Reasons You’re Not Getting a Response: Online Dating Messages

Fact Checked by: Grady Shumway, LCSW

Here’s a brutal reality. The response rate with online dating messages is not 100%. In fact, it’s not even close. For people who are new to online dating, this might be a bit of a surprise. For people who have been in the trenches for a while, this is certainly no surprise at all.

And the obvious follow up question that people have when this happens is why am I not getting responses?

Unfortunately, what we see a lot is people start to blame themselves. They start to assume that there is something wrong with them after they don’t get answers back.

Well, we’re here today to tell you that this is just not the case. We’ve talked with online daters from all walks of life including very successful and very physically attractive people, and you know what? They don’t get responses back on all of their messages.

The reason we share that is to let you know that it’s not something that’s wrong with you. If people all over the spectrum struggle with getting responses, then it’s just a part of the process.

If that’s the truth (which it is), then why aren’t you getting responses? Today, we’re going to help you get to the bottom of that. We’re going to outline the most common reasons you aren’t getting messages responses and what you can do to fix it.

Girl reading her messages on a computer

1. Your Messages Are Garbage

Before we get into all of the reasons that it’s NOT your fault you aren’t getting responses, we wanted to cover a few reasons why it could be your fault. The first reason we want to look at is that you’re sending terrible messages. If your messages are no good or not crafted well, you’re not going to get many responses, especially from quality dating prospects.

Your messages don’t need to be insanely creative, but they need to show effort, show that you actually read their profile, and show that you have some substance.

We recommend checking out our guide to sending the perfect first message and our post about online dating first message mistakes before you go any further to make sure your messages aren’t the problem.

2. Your Profile Isn’t Complete

You cannot expect someone to respond to you if you don’t have a completed profile. Here’s the process that most online daters go through when they get a message. They see the message, they read the message, they click to your profile to see if they’re interested, and THEN they decide whether or not they want to respond.

If you have nothing up on your profile or it shows a lack of effort, you can kiss your chances of getting a response goodbye.

Need help? Yup, we’ve got you covered. Check out our handy guide on How to Write the Perfect Dating Profile that includes example profiles for you to base your ideas off of. That guide will help you with every aspect of the profile creation process so you’ll look like the stud or diamond in the rough that you are.

3. They’re Busy

Alrighty, enough with it being our fault. Let’s say we are sending great messages and our profile is hot to trot, but we still aren’t getting the responses that we want. The first reason you might not be getting a response from a potential date is that they’re busy.

Usually, the more interesting or successful someone is, the busier they are.

They usually have more commitments and are involved in more things that take away from their time. This doesn’t mean they don’t have enough time for dating, but it might mean they have limited time to get back to everyone who messages them.

Be patient. If they don’t get back to you, don’t sweat it. It could also be one of the other reasons we have listed on this list.

4. They’re Taking a Break From Dating

Online dating can be tough sometimes when you’re not getting the results you want. Also, people have lives outside of online dating where things can change. These two factors can often influence people to take a break from online dating.

Sometimes this is a few days, sometimes it’s a few weeks, and sometimes it’s much longer.

Whatever the case, people often will leave their profiles up and not update them with a note that they are taking a brief hiatus.

This means that you may be messaging someone who has decided to step away for a few and isn’t even seeing any of your messages. Be patient. If they decide to get back with it, they will see your message and will most likely get back to you.

5. They Aren’t Interested

Here comes a little tough love. Not everyone dating online is going to be interested in you. We don’t care how attractive or successful or awesome of a person you are. Not everyone that you send a message to is going to be interested in you. Most people that aren’t interested in you aren’t going to respond to tell you that they aren’t. Some will, but some are not going to.

The point is that if you go into online dating expecting everyone to be interested in you, you’re going to have a bad time.

Be realistic and be ready to accept the fact that not everyone is going to be into you and that is completely okay. The right person will be, and that is all that’s going to matter.

6. They Have a Friend Who is Interested

The world of online dating may seem massive, but it’s actually quite a bit smaller than you might think. A lot of times, guys and girls will jump into the mix together so they can support each other in the search for someone special.

And while there are thousands of people in most cities dating online, friends tend to have similar characteristics they’re looking for. That means that friends may see a lot of the same guys and gals, and they’re certainly going to talk about it.

If you message a guy or a girl that has a friend that is head over heels for you, you’re probably not going to get a response back.

This is one of the rarer reasons you’re not getting a response, but it’s still one that does happen from time to time.

The Takeaway

Here’s what we hope you take away from this.

  1. You’re not going to get a response to every message you send.
  2. Make sure you aren’t the problem, first. Make sure you are sending good messages, and your profile is in good order.
  3. People might be busy, taking a break, or just not interested in you. All of these things are okay and not reasons to get mad at the person or blame yourself. Also, some people just respond slowly.

Basically, send lots of messages to prospects, don’t put all your eggs in one basket, be patient, and you’ll have success with the right person.

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Author: Matt Seymour, MSF

Matthew J. Seymour is a dating industry expert with over a decade of experience coaching singles, reviewing dating apps, and analyzing trends within the industry. Matt is a published author with his most recent work “Get More Dates: How to Master Online Dating Apps” that hit shelves in 2023. With a Masters of Science in Finance (MSF) degree from the University of Florida and extensive knowledge of the innerworkings of the online dating industry, Matt frequently serves in an advisory role to some of the largest dating apps on the market. In Matt’s current role with Healthy Framework, he leads the interview team that regularly interviews key dating industry leaders, and leverages his financial knowledge and dating app experience to review and share what singles need to know to get the most out of dating online.