m not interested” – How to Respond to Unwanted Messages


When you’ve received a message on a dating site from a person you’re not interested in, what do you do?

There’s two basic schools of thought – either ignore the message entirely, or send a polite decline. Is one method better than the other? That comes down to a matter of personal opinion.

We’ve included the case for both strategies and how to navigate this territory.

No response required

You don’t owe anyone on an online dating site a response. Ultimately, the other users on the site(s) you use are strangers and choosing to respond or not respond is your own prerogative. Choosing not respond to a message will almost never have any sort of direct impact on your life.

That being said, there are multiple degrees of etiquette to consider when you receive an unwanted or unsolicited message via a dating site. There are three general categories of messages you may not want to respond to.

Generic Message Suck

The first type is when other person has sent an extremely generic message that doesn’t propel the conversation forward in any fashion. You know the ones I mean, that simply say something like “hey, how are you doing?” or “SUP” or worse. It’s more okay to ignore these, because not much thought was put into them.

Creepers Don’t Require Acknowledgement  

The second type is when someone sends you a generally creepy or pervy message. Again, this entirely a-okay to ignore and then it’s also totally acceptable to block that person. In fact, I suggest not responding to those types of rude and unwanted messages.

Simply Not interested

The third and final type of message you can choose to ignore is from someone whom you simply have no interest in. Many users will simply not engage with you or not respond if they are not interested in meeting or dating you.

As a sender of an ignored message it can hurt your feelings to get only silence in return. Yes, it sucks – but we’re all adults and shouldn’t dwell on not receiving a message from a stranger – no matter how interesting and attractive they seem in their profile.

Ultimately, it it’s up to you whether you choose to ignore a message because you are under no obligation to reply.

In Favor of a Polite Decline

If the message you received doesn’t fall into category one or two above, but instead you simply have no interest, then the ball is in your court.

When advising my coaching clients about these types of issues, I usually suggest sending a polite decline, keeping the golden rule in mind.

If someone spent the time to send you something detailed and thoughtful, sending a decline is respectful and gracious.

Some polite ways to decline an unwanted message include phrases like these:

“Thanks for your message and expressing your interest. I read your profile and don’t think we’re a match but I wish you all the best.”

“I appreciate your message but I’m not interested. Good luck on the site.”

“I’m flattered but I don’t we’d have the type of chemistry that I am looking for. Thanks for taking the time to get in touch.”

In summary, it’s really up to you if you decide to respond to any message you receive on a dating website. It never hurts to try to put yourself in another’s shoes though, especially if the message they sent you wasn’t entirely horrible.

Readers – how do you approach unwanted messages? Do you always ignore them, or always respond? Do you prefer silence to a polite decline? Leave us your comments below.

Need some extra help with all of this confusing dating stuff? Maybe you received a message that you need help decoding? The Geek’s Dream Girl team is available for dating coaching, profile rewrites, photo feedback & more.

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