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Online Dating Etiquette-Responding To Unsolicited Emails

Apr 13, 2008
Experienced online daters will tell you that the game begins once your inbox starts filling up with emails or notifications of interest. Depending on the online dating site you're using, the notifications will have different names, such as a wink or icebreaker.

You've gone through a lot of hard work to get your online dating profile set up. This is done for one specific reason; to get your profile to stand out among all the other profiles on the site. You're hoping that others will want to get in contact with you to find out a little more about you.

The culmination of all of this effort materializes in your email inbox. You should start getting unsolicited emails and notifications from people who are hoping to get to know a little more about you.

You open up the email, and you click the link to take a look at that person's profile. You try to decide if this is someone you may be interested in getting to know a little better. If so, I recommend you craft a response back to them in a prompt fashion.

That's the best case scenario; however, what is the proper etiquette for responding to someone that you're not interested in?

This question is up for debate among dating experts, with the schools of thought pretty evenly divided.

Option #1: Don't Respond

Some experts suggest that there is no need to respond back to someone that you just aren't interested in. They feel that you are under no obligation, and that this is one of the perks of using an online dating service. You can get to know as many people as you like, without having any strings attached.

Option #2: Respond

Put yourself in their shoes. If you found someone of interest you would send them an email (or wink) over to them to show your interest. You're not expecting this person to drop everything that they're doing to respond to you, but you are hoping to hear something back in a timely fashion.

We're all grown ups, and rejection is a part of life. We don't enjoy it, but in dating it's just a part of the process. I would rather be told no than to than to not get any response at all.

I think it's just as easy to take a few minutes of your time to respond back. Although I'm a big fan of personalizing each correspondence I make, in this instance I don't see the need to do so. Just come up with a set response, save it as a file, and copy and paste it into emails as needed.

Here's an example that you can use:

"Thank you very much for your interest. I'm flattered to hear from you, but after taking a few minutes to read through your profile, you don't seem to share many of the interests that are important to me. Good luck with your dating search and best wishes!"

You've given the person the common courtesy of a response while at the same time you've let them know that you're not interested. If they decide to respond back asking why, I think at that point you're not under any obligation to respond.

How difficult is that?
About the Author
Jim McMenamin is the webmaster and creator of MacsDatingSite.com, a blog dedicated to the various issues of online dating. For a limited time, Jim is giving away two free eBooks, 10 Tips To Writing Your Online Dating Profile as well as 101 Steps To A Happy Relationship, when you sign up for his newsletter .
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