Shalom Love With Stacie Ikka- Is It Rude to Ignore Online Dating Advances?
Stacie Ikka answers readers questions about dating, relationships, and love.
Matchmaker and dating coach, Stacie Ikka, has been writing for Shalom Life for about two months- covering topics ranging from great places to meet singles to the best way to introduce your new partner to your family for the first time.
Shalom Life readers love Stacie, but started having questions of their own that weren’t covered by her weekly articles. We were flooded with emails with questions for Stacie, so we decided to switch our format and give our readers what they want.
If you have a question for Stacie, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Every week, Stacie will choose one question to answer. Don’t worry- everyone will remain anonymous.
Is it rude to ignore people’s messages, e-cards or instant messages when doing online dating? I’m a 30-year old female and get at least 20 new messages a day. I just don’t really have the time to answer everyone but I feel bad.
I’ve been asked this question at least a hundred times and it seems that most online daters and experts would suggest that it’s not rude – and, actually, expected – that you only answer those messages which are of interest to you. I don’t disagree. I appreciate how time consuming online dating can be and how voluminous one’s inbox can become. Given that many of us spend our work days in front of computer, I also appreciate that few of us want to then come home and spend copious amounts of time responding to messages we didn’t invite or encourage in the first place.
With that said, my personal preference is to acknowledge all communication, simply as a courtesy. I feel that if someone was kind and thoughtful enough to take a few minutes out of their busy day to reach out to me, it would be nice to acknowledge them, even if only to politely decline their advance. I know that this is an unpopular practice and am not necessarily recommending that you adopt it, however, I did want to share that there have been occasions (more than one) in my romantic past where I’ve done this and have had a change of heart because of the dialogue that ensued.
As with anything else, you cannot please everyone. I was once sitting beside a client, helping her with her online dating. I had determined that she was being too rigid in her initial selection process (and she agreed) so she began acknowledging all messages. I helped her craft a polite message to those she was not interested in pursuing – to thank them for reaching out to her – and we sent off about a dozen. Within minutes, she received a very angry response from a gentleman who thought that she was taunting him with her message, and who didn’t understand or appreciate why she would bother responding if she wasn’t interested. Expletives were involved and to say he was irate would be an understatement. Similarly, I have seen clients and friends accosted – aggressively and abusively – by people angered by a lack of response. So, really, it all depends on your comfort level and personal preference.