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Feel free to write out the “about me” section in advance; it’ll save you time in the long-run and it allows you to fine-tune it rather than hitting “send” and then kicking yourself because you realized you could’ve said something wittier. If you had a chance, what would you do to wind down after a long week? A little about me: I’m $AWESOME_ATTRIBUTES_X, Y and Z… Like I said: you seem like you’re a really interesting person and I’d love to get to know you.

Needless to say, it was kind of an insult even back then; nothing screams romance more than “I’m interested in you but not enough to actually to join the site.” Fortunately most sites seem to have wised up and charge a subscription fee instead, but the vestigal organ that is the “wink” hangs in there like an appendix and does nothing but cause trouble.

Here’s the thing: everybody knows exactly what it means when a guy sends one of these.

It’s a way of saying “I know you’re probably not going to write back to me, so please notice me noticing you and do the hard work for me…” If you’re interested in them, send an email already!

Much like stressing about the opener, the first email is there to get them interested enough to write back.

Unless you’ve had some form of the relationship talk, don’t be so quick to cut ties with other potential dates. Here’s one of the harsh truths about online dating: it’s a numbers game.

The people who of time feeling like you’re shouting out into the void or tossing off messages in bottles only to watch them disappear over the horizon without any hope of a response.

Almost every online dating site out there has some form of a low-stakes “hey, so and so wants you to talk to them” notification – often given a cutsey name like “wink” or “flirt” or “send a flower” to make it seem more acceptable. Most dating sites let you set up a profile for free but require that you pay money in order to be able to message people.

Some, back in the early days of online dating (lo those dark days of the late 90s and early 00s), were evil and would sell a limited number of messages; if you sent out a message and didn’t hear back, well, tough shit Charlie, you just blew a buck (or whatever the per-unit cost was). were intended as a way of trying to get someone to message so that you could chat without wasting your hard-earned money.

Yes, there are occasionally people who use OKCupid like a sex ATM. Women have it just as bad as men do – they may get deluged by guys who assume we’re the lone exception, that those non-responses are somehow a judgement of us as a person and that everyone else has it better or easier than we do.

Sometimes that anger and resentment spills out into your messages to other people – I’ve lost track of the number of “You won’t talk to me, you must be some BITCH!!! ” messages that my female friends have shared with me.

Look, there are untold numbers of reasons why people don’t respond to online dating messages…