in: Dating & Relationships

Help: I’m Not Getting Any Messages, Online Dating Isn’t Working!

Kristen Hick

Radio silence when online dating—you’re sending messages but not receiving any replies, does this mean online dating isn’t working? No way!


So you’ve taken the plunge—the online dating plunge.

You’ve crafted a good profile. You’ve discussed the activities and interests that are meaningful to you and that you hope to find in potential mates. You’ve selected your best looking photos—a couple of yourself, some of you engaged in your favorite interests and maybe even a couple of your adorable pet or niece/nephew just for good measure.

You hit the submit button. Take a deep, sigh. And wait.

Oh, who are you kidding? You didn’t wait! You started browsing others’ profiles for what seemed like hours. This is the fun part.

You saw a few profiles that really stood out to you and thought, “I will give it a go and send him/her a message.” The next day comes and you send a few more, and send a few more every day for a week or so.

You are excited about the profiles that seem to fit what you are looking for. You think, “Could this really be?! There are still single people out there who seem pretty “normal,” and are interested in the same things as me!” You feel hopeful about what lies ahead.

And then… silence.

It starts to hit you, you haven’t heard back from any of these exciting, seemingly-perfect matches. You think, “But, how could this be?” Your ego starts screaming, maybe panicking. It feels hurt, rejected and hopeless about ever finding love.

And then the “fun part” seems like a distant mirage to your heart.

Believe it or not, most people have felt this roller coaster of excitement and also felt let down if they’ve been giving online dating a solid chance. This is the part that your friends and family, who all urged you to try online dating, didn’t tell you about—what to do when no one responds to your messages.

Be Patient

Remember the old adage of, “Good things come to those who wait”? I know, I cringe just thinking of saying it because it doesn’t feel good to hear at a time like this. On the other hand, it’s true. Finding love in the midst of desperation, self-doubt and urgency will not serve your quest for love. Take some long, deep breaths and practice patience—with yourself and with others.

Return to Self

Yes, you’ve told the universe that you are open for love. However, that doesn’t mean that you’ve closed the door on continuing to love. Develop and work on yourself. Are you still engaging in the activities and practices that make you, you?

And, if you haven’t mastered—or are practicing mastering self-love—this might be a good place to pause and focus more on before continuing online dating. It’s amazing how a lack of self-love and authentic confidence can be revealed in between the written lines. Mindful relationships are created out of two whole people. If there is even a hint of this as you are reading this, stop and return to working on numero uno—you.

Assess Your Approach

It would be ideal if there were an exact formula for what makes a profile and message appealing to those you are trying to connect with, but dating is not an exact science. However, here are a few key ways to guarantee your perfect mates won’t be likely to respond, and how to make changes.

Profile Tips:

  • Instead of a diatribe of what you are not looking for, keep it short, simple and positive. Say what and who are you are looking for.
  • Instead of a generic profile, highlight your uniqueness by sharing interesting quirks, tid-bits or experiences. How can you stand out in a good way?
  • Instead of photos that illustrate more of who you know or how you look, select photos that show who you are (sans shirtless/chest-centric photos) and what you like to do. Do you travel, have hobbies, are you close with your family—as long as you are a major feature in the photo, add it.

Message Tips:

  • Instead of generic copy and paste messages, write a specific message to each person after spending some time reading their profile. Include a couple aspects that caught your eye, and say why.
  • In addition to focusing on their profile characteristics that you like, share a little about yourself that relates to their profile. This will help them see how you two might connect.
  • Instead of writing at them or asking them generic questions, engage him/her by asking them personalized questions that occurred to you after reading their profile.

This is not an exhaustive list of do’s and don’ts, but it should give you some ground to explore further.

Ask a Friend

This one is my favorite. Your friends know you best, you know… the good, the bad, and everything in between. Use them as a resource to help you understand why you might not be receiving return messages.

I recommend asking two to three friends to take a look at your profile and a few messages you’ve sent. Ask them for honest feedback on what they see and what they don’t see. These should be friends who know you well, have heard about your relationship successes and blunders and can point out where you can make some adjustments.

Consider it Practice

In the end, it may take some time for the process to start working, to hear back from some potential dates and to feel like this whole online dating thing works.

To survive this daunting, vulnerable, yet exciting process, it is vital to remove yourself from the end result. Meaning, don’t focus solely on having the best date of your life, or getting into a long-term relationship. Consider each and every step—creating a profile, editing your first profile, sending a message, responding to a message, asking someone out, going on a date—practice.

You are practicing putting yourself out there, what it feels like to be vulnerable, to connect with others and to find out what and who you are attracted to. All of this is an important part of the relationship journey.

Radio silence is never easy, especially when you have gone through the process of putting yourself out there. With a little patience, focusing on yourself, minor adjustments, friendly feedback and a new mindset, you are more likely to find your online dating experience to be a positive one.

 

[image: via shutterstock]

About the Author:

Kristen Hick Kristen Hick

Kristen Hick, Psy.D. is a Clinical Psychologist who specializes in the area of awakened dating and healthy relationships. She is the founder of Center for Shared Insight, a private psychotherapy practice in Denver where she and her clients focus on Individual Relationship Therapy. Dr. Hick’s expertise lies in helping individuals create healthy, meaningful, and loving relationships with others through healing, strengthening and transforming their most essential relationship, with themselves. When not helping clients fulfill their personal relationship goals, she enjoys the Colorado outdoors, capturing life through photography, practicing yoga and hopes to one day manage her first unassisted headstand. You can connect with Dr. Hick on her site, Facebook or Google+

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