Online Dating Rules: Don’t bother with people who aren’t interested in you

On OkCupid, we use an algorithm to determine compatibility.

It’s wrong as much as it’s right and sometimes people who would be a good match don’t show up as such. However, there are times when two people could be very compatible but one person is shown as incompatible. There’s not anything we can do about that because no algorithm is perfect and everyone has preferences.

The problem isn’t so much the fact that they’re viewed as incompatible, it’s how some people react to this information: they send rude or unkind messages to those users – especially women – calling them stuck-up or superficial for not responding. You wouldn’t say these things in real life and you don’t know why someone didn’t feel a connection. Maybe they were having a bad day or it was too late at night for them to respond, or maybe they didn’t find you attractive. It’s rude and mean to attack people like this even if the match isn’t right.

Odds are, if someone doesn’t respond to your first message or two, leave them alone. They probably haven’t checked the app and will see your messages when they get back on, or they’ve seen your messages and simply aren’t interested. Respect their time and accept their rejection. (And by all means, if you’re getting strange responses back from someone who is messaging you—they might not be joking.) [This next part of the article can also go in “Additional Resources” if you decide to include it.:]

BONUS: We thought this would be helpful information to share. Also, the article ” Nice Guys Don’t Always Finish Last “, written by another author on our team, might help address some of your questions about what is considered appropriate behavior when dating online. Read it here .

Written by Susan C. Campbell

Susan C. Campbell is the co-founder of OkCupid and a blogger for The Huffington Post . She attended Harvard University, where she studied Human Evolutionary Biology and conducted field research in Uganda. After college, she worked as an acquisition editor at Oxford University Press before founding OkCupid with her brother in 2004. Since then, Susan has received honors including MIT Technology Review’s TR35 award, the Fast Company “Fast 50” award, and Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.

She lives in Brooklyn with her two cats. You can follow her on Twitter or read more of her writing at Campbell’s Blog .

Summary: Thank the person for reading your profile and for considering getting to know you. Explain that you’re not desperate just because you’re messaging them first, but rather that you enjoy taking chances and making connections with new people even if it means there might be some chance encounters that don’t work out. Ask them what they like to do for fun so you have something to talk about next time your paths cross (which hopefully will be soon). End the message by saying something nice about their profile.

Written by Susan C. Campbell

Susan C. Campbell is the co-founder of OkCupid and a blogger for The Huffington Post . She attended Harvard University, where she studied Human Evolutionary Biology and conducted field research in Uganda. After college, she worked as an acquisition editor at Oxford University Press before founding OkCupid with her brother in 2004. Since then, Susan has received honors including MIT Technology Review’s TR35 award, the Fast Company “Fast 50” award, and Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.

She lives in Brooklyn with her two cats. You can follow her on Twitter or read more of her writing at Campbell’s Blog .

Summary: Thank the person for reading your profile and for considering getting to know you. Explain that you’re not desperate just because you’re messaging them first, but rather that you enjoy taking chances and making connections with new people even if it means there might be some chance encounters that don’t work out. End the message by saying something nice about their profile.


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