Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Dude, Don’t Be Such a Wuss

One of the first things I saw on Twitter yesterday was this, “Brooklyn sues .com for inflicting humiliation on singles “who feel rejected when their e-mails get no reply.” http://bit.ly/162sbd”  from @damiella. The link is to a NYPost article about a guy who’s suing Match.com.  I thought it was hysterical and immediately retweeted it and before I knew it it was retweeted over and over and over.

Clearly, it hit a nerve.

Let’s face it, we can all relate to bad stories.  Yes, even me.  I know that most guys don’t believe this, but women do indeed send out unsolicited messages to guys.  All of the time (Well, women do.  Who wants to sit around and wait to see who’s going to pick her?  I wanna get to do the picking.).  And sometimes my emails don’t get returned.

But I’ve learned not to take it personally.

A while ago I wrote a post called Online Dating Survival – Lesson #1.  In honor of this guy’s lauwsuit and the amount of attention it’s getting (I saw another article about it today in YourTango) I thought it would be a good time to republish parts of it (click on the link above to read the complete post):

It’s not about you.  No, I’m not about to go off on some pseudo-religious tangent.

When you’re online dating, you always have to remember that whatever happens, it’s not about you.

  • If you wink at someone and they don’t acknowledge it – it’s not about you.
  • If you send someone a message and they don’t acknowledge it – it’s not about you.
  • If you’re having an email conversation with someone and they just stop replying – it’s not about you.
  • If you discuss meeting someone out for a drink/dinner and then they suddenly disappear (and you never end up meeting)- it’s not about you.

  • If you’re going to survive online dating and maintain a sense of sanity and humor then you can’t take any of it personally. Remember, none of it has anything to do with you until you’ve actually met the person/people in question.  Until then, everyone is just making guesses and assumptions about each other based on incomplete information and frequently misleading pictures.


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10 to “Dude, Don’t Be Such a Wuss”


  1. HollyPage says:

    These are great tips for online dating, but moreover, I think that theme of your post – “it’s not about you” – applies to life in general. People would be happier if they didn’t take themselves so seriously, or if they weren’t convinced that the universe was conspiring against them.

  2. TonyImages says:

    -Simone, you make some great points, however its not about the your listed items. If that was the issue your totally right! I have said it here, on your blog before… I have no problem with rejection and if you and I (hypothetically) don’t click for some reason great, I get it. I’ll move on… write me and I write you back and forth and you never reply again fine I can take a hint.

    The lawsuit is more specifically about dating sites producing ‘fake” ads or replies in order to lure members (mainly us lonely heart guys) into paying their monthly fees.

    Hey free enterprise, create a site, great money maker, get suckers to sign up for what looks like an easy way to find true love for dating or a life lone partner…their slogan “browse for free” … ok sounds good!

    Things are looking good right? I go by the book, I read all the articles about online dating, I write thoughtful notes and introductions, nothing weird, I’m a half decent looking guy, good job, great friends, well rounded, well traveled… shouldn’t be a problem! but wait what’s this… several (10-20… more) introductions later and NOT one reply… hey what gives here?
    ok I change my profile around a little more, must be something wrong with me…still no replies to letters I sent. A month has gone by.. mmmm still no replies .. but now my monthly membership renews soon… do I renew or do I cancel? last day to decide… what’s this? a reply? but darn-it my membership has just expired and I have to renew to read the mail someone (don’t know who yet) has sent.. ok no problem, I renew (I’m a guy, I’m used to having to pay for all the dates anyway… what’s another 39.95) but crap its not a reply from someone I sent a introduction to, its some woman living in the Ukraine seeking an LTR with a nice generous man in the USA! oh well that 39.95 was not so well spent but I’m here for another 30 days. So I write more letters and send “winks”

    I have been on those types of paying sites for yrs and that scenario is not the exception or a rare occurrence, it happens ALL the time. No not every single month but I have been single a long time and I date a bunch and I don’t generally meet women in bars or grocery stores (see my previous response) but often enough to make me very weary and know that they screw you every chance they get. IMHO

    In the course of several yrs Yes I have met the occasional real person from the site… almost without fail! They tell me the same stories about their dating experience on that site.

    So what seems to be happening… is you browse for “free” to what looks like a bunch of local available single people (women)…the thing is hardly any of them are members! and non-members cant get my emails! so most of them don’t even know I’m writing to them.

    The site is a classic bait & switch, plain and simple…. I haven’t been back on those sites for over a year, they are ripe offs. Its not that the service isn’t awesome because it clearly could be but it shouldn’t be such a guessing game as to whether the person your interested in, is actually a member or not. my $.02 (not my 39.95)

  3. Cute~Ella says:

    Great post. For the most part it’s true. But to be honest? Sometimes it is them. Or maybe my reaction to them…so I guess maybe it isn’t about them. Hm.

  4. KB in NYC says:

    Oh my, the number of emails that I have written to men online and not heard a peep. Nothing. Nada. And here I was thinking it was little old me not making the cut . Clearly, CLEARLY, those photos I posted were doing nothing for me. It has at times been downright depressing, I can’t lie.

    But I love this – it’s absolutely not frigging about me. And I’m loving the idea that maybe half of them weren’t real in the first place. Which is a great theory but doesn’t explain how those very same guys end up emailing my girlfriends. I guess they were real. Or something.

    Whatever. Either way I’ll suffer ‘pain and humiliation’ at the hands of match.com for $5 million bucks.

    Great post Simone!

  5. Barrett says:

    I’m not sure about winning for “humiliation and disappointment” which sounds pretty silly but it does bring to light a truth about paid dating sites. It’s free to signup, the members who signed up but don’t pay are listed along those who do pay. It’s estimated that about 10% of the profiles on Match.com are actual subscribers and there is no way to tell the difference between those who can reply to you and those who can’t. It’s a shady deal for paying members but a great deal for Match.com to try and get those who aren’t already paying to subscribe to reply.

    $5 million dollars is nothing short of an insane amount but I would like to see Match.com walk away from this having to publish their active member numbers or even worse have some way of distinguishing between those that can reply to your messages and those that can not.

  6. cjw666 says:

    Great post and VERY good advice. But TonyImages and Barett in comments are absolutely right! It IS quite often just another rip off! On many of these sites, you can “join” (create a profile) and you can “browse”, but that’s it without paying! On the face of it, it’s fair enough in a way – a “taster” to see if you think it might be worth becoming a “full member” – but many people simply don’t understand that and sometimes the fact is very carefully hidden, or at least made not at all obvious, if you don’t already know. The real sting though is when you can’t tell who can be contacted and reply and who can’t.

  7. Simone Grant says:

    -HollyPage
    I agree. Everything is random and the universe is a big place. Even as I’ve been down lately I’ve trying to remember, it SO isn’t about me.
    -TonyImages
    I can understand your frustration. What I can’t understand is why anyone would sign up for any service for more than a month, to start. And then if that month was unsuccessful, why would they reup? Especially when there are so many other (some of them free) services available. I sympathize with the elements that you mention. And yes, those are crappy business practices. But doesn’t everyone KNOW that’s what’s going one. Hence the trying it for a month and moving on if there’s really no one in your demographic/local to date. I guess I just don’t get it.
    -Cute~Ella
    Thanks darling. Well yes. Sometimes people just have crappy ass profiles. That’s just a fact. But a person never knows – was it my profile or some of reason. It’s silly to internalize it as rejection.
    -KB in NYC
    Thanks darling. To be honest, my first reaction to the suit was – match.com in Brooklyn? Wrong service. Everyone knows match sucks for NYC. But whatever. Oh, and those guys who didn’t reply to you, clearly they are intimidated by smart, pretty women.
    -Barrett
    Yes, it would be nice to see them have to list this stuff more realistically. But like you said, everyone knows these facts. Or any smart consumer. As far as I’m concerned it’s like complaining that the ice cream made you fat.
    -cjw666
    Welcome back darling. So nice to hear from you. Like I said, I agree it would be nice if these things were made obviously, but I don’t have a lot of sympathy for anyone who shells out more than 1-3 months of fees because once you realize it’s not working you should move on. It’s not like there are no competitors.

  8. TonyImages says:

    Unfortunately there are NO other such services in Cincinnati. Yahoo personals (is cheaper and not as restrictive but the quality of people is much less) a couple of local print ads (total old school.. but turns out they were doing very much the same thing) the other services like Cupid, chemistry are all run or owned by match. There was not much selection and what profiles were available members hadn’t signed in for months. I have used J-date but our Jewish community is very small and I knew most of them..LOL or had nothing in common with the 10-15 members on that sight (BTW they do the same thing Match does) They never delete old ads, so the same members can be seen year after year. Maybe I should have moved to NYC were the women out number the men 10-1…

    In a twist, I met my current GF on Craig’s List (free… but you have to wade through a ton of crap to get one real person let alone compatible)

    Small Mid-Western cities just cant compare to the big cities.

  9. Veka says:

    I have yet to try any of the sites you have to pay for. About a month ago I registered for one of the free sites. I got close to a million messages a day. Ok, exaggerating here. At least 10/day. I didn’t reply to many at first. Then, once I started replying to the ones I found interesting and/or attractive, I started to get overwhelmed by the amount of guys that wanted to meet up for dinner/drinks/coffee etc. Although there were 2 or 3 guys that I kind of wanted to meet and was looking forward to it, I started to get stressed out with other things going on in my life and hid my profile. So I’ve been on that end of things, where I stopped responding to people out of the blue. I never messaged anyone to say “Thanks, but no thanks.” It really wasn’t them at all. I guess my point is that there’s 2 sides of the coin. 1) Your profile wasn’t interesting so I never responded. 2) I wanted to meet you but due to personal reasons I decided to drop off the face of the earth. Just depends I guess. I might reactivate it one day, but not right now.

  10. Simone Grant says:

    -TonyImages
    You didn’t mention OKCupid or Plenty of Fish -two sites that are consistently rated amongst the best free sites nationally. I just did a quick search and they seem to have very active member bases in your area? I’m happy you were able to meet someone on CL. I know someone who met her fiance there. My point was that there are ALWAYS options. I don’t buy the match is so big and it’s the best one so we have to use it crap. I happen to think that most of match’s competitors do a better job. But many people blindly buy into match.com (for months and months even though they’re not getting anything out of it). And then they complain.
    -Veka
    I think your experience is a pretty common one. I used to try to send quick replies of no interest to everyone who sent me messages, but I don’t anymore. It’s time consuming and a lot of the guys actually get pissy about it. The fact is, most guy’s profiles actually SUCK. They come off as either dull or arrogant or just kind of clueless.