Step By Step

1. Choose a Service 2. Set Up an Account 3. Write Your Profile4. Make Contact 5. Respond...Or Don’t 6. The Email Dialogue 7. The Phone Call 8. The Date

More Stuff

Features Reviews Rejections Maximum Visibility Safety Stuff Long Distance Links

Check Out

Step 5: Respond...Or Don’t

Your profile is activated. If you’ve done a good job, you may be receiving messages from people. If you’re attractive and photogenic, you may even be receiving a lot of messages. Don’t let that stress you out. You don’t have to respond to them, and most people don’t. It might seem impolite, but most members have learned what to expect. When I write someone, I don’t anticipate any response, and I’m pleasantly surprised when I receive one. A negative response, however nicely expressed, might even be harder on the ego than no response. I’m not telling you not to respond to people if it makes you feel better, but you shouldn’t feel pressured to do so.

[TR: Match.com encourages people to send a “No thanks” reply to people, saying it’s only fair to give them a reason why rather than leave them wondering. That made me feel guilty at first, but a pile of generic “mass-mailings” helped me get over that pretty quick.]

Hopefully you’ve received messages from a few people you’d like to get to know better. Before you do anything else, lower your expectations. These people may not turn out to be whom they seem to be. Furthermore, just because people contact you first, doesn’t mean that they won’t disappear without a trace after a couple of emails. If you get too excited, you’re bound to be frustrated.

Some people respond to first contacts by writing one-line messages that don’t really say anything. Don’t do that. For you and your correspondent to get to know one another, a conversation has to begin, and it takes two to begin a conversation. The other person has taken the first step by getting in touch with you; show some courtesy by initiating a dialogue. You can respond to the text of the original message, make a comment about the other person’s profile, or ask a couple of questions.