There he or she is! The person of your dreams…Who would have thought they were hiding online all this time? You craft the most beautiful message…Not too short, but not too long…Just enough humor to be funny, but not too much to seem like you aren’t taking this seriously. You send the message off and wait anxiously for a response.
30 seconds have passed and no response??! What the heck?! Maybe they’re busy…One day goes by…Two days…Two weeks…Ding! You get the response back. It’s a short response, but one you interpret as good! You craft a beautiful response again and send it off. Surely, they’ll get back to you quicker this time…One day…Three days…Two weeks…Two and a half weeks…Ding!
If you’re picking up what we’re putting down, we’re talking about online singles that respond to messages at turtle speed. We want to talk about the times that you about lose your mind in nervous anticipation waiting for these people to get back you. Is it always a bad thing? What does it mean? Don’t worry; we’re going to get into all of this.
One Time vs. Habitual
The first thing you need to look at is whether or not the slow response rate is habitual or if it’s a one-time thing. If it happens once, but they are normally pretty good about getting back to you, slow your roll. Cut them some slack. Interesting people have busy lives sometimes, so you need to see the occasionally slow response as a good sign. If they were able to get back to you with lightning quickness every time, you might begin to worry if they ever do anything outside of hawking their online dating profiles.
If it’s habitual, you need to inquire. When we say inquire, we mean you should actually ask the person what’s up. Don’t yell at them or sound mad, but just ask what’s up. The best way to find out what’s going on is to ask. You need to know what’s causing the delayed responses and then choose how to proceed accordingly.
Popular Causes of Slow Dating Responses
We’re going to give it to you straight here. Some of these reasons for slow responses might not be what you’re looking for, but we’re bringing the truth bombs because it will help. Here are some of the more popular reasons that your potential dating match might be responding slowly to you.
They’re not interested.
This is the one that hurts for singles to hear but unfortunately, it’s the case a lot. How long do you take to respond to matches that you’re interested in? You probably don’t take several weeks each time. Probably the most likely reason for slower responses is that the person you’re talking to is not as interested in you as you are in them. They may just be trying to be nice by not just blowing you off. You probably don’t want to flat out ask them this, but you should be able to figure it out by taking an objective look at things.
They’re too busy.
Notice that we didn’t say they were busy, we said that they were too busy. A lot of people think that they’re ready for online dating and they forget to check if they have enough time to dedicate to the process. It’s not fair to you to waste your time on someone who doesn’t have enough free time and space in their life for you.
They’re talking to too many people.
We’ve seen it quite a few times. Some singles think that online dating is a numbers game. They think that if they talk to as many potential matches as possible, they’ll have more success. Sadly, they miss the boat that it’s about quality and not quantity. If you run into someone like this, you’re going to have trouble keeping their attention because they’re too spread thin for anything meaningful to develop with anyone including you, no matter how perfect you two are for each other.
They’re not on the computer often.
Some people just aren’t computer people or phone people. They prefer to be active in their normal lives and rarely find their way online to check their dating profiles. People like this need to be approached differently. If you find someone that fits this mold (you’ll usually know it because they’ll tell you), try and set up an in-person date immediately. The quicker that you can get things offline, the better success you’re going to have with this person. You have to meet them where they are, and if they don’t use technology much, that’s ok.
Here’s What You Should Do
Outside of the last example, we gave above, you need to realize that if someone is not giving you the respect that you deserve, you should not keep fighting for their time and respect. If they’re too busy for you, talking to way too many singles, or just not interested, you should realize this and move along to someone who is worth your time.
Here’s the problem. Even if you end up getting a date with someone like this, you’re setting a bad precedent. You’re showing them that they’re more important than you and they can disrespect you, and you’ll take it and come back for more. Nobody really wants to date someone who doesn’t respect themselves enough to stop taking this sort of abuse.
What’s funny is that if you stand up for yourself, it might send a shockwave to the person you’re talking to and might even get them more interested. How do you send that shockwave? Ask them why it takes them so long first. Give them a chance to realize what they’re doing and explain what’s up. Sometimes people are oblivious and don’t realize what they are doing. How do you ask? Simple. “Hey, I’m really enjoying getting to know you, but I notice it takes you quite a long time to get back to me. Are you possibly too busy to date right now?”
It’s that simple. If they tell you they are too busy or get upset, move along to someone who gives you the respect you deserve. If they apologize and change their tune, awesome! That’s the best case scenario. If they apologize and continue to ignore you, move on to someone else that respects you.
You’re going to have a much better experience dating online (or in general) if you stand up for yourself when you need to and make sure that people know they need to treat you the way you deserve.
Some Great Next Steps
- How to Get More Online Dating Responses
- Reasons You’re Not Getting a Response
- How Fast Should You be Answering Online Dating Messages
Written By: Jason Lee
Jason Lee is a data analyst with a passion for studying online dating, relationships, personal growth, healthcare, and finance. In 2008, Jason earned a Bachelors of Science from the University of Florida, where he studied business and finance and taught interpersonal communication.
His work has been featured in the likes of The USA Today, MSN, The Motley Fool, Net Health, and The Simple Dollar. As a business owner, relationship strategist, dating coach, and officer in the U.S. military, Jason enjoys sharing his unique knowledge base with the rest of the world.