Recently I read a letter in the advice column "Dear Amy"; the letter was written by a man who had lost more than 100 pounds and had joined an online dating site. He said that he'd gotten several messages from ladies who were overweight. He wrote, "My profile is very specific about my eating and exercise habits. I always answer any response I get, and I am always polite and try and let these women know that I am not interested in dating a large woman. I have lived that lifestyle and do not want to go back to it."
The guy was apparently surprised that he received "a lot of hateful and abusive responses". It made me wonder what was in his profile. Did he write something like, "Unless you go jogging every day and think celery sticks are fattening, don't write to me"? Or maybe he wrote, "I spend a lot of time lifting weights and admiring my muscular physique in the mirror." His letter made me think of one of the reasons that chemistry.com turned me off. Several of the guys on that site actually specified in their profile that they didn't want to date anyone who was fat. One guy wrote, "I hope you're not the type of girl who wheezes when she climbs the stairs." I mean, really?
The guy who wrote that letter says that he doesn't want to date "a large woman" because he doesn't want to go back to "that lifestyle", which made me wonder if he was afraid that the woman would say something like, "If you don't eat that pizza, you can forget about getting a kiss good night!"
I think it was less about a fear of "that lifestyle" and more about his belief that his new figure and his winning personality would win over supermodels.
He thought he was being polite by writing rejection letters, but "Dear Amy" set him straight. She quoted Bela Gandhi, a dating coach, who said, "'No response' is the right thing to do when you're not interested — it's the polite way of saying, 'No thanks!'"
I have to agree with her, especially because I just got a similar message from some guy on okcupid. I'd sent him an e-mail yesterday, and he wrote back to say, "I don't think we're a match." He didn't say why, though he did answer the questions I'd asked in my message to him. (Whenever I e-mail a guy for the first time, I say a little bit about myself and I ask a couple of questions, so that he'll have something to respond to.) I don't see why he bothered to answer the questions. It wouldn't matter if he had said that he was president of the M&M corporation; the point was that he wasn't interested.
I've never gotten a "rejection e-mail" from a guy before. If a guy doesn't answer my message, I just assume that he's not interested. If a guy e-mails me and I'm not interested in writing back, I don't respond either. I also block him from e-mailing again, because some guys repeatedly message me; apparently they think that acting like stalkers is attractive.
On the other hand, there have been a few times when I've been tempted to write my own rejection e-mails. Here are some examples:
Thanks for writing! I have to say, though, that I don't think we're compatible. I'm really not interested in being a "female playmate" for you and your wife.
I just got your message. I couldn't help noticing that you wrote that you said you only liked "most" of my profile, which made me wonder about the parts that you didn't like. Was it because I wrote that I like to read in my spare time, and you wrote that you'd rather just see the film versions of books?
I totally understand that your children, your ex-wife, and your friends are very important to you. However, you really didn't need to include a list of all of these people in your profile with the note that "they will always be more important to me than you." I just kind of assumed that they would be.
I was just wondering if you had any pictures of your face that you could send me. In your profile, the only pictures of you featured nothing but your bare chest.
I noticed that you didn't write anything in your profile. You did post several pictures of yourself with various women sitting on your lap, though.
You seem like a really nice guy, and I'd be interested in meeting you. As soon as you get a job and move out of your parents' basement, give me a call.
Of course, I don't actually write any messages like this. Nobody likes to get rejected, and I think that sending a "rejection e-mail" is just pouring salt on the wound. When I first saw the message from that guy in my inbox, I thought, "Yay! He wrote back! Maybe this could lead to something good." And then when I read the rejection I thought, "Oh. He doesn't want to meet me. Must go inhale some ice cream now."
I did, however, write one rejection e-mail. I got a message from some guy, and we started IMing each other. The conversation quickly got creepy, however. He asked me if I'd ever be willing to hook up with him and another guy, but he said that "it would be all about you." I said NO. He wrote back, "Just admit you're boring. It'll save you time and not waste others."
I probably shouldn't have responded, but I did. I wrote him an e-mail that said, "I'm not boring. I just don't sleep with losers." And then I blocked that jerk from messaging me.
It's incidents like these that have made me think it's time to take another break from online dating, at least for a while.
What do you think? Do you think that people on online dating sites should write back to say that they're not interested, or should they not write back at all?
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